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Last-minute hotel booking apps can help those stranded by Sandy

October 30, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • The Meatpacking District of New York City during the storm surge Monday night.
The Meatpacking District of New York City during the storm surge Monday… (Allison Joyce / Getty Images )

Those last-minute hotel booking apps on your smartphone can be more than just a convenience when a super-storm like Sandy blows into town.

On Monday night when winds and flooding hit hardest in New York City, hotels were still available on sites such as Hotel Tonight and Priceline -- and prices weren't out of this world.

Hotel Tonight showed rooms that could be booked as late as 2 a.m. Tuesday (today) for $259 a night at the Affinia Manhattan, $249 at the Wyndham Garden and $295 at The Surrey. Priceline too showed nightly rates of $227 at the Flatiron Hotel and $230 at the Hilton Garden Inn New York West 35th Street.

There were more options too. Hotel Tonight starts offering rooms at noon each day; Priceline offers same-day rooms from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Sam Shank, chief executive officer of San Francisco-based Hotel Tonight, said Monday evening that New York City hotels were impacted by accommodating not just stranded vacation and business travelers but  staff members too.

"Hotels are putting their staff up in the hotel to make sure they don't have to travel and to make sure their guests have a good level of service," he said.

Shank said Hotel Tonight stopped offering rooms in two areas Monday: Atlantic City, which had been evacuated, and the Financial District of New York City, where some evacuations also were ordered.
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