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Taylor Swift performing during the first of her three sold-out Tampa shows on the Eras tour. Alamy Stock Photo
now we got problems

Taylor Swift fans left frustrated after bookings at Dublin hotel are cancelled

A number of people were informed yesterday that their booking could no longer be honoured.

A DUBLIN HOTEL has apologised to Taylor Swift fans after reservations they made to attend the singer’s concerts in the capital next year were cancelled over the weekend. 

The US pop star will play two shows at the Aviva Stadium on Friday 28 June and Saturday 29 June 2024.

While tickets have yet to go on sale, fans were swift to book accommodation in Dublin once the dates were confirmed.

However, on Sunday, people who had booked a room at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel shared on Twitter that they had had their reservations cancelled. 

One user wrote: “I booked a hotel within five minutes of Taylor Swift announcing her tour dates in Dublin in June 2024 and hotel prices tripled an hour later.

“The hotel has now cancelled my booking, with no reason. Irish hotels are out of control, price gouging – so frustrating.”

A number of Twitter users then responded to that tweet to say that they had had the same experience.

“The same thing has happened to me,” read one response.

“I just got an email today saying “Booking cancelled due to internal reasons” and they found me “alternative accommodation” 14.2km away from city centre. How is this allowed?!”

The issue was also discussed on RTÉ’s Liveline this afternoon, with a number of people sharing their own experience. 

One woman, Deirdre, told the programme that her daughter had booked a twin room at the hotel for €275 for one night. She received an email yesterday from the booking agent to say that the hotel could no longer honour the booking.

“She was offered alternative accommodation which they said was the same qualities as your original reservation,” Deirdre said.

“The alternative accommodation she was offered was two beds in an eight-bed mixed dormitory in a hostel, which I don’t think is of the same quality of accommodation.”

The alternative accommodation was priced at €218. 

Niall told the programme that on 20 June, he paid €265 for a room at the hotel as he was planning to bring his daughter to one of Swift’s concerts. 

“I got an email from the third party booking crowd yesterday evening saying that my booking had been cancelled owing to overbooking from the hotel,” he said.

“I sent an email off to the hotel yesterday evening outlining how really I didn’t think that was acceptable. I heard back from their reservations manager this morning basically saying that they couldn’t do anything for me, couldn’t help me out for those bookings for those dates and left it at that.”

Another woman, Sarah, told the programme that when the hotel informed her that the error had been on the part of the booking agent, she contacted the booking agent and asked them about it.

She said she was then advised by a spokesperson for the booking agent that the hotel had reached out to them to cancel the booking.

In a statement to The Journal, a spokesperson for the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel said: “On the 20th of June 2023 our hotel bedroom booking system experienced an operational system error which resulted in a significant overbooking of bedrooms for the 28th and 29th of June 2024.

“Hotel management, together with our booking system service provider, are currently urgently investigating the reasons why this may have occurred. In the meantime, and pending the result of our ongoing investigations, we express our deep regret at this occurrence and apologise for any inconvenience caused,” the statement read.

“The third-party booking platform provider has confirmed their customer service team will handle all booking cancellations associated with this overbooking incident in a prompt manner.”

Accommodation has all but sold out since the concert dates were announced, with one TD telling the Dáil last week that there are no hotel room available in the capital for less than €350 on the dates of Swift’s Eras tour shows.

Thomas Pringle said it was a “disgraceful display of greed” and accused hotels of “rampant price gouging”.

“And it’s not just hotels that are guilty of price gouging – one landlord has a two-bedroom apartment they priced at €20,000 for the same weekend,” he told the Dáil.

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe has said he takes it very seriously that Ireland’s hospitality sector should “do the right thing” by not price-gouging on hotel prices during Swift’s tour dates.

“I’ve not held back in the past from behaviour that I’ve seen in the hospitality sector at a time in which we’re trying to get the sector back on its own two feet again,” he said.

In a statement to The Journal, a spokesperson for the Irish Hotels Federation said that the vast majority of Irish hotels do not make rooms available online any earlier than one year out.

“This means that there is currently very limited hotel availability through online booking engines. For many hotels, even shorter lead in times apply for listing rooms through online booking engines,” the statement read. 

“However, we do expect that there will be much more availability during the course of the next month or so for those who are looking to book accommodation for summer 2024.

“This means that people looking to book at this stage should consider contacting hotels directly either through their own websites or by phone to enquire about rates and get the best value.”

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