Denied points for hotel stay - Citi booking

Old Jun 9, 19, 12:37 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 62
Denied points for hotel stay - Citi booking

I recently stayed at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego and noticed that points never posted to my account. I submitted a missing stay credit and received an email that said my rate was not eligible for points because it booked through an eligible booking channel (i.e. Aspire Lifestyle).

I booked this hotel reservation through my Citi Prestige MasterCard so that I could get the 4th night free while it's still around. I instructed the Citi Concierge to book the 3rd night free rate from the Fairmont site. This was a publicly available rate on the Fairmont site and not one that was only available through a travel agency. It seems like this doesn't fall within their exception of booking through a travel agency and getting an exclusive rate that isn't eligible for earning points.

Would appreciate any thoughts on this.
rccsd is offline  
Old Jun 9, 19, 6:09 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: MEL
Programs: QF GA NZ WN. Accor+ Bonvoy IHC
Posts: 222
I work on the assumption that booking anywhere outside of the Accor website or APP will not get points or status. I learnt that years ago by booking Hilton via an OTA and have seen this very subject pop up on various forums over the years.
Yoshi212 likes this.
BSBtraveller is offline  
Old Jun 9, 19, 10:09 am
  #3  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.021MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite; WoH Dis
Posts: 49,328
Originally Posted by BSBtraveller View Post
I work on the assumption that booking anywhere outside of the Accor website or APP will not get points or status. I learnt that years ago by booking Hilton via an OTA and have seen this very subject pop up on various forums over the years.
You should get full credit (in any program) if you book with a "real" travel agent. This excludes OTAs, but includes brick-and-mortar travel agents and some others like Amex Travel. I don't know the status of Citi Concierge.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Jun 9, 19, 11:53 am
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Accor 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Paris, France
Programs: AF/KL Flying Blue Platinum for life/Club2000 Ultimate, UA Mileage plus, Le Club Accorhotels platinum
Posts: 13,946
Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
You should get full credit (in any program) if you book with a "real" travel agent. This excludes OTAs, but includes brick-and-mortar travel agents and some others like Amex Travel. I don't know the status of Citi Concierge.
It's not that easy as those eligible channels may book fares that are not eligible. For instance, Amex travel is an "authorized" channel but Amex travel proposes public fares as well as booking.com fares. So if you book a booking.com fare through Amex travel, you won't earn LCAH points.
BSBtraveller likes this.
Goldorak is offline  
Old Jun 9, 19, 11:58 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 62
I think that's true but in my case, it was a publicly available rate on their website. It seems like that rate should be eligible to earn points since the travel agency booked it just like I would have. The only reason I booked it through Citi Concierge/Aspire Lifestyles is that I wanted the 4th night free, which has nothing to do with Fairmont/Le Club Accor.
rccsd is offline  
Old Jun 10, 19, 8:31 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 62
The latest is now Fairmont is saying that the 3rd night free rate on their website was not available to earn points or stay credits. I checked the website and there was nothing that discloses that this promotional rate would be ineligible to earn points or credits. Seems like it should at least disclose on their website.
rccsd is offline  
Old Jun 10, 19, 8:50 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: YYZ
Programs: TK*G, AC Aeroplan, Fairmont Platinum, Starwood Gold, Nexus/GE, Hertz #1 Gold
Posts: 1,647
Originally Posted by rccsd View Post
The latest is now Fairmont is saying that the 3rd night free rate on their website was not available to earn points or stay credits. I checked the website and there was nothing that discloses that this promotional rate would be ineligible to earn points or credits. Seems like it should at least disclose on their website.
That doesn't sound right. I've booked rates that were pay for x nights, get 1 free, and have always been given points. If this is a rate available to anyone and bookable right off the hotel website, then I think the hotel is giving you bad information.

I'm guessing you're talking about this rate...
https://www.fairmont.com/san-diego/s...rd-night-free/

Nothing suggests that it shouldn't qualify.
CanadaDH is online now  
Old Jun 11, 19, 9:56 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 62
Yes, that's the correct 3rd night free rate. Supposedly, they are going to look into it and get back to me within 48 hours.
rccsd is offline  
Old Jun 11, 19, 3:22 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: WLG
Programs: NZ Elite *G, Accor+ Gold
Posts: 78
Originally Posted by rccsd View Post
Yes, that's the correct 3rd night free rate. Supposedly, they are going to look into it and get back to me within 48 hours.
Please post an update when you hear back. I plotted a path to Platinum that absolutely depends on status points accruing from 3-for-2 night deals at 2 different Fairmont hotels. One of those bookings is non-refundable. I've also made 3 non-refundable bookings for later dates at Asia-Pacific hotels where I'm expecting executive lounge access as a Platinum perk. This was all part of my calculations, justifying a greater spend than I was otherwise comfortable with. So I'll be very unhappy if there was an exception provision buried in their terms and conditions.
Beckett66 is offline  
Old Jun 11, 19, 4:06 pm
  #10  
cwl
Accor Contributor BadgeFairmont Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: UK
Programs: BAEC Silver, Flying Blue Silver, Le Club Accor Platinum, Hilton Honours Diamond, Marriot Silver
Posts: 362
Originally Posted by rccsd View Post
The latest is now Fairmont is saying that the 3rd night free rate on their website was not available to earn points or stay credits. I checked the website and there was nothing that discloses that this promotional rate would be ineligible to earn points or credits. Seems like it should at least disclose on their website.
Sounds like an dubious excuse for points refusal.

