Lounge Access Changes?

Old Apr 12, 17, 3:53 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Dallas
Programs: AAdvantage EXP, IHG Spire, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, National Executive Elite
Posts: 1,510
Lounge Access Changes?

So I have now had multiple Asian IHG properties (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza) quote a "recent change" in IHG policy that says that they "can not" give out lounge access for Spire Members unless that member is in "club room" or be sold access.

This has happened in 3 different properties recently and is a huge disservice. Before I would always get lounge access at CP/HI brands internationally as Spire, even if they left me in a regular room. Now I get sold for ~$50 per night lounge access.

Since much of my travel in the past was "small town America" where IHG was strongest, I've been loyal. Over 1k nights over the years. The last few years I continue putting up 50-70 nights a year in them.

But I think I may now be done. As Honors Diamond and Marriott Platinum, it's really hard to stay loyal to IHG when I'm being "shaken down" for lounge access when I get it for free no matter what I book with other brands.

Was this really a recent change from IHG to allow "selling" of lounge access instead of granting it to elites?
imapilotaz is offline  
Old Apr 13, 17, 2:55 am
  #2  
:D!
Hilton Contributor BadgeIHG Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Sheen, London
Programs: BA Spire, Hilton *G, A3 Diamond, IHG Silver
Posts: 4,838
Originally Posted by imapilotaz View Post
This has happened in 3 different properties recently and is a huge disservice. Before I would always get lounge access at CP/HI brands internationally as Spire, even if they left me in a regular room. Now I get sold for ~$50 per night lounge access.

Was this really a recent change from IHG to allow "selling" of lounge access instead of granting it to elites?
Lounge access has never been a benefit of IHG spire.

I have received it at some properties, and been refused it at other properties, both in Europe and in Asia.

If you read the other threads on here, you will see that there were rumors from certain hotels that IHG was planning to make lounge access a guaranteed benefit of Spire. Other parts of IHG said that this was untrue.

Then someone else reported that IHG is "trialling" lounge access for Spire in Greater China, why the need to "trial" it instead of just giving it, I don't know.

Now you are reporting that some hotels have said IHG is doing the exact opposite and forbidding the granting of lounge access where it isn't included with the room.

So, I don't know what IHG's true intention is, and/or they have poor control over their hotels. Anyway, compared to other chains Spire is pretty useless as has been discussed on here since it was introduced.
:D! is offline  
Old Apr 13, 17, 8:51 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Dallas
Programs: AAdvantage EXP, IHG Spire, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, National Executive Elite
Posts: 1,510
Originally Posted by :D! View Post

Then someone else reported that IHG is "trialling" lounge access for Spire in Greater China, why the need to "trial" it instead of just giving it, I don't know.

Now you are reporting that some hotels have said IHG is doing the exact opposite and forbidding the granting of lounge access where it isn't included with the room.
I talked with IHG yesterday for a while. They officially changed on February 1st for Asia to "not provide lounge access unless you are in a club room" no matter what.

The issue is, 2 of my 3 experiences I had been upgraded to a club room, and the hotel still demanded I pay them $40 to $50 PER DAY for club lounge access.

This is a major dissatisfier. But then again, IHG doesnt seem to care, at all, about their offering compared to Marriott or Hilton.
imapilotaz is offline  
Old Apr 15, 17, 11:54 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SJC, SFO
Programs: Delta DM, IHG Spire, Hertz PC, H.com Gold^3, lowly something on others...
Posts: 1,149
Same issues for me lately... IHG Rewards had devalued way too much. Spire member gets nothing extra than Platinum, other than more points. With the constant promotion execution issues, it's really time to shift to Marriott and Hilton, the two chains that still offer something truly extra to top elites.

Lounge access is a matter of convenience to me. After a long date of work, I just want a light bite and drink and call it a night, especially is foreign countries where I don't want to wonder around... What I usually consume is worth so little money...

In fact, the lower end brands actually started to do local happy hours to all guests - it's now better and more convenient to stay at HIE and Staybridge.
wlau is offline  
Old Apr 15, 17, 12:59 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Germany, Austria
Programs: IHG Spire Amb, HH Gold, ALL Gold, Bonvoy Gold, WoH, Leaders Club, slh, LH M&M Frequent Traveller
Posts: 1,064
I have been absolutely speechless about this constant back and forth but now I found my words again.

