Upgraded and then Downgraded

Old Jun 9, 2017, 3:13 pm
  #1  
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Upgraded and then Downgraded

A couple of days ago, I made reservations at the Holiday Inn Vancouver Airport for a standard room. As a Platinum Ambassador, my reservation was upgraded to a king bed room. On the day of my arrival, I checked my reservation and it was downgraded to two double bed. I called the hotel's front desk and they said that they don't see the upgrade to the king and since they are fully booked, there were no upgrade rooms available and upgrades were based on availability. When I checked in, I was told the same. Am I wrong to think that once they upgrade you, they should reserve that room for you? Is this worth contacting customer service about? Also annoyed that they didn't offer me any bonus points upon check-in.

I may have to start taking screen shots of my reservations from now on to prove that I was upgraded.

Last edited by vh_bu98; Jun 9, 2017 at 3:48 pm
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Old Jun 9, 2017, 3:36 pm
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You are entitled to what you booked. Any upgrade is subject to availability at check in ;

From the description of "Standard Room" at that hotel

Bed type cannot be gtd and will be allocated upon arrival based on avail.

I don't see a twin room listed when making a dummy booking - only 2 x double beds
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Old Jun 9, 2017, 3:53 pm
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I get the allocated upon arrival, but wouldn't it make sense then to leave the reservation alone in the first place? Why modify it to let the consumer believe that they are getting an upgrade and then take it away from them? That's just bad business practice. By the way, I've stayed at Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo in the past. My reservation doesn't change and they make the upgrade decision upon check-in. As for InterContinental, those are guaranteed upgrade for ambassadors.
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Old Jun 9, 2017, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by vh_bu98
Why modify it to let the consumer believe that they are getting an upgrade and then take it away from them?
Room inventory is fluid, a room you were upgraded to could have been made unserviceable by a fault, or it's in a category that's been oversold etc. Hardly poor business to play room shuffle to make it fit physical availability.

Last edited by markis10; Jun 9, 2017 at 7:47 pm
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Old Jun 9, 2017, 4:46 pm
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I don't know much about hotels but I agree it's a legal but unsavory business practice.

Much like airlines that downgrade people who got free upgrades to first. Sometimes they pay out downgrade comp and sometimes they don't!
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Old Jun 9, 2017, 5:14 pm
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Originally Posted by vh_bu98
I get the allocated upon arrival, but wouldn't it make sense then to leave the reservation alone in the first place? Why modify it to let the consumer believe that they are getting an upgrade and then take it away from them? That's just bad business practice. By the way, I've stayed at Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo in the past. My reservation doesn't change and they make the upgrade decision upon check-in. As for InterContinental, those are guaranteed upgrade for ambassadors.
Most consumers don't spend their time checking reservations to look for changes

The hotel may have planned to give a room with a king bed and assigned it to the reservation, however that then was needed for someone booking that specific room category and so just moved the reservation to another category

That is a benefit of offering rooms where the room is not decided until check in
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Old Jun 10, 2017, 7:17 am
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It's happened to me before, fortunately I had printed the upgraded reservation and got it reinstated at check in. Won't work if they haven't physically got the rooms of course.
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Old Jun 10, 2017, 8:36 am
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So, let me get this straight. Here is a hotel that clearly demonstrates that it is trying to provide its elite guests with the benefits that they are entitled to but when subsequent occupancy levels make it unable to provide that benefit that is poor business practice?

Personally, give me more hotels that show that they are trying than those that do nothing and require you to remind them of what they should be doing.
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Old Jun 10, 2017, 10:16 am
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Ambassador status does not roll over to non-Intercontinental hotels as far as I'm aware. That said, still annoying that they would do that to you as you're still a Platinum and entitled to upgrades when available.

Last edited by farmerandy; Jun 10, 2017 at 10:17 am Reason: add
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Old Jun 10, 2017, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by 3544quebec
So, let me get this straight. Here is a hotel that clearly demonstrates that it is trying to provide its elite guests with the benefits that they are entitled to but when subsequent occupancy levels make it unable to provide that benefit that is poor business practice?
Indeed, I would far prefer this style of upgrading.

Generally the way it's supposed to happen is Elite members are supposed to be pre-checked-in, some of them do it on the morning of arrival and others do it a day or two before you check in but very occasionally need to change it back to the original room, although in my experience that is pretty rare.

It's a far better system than some hotels exhibit where they just assign rooms on a first come first served basis with no real priority for members and won't give you upgrades or perks that you should get unless you push them.
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Old Jun 10, 2017, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by sexykitten7
I don't know much about hotels but I agree it's a legal but unsavory business practice.

Much like airlines that downgrade people who got free upgrades to first. Sometimes they pay out downgrade comp and sometimes they don't!
It's nothing like your airline comparison, simply because in the airline case it was an actual upgrade, whereas the hotel upgrades are only effective when a customer checks in. Just because IHG lets you see actual room categories allocated at any time rather than that booked doesn't make it an unsavoury business practice, and a simple fix is to change visibility to booked room only, which would be a step backward IMHO.
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Old Jun 11, 2017, 4:43 am
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Originally Posted by 3544quebec
So, let me get this straight. Here is a hotel that clearly demonstrates that it is trying to provide its elite guests with the benefits that they are entitled to but when subsequent occupancy levels make it unable to provide that benefit that is poor business practice?
I don't think that's setting things straight. Trying to provide elite guests with the benefits they are entitled to has to work without disappointing elite guests. Otherwise the net result is the opposite from the intended.

The problem here is that they make a room assignment that is visible to the guest. This assignment should be invisible to the guest until it can be guaranteed 100%.

All the "rational talk" about the net result being the same misses the point. Humans are emotional and not rational roboters. Any person working in the hospitality business (or any other customer-facing position) should keep this in mind and act accordingly.

HTB.
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Old Jun 11, 2017, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by htb
I don't think that's setting things straight. Trying to provide elite guests with the benefits they are entitled to has to work without disappointing elite guests. Otherwise the net result is the opposite from the intended.

The problem here is that they make a room assignment that is visible to the guest. This assignment should be invisible to the guest until it can be guaranteed 100%.

All the "rational talk" about the net result being the same misses the point. Humans are emotional and not rational roboters. Any person working in the hospitality business (or any other customer-facing position) should keep this in mind and act accordingly.

HTB.
I think when you generalize about what "elite guests" expect and what disappoints "elite guests" you could at least acknowledge that you are speaking for all elite guests in the universe except 3544quebec , JustinIreland and Markis10
who have clearly expressed aberrant beliefs to those held by the general body of "elite guests" for whom you are speaking. My post as noted spoke just for myself - I unfortunately don't feel qualified to speak for the rest of humanity not even the "elite guest" subset.
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Old Jun 12, 2017, 5:13 am
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It happens at other chains as well. And there are valid operation reasons too. The property was "100%" going to give the upgrade but a guest in one of the suite chooses to extend the stay. Now short of a suite, should the property walk a guest who actually paid for a suite or revoke an upgraded room assignment? No difference if it was a newly discovered room issue.
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Old Jun 12, 2017, 6:08 am
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This happened to me last year.

I always take a screen dump of upgrades on the App just in case.

When I was later downgraded I challenged this after checking that rooms at the previously upgraded level were still available - they were.

The hotel apologised, reinstated me to the upgraded room and gave me 2,000 points for the confusion
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