Horrible JAL Partner Booking using SPG Points

Old Mar 29, 18, 9:01 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 29
Horrible JAL Partner Booking using SPG Points

I had a very disappointing interaction and experience with my recent award booking using JMB from points transferred in from SPG.

My wife and I made a partner award booking through JMB with Qatar airways online.

We were successfully able to reserve the award and both received our separate reservation numbers. 2 days later, we both received an email that our reservation was in jeopardy because the points that were being used in our respective JMB accounts had been transferred into the account from Starwood. The email that we received stated that our JMB accounts had been locked and that we needed to verify our identification. I immediately responded to the email today with a copy of our identification. I was also on hold with the call center in the USA for almost 2 hours waiting to be helped and I was then able to unlock the accounts.

As I continued to book and pay for the reservation I was told that I would be charged a $20 booking fee because I had to do this over the phone. I find this extremely unfair. I was never informed prior to our reservation that there was any issue with the points in the JMB account. Had I known previously, I would have sorted out the identification issue prior and then subsequently booked online. The representative told me there was no way to override this $20 fee.

Furthermore, my wife had to call again and wait another almost 2 hours to get through to a representative to be told the same thing and that she would be charged a $20 booking phone fee.

I requested that this fee be reimbursed to the credit card used to pay for the taxes on each of the respective reservations. I did not by choice choose to book this reservation over the phone, and it it solely JMB that flagged the account and forced it to be a phone reservation AND had not notified me prior.

JMB responded by email with this:

"In reply to your correspondence, first, we would like to express our deepest regrets for the inconvenience you and your wife encountered while attempting to redeem miles for a JMB Award Ticket.

We have duly noted your claim to refund the Ticket Service Fee of $20 USD for each award and unfortunately, we will not be able to comply with your request.

Please understand that our website does inform our customers regarding Starwood transfer at www.jal.co.jp/en/jalmile/mile/hotel/hotel.html?inbound=ar . On this web page, please click on tab “Accumulating per amount spent for accommodation”, scroll down to “Starwood Hotels & Resorts” and scroll down to the second asterisk (*) note as it states, “Some members may not be able to apply for awards through the JAL website after exchanging miles from Starpoints.”

Although we do sympathize with your situation, since the information about transferring Starwood SPG Points is posted on our website, we must respectfully decline your request."

Unbelievable! Compared to other Airlines like Alaska or American, if you can't book an award online then they waive the fee....JAL is just looking for money! It's ridiculous!
jgrossman2 is offline  
Old Mar 29, 18, 10:00 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 23,505
So don’t book an award flight with JL.
ijgordon is offline  
Old Mar 29, 18, 10:02 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 29
I already transferred the miles in so they will be lost. I needed to book a trip and they really left me with no choice. It feels like a bait and switch.
jgrossman2 is offline  
Old Mar 29, 18, 10:59 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist

2019 Secret Santa
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Tokyo
Programs: JAL Diamond, SAS Eurobonus Gold, Marriott Titanium (LTP), Hilton Gold, IHG Gold
Posts: 10,160
In the grander scheme of things, you have just booked two (I guess) premium cabin flights from the US to somewhere via Doha, and 40 USD is not a significant number in that picture.
​​​​​​
I would also venture the guess that the reason you transfered to JMB rather than AA is that the burn rate is more attractive, and as long as it is more attractive than 40 USD your are still ahead.

What would have annoyed me in the story would have been the hold time for the call centre
Tokyoite likes this.
CPH-Flyer is offline  
Old Mar 29, 18, 11:06 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 29
All true. The money is not the issue, it's the principle. But I'll have to just let it go. Thanks. The wait time was terrible and the first rep was completely unhelpful and not empathetic at all. The second one was a little better.
jgrossman2 is offline  
Old Mar 29, 18, 11:21 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 14,634
Originally Posted by jgrossman2 View Post
I already transferred the miles in so they will be lost. I needed to book a trip and they really left me with no choice. It feels like a bait and switch.
When did you join JAL Mileage Bank & how many flights have you done with JAL?
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Mar 30, 18, 2:04 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Tokyo
Programs: Marriott Plat, HH G,Hyatt E,*A Gold, OW Emerald.
Posts: 2,635
Originally Posted by jgrossman2 View Post
As I continued to book and pay for the reservation. I was told that I would be charged a $20 booking fee because I had to do this over the phone.
You said you already had booked the ticket. Did you continue to book another separate ticket? Or, why did you have to book and pay again?
Originally Posted by jgrossman2 View Post
I find this extremely unfair. I was never informed prior to our reservation that there was any issue with the points in the JMB account. Had I known previously, I would have sorted out the identification issue prior and then subsequently booked online. The representative told me there was no way to override this $20 fee........Please understand that our website does inform our customers regarding Starwood transfer at www.jal.co.jp/en/jalmile/mile/hotel/hotel.html?inbound=ar . On this web page, please click on tab “Accumulating per amount spent for accommodation”, scroll down to “Starwood Hotels & Resorts” and scroll down to the second asterisk (*) note as it states, “Some members may not be able to apply for awards through the JAL website after exchanging miles from Starpoints.”
Well, you chose to use JAL JMB, and the rules are clear about fees for reserving tickets via phone. In the future, read the rules first!!!