Additional Spire benefits - Promised for 2015/16 when introducing Spire 2015, coming finally when and what? Hertz Five Star! Points or drinks! Lounge access for Crowne Plaza? Yes, coming! IHG twittered it! Yippeh! Wait - maybe a test in China. No - on the contrary - no more access even by the hotels who granted it so far on individual base! Hopes that RA could be an interesting option for IC benefits with mixed stays at different IHG brands? Read that thread - IHG created a funny farm where even long term RAs did not know what is going on and how to keep their status!

Is IHG a circus, and are we the monkeys?

This night I will suggest my wife I say goodbye to IHG and its program. We will burn this summer my last 600K points in Cannes and stay in future at other hotels in the south of France.

I will stop all stays at IHG properties and switch them to Hilton and Marriott/SPG. Remaining IC stays to LHW.

Enough is enough.
applejax likes this.

Last edited by submonte; Apr 15, 17 at 1:26 pm
submonte is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 1:13 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 340
Originally Posted by submonte View Post
I have been absolutely speechless about this constant back and forth but now I found my words again.

Additional Spire benefits - Promised for 2015/16 when introducing Spire 2015, coming finally when and what? Hertz Five Star! Points or drinks! Lounge access for Crowne Plaza? Yes, coming! IHG twittered it! Yippeh! Wait - maybe a test in China. No - on the contrary - no more access even by the hotels who granted it so far on individual base! Hopes that RA could be an interesting option for IC benefits with mixed stays at different IHG brands? Read that thread - IHG created a funny farm where even long term RAs did not know what is going on and how to keep their status!

Is IHG a circus, and are we the monkeys?

This night I will suggest my wife I say goodbye to IHG and its program. We will burn this summer my last 600K points in Cannes and stay in future at other hotels in the south of France.

I will stop all stays at IHG properties and switch them to Hilton and Marriott/SPG. Remaining IC stays to LHW.

Enough is enough.
same here, I have where possible moved away from IHG to Marwood and Hilton - should have balanced stays years ago but due to corporate rate stuck with IHG.

A frequent guest program should be about valuing your most frequent guests, not taking them for fools by literally providing no benefit extra for the top tier.
nvoi is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 4:19 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Programs: IHG Spire Ambassador, Club Carlson Gold, HHonors Gold, Best Western Diamond Select, BA Blue
Posts: 1,315
Even getting a Club room does not mean you get Club Lounge access. It's been discussed on here already that CP Deira Dubai will provide a Club room for Spire, but you still have to pay for Club Lounge access.

Up until December 2016 at least, I was getting a Club room and Club Lounge access at that particular hotel. Since the beginning of the year the Club Lounge access has been withdrawn and is now chargeable for everyone.

It's essentially a lessening of Spire benefits (which were never documented properly anyway).

On previous stays the hotel had confirmed via email that I was getting Club Lounge for being Spire. As of January they say that IHG's new policy is not to provide Club Lounge for free.

Hence, I see that as a downgrade of Spire benefits. On my last visit to Dubai I stayed in a non-IHG property as I can't see the value of Spire any more.
rumbataz is offline  
Old Apr 19, 17, 12:01 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Dallas
Programs: AAdvantage EXP, IHG Spire, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, National Executive Elite
Posts: 1,510
Originally Posted by rumbataz View Post
Even getting a Club room does not mean you get Club Lounge access. It's been discussed on here already that CP Deira Dubai will provide a Club room for Spire, but you still have to pay for Club Lounge access.

Up until December 2016 at least, I was getting a Club room and Club Lounge access at that particular hotel. Since the beginning of the year the Club Lounge access has been withdrawn and is now chargeable for everyone.

It's essentially a lessening of Spire benefits (which were never documented properly anyway).

On previous stays the hotel had confirmed via email that I was getting Club Lounge for being Spire. As of January they say that IHG's new policy is not to provide Club Lounge for free.

Hence, I see that as a downgrade of Spire benefits. On my last visit to Dubai I stayed in a non-IHG property as I can't see the value of Spire any more.
Yup that's the new policy change for Asia... remove all access to the lounge unless you pay for a lounge room (no just get upgraded into it) or buy access.

It's a shame that IHG cares so little to top tier... with my credit card, I'll still be PLT, so I'll just use that for 10 nights a year + burning my points. I'll switch the other 50+ paid over to Marriott to try to keep my PLT status there.
imapilotaz is offline  
Old Apr 20, 17, 5:11 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Programs: krisflyer, hilton, ihg, accor
Posts: 62
I was a royal ambassador and now an ambassador. I never expected club lounge access even as a royal ambassador. If they give it to me, I am grateful. If not, that's the way it is. The only items guaranteed in "terms and conditions" are fruit and bottled water. So I am thankful if I got sparkling water. I do chew up all apples and oranges before I pack and left though.


