Point Redemption During "Special Events"

Old Apr 6, 10, 7:21 pm
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Point Redemption During "Special Events"

Last week, I looked up reward availability for a HI Express during a large event and saw that it was a PB property. Being the dummy that I am, I didn't commit to it and decided to wait. Today, I checked online and saw no availability. When I called into reservations, I was told that no reward nights are possible because of the special event. It was not a lack of availability -- I was told explicitly that "no rewards are available because of _____[name of event]____."

Question: How does this stay consistent with the "No Blackout Dates" promise of PCR?
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Old Apr 6, 10, 10:35 pm
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If there are truly no rooms available at all for awards--and never were--this is indeed a violation of the PCR terms.

PCR does, however, permit capacity controls for award reservations. At least 5% of a hotel's rooms must be made available for award booking. If the hotel is still selling paid rooms and they haven't booked 5% or more of their rooms for awards, award rooms must be made available. After speaking with the GM to try to resolve it at the hotel level, you should contact PCR and ask that a case be opened to investigate. This will take at least a few days. If the hotel expects to be nearly full anyway, they will get reimbursed at 95% of that day's ADR for the award night anyway, so they really don't have much risk.

However, the fact that it seems the hotel had reward nights available for booking last week (I think that's what you mean) might indicate the hotel is in compliance. Remember, blackout dates and capacity controls are different things.

Special event restrictions may result in a minimum length of stay or a special cancellation period. These apply to award nights as well during that period. Also, a special event period allows the hotel to deny any requests for a 72 hour Platinum reservation override.
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Old Apr 7, 10, 1:33 am
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This is actually my case with IC Singapore. I wanted to book a room on the 3rd week of April on an award stay. But they have removed the award stay as of yesterday Apr 6th or about 2 weeks away.

I agree with the T&C about award booking and if there is a blackout for award stay I do not have problem with that but I do not agree at all with the answer of the reservation agent like if I can move my flight to another date where there is a reward stay available. I never actually expect answer like this from an IHG person. Why would I change my flight just to book a reward stay? I am flying in four countries in a span of 2 days , do I have to explain that to this person?

The rooms are available on a paid night but I am not paying US$400+ or maybe Us$500+ now on a 12 hour stay.

When I brought up that I am an RA and a frequent guest ( stayed there 4X previously since last yeart but it is just an ok stay nothing special), the reservation agent insisted that there is an event and pretended to ask my flight details I repeat pretendedand in a few seconds answered me they cannot do anything. IHG does not need persons like this. I brought up about my IHG brand loyalty but the guy answered that I can stay in some other hotel if I want ( not specified though if it is IHG).

I emailed Ambassador about this reservation agents response to a customer.

I am already booked at CP Changi on a paid night but I am not happy with the attitude of the staff of the IC Singapore.

This hotel will be at the bottom of my list with customer guest relation people like this.
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Old Apr 7, 10, 10:44 am
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Individual sites are real jerks when it comes to this policy. I have had reward reservations either canceled outright or changed to a rack rate pricing for the switch.

Both times I called PC and had them resolve it. It was resolved both times, but the time and aggrevation left a bad taste in my mouth. I was also not amused that the state of New York Bar Association Exam in Albany was a "special event". No explanation was given for criterea of a "special event".
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Old Apr 7, 10, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
No explanation was given for criterea of a "special event".
Special events have to be pre-defined in Holidex. Generally, special events will be noticeable to guests because there will be a minimum length of stay in place. As I noted above, though, special events allow a hotel to deny 72 hour plat reservation overrides, but do not allow them to not accept award night reservations (subject to capacity controls as allowed all the time).
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Old Apr 7, 10, 2:02 pm
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Last week I booked a room at HIX CHELTENHAM for the horse racing festival next year the day rooms were allowed to be booked via reward nights (50 weeks in advance) after 2 days no rooms are now available, I hope as I have my reservation via points they honour it.
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Old Apr 7, 10, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by torcross View Post
Last week I booked a room at HIX CHELTENHAM for the horse racing festival next year the day rooms were allowed to be booked via reward nights (50 weeks in advance) after 2 days no rooms are now available, I hope as I have my reservation via points they honour it.
They only had to have seven rooms available for awards. It's perfectly possible they were all booked.

As always, keep a periodic eye on your reservations, but don't worry.
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Old Apr 7, 10, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by torcross View Post
Last week I booked a room at HIX CHELTENHAM for the horse racing festival next year the day rooms were allowed to be booked via reward nights (50 weeks in advance) after 2 days no rooms are now available, I hope as I have my reservation via points they honour it.
They'll honor it. I've booked multiple room award nights at the Sundance Film Festival and the 2008 Pres inauguration - both reservations were made about 6-8 months out. Best advice - book early and book often. You can always cancel.
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Old Apr 8, 10, 2:44 am
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I too, as an employee, am confused by this. A woman called for one of our biggest event weekends. She said she was on the phone with PC and they told her we had no rooms for reward nights. I said to her, well there is no black out dates so call them back and talk to someone else. So 20 minutes or so passes and I get a call from PC at the desk. The lady in her broken English informed me it is up to the individual hotels what nights we allow rewards, complete news to me. So I made sure that PC was able to book the room for the lady who had called me. I then spoke to my manager about this. She was upset at me for over riding the date, but understanding too.

This has happened a few times now and I will make a point to call PC for a guest so they can get in with their points. My GM does not like it (what she does not know won't hurt her) but it can be done. You just need to find the right desk clerk.
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Old Apr 8, 10, 7:04 am
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No blackout dates should mean just that, NONE. As for canceling things, that's just bogus and shouldn't be done. It's a signed contract via a CC and arbitrary changes on one end shouldn't negate what was already agreed upon.
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Old Apr 8, 10, 7:27 am
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Originally Posted by mnredfox View Post
No blackout dates should mean just that, NONE. As for canceling things, that's just bogus and shouldn't be done. It's a signed contract via a CC and arbitrary changes on one end shouldn't negate what was already agreed upon.
Right, but they dont have to have every room available everyday.

100 room hotel will have min 5 rooms available. once they are gone there are no more.

Thats not a blackout, they did have rooms.
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Old Apr 8, 10, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by Night Audit FTW View Post
I too, as an employee, am confused by this. A woman called for one of our biggest event weekends. She said she was on the phone with PC and they told her we had no rooms for reward nights. I said to her, well there is no black out dates so call them back and talk to someone else. So 20 minutes or so passes and I get a call from PC at the desk. The lady in her broken English informed me it is up to the individual hotels what nights we allow rewards, complete news to me. So I made sure that PC was able to book the room for the lady who had called me. I then spoke to my manager about this. She was upset at me for over riding the date, but understanding too.

This has happened a few times now and I will make a point to call PC for a guest so they can get in with their points. My GM does not like it (what she does not know won't hurt her) but it can be done. You just need to find the right desk clerk.
It is up to the hotels in this way:
The hotels are required to load the inventory into the IVANI rate code. IHG/PCR require the hotels to allow at least 5% of the rooms to be booked as awards, but hotels are permitted to make as much beyond that as they want. IHG/PCR is now performing audits on hotels to make sure that the 5% minimum is met and has said they will be penalizing hotels that are not in compliance. When a guest calls PCR and no award availability is available, PCR sometimes asks hotels to voluntarily open up availability; they also will submit inquiries to the backoffice PCR staff to verify that the hotel is in compliance offering 5% of rooms as award rooms if the guest requests that or if looking at the availability there seems to be something amiss to them.

Last edited by soitgoes; Apr 8, 10 at 10:43 am
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