Please don't just mock me. With all due respect, this doesn't seem that complicated, but perhaps I'm missing something.You have a page listing all the available hotels. The page should have two sort options - distance and price.
You rank your hotel of preference from 1 to whatever.
You enter your
- arrival and departure dates,
- number of people in the room,
- preferred bed configuration (can be ranked or any)
- and your credit card info.
The night of the lottery, you're assigned a random processing position and you're batched through.
This isn't sophisticated code. You might need a confirmation step after assignment, but put a one week limit on that.
If you feel you need the discretion to choose between a King at the Hyatt or a double-double at the Marriott, let me note that most folks end up taking what they can get anyway. And you could have a preference box to weight bed configuration above hotel. Or a tweak that lets you process through any downtown hotel configuration before giving up an dropping down to airport locations.I get it if you enjoy the scrum of lottery day. That's a legitimate preference, but don't tell me it couldn't be automated.
For my part I wasn't trying to mock you, just have a little joke. I apologize if it seemed mean, and on reflection it was pretty likely to seem mean. So I'm sorry for that.
I think the difficulty people are looking at is this--with the current system, I can not only prioritize hotels, but I could for example prioritize a Hyatt double-double over a Marriott King, but a Marriott double-double over anything else--except a Hilton suite. But other Hilton rooms would be at the bottom.
It's true that with the current system a lot of people just have to take whatever is available. But many people--thousands, based on the number of downtown rooms that get grabbed--are able to prioritize in these really complex ways. And they do, or at least I have in the past, and I don't think I'm alone in this. Changing to a much less nuanced priority system, while still keeping a random lottery, would
a) prevent anyone from prioritizing in ways that weren't coded into the system, while
b) only benefiting people who are unable to login during their time.
I suspect you'll have a lot more people upset by taking away their in-the-moment choice than you'll make happy by automating.