VENICE - In tough economic times such as those we live in today, everybody has had to cut back on vacation travel. Airfare is outrageously expensive from the US to Europe, and even within the continent, and luxury hotels can cost as much for one weekend as many Americans or Brits make in a month.
Unless, of course, you had the opportunity to book a weekend at the Crowne Plaza in Quarto D'Altino, a twenty-minute drive outside of Venice. Atlanta's Intercontinental Hotels Group owns the Quarto D'Altino and, for whatever reason, offered travelers a deal they just could not refuse: a weekend in the four star hotel at a cost of one Euro cent!
Fulvio Danesin, sales manager of the hotel, told reporters, "We thought a hacker had posted the advertisement; then we found out it was a silly, human error."
The advertisement ran on the hotel's website for only a few hours last Sunday night, but "Long enough to receive reservations for the equivalent of 1400 room nights, and a total loss of eruo 90,000, or $129,000 US," said Danesin.
The ad was supposed to have read "a two-night stay for half price."
A spokesperson for the Atlanta Corporation, Monica Smith, told TheSpoof.com's Travel & Entertainment Editor, Madame Bitters, "We will honor the erroneous price for those travelers who already booked reservations and have valid confirmation notices."
Following her "nose for news," Madame Bitters was able to determine that all 1400 bookings were listed under the name Mark Lowton, her very own boss.
A spokesman for Lowton, the CEO and Executive Editor of TheSpoof.com, Queen Mudder, told Ms. Bitters, "Mark has always wanted to hold a convention of all the writers who work such horribly long hours for such little financial remuneration, but he couldn't do it, because, he's basically a cheap skate. This was a golden opportunity to for him to appear show his gratitude to the great unwashed who labor for him."
Despite the free rooms, the writers must pay for their own airfare, meals and ground transportation.