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(Braithwaite) “I will give you my decision in about a week,” said Georges Villedary, directeur general of the Le Centre Sheraton, Montreal, as he put down the phone and looked pensively at the letter before him. The letter, dated March 15, 1994, was from Alitalia requesting a one-year contract for 40 room at $42 per night. In addition, the hotel would have to provide a crew allowance of $25,000 per day. Bills are to be paid within seven days of receipt of statement on a weekly basis. The problem facing Georges was a simple one: does he take Alitalia and fill the 40 rooms for 365 days at $42 or does he refuse the business and hope that he can sell the rooms at the full rack rate of $105.00? Last year he
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The Alitalia proposal appeared to be a good opportunity for the Le Centre Sheraton because it guaranteed 40 rooms per night for the entire year plus potential clients from their flights. The contract, if accepted, would require the hotel to have clean rooms immediately upon check-in; to have on hand $25,000 every day as an allowance for crews and to distribute the allowance as instructed; and to control the crew’s wake-up calls. These services were standard tasks for the Sheraton Centre; however, because of the late departure of aircraft to Europe, check-out time for Alitalia would be between 04:00 p.m. and 06:00 p.m. while the other crews would be arriving sometime between 09:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. the same night. This meant the hotel had to keep extra maids on duty to have these rooms ready within two to four hours. In addition, when flight schedules were changed, there would be changes in wake-up calls and in the distribution of the allowances. This extra service to the crews would be at the expense of the other guests who were paying the full rack rate. Experience with other airlines had shown that airline crews spent less during their stay at a hotel than a regular guest. This was because their usual stay was only one night. If they were grounded for several days, they preferred to explore the city of Montreal, hence food and beverage purchases were often made outside the hotel.

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