Originally Posted by jgrossman2 View Post
Unbelievable! Compared to other Airlines like Alaska or American, if you can't book an award online then they waive the fee....JAL is just looking for money! It's ridiculous!
Ya, compared to other Airlines like Alaska or American, if you need to cancel your booking, you are charged a fee (within 6 days for Alaska, and any time for American airlines).
You should complain that JAL allows you to cancel tickets up to 24 hours before for only 20 USD. Too cheap and too close to departure date, compared to other Airlines like Alaska or American!

Last edited by Tokyoite; Mar 30, 18 at 2:35 am
Tokyoite is offline  
Old Mar 30, 18, 2:30 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 130
Any transaction done by phone will be charged. Common sense for JMC members.
Starwood transfers? You should have checked.

I have done similar things in the past.
Once you forgive yourself, you'll learn to be more careful about the details. Asia does not forgive and does not make exceptions like the western world.

I just did something similar and I'm rumbling about it. But in the end, I was the one not reading the sidelines.
Tokyoite likes this.
jgchiker is offline  
Old Mar 30, 18, 6:46 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 29
I had just opened my JMB account not too long before and transferred in about 80k points. I now it's a lot, but if there was an issue with a few account why would they not have communicated that when the transfer was complete?

I lovedl into my account, my points were there, I did my search for partner award, filled out all information and entered my credit card information. My points were even deducted. I received a confirmation, reservation code and it said it was successfully reserved, so it's not like I was completely rejected from making a reservation. That's why I find it ridiculous that you said I didn't read the rules.
jgrossman2 is offline  
Old Mar 30, 18, 10:53 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Tokyo
Programs: Marriott Plat, HH G,Hyatt E,*A Gold, OW Emerald.
Posts: 2,635
Originally Posted by jgrossman2 View Post
I had just opened my JMB account not too long before and transferred in about 80k points. I now it's a lot, but if there was an issue with a few account why would they not have communicated that when the transfer was complete?
Did you read the rules before you decided to transfer your points to JAL JMB program?
as you were told, there is nothing stopping you from transferring your valuable points, but there are restrictions on using them. You simply did not do the required research or were simply blindly presumptuous.
if you read them and something different from the current rules was written, feel free to provide information that the rules changed against your favor.

Please understand that our website does inform our customers regarding Starwood transfer at www.jal.co.jp/en/jalmile/mile/hotel/hotel.html?inbound=ar . On this web page, please click on tab “Accumulating per amount spent for accommodation”, scroll down to “Starwood Hotels & Resorts” and scroll down to the second asterisk (*) note as it states, “Some members may not be able to apply for awards through the JAL website after exchanging miles from Starpoints.”
Tokyoite is offline  
Old Mar 30, 18, 11:39 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 29
How would one know if they are eligible or not? This is why. Shouldn't it be more clear of who is eligible or not? If I am ineligible, shouldn't I be informed when I transfer in the points? I don't know why you need to be as aggressive. I am simply posting as a warning to others who potentially will be transferring their points and may face a similar situation, especially as SPG winds down.
jgrossman2 is offline  
Old Apr 5, 18, 9:21 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 9
This is confusing - you got the tickets after all, just ended up having to pay $40 in charges because you had to call them? Did they tell you what is considered eligible? This is concerning to me, I was planning on redeeming tickets in a couple months using points from SPG into JMB. Why would they let you transfer points in if you're not allowed to use them?
makeshiftwings is offline  
Old Apr 5, 18, 9:46 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist

2019 Secret Santa
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Tokyo
Programs: JAL Diamond, SAS Eurobonus Gold, Marriott Titanium (LTP), Hilton Gold, IHG Gold
Posts: 10,160
Originally Posted by makeshiftwings View Post
This is confusing - you got the tickets after all, just ended up having to pay $40 in charges because you had to call them? Did they tell you what is considered eligible? This is concerning to me, I was planning on redeeming tickets in a couple months using points from SPG into JMB. Why would they let you transfer points in if you're not allowed to use them?
The OP was able to use the points that was transferred. The point of contention was that it was necessaary to call JAL rather than doing it online, and that the need to call triggered a fee of 40 USD.

I don't know who is ineligible for booking online, but I would imagine that it would be accounts where there have no or very few other transactions than the transfer from SPG. So if you have a JMB account just for the purpose of transfering points from SPG, you may just have to be preapred to call rather than booking online.
CPH-Flyer is offline  
Old Apr 6, 18, 1:08 am
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 29
Yes that is described correctly. Yes it was only $40, and also because of their new phone system I was on the phone waiting for over an hour and a half each time.
jgrossman2 is offline  
Old Apr 6, 18, 1:53 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, Germany; Toronto, Canada; and SW Florida, USA
Programs: UA 1K, BA Gold, Hyatt Globalist, and assorted others
Posts: 23,429
Tempest in a teacup?
LondonElite is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread