by: Carl Willis Updated:ATLANTA —
Dozens of people who booked hotel rooms for the fantasy and sci-fi convention DragonCon said the Hyatt Regency suddenly canceled their reservations.
Now, many who will travel from all over the country said they are locked out of downtown because all of the hotels are booked.
"It's affecting a lot of people," said Anne Almasy. She's a photographer who booked her hotel room months ago.
The rooms are offered in October and typically sell out in 20 minutes. Dozens of people say they learned on May 29 that their reservations had been dropped.
"People have bought plane tickets, they made child care arrangements, they've taken time off of work. It's a big deal for people who don't live here in Atlanta," said Almasy.
Angry hotel customers took to Facebook and Twitter to gripe, including Almasy. She told Channel 2's Carl Willis that she got a notice and number to call. When she got through, she said her room had already been sold to someone else.
"Really," she said. "Who are these people who magically got a Hyatt room at the last minute?"
Willis asked hotel spokesman Walter Woods if this was a case of overbooking.
"No, this happens every year," said Woods. "We usually get some cancellations every year through credit cards, and we'll get more cancellations as we get closer."
Woods said the Hyatt Regency sends a notice around May 5 informing guests that they will take a deposit on May 29.
"If there's a problem with someone's credit card, the number's wrong or something's been cancelled they get a cancellation notice," he said. "Sometimes we can make it right. We actually just rectified someone's reservation through Facebook."
Woods said it's a case by case basis.
Almasy believes credit card problems may have been the issue for some, but can't believe that's the case for all. She said she has 15 friends who lost their reservations.
Now, she's just one of many hoping to get back into the host hotel.
"I'd really like to stay there but I can't control it," she said. "If they gave the rooms away, they gave the rooms away."
The hotel spokesman urged guests to call or contact them on social media. He said they will try to accommodate those with reservations, but couldn't make a guarantee for all.