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Hotel Mistake Deals - Best Practices

Hotel Mistake Deals - Best Practices

Old Jan 9, 14, 1:40 pm
  #1  
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Hotel Mistake Deals - Best Practices

I've been reading through a few different threads about specific instances of mistake fares. But I don't recall seeing one about general best practices, so thought that I would post my own ideas here, and also have others contribute.

Things to do
- Do not call/tweet/email EITHER the hotel or the booking agency.
- Have a backup plan or reservation in case your original reservation is not honored at check in or at some time after your reservation is made.
- Keep a physical and electronic copy of your reservation in case you need to make a credit card dispute.
- Be reasonable. If the check in staff says that the $5 rate was a mistake, don't try and fake it by saying something like "You're hotel is so cheap, $5 actually seems fair". You are likely better off by agreeing it was a mistake rate, but there are plenty of times where you've paid a high rate, so it all evens out.
- Do not call/tweet/email EITHER the hotel or the booking agency.

Things not to do
- Make related uncancelable bookings (like airfare) until you are more sure that the deal will be honored. This may be with more time passing since booking, or confirmation of others being able to use the deal.
- Physically or mentally intimidate hotel staff if they choose to deny your reservation. Instead, be professional.
- Get upset if you miss a deal. There's more from where that came from.

Things you may/may not want to do
- Post your deal on Flyertalk. Some people think that more publicity leads to a better chance of a deal being retained. Others think the opposite.

Can anyone add more?

Last edited by bmchris; Jan 10, 14 at 9:27 am
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Old Jan 9, 14, 1:59 pm
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+1 to this. I would also expand, based on an issue with a mistake last night:
- Do not call/tweet/email EITHER the hotel or the booking agency.
- Do not book nonrefundable other plans until after some time has passed.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 2:09 pm
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why should I not ask hotel about the rate after it's gone? the worst is to find out that the deal isn't honoured only at check in.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by bmchris View Post
Things not to do
- Be professional and do not physically or mentally intimidate hotel staff if they choose to deny your reservation.
Things not to do?
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Old Jan 9, 14, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by ncSam View Post
Things not to do?
Fixed .
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Old Jan 9, 14, 2:24 pm
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Originally Posted by ben63 View Post
why should I not ask hotel about the rate after it's gone? the worst is to find out that the deal isn't honoured only at check in.
Most think that the more time you give them, the more time they have to cancel your reservation. A front office or junior staff is more likely to escalate an error. But that takes time. You probably don't want to do that.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 2:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
- Do not book nonrefundable other plans until after some time has passed.
I'm not fully clear on what this means. Can you elaborate?
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Old Jan 9, 14, 2:27 pm
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Originally Posted by bmchris View Post
I'm not fully clear on what this means. Can you elaborate?
My assumption is don't book non-refundable flights/other hotels/rental cars until you know for sure your rate will be honored.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by ncSam View Post
My assumption is don't book non-refundable flights/other hotels/rental cars until you know for sure your rate will be honored.
But won't you only know for sure after you check in? Isn't there always a risk prior to that? Or is it good enough if someone else has verified that it will be honored based on their experience or confirmation?
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Old Jan 9, 14, 2:35 pm
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There are always guinea pigs Hopefully it isn't you, haha.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by bmchris View Post
Most think that the more time you give them, the more time they have to cancel your reservation. A front office or junior staff is more likely to escalate an error. But that takes time. You probably don't want to do that.
Exactly. My experience is your best chance of getting a hotel deal honored is to just show up at check-in.....and have a back-up strategy.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 2:43 pm
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Originally Posted by bmchris View Post
But won't you only know for sure after you check in? Isn't there always a risk prior to that? Or is it good enough if someone else has verified that it will be honored based on their experience or confirmation?
I know it's risky, but if there's no announcement or communication regarding a specific rate, I tend to take at least the major hotel chains at their word (room/rate confirmation). Can it backfire? Yes, and it sometimes does, but there has to be some level of trust, much like trusting a chain to actually reimburse you for a BRG. I wish it was always as cut and dried as UA or DL coming out and specifically saying fares will be honored, but hotel deals are usually much smaller in scale.

Then again, there's always this:

Originally Posted by mlqsko View Post
There are always guinea pigs Hopefully it isn't you, haha.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by jaymar01 View Post
Exactly. My experience is your best chance of getting a hotel deal honored is to just show up at check-in.....and have a back-up strategy.
Once you have your key, the chances of you being denied basically become zero. There is no way a hotel is going to throw someone out of their room.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 3:59 pm
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What advise can we give to dealing wish/negotiating around mistake rates by email/phone if the hotel/booking agent contacts to cancel?
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Old Jan 9, 14, 4:04 pm
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The best advice I can give, after you have made your booking is to.....

PRAY, or for you less religious, cross your fingers.
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