As many of you know, we were on track to do a major release today. It was more than hotels, it was a chance to really test out our new website, our expanded traffic capacity, and release our first block of hotels; including the Bonaventure and the JW Marriott.
We were extremely excited about this release and we thought we had everything under control. Then, something unforeseen occurred. The Marriott made some contractual changes that we had to address, which removed the JW and other Marriott brands from our block.
We take this extremely seriously and it created a frenzy of action behind the scenes. We want to be transparent and share this adventure with you, and all that we’ve been doing as things unfold:
First thing this morning, JW Marriott sends requests to SPJA to change conditions on AX attendees NOT agreed to in previous contracts and negotiations.
Before 8AM, SPJA CEO began to review requests and begins to contact all team leads to create response plan and to adjust our Noon release.
8:30 AM – After legal input, SPJA CEO gets in touch JW Marriott to revisit negotiations and make remedy for AX 2015 Hotel room block arrangements.
8:35 AM – Marketing, Web Development Team, Customer Response Team, and Par Avion coordinate to update automated systems and change to manual triggers, this requires new, manual page builds.
8:40 AM – Marketing and Web Dev create new UX flow to deal with change of system if Marriott isn’t released by noon.
8:40 AM – Continue waiting on JW for updates, meanwhile all other teams prepare for the launch.
11:10 AM – UX design from Tech team revamped for manual controls. New interfaces tested and edited.
11:59 AM – Details with JW still yet to be confirmed.
12:00 PM – Hotel Website goes live with Westin Bonaventure room blocks, as previously announced.
12~12:30 PM – Web Development Team actively monitoring website, correcting design and UX issues while making sure traffic runs smoothly and enacting plan in place, despite lack of Marriott inventory.
12:45 PM – SPJA CEO finalizes situation with JW Marriott. New agreement sent to legal departments on both sides.
1:00 PM – All teams prep and coordinate plan for JW Marriott room inventory to be made available through Par Avion’s system, pending final approvals and room inventory release.
1:30 PM – Over 200 comments, emails and social network request have been responded to by our Marketing and CSR team personally.
2:15 PM – Blog post with behind-the-scenes timeline posted live on AX website, and we catch our breath a little, still responding to all requests and questions as quickly as possible.
2:24 PM – SPJA receives notice from Par Avion that JW Marriott room inventory has been sent to them and will be live within the next hour, depending on the capability of their system.
3:34 PM – Par Avion’s inventory upload complete. JW Marriott AX 2015 Room Block available for booking via Par Avion’s system.
Thank you all very much for your patience! We’ve been in quite a frenzy over here dealing with this monkey wrench, but we’re dedicated to making this all work and we will do everything we can to keep you all updated as things develop.