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"Extra person" charges, especially on award stays

"Extra person" charges, especially on award stays

Old Jan 15, 19, 10:43 am
  #1  
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"Extra person" charges, especially on award stays

So, I'm trying to book for two adults and two children on Maui for this summer and pretty much every legacy SPG hotel is adding a $178 per night charge on points bookings as an "extra person" fee. It looks like it's mostly the legacy SPG properties that are doing it. Plus, all the HI taxes are imposed on the extra person fee. It also applies to cash bookings, it seems. The booking process is a little bit deceptive too. So, for example, in a search for the Maui Westin for 2A and 2C, the first screen shows me a rate of $358 per night, but then when you click through, the "extra person" fee of $178 plus all the taxes and the resort fees makes the total a whopping $641 per night, and you actually have to click on a drop down menu to see it broken down. For a points booking it works out to 50,000 points plus $239 per night.

I've seen charges for extra adults, but this seems like a major impact for families trying to use points for bookings or for cash bookings for that matter. It is what it is, you pay it or you don't. But I was surprised that in doing some searches here on FT it doesn't seem to get discussed very much. Maybe I missed a thread, but all I could find was a thread talking about a similar issue at some Canadian hotels.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 12:55 pm
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Originally Posted by lkar View Post
So, I'm trying to book for two adults and two children on Maui for this summer and pretty much every legacy SPG hotel is adding a $178 per night charge on points bookings as an "extra person" fee. It looks like it's mostly the legacy SPG properties that are doing it. Plus, all the HI taxes are imposed on the extra person fee. It also applies to cash bookings, it seems. The booking process is a little bit deceptive too. So, for example, in a search for the Maui Westin for 2A and 2C, the first screen shows me a rate of $358 per night, but then when you click through, the "extra person" fee of $178 plus all the taxes and the resort fees makes the total a whopping $641 per night, and you actually have to click on a drop down menu to see it broken down. For a points booking it works out to 50,000 points plus $239 per night.

I've seen charges for extra adults, but this seems like a major impact for families trying to use points for bookings or for cash bookings for that matter. It is what it is, you pay it or you don't. But I was surprised that in doing some searches here on FT it doesn't seem to get discussed very much. Maybe I missed a thread, but all I could find was a thread talking about a similar issue at some Canadian hotels.
It's impossible to search on FT for this subject.

This subject was discussed in a couple of threads with various responses. I think one thread was on Marriott properties in Hawaii. Abother thread was on 3rd person fees. The current website imposes 3rd person charge to award bookings in Hawaii, as you've found out. The advice is to book for 2 adults and then check in with the 2 children in tow. I did just that before Christmas at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on the Big Island. Pre-arrival email asked for other guests names, and then my reservation was changed to reflect 3 persons. FD agent did not make any comment when I checked in..

Plat members will get free breakfast for 2.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 1:41 pm
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You might want to try calling the hotel. I ran into that trying to book a legacy SPG property on the Big Island. When I called, they were able to book me without the extra person fee. (FYI, I wasn't exceeding the maximum people per room criteria. I was trying to book a third person (child) into a room that holds three. I imagine you are trying to book a fourth person into a room that holds four.)
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Old Jan 15, 19, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by CIT85 View Post
The advice is to book for 2 adults and then check in with the 2 children in tow.
I have had to do this several times since the merger, at both Marriott and SPG legacy properties (but worldwide, not just Maui). Legacy SPG properties that didn't previously show this charge do now. For most of them, I had stayed before and was quite confident it wouldn't be an issue (i.e. they weren't going to charge for 2 children under 12 staying in existing beds). However, it does cause some unneeded uncertainty when booking unfamiliar properties, especially internationally.

Is there a blanket Marriott policy? Is this just another IT failure? I have seen other suspicious glitches on Marriott reservations, where a booking for 2 adults /2 children became a booking for 4 adults sometime between the reservation and check-in date.

Last edited by Ubud; Jan 15, 19 at 3:03 pm Reason: added that this is not limited to Maui properties
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Old Jan 15, 19, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by wanderlust99 View Post
You might want to try calling the hotel. I ran into that trying to book a legacy SPG property on the Big Island. When I called, they were able to book me without the extra person fee. (FYI, I wasn't exceeding the maximum people per room criteria. I was trying to book a third person (child) into a room that holds three. I imagine you are trying to book a fourth person into a room that holds four.)
Thanks. But I hate calling!!! :0) Yes, trying to book in a four person room. It's $89 per child per night, so if I try the booking for 2A and 1C it comes up with an extra person fee of $89 and if I try with 2A and 2C it adds $178. And then taxes are applied to the charge, so in HI that's another big addition to push it over $200 per night.

Originally Posted by Ubud View Post
Is this just another IT failure?
I think maybe yes because it seems to apply to all legacy SPG properties but not to most of the legacy Marriotts. For example, if I check the Maui Ocean Club or the Ritz or the Wailea Beach resort I do not get the charge, but if I try the Westin or Sheraton or the various Westin timeshares then the fee is indeed added to the booking in the second step.

Originally Posted by CIT85 View Post
I did just that before Christmas at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on the Big Island. Pre-arrival email asked for other guests names, and then my reservation was changed to reflect 3 persons. FD agent did not make any comment when I checked in..
Thanks. I'm a little reluctant to do it without something in advance given how high the fee turns out to be. If it were just $25 per child I might go for it.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 3:40 pm
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Originally Posted by lkar View Post
Thanks. I'm a little reluctant to do it without something in advance given how high the fee turns out to be. If it were just $25 per child I might go for it.
I can appreciate the reluctance. I was not going to book 3 adults (my daughter is over 21) and have on record the 3rd person charge of ~$75. When I received the pre-arrival email, I provided the names of the other persons in the room and the hotel changed the reservation to reflect 3 persons, so everything was then above board. There were lots of families with more than 2 persons to a room during our stay. We can see the piles of luggage and stuff through the open doors.

I would book the award room for 2 and go with it. Just make sure to book room with 2 beds.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by CIT85 View Post
I can appreciate the reluctance. I was not going to book 3 adults (my daughter is over 21) and have on record the 3rd person charge of ~$75. When I received the pre-arrival email, I provided the names of the other persons in the room and the hotel changed the reservation to reflect 3 persons, so everything was then above board. There were lots of families with more than 2 persons to a room during our stay. We can see the piles of luggage and stuff through the open doors.

I would book the award room for 2 and go with it. Just make sure to book room with 2 beds.
Many thanks. Good advice.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by lkar View Post
I'm a little reluctant to do it without something in advance given how high the fee turns out to be. If it were just $25 per child I might go for it.
You can try contacting Westin Maui via this email [email protected].

FYI, on 3 pre-merger stays they never charged me extra for 2 children in the room.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 5:30 am
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I mean worst case just have your children wait with your SO at checkin? They donít do room audits or anything
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Old Jan 17, 19, 6:33 am
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Originally Posted by silverforumsurf View Post
I mean worst case just have your children wait with your SO at checkin? They donít do room audits or anything
Just to say, this is another one of those incredibly bad ideas. Who wants to be pulled in front of hotel security in front of your family for an awkward conversation about how much you owe them?
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Old Jan 17, 19, 7:30 am
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I see this as well, even on cash rates. I recently booked Westin Dallas Galleria and it wanted to charge an extra $100 for 2 kids under 12 for two nights ($25/kid per night). I canít find it now on my phone but I know I saw a note on their website additional guests under 12 stay free in existing bedding. Seems former SPG property IT integration fail.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 9:35 am
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I got the same charge at an airport Aloft. I called the hotel and spoke to the GM to confirm that they didn't charge for children and then booked a 2 queen room for 2 adults.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 2:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
I got the same charge at an airport Aloft. I called the hotel and spoke to the GM to confirm that they didn't charge for children and then booked a 2 queen room for 2 adults.
I had the same experience at the Vancouver Residence Inn - an email to the GM confirmed they do not charge for children, despite the website showing otherwise. So as a result, the Marriott booking engine is potentially either charging some customers extra or sending them to other hotels because they don't want to pay a fee that the hotel isn't even expecting.

It would be nice to hear from a Lurker as to what the actual policy is for children. I don't like having to waste time contacting hotels directly, especially then the emails have now been concealed.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 2:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Ubud View Post
...It would be nice to hear from a Lurker as to what the actual policy is for children...
There isn't just one, as far as I can tell. It is a business decision that each hotel or resort controls, so they are the best source of information.

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Old Jan 17, 19, 3:14 pm
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I just e-mailed the Maui Westin. We'll see. Again, my strong suspicion is that something is going on with the tech and maybe the integration from SPG. Otherwise, it just seems really coincidental that for Maui at least the extra charge is being added to the legacy SPG hotels but not to the Marriotts. No extra charge at the Wailea Beach Resort, so I'll just end up staying there. I have a slight preference for the Westin, but it's not a big deal. My guess is that if this is happening unintentionally, the hotels losing business or having surprised guests at the front counter will eventually lead the way in getting it fixed. If it is intentional then I guess we need to vote with our wallets. For family markets like Maui, it's pretty family unfriendly.
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