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Can travel agent book hotel and can I still get points etc.?

Can travel agent book hotel and can I still get points etc.?

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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:06 am
  #1  
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Can travel agent book hotel and can I still get points etc.?

Over the last year, my TA has made two reservations for hotel rooms and the hotels don't want to give me anything towards my status with their hotel chain.

The first time it was for a room at the Hyatt in Hakone Japan. We didn't get our points and we had to argue/beg to get the free breakfast (from status).

The second is for an upcoming stay at the Fairmont at the Vancouver Airport. I called to give my Fairmont account number and the guy at the desk said that because I made it through a third party, I wouldn't get any credit for my stay, but that I could get free wifi when I checked in.

Is there something my TA should be doing when he makes the reservation so that I can get credit or status benefits?

I do understand that the hotels don't want to give anything out to people that get through online TAs that might be discounting, but it seems hard to believe that I'm being denied some things while I'm using a real TA. How are business people booking hotels and getting their points etc. if they have to use a corporate TA?

Thanks!

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Old Feb 13, 18, 9:05 am
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I think this is a question for your travel agent. Many people book travel through an agent and still earn credits for their stays.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 11:41 am
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Sometimes travel agents have access to special low rates that are not available to the general public, or negotiated corporate rates that are lower than any published rate. You may have gotten such a rate. If that's the reason, you or your employer surely saved more than the points are worth. (If your travel is paid for by someone else, they have a right to set reasonable conditions for it. Whether or not your employer's conditions are reasonable would be off-topic for this thread.) If you are willing to pay the difference out of your own pocket, perhaps because you want stay credit toward status, there may be a way for your corporate TA to book a rate that earns credit in the chain's frequent guest program and charge you the difference. You may be unpleasantly surprised at how much that difference is, though. It would not be ethical to ask your company to foot the bill for your status unless you own the company.

Also, check the terms and conditions of the chain's frequent guest program to see if it says anything about rooms booked by travel agents or other third parties. If those bookings don't earn credit, your only option (if you want credit) is to book another way - if that's possible in your situation. Unless you're very senior or irreplaceable, it may not be.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 12:16 pm
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I think I might have pointed you in the wrong direction Efrem.

This is not business travel at all; I was just wondering how the road warriors did it.

My stay at the Fairmont was at a discounted rate. I'm sure of that and that would then clarify why the points wouldn't accrue. As to my stay in Japan, I'm not sure...

Thanks for the insight.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 10:25 am
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Here's a rough overview of rates that travel agents can book:

1) published rates / GDS rates (e.g. "Best Available Rate", advance purchase rate, senior's rate, promotional rates offered by the hotel etc.)

2) consortia and similar rates (e.g. AMEX FHR, Virtuoso, Travel Leaders Select etc.)

3) OTA rates (e.g. booking.com, expedia.com etc.)

4) unpublished (discounted) rates (especially pre-paid and/or non-refundable)

Bookings made via a TA using rate types #1 and #2 most definitely qualify for stay/points credit.

#3 generally don't (same as if you made a booking yourself on booking.com or expedia.com) Same usually applies to #4 , that there are a plethora of different types of rates and giving a blanket answer is more difficult.

Last edited by Jasper2009; Feb 17, 18 at 2:39 am Reason: spelling
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Old Apr 10, 18, 4:26 am
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Originally Posted by Subaharan Nithiyananthan View Post
ASK Your travel agent
The travel agent won't necessarily know.
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Old Apr 10, 18, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by farbster View Post
This is not business travel at all; I was just wondering how the road warriors did it.
It depends on the hotel program, but many hotel programs make "no third-party booking sites" exceptions for corporate booking sites (such as Concur). Reason: They know many corporations force employees to use the corporate booking sites and thus the employees have no option of booking on the official hotel program site.

But for personal travel, it's your choice where to book (nobody is "forcing" you to book with a TA, "real" or online), and thus the hotels want you to book through the hotel program to get points, etc.

There's lots of examples in the world out there where discounts from different sources don't "stack", but are mutually exclusive. And this just one of them. You either get the travel agent discount, or you get the points. Both are viewed by the hotel program as effectively "discounts", and thus mutually exclusive.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 1:27 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
The travel agent won't necessarily know.
This isn't rocket science. Even a mediocre travel agent should know the answer. If she or he doesn't, it's quite simple to pick up the phone and call the chain's dedicated line for travel agents.

If your travel agent doesn't know the answer or refuses to find the answer, you need a new travel agent.
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Old Apr 11, 18, 2:19 am
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Originally Posted by writerguyfl View Post
This isn't rocket science. Even a mediocre travel agent should know the answer. If she or he doesn't, it's quite simple to pick up the phone and call the chain's dedicated line for travel agents.

If your travel agent doesn't know the answer or refuses to find the answer, you need a new travel agent.
That was my point. It happened to me once many years ago. "Yes, of course you'll earn stay credit if I book your room." Get to the hotel..."no, only rates booked through one of our channels qualify. So sorry."
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Old Apr 13, 18, 12:38 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
That was my point. It happened to me once many years ago. "Yes, of course you'll earn stay credit if I book your room." Get to the hotel..."no, only rates booked through one of our channels qualify. So sorry."
I didn't get that interpretation when I read your response. But, I do understand it now.
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