Luxury hotel chain Leading Hotels of the World had a brilliant idea: celebrate 80 years in the biz by offering up 6,000 hotel rooms around the world at a rate of $19.28 per night … get it? 1928 … $19.28? good. It was such a fantastic idea that travelers voted with their mouse-clicks, crashing the site almost immediately. One can only guess from yesterday’s mass e-mail from President & CEO Ted Teng that he is both embarassed and the recipient of plenty of hate mail.
Dear [Migrant Blogger],I would like to once again express my gratitude for your continued support, understanding, and patience with The Leading Hotels of the World. Since October 1, we have explored and evaluated many solutions to the technological failures encountered during the online USD 19.28 Sale.www.lhw.com/1928status, which will go live on Monday, October 13. This will allow all registrants, throughout the various parts of the globe, simultaneous and equal access to the USD 19.28 updates around the clock. All updates will indicate the date and time of posting. Please know that we have intentionally communicated this website address only to registrants in order not to dilute your chances of securing a reservation at the promotional rate. We will announce the details of the new USD 19.28 promotion, no later than Friday, October 17, which will occur the following week. The sale details will be posted at least 48 hours before the promotion begins.
President & CEO
The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.
I am delighted to inform you that today we selected Akamai Technologies, Inc., the world premier web content delivery network, with clients such as Yahoo, Travelocity, and Amazon. Together we are working diligently to finalize a new procedure whereby you, as well as the other 150,000 registrants, will have a chance to secure one of the originally allotted 6,000 room nights that are available at the rate of USD 19.28.
In developing a fair and foolproof platform, we have been faced with various considerations. Timing – both on the developmental front as well as for your trip-planning purposes – has proven to be our major and foremost concern. We chose to preserve the hotel availability dates, which in most cases began on November 1, as to not delay the promotion by several months. We also opted to maintain the promotion on a first-come, first-served basis. To make the offer a random selection or lottery would significantly delay the re-launch due to complicated international regulations. Lastly, we wanted to ensure successful communication to registrants in a prompt manner. We are now confident that, with Akamai, we have found a solution that addresses all of these challenges.
Please note that you will not be receiving any further emails, rather, we have decided to post all future updates and details on a dedicated website at
I love the fact that he is not changing the dates– in order to benefit his clients, as the message implies. Of course, it couldn’t be to his advatnage to reduce the lead time and thus interet in the promotion. But, to his credit, it’s a lot better than the recent layoff simplification memo from eBay Chief Pain in the Ass Alan Marks.
Also, LHW seems awfully proud to have engaged Akamai to help rectify the problem. I remember the good ol’ days, in the late 1990s, when Akamai was the best thing since sock puppets. According to Teng, it seems, the company still is.
Akamai: supplying bandwidth since Web 1.0!