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The dreaded "Sorry this hotel not taking reward redemptions at this time" error

The dreaded "Sorry this hotel not taking reward redemptions at this time" error

Old Feb 20, 19, 8:38 am
  #1  
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The dreaded "Sorry this hotel not taking reward redemptions at this time" error

Anyone else seeing the dreaded " We’re sorry. This property is not taking redemption bookings at this time. You can either book a cash reservation or search for another property." notices more and more? How can this be happening if the base category room is available for sale?
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
Anyone else seeing the dreaded " We’re sorry. This property is not taking redemption bookings at this time. You can either book a cash reservation or search for another property." notices more and more? How can this be happening if the base category room is available for sale?
Legacy Marriott hotels have no obligation to make their base rooms available on points. In theory formal Starwood hotels do, but many seem to be getting to grips with the system still - You might have some luck if you call the property and ask (or ask Marriott, but it depends how determined you are).
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:49 am
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Saw this messages a few times recently and it looks like some kind of system glitch. Award bookings usually can be made on a second attempt some time later.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:54 am
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I am also experiencing this. At one property I have been seeing this message for days now. CS is unable to provide any sort of help.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
Legacy Marriott hotels have no obligation to make their base rooms available on points.
Gotta love all the "exceptions" I am learning about on the Marriott side. "No blackout dates" sounds good in theory I guess as part of a marketing sales pitch.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
Gotta love all the "exceptions" I am learning about on the Marriott side. "No blackout dates" sounds good in theory I guess as part of a marketing sales pitch.
Yeah, Marriott went back on that claim. I hope even they wouldn't claim "no blackout dates" any more. There is so much detail and so many terms that you really have to be on top of reams of paperwork and reference material to be sure as to what you should expect. I can picture Marriott's Utah lawyers pushing the senior marketing people from SPG out of the way "we've got this".
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Old Feb 20, 19, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
Yeah, Marriott went back on that claim. I hope even they wouldn't claim "no blackout dates" any more.
Straight off the Marriott Bonvoy FAQs:

What are blackout dates?



Blackout dates traditionally refer to a limited number of dates, such as during peak travel times throughout the year, when a hotel could choose not to have Members redeem Points for a Free Night Award stay. With our “No Blackout Dates” policy, Participating Properties/Brands have standard rooms available for redemption every day.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
Straight off the Marriott Bonvoy FAQs:

What are blackout dates?


Blackout dates traditionally refer to a limited number of dates, such as during peak travel times throughout the year, when a hotel could choose not to have Members redeem Points for a Free Night Award stay. With our “No Blackout Dates” policy, Participating Properties/Brands have standard rooms available for redemption every day.
Blackout dates happened in the old Marriott world but were not all that common. IIRC someone in MR's central organization had to sign-off/approve any black out dates for a property.
MR mostly had inventory restrictions on redemptions, e.g. 30 rooms. If 30 rooms were booked for reward stays, the hotel was not required to offer more space if it was still selling rooms (unlike in the old SPG world).
The current high amounts of hotels displaying "Sorry this hotel is not taking reward redemptions at this time" may also be caused by IT mishandling by the properties.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 9:41 am
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Error? That's not an error, it's a program enhancement.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Error? That's not an error, it's a program enhancement.
Are you in Marketing?
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Old Feb 20, 19, 10:46 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Error? That's not an error, it's a program enhancement.
It is a CIA type enhancement.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 12:45 pm
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To be clear, there are two issues here. One is "no blackout dates" which means "no rooms available." There is little evidence that legacy Marriott hotels are making zero rooms available. The other issue is capacity controls. Legacy SPG had "if you can book a standard room with cash, you can book it with points" so no capacity controls on standard rooms. Marriott advertised that this would be the policy with legacy Marriott brands as well. But then had to pull back because the hotel owners pushed back and the agreement between Bonvoy and Marriott owners did not force this on hotels. So legacy Marriott is once again allowed to have capacity controls on standard rooms.

As an example, if there are 10 standard rooms in inventory to be booked with cash, then legacy SPG hotels have to offer all 10 for award redemption. Legacy Marriott brands just have to have 1 of those rooms available for award redemption to satisfy the "no blackout date" policy. And if that one room allocated for point redemption is taken, you will get the "this hotel is not taking award redemptions at this time" error even though there are standard rooms are available to book with cash.

The lack of capacity controls was a huge selling point for the SPG program and was highly touted as something that Marriott would roll out across the entire combined chain. Having to pull back on this is a big big devaluation vs what was promised.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 1:23 pm
  #13  
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Yes, Marriott's No Blackout Dates has always meant they made at least one room available for redemption at one point in time. If they made it available and it was taken, there will be no more. Or if they make it available in the future, maybe you'll be the lucky one who gets it.

Not every property goes down the one room path, but the more popular the hotel, the more likely.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 1:36 pm
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In many cases this is an error that MR said would be fixed by February 5th. There's a new property with this error message, Aloft Madrid Gran Via. They're taking cash but don't even have a category listed.

To makes things even stranger, check out the description on the website, "Madrid Through Glitch." That can't be right.

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Old Feb 20, 19, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
Straight off the Marriott Bonvoy FAQs:

What are blackout dates?



Blackout dates traditionally refer to a limited number of dates, such as during peak travel times throughout the year, when a hotel could choose not to have Members redeem Points for a Free Night Award stay. With our “No Blackout Dates” policy, Participating Properties/Brands have standard rooms available for redemption every day.
Straight off the Marriott Bonvoy Terms & Conditions

3.2.n. The Company has a "No Blackout Dates" policy, which means that, subject to the limitations and exclusions below, Participating Properties have standard rooms available every day for Award Redemptions. These limitations and exclusions are:

i. Participating Properties from the following Brands may limit the number of standard rooms available for redemption on a limited number of days: The Ritz-Carlton®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, Marriott Hotels®, Delta Hotels®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard®, SpringHill Suites®, Protea Hotels®, Fairfield by Marriott®, AC Hotels®, Moxy® Hotels, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®

ii. The following Participating Brands allow only for Points/Miles earnings and do not offer Points redemption: Marriott Executive Apartments® and ExecuStay®.

iii. The following Participating Properties or Brands either do not participate in or do not fully participate in the No Blackout Dates benefit at this time:

● Boscolo Exedra Nice, Autograph Collection
● Carlo IV, The Dedica Anthology, Autograph Collection
● JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn® Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, AZ
● Marriott Vacation Club and Marriott Grand Residence Club – all properties
● Participating Vistana properties
● Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora, Rome, Italy
● Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Hawaii
● Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott - Maui, Hawaii
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