Choice Privileges - Insight into Upgrade Policy?
Mar 21, 11, 8:37 am
does anyone have an insight into the Choice Hotels Upgrade Policy?
Usually when I have stayed at any Choice Hotel - any brand - have always recieved an upgrade to the next available upgraded room, even though my reservations have been on SOS rates, AAA or Advance Purchase rates.
Just completed a 3 night stay at the Mainstay suites in Milwaukee.
I was told that they would not and could not upgrade me to the next upgrade room because I was on a 'discounted' SOS rate. Is this a company wide policy or is it only a local property policy?
Comments? Insights? into the Upgrade Policy?
Mar 21, 11, 9:07 am
This has not been my experience with Choice properties. Unfortunately, most times I've had to ask for the upgrade even though it was in my rez as a request. This includes booking the lowest rate queen room and requesting a king room.
Choice does not have a good process for seeing properties abide by the program rules. I had one property outright refuse an upgrade. I wrote to Choice and was told I had to take the issue up with the property that they would not address the issue on my behalf. That and other problems getting the program to live up to their promisses has made Choice my last choice when selecting properties.
Mar 21, 11, 12:23 pm
It's a major inconsistency with the program, and upgrades appear to be done on a hotel-by-hotel, if not clerk-by-clerk, basis. As I can recall from the terms, it isn't a right in any way, shape, or form and is entirely up to the hotel (or clerk). I don't think the rate has anything to do with it.
I've had an ongoing dispute (documented here) with a particular property that wouldn't give me a $4/night upgrade (btw, I got a lucrative contract down there and have spent over 20 nights in the last 5 months at a different hotel because of that), but others do it before I can even ask. Some hotels don't have anything to upgrade you to, as all rooms are fundamentally the same. These are the ones I like to hear about, btw....
Mar 21, 11, 6:02 pm
I also get the room that I've paid for, without regard to my "status" - Platinum. Meaning, because I find the lowest rate, I get the worst - non-smoking - room in the house (e.g., back in a corner where two wings meet at a motel with a water view) even when I ask about a water view or a "Platinum upgrade". Everytime, it's "I have to follow policy or I'll get in trouble with the manager".* The only exception (an actual suite) is at one motel where I stay frequently and that's given without my asking.
* Meaning, it's definitely, explicitly according to rate.
Mar 21, 11, 6:47 pm
I have had a few clerks pull the "manager must approve" response so I stop signing the registration paperwork and say, Fine, I'd like to speak with the manager. Most times s/he is not available and I ask them to give them a call. That usually gets the upgrade.
It is so frustrating to have to play games with the front desk people. One even tried to refuse to let me check in an hour before their check-in time. Finally he called housekeepping to find out what rooms had been done.
Mar 22, 11, 6:19 pm
Well, it's a bit hard to see what there is to upgrade to at many properties.
At one hotel where I've stayed at several times, where one side of the (single-corridor) hotel faces a freeway and the other faces away from it, they try to put me on the quieter side or apoligize if they can't.
But in a lot of hotels, it's not quite as clear. Is poolside an upgrade if you want to use the pool, or is it a downgrade if you want peace and quiet but people are splashing around (or worse noise) at the pool?
At a lot of hotels, the room price differences seem rather arbitrary. It doesn't seem to have to do with any features of the room except perhaps a little more space around a single bed (but traded for less space to put stuff on the spare bed!). At one hotel, the one king rooms cost more than two queens, but at another the two queens more than the one king!
(I stay mostly at Comfort and Quality and see little they could upgrade me to, at most of them, most of the time.)
Mar 22, 11, 9:16 pm
I primarily stay at 2 choice properties, one is a Quality and the other an Ascend.
I always book SOS rates, LPGA, or AAA.
Once I hit gold status I noticed that I no longer got the rooms facing the road and instead received one on the end which is much quieter. I book Kings and get Kings here.
At the Ascend I only book the Queen Tower room, and about half the time receive a king not in the tower. I am not sure if this is an upgrade or if they simply run out of Queens.
I personally prefer the Queen tower I book because the kings have smaller TVs.
I have never requested an upgrade but dont really care about them at these places because lately they have been one nighters hopping back and forth between the two above properties.
Mar 23, 11, 10:56 am
Well, it's a bit hard to see what there is to upgrade to at many properties...
But, as illustrated above, downgrades are usually possible.