Sheraton free-overnight-stay promotion excludes observant Jews

By | September 30, 2009

From October 6 to October 9, Sheraton will be giving customers the opportunity to win a free overnight stay at one of 86 recently renovated Sheraton hotels across the United States and Canada.  The free overnight stays will be on a single night, Friday, October 23.  By only allowing the free overnight stays on a Friday, Sheraton is excluding observant Jews from participating in this promotion.

I just sent the following message about this to the company:

It is a shame that the one night you’ve selected for your “Check-in on us giveaway”, October 23, is a Friday night, thus completely precluding the participation of observant Jews in the promotion.  It is difficult to impossible to properly observe the Sabbath, which for observant Jews starts before sundown on Friday night and ends after sundown Saturday night, in a hotel, and thus observant Jews do not stay at hotels on Friday or Saturday nights unless it is completely unavoidable.

I doubt you intended to exclude observant Jews when planning this promotion.  Nevertheless, the effect of offering a free night only on a Friday does, in fact, discriminate against your Jewish customers.

If you would like to let the company how you feel about their exclusion of observant Jews from this promotion, you can contact them at [email protected].

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