Never had a problem receiving points credit on a Fairmont 3rd night free rate staying in hotels in North America, Europe and APAC. Always received nights stayed credit for both the 'paid' and "free" nights and monetary points credit for the spend.
cwl is offline  
Old Jun 12, 19, 11:06 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 62
FWIW, I still haven't heard back from then despite their 48 hour turnaround time.
rccsd is offline  
Old Jun 15, 19, 9:38 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Vancouver, BC
Programs: Aeroplan, Fairmont Plat, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 92
I booked a Virtuoso rate at The Fairmont Orchid and was denied points citing 'not an eligible rate'. When I emailed the property they were surprised, and I said I have booked multiple times at various properties without issue, since Virtuoso books the flexible available rate at hotel. Accor got back to me after a bit and said they would do a 'one time courtesy' and posted the points (not the right amount, of course).

Recently I booked a stay at The Pacific Rim using the same travel agent - points denied.

I suppose the most annoying aspect was at the Fairmont Orchid I actually used 6,000 points towards my stay at check-out. My simple logic with Accor was 'If I was able to redeem points towards the stay, wouldn't that conclude it was an eligible rate?'

Anyway... Accor status is not my cup of tea, and I'm going free agent next year. I can't believe Accor customer service is so stunned they were willing to risk losing a 30+ night/year Platinum (more than 5 consecutive years with Fairmont) over a few thousand points....

Oh, and they compared my Virtuoso travel agent to 'other online travel agencies and packages such as Priceline, Expedia, and Sunwing Vacations'.... ....
SOWK is offline  
Old Jun 15, 19, 5:40 pm
  #13  
Moderator: Le Club Accorhotels
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: FRA / YEG
Programs: AC Super Elite, Radisson Platinum, Accor Platinum
Posts: 11,483
Originally Posted by SOWK View Post
I booked a Virtuoso rate at The Fairmont Orchid and was denied points citing 'not an eligible rate'. When I emailed the property they were surprised, and I said I have booked multiple times at various properties without issue, since Virtuoso books the flexible available rate at hotel. Accor got back to me after a bit and said they would do a 'one time courtesy' and posted the points (not the right amount, of course).

Recently I booked a stay at The Pacific Rim using the same travel agent - points denied.

I suppose the most annoying aspect was at the Fairmont Orchid I actually used 6,000 points towards my stay at check-out. My simple logic with Accor was 'If I was able to redeem points towards the stay, wouldn't that conclude it was an eligible rate?'

Anyway... Accor status is not my cup of tea, and I'm going free agent next year. I can't believe Accor customer service is so stunned they were willing to risk losing a 30+ night/year Platinum (more than 5 consecutive years with Fairmont) over a few thousand points....

Oh, and they compared my Virtuoso travel agent to 'other online travel agencies and packages such as Priceline, Expedia, and Sunwing Vacations'.... ....
Excuse my language, but this sounds like a load of nonsense.

Unless something has changed very recently, consortia rates such as Virtuoso, Travel Leaders Select etc. are considered qualifying rates.

In fact, this has been confirmed to me in writing several times by Accor corporate; and I'm not aware of a single hotel chain that doesn't treat consortia rates as qualifying rates. In fact, such a policy would completely defeat the purpose of such programs.

And I've made hundreds of consortia bookings for myself and clients, and without exception they have always been considered qualifying stays (in more technical terms, consortia rates are considered to be GDS rates, and per loyalty programs' policies GDS rates are qualifying rates).

There have been several occasions where points didn't post automatically, but that issue is unfortunately not limited to consortia bookings. I can only assume you got an utterly incompetent agent who didn't know what they were talking about.
Jasper2009 is offline  
Old Jun 15, 19, 5:43 pm
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 62
Without any explanation, points miraculously showed up in my account this morning. Doesn't seem quite right but it's close. I believe I should have gotten points for room rate and any restaurants/on property charges. Unless they deducted restaurant taxes, they missed some charges but it's not worth it to fight for a few more points.
Beckett66 and Goldorak like this.
rccsd is offline  
Old Jun 15, 19, 6:36 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Vancouver, BC
Programs: Aeroplan, Fairmont Plat, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 92
Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
Excuse my language, but this sounds like a load of nonsense.
That about sums it up.

I've had approximately 15 stays this year at various properties in Canada, US, and Asia. About 1/3 were booked through Amex FHR - all points posted automatically (the right amount too, based on my math).

The rest were booked through Virtuoso agent. A few posted without issue, most didn't, with front office needing to request an adjustment (in this case reward points posted but status points did not), and the famous case of 'this stay isn't eligible and all future stays will not earn points and we'll give you a courtesy adjustment this time only'.

The amount of time I've had to spend explaining to front office why the Virtuoso rate was eligible simply isn't worth it. I'd rather continue to book through my Virtuoso platform for any stay as my (minimal) Platinum benefits on property are still honoured, and the added benefit (breakfast, property credit, and welcome gift) outweigh the value of the points, by far.

I'll continue to stay at select Fairmont properties that I consider excellent, and where I've developed relationships with staff and management, but this last experience begging for points I was owed solidified that I will no longer chase status with such an 'incompetent' program.

Below is the email from 'Frank', should anyone be interested....

Good Day Mr. SOWK,

I trust this email finds you well.

After looking into the account, every instance you stayed at Fairmont where the booking was made through Virtuoso was ineligible based on the booking channel, not the rate. This is why Courtesy Reward points were offered.

Keep in mind that you are not receiving your Status points and nights for these bookings, which would determine your Status with the program for the following year.

Mister SOWK, it is certainly not our intention to deny any stay credits however, it is our duty to educate the member of the reasons why the stays are ineligible. That being said, any future stays made through Virtuoso will not earn any points or nights.

Please consider a different booking avenue to ensure your account gets credited accordingly in accordance with the programs General Conditions of Use.

For your recent stay at Fairmont Orchid, I have added 1916 Courtesy Reward points to the account based on the eligible spend at the hotel.

Thank you for your continued loyalty with us.

Regards,

Frank
SOWK is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread