IC Vienna Master Thread [merged]

Old Aug 24, 07, 6:17 pm
  #1  
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IC Vienna Master Thread [merged]

So I check in to the VIE IC, and I am told to go upstairs to the Lounge to check in....nice touch....., EXCEPT I am told (1) my room is not ready yet and it is 2:30pm, and more importantly (2) that I cannot use the Lounge! WHAT??? Hold the phone I thought I was an AMB member (formerly Royal Amb, I might add). No way, I must pay to use the Lounge! This is outrageous I say to the polite but by the book blonde behind the desk who only smiles.

I find this policy and attitude of IC to be totally unacceptable. No wonder I have decided to walk from this program.
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Old Aug 24, 07, 6:36 pm
  #2  
 
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Why is your hostility directed at the IC program? Neither early check-in nor free use of a lounge are Ambassador entitlements.

I think you have a right to be a bit miffed at the hotel, but only a bit miffed. Vienna IC has a 2.00pm check-in time and it would have been nice if they had made you comfortable for I imagine the short while until your room was to be ready. If it was going to be a long while then you would be entitled to seek some form of compensation.

It's their decision how they treat you and maybe they haven't come up to the mark. But direct your concerns to where the responsibility lies - the hotel. I'm also at a loss to know what the color of the hair or the IC club receptionist has to do with it? Is it possible that you describing her as such here discloses an attitude which may be the clue as to why she was not particularly helpful?
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Old Aug 24, 07, 9:26 pm
  #3  
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Turtle,

First off you must understand that I have been a very loyal PC member for many years, even a Royal Amb as I posted.

My check in time was past 2pm but my room was not ready. Go figure that yourself. I can understand delays...but I had a meeting to get to and little time to waste, esp after a long flight.

I was and still am astounded that AMB members cannot use the Lounge unless they pay some 50 or more Euros which is simply ridiculous. I find this totally unacceptable, do you not agree?

My comments over the smiling blond behind the desk are only factual so do not lecture me on political correctness.

Frankly I have simply had it with PC.... I see little benefit in this program and few to no real upgrades as suggested in their promotions. AMB is greatly overblown in comparison to what I get from SPG where I am a Plat.
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Old Aug 24, 07, 9:44 pm
  #4  
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Actually, IC Vienna is very good with RAs. I am always upgraded to a Junior Suite on the Club Floor, with full access to the Lounge, which is not a program benefit even for RAs. In addition, Vienna is one of the few ICs where the upgrade appears on the PC website a few days after booking, even though the actual stay is scheduled several weeks later. My personal experience as an RA at IC Vienna is excellent.
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Old Aug 24, 07, 10:10 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by JOUY31 View Post
Actually, IC Vienna is very good with RAs. I am always upgraded to a Junior Suite on the Club Floor, with full access to the Lounge, which is not a program benefit even for RAs. In addition, Vienna is one of the few ICs where the upgrade appears on the PC website a few days after booking, even though the actual stay is scheduled several weeks later. My personal experience as an RA at IC Vienna is excellent.
Same for me there. Comfortable suite, club upgrade and good service. The club is not large but pleasant enough with a good breakfast and canape selection. Booze was help yourself and fair quality. Like most hotels, I found there that you treat people courteously and you will be looked after.
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Old Aug 25, 07, 12:56 am
  #6  
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You seem to be confused about entitlements. Amb's aren't entitled to early check in or lounge benefits. RA's are not entitled to lounge benefits. Some properties exceed minimum benefit entitlements, and should be praised when they do rather than criticised if they don't.

Vienna has not only been first class to RA's and Amb from my experience (around 3 visits each year) - and their staff exceptional - but coincidentally a "blonde" on the lounge desk was featured on ORF TV recently as having won a national Austrian hospitality competition to be the best receptionist in Austria. She was stunned and delighted that someone in the UK had seen the item on the news. The hotel also allows RA's to choose where they take their free breakfast. They also have a note against my name to give me my preferred suite and any member of staff has to refer any planned change to this to the appropriate manager. One of the best IC's in my view.

Being unhappy with not getting what your not entitled - you seem to think that a former RA should still enjoy the benefits after demotion - to me seems a little pointless - I'd not be upset at a 30 minute delay - even if you feel that it could have been handled a bit better. Calling this outrageous seems a bit of an over-reaction.

Clearly your disatisfaction with the programme is cummalative and greater than this one incident and that being so I quite agree with you it's time for you to move.

Good luck.
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Old Aug 25, 07, 2:50 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by JOUY31 View Post
Actually, IC Vienna is very good with RAs. I am always upgraded to a Junior Suite on the Club Floor, with full access to the Lounge, which is not a program benefit even for RAs. In addition, Vienna is one of the few ICs where the upgrade appears on the PC website a few days after booking, even though the actual stay is scheduled several weeks later. My personal experience as an RA at IC Vienna is excellent.
Same experience for me, and included early check-in (8 am) in June, including the Club access.

Am sorry that 100,000 miler was treated as is, but I think that it should be clear that Club access is not always offered to As, or even RAs. Where offered, it is, of course, sincerely appreciated.
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Old Aug 25, 07, 2:55 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by 100,000miler View Post
So I check in to the VIE IC, and I am told to go upstairs to the Lounge to check in....nice touch....., EXCEPT I am told (1) my room is not ready yet and it is 2:30pm, and more importantly (2) that I cannot use the Lounge! WHAT??? Hold the phone I thought I was an AMB member (formerly Royal Amb, I might add). No way, I must pay to use the Lounge! This is outrageous I say to the polite but by the book blonde behind the desk who only smiles.
Well, as far as I understand it, the Online Reservation Guarantee would say that if your reservation cannot be honored (in this case you were guaranteed check-in at 2 PM, but didn't get a room when arriving at 2:30), they will pay for your first night. Worked wonders in Shanghai twice already. Within seconds I had the keys to a suite...

HTB.
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Old Aug 25, 07, 5:03 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by htb View Post
Well, as far as I understand it, the Online Reservation Guarantee would say that if your reservation cannot be honored (in this case you were guaranteed check-in at 2 PM, but didn't get a room when arriving at 2:30), they will pay for your first night. Worked wonders in Shanghai twice already. Within seconds I had the keys to a suite...

HTB.
Great idea - and it's a good lever if you are grumpied by the 30 minute delay .... but the actual guarantee is:
Online Reservation Guarantee

By securing your online reservation with a credit card, you are eligible for our Reservations Guarantee. If your reservation cannot be honored, the host hotel will provide a room at, and transportation to, another convenient and comparable hotel, and pay for telephone calls to notify family of the lodging change. The host hotel will also pay the full cost of the first night's lodging rate, plus tax. Any advance deposit will be refunded.
....... and I guess it could take more than 30 minutes arguing about it. Good reminder though! ^
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Old Aug 25, 07, 8:18 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
Great idea - and it's a good lever if you are grumpied by the 30 minute delay .... but the actual guarantee is:
Online Reservation Guarantee

By securing your online reservation with a credit card, you are eligible for our Reservations Guarantee. If your reservation cannot be honored, the host hotel will provide a room at, and transportation to, another convenient and comparable hotel, and pay for telephone calls to notify family of the lodging change. The host hotel will also pay the full cost of the first night's lodging rate, plus tax. Any advance deposit will be refunded.
....... and I guess it could take more than 30 minutes arguing about it. Good reminder though! ^
You're right -- it might take longer than 30 minutes arguing about it, but it's been a good lever in both cases without any further discussion. My point is that they do not honor my reservation by not having the (a) room ready at the agreed-on check-in time. Of course I would most likely not appreciate to be placed in a taxi and driven to the other end of town because of this.