Originally Posted by imapilotaz View Post
Yup that's the new policy change for Asia... remove all access to the lounge unless you pay for a lounge room (no just get upgraded into it) or buy access.

It's a shame that IHG cares so little to top tier... with my credit card, I'll still be PLT, so I'll just use that for 10 nights a year + burning my points. I'll switch the other 50+ paid over to Marriott to try to keep my PLT status there.
NotTellYou is offline  
Old Apr 20, 17, 7:09 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Barcelona, London, on a plane
Programs: BA Gold, TK E+, IB+, VS FC, Hyatt Globalist, MR Plat Prem, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 8,397
Originally Posted by imapilotaz View Post
Yup that's the new policy change for Asia... remove all access to the lounge unless you pay for a lounge room (no just get upgraded into it) or buy access.
Sorry, I simply don't buy that IHG has told individual hotels that they're not allowed to treat guests well.

The cost would be borne by the franchisee, and the franchisee hotel would see the benefits from a happy customer (many people return to the same hotel if they are treated better than published benefits would suggest) IHG has nothing to do with it... Somebody is inventing a bad guy to explain a local change in policy.
craigthemif is offline  
Old Apr 20, 17, 2:25 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Germany, Austria
Programs: IHG Spire Amb, HH Gold, ALL Gold, Bonvoy Gold, WoH, Leaders Club, slh, LH M&M Frequent Traveller
Posts: 1,064
Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
Sorry, I simply don't buy that IHG has told individual hotels that they're not allowed to treat guests well.

The cost would be borne by the franchisee, and the franchisee hotel would see the benefits from a happy customer (many people return to the same hotel if they are treated better than published benefits would suggest) IHG has nothing to do with it... Somebody is inventing a bad guy to explain a local change in policy.
Aha! Conspiration?
submonte is offline  
Old Apr 20, 17, 3:08 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Belgium
Programs: Gold Star Alliance,IHG Spire Ambassador, Starwood, Hilton Honor Diamond, Silver Accor, Diamond Hyatt
Posts: 68
But why this change in Asia when in Europe and China It is now a benefit...
3 different IC in Europe this month and last month with club lounge and all of them now propose the club instead of points. And they provide me the voucher with the choice of benefits...

But what is strange is that we do not have any information online. Only for China It has been released...
Lotfi070 is offline  
Old Apr 22, 17, 5:25 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Germany, Austria
Programs: IHG Spire Amb, HH Gold, ALL Gold, Bonvoy Gold, WoH, Leaders Club, slh, LH M&M Frequent Traveller
Posts: 1,064
Originally Posted by Lotfi070 View Post
But why this change in Asia when in Europe and China It is now a benefit...
3 different IC in Europe this month and last month with club lounge and all of them now propose the club instead of points. And they provide me the voucher with the choice of benefits...

But what is strange is that we do not have any information online. Only for China It has been released...
As I understood the complementary Club access is (now) a guaranteed IC benefit for RA members eventually (I do not now if anybody knows it for sure or it has been accounced officially somehow i.e. in the T/Cs) and not for Spire members.

For Spire members the question was if it will be or already is a benefit for Crowne Plaza stays now, which was never officially confirmed by IHG (or eventually on Twitter only).

Next week in Berlin, I should book the Crowne Plaza Potsdamer Platz (so they have a lounge) and see what happens.
submonte is offline  
Old Apr 23, 17, 2:14 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: BKK
Programs: TG ROP Platinum, M&M Senator, IHG Platinum, Accor Platinum
Posts: 5,328
certain CP's promised if you pay one category under the club room, you would get upgraded to club room with Lounge Access as a Platinum member.
On of those was the CP Bangkok Lumpini, where I stayed many times. Now they denied access and I got no benefit at all, but wasted money for a higher room category, which had no benefit at all, just a slighty bigger room.

after over 15 years it is time to switch to others. How to burn 1.5 million points before they expire?
BinSabai is offline  
Old Apr 24, 17, 4:09 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 525
I'm a Spire Ambassador. I've been getting one room category u/g and no lounge access in 2017; on one occasion didn't even get the room u/g (unless you count that the room was not adjacent to the elevator). Prior to this year, lounge access + a nice room seemed de rigueur.
NOT happy.
I'm no big fan of Marriott or Hilton but they will at least throw me the lounge bone.
As a result, I have no interest in ever buying/using points for Ambassador again, nor will I seek out IHG properties in the future--there's no point. I'd prefer maintaining status in a program where begging is unnecessary and I have a choice of more than water + fruit.
ErthCrclr is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: