The Tampa Business Journal is reporting
that Tampa, Florida-based 1800Hotels4U, LLC
has filed paperwork to seek bankruptcy protection in a Florida court.
The internet reservation company has two web sites serving customers in the United States and Ireland.
Early reports indicated that the 1800Hotels.com website was telling customers that the company was "“performing system maintenance that will affect hotel availability”, but searches on the website conducted for this report indicate that rather than claiming a "system maintenance" situation, the website simply fails to return any results when a search is attempted. Over a dozen searches performed on the website
on Wednesday night returned the following message: "Sorry, but there are no available hotels in that location on the dates you selected, please call 1800HOTELS.com on 1.800.853.9054 USA as we may have accommodation options that are not showing or try an alternative location." This message appeared regardless of the date, location or duration of the search request.
The bankruptcy filing is an attempt to keep the wholesale booking partners of 1800Hotels from canceling standing reservations and stranding travelers, a problem which had begun when reservation wholesaler Turico Holidays, Inc
began canceling reservations on July 2. Turico, along with other booking partners, has canceled or threatened to cancel reservations due to a failure of 1800Hotels to pay past due balances.
1800Hotels moved to the Tampa Bay area in 2002. It was originally founded in Dublin, Ireland and the company maintains an Irish presence with the website 1800Hotels.ie. Reported booking activity had indicated that 1800Hotels.com was among the fastest growing online reservation portals prior to this filing.