HTB.
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Old Aug 25, 07, 10:03 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by htb View Post
You're right -- it might take longer than 30 minutes arguing about it, but it's been a good lever in both cases without any further discussion. My point is that they do not honor my reservation by not having the (a) room ready at the agreed-on check-in time. Of course I would most likely not appreciate to be placed in a taxi and driven to the other end of town because of this.

HTB.
My tongue was in my cheek and I suppose I was a touch too subtle. I guess my own approach is somewhat different.

I feel that too many people spend too much time complaining about very minor dissapointments - many of which weren't even worthy of a second thought. In fact many of the fora are about causes of complaint and how to complain and how to get what you want at the snap of a finger or as close to that snap as possible. I take the view - and it works for me - that we should spend less time complaining - or seeking support for the minor gripes - or posting here and asking how best to complain to optimise compensation and what we might get if we did - and spend a bit of time talking about how to get the best from the properties and people we'll deal with when we return.

I've found that by being considerate when the properties have minor problems, not complaining, but by writing afterwards to congratulate them when they did something I appreciated get's me a much better level of service on subsequent visits than being a griper. I guess I'm lucky in that I keep returning to places I like and I make friends of the people that most influence whether I will enjoy my stay or not. I sometimes even send them biscuits to thank them and always write to the directors to ask them to pass on my thanks. I think people that write to say "thank you" get a better service than those that complain because their room was 30 minutes late. In pretty much every IC I visit I have a named contact that I deal with on first name terms.

I guess we all have our own ways!^
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Old Aug 25, 07, 10:31 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by JOUY31 View Post
Actually, IC Vienna is very good with RAs. I am always upgraded to a Junior Suite on the Club Floor, with full access to the Lounge, which is not a program benefit even for RAs. In addition, Vienna is one of the few ICs where the upgrade appears on the PC website a few days after booking, even though the actual stay is scheduled several weeks later. My personal experience as an RA at IC Vienna is excellent.
Yes, but the OP is no longer an RA...and I do find it bizarre that he'd be sent up to the Club level to check-in if he was not upgraded to a room on that floor. And even more strange that they would not permit him to wait in the lounge until the room was ready. What damage could he do since there'd only be coffee and tea at that hour, no bar that he would be able to drain during his wait.

I do take exception with the OP's expectation that As should have lounge access as an entitlement of their status, but in this particular case remain perplexed as to why he was directed by the front desk to the Club level to check in? Unless he did not reveal that he was indeed upgraded as an A to a Club room, albeit without Club privileges (which does occur from time to time).
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Old Aug 25, 07, 2:35 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
I feel that too many people spend too much time complaining about very minor dissapointments - many of which weren't even worthy of a second thought.

Agree fully - and in this example there is nothing surer than it would be an encouragement for hotels to push back their published check in times, to avoid "compensation" and that would be to the disadvantage of everyone.
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Old Aug 26, 07, 4:15 am
  #14  
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I never had this experiences at IC Vienna. It is one of the best ICs for RAs. I am always upgraded to a Suite on the Club Floor, with full access to the Lounge. The same benefit I receive always at the IC Budapest. ^
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Old Sep 3, 07, 10:12 pm
  #15  
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As the OP, and yes a former RA, my comments over the denial of the Lounge are based on how other hotel chains treat their preferred customers. At SPG, I am always permitted to use the Lounges for members, in all locations.

I find that IC and PC are particularily unkind and indigant in this regard. Frankly, they should invite their top level customers to use the Lounges just as they should have their rooms ready by 2:30pm.

I stand by my position that this lack of recognition is not acceptable. It is the first time I have been denied use of a hotel lounge. Clearly the AMB rules need to change, otherwise why have a loyalty program in the first place. the whole experience at the IC VIE left me feeling unimportant and belittled by the program, ....

then to add more to the stew, I was denied points for my stay as it was considered a non qualifying rate which I booked on the IC website. This has only further enraged me over this program.
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