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cletraveler Mar 13, 19 12:54 pm

Outrageous No-Show Fee Incurred At St. Regis Aspen
I booked 2 rooms for 5 nights at the St. Regis Aspen all on points. These were booked back in the first half of 2018 for a recent stay in March 2019. Unfortunately, our flight to ASE was cancelled so we could not arrive until the next day. In particular, we ended up stuck in our layover city (DFW), had to book 2 rooms at DFW and then had to fly to GCM the next day, rent a car and drive to Aspen. Called hotel around 5 PM MST when we knew we would not make it the first night to let them know. They offered to "guarantee the room" so we thought everything was good to go. I would later find out this "guarantee the room" was code for we will charge you $1,000.00 per room (2 rooms) to keep your reservation. No mention of any charge or charge amount during call.

I was shocked to find the $1000.00 charge per room on my folio for each room plus tax ($113.00) on day of checkout. Spoke to front desk, mid-level manager and ultimately higher level manager. I was basically told that this is the way it is and I should have read my T&C more carefully.

I now have taken up the issue with a phone representative on the Marriott Platinum line. He seems sympathetic and is setting up a case. He says that Marriott will contact the hotel and the hotel will have 5 days to respond. I will have to wait and see how this goes.

First off, I find this crazy that I would incur a cash charge for missing my first night when all nights were prepaid on points. There is no way the hotel has lost anything. I have read elsewhere that the hotel could argue that they have lost out on the opportunity to sell me ancillary services/products for that first night. I don't buy this line of reasoning and think that any claimed loss is not even close to the no show charge. I bet I could fight this in a court of law (maybe small claims court) but that is a time-suck.

Second, the mid-level manager suggested that if I run into this issue in the future that I simply check-in to the hotel via the Marriott app. This would likely work to avoid this nonsensical charge but I found this suggestion to be a cruel one since it was provided when arguing the charge and not when I called on Friday to kindly let the hotel know we would be late.

Third, and likely my saving grace, my original booking confirmations clearly state: "If a no-show / cancel charge is incurred, SPG members may request to switch the charge to a forfeiture of applicable Starpoints by e-mailing their request to [email protected] no later than 60 days from the reservation arrival date." To me, this clearly indicates that only my points should be forfeited and no cash charge should be incurred.

Anyone else find this crazy? Any advice on how to get these charge reversed?

Happy Mar 13, 19 1:35 pm

Contact the Lurker on the forum. He should be able to offer you help as this is an extraneous situation.

Kacee Mar 13, 19 1:40 pm

Regardless what the rate rules allow, it is very poor form for a hotel to assess a no show fee when they've been contacted by the guest and advised of a delayed arrival due to a flight cancel. Most properties will make allowances in these situations, particularly for top tier elites. Park Hyatt Chicago pulled this garbage on me many years ago (all flights canceled out of EWR) and it still stands out in my memory.

margarita girl Mar 13, 19 1:56 pm

The stupidity of this boggles the mind! This hotel should be rewarded with bad publicity for that $2000. Make sure you write this up in Trip Advisor.

In contrast, I'll never forget the time I was going to the W in Doha, and due to cancelled flights, I called the hotel after midnight on day of check-in, and said we wouldn't be able to make it. The manager canceled our reservation no questions asked.

cletraveler Mar 13, 19 1:57 pm

As a further data point on this, I have reviewed my "Latest Activity" for my Marriott account. It shows 4 new transactions on all the same day (my actual day of check-in): +360,000 points; -340,000 points; +360,000 points and -340,000 points.

So in exchange for a $2,226.00 no show fee plus taxes, I was given back 40K points (about $300 or so in points value).

Yes, Kacee, this one will stand out in my memory for some time. Even assuming I can get it resolved, I find it shameful that a nicer name brand hotel would use such tactics.

margarita girl Mar 13, 19 2:27 pm

Originally Posted by cletraveler (Post 30882899)

"If a no-show / cancel charge is incurred, SPG members may request to switch the charge to a forfeiture of applicable Starpoints by e-mailing their request to [email protected] no later than 60 days from the reservation arrival date."

Sounds like you should be invoking this.

Happy Mar 13, 19 2:38 pm

Originally Posted by margarita girl (Post 30883413)
Sounds like you should be invoking this.

Except SPG no longer exists...

I think OP should contact Lurker and he may be able to get this resolved in a much more reasonable manner.

GrayAnderson Mar 13, 19 2:40 pm

This also feels like it is worthy of a CC dispute and/or invoking travel insurance (if applicable) given that no amount was indicated on the call (per your statement). I don't think this is reasonably a T&C issue insofar as it wasn't disclosed on the call. Also, $1000/night feels a bit high for a "going rate", even at a St. Regis.

Edit: And of course, it sounds like there's a good chance that Marriott will be able to resolve this. Give them a week, there's a decent chance the property gets a "...?" from Corporate on this.

cletraveler Mar 13, 19 2:41 pm

Thanks margarita girl, good advice. That email has already been sent.

Also, in line with your other suggestion, I do plan to publicize this as much as possible to (1) make sure others are aware of this so they can take precautions and (2) publicly shame the St. Regis Aspen for trying to take advantage of such a situation.

TerryK Mar 13, 19 2:45 pm

Originally Posted by GrayAnderson (Post 30883489)
..........$1000/night feels a bit high for a "going rate", even at a St. Regis......

OP should be able to reverse the charge and pay in full points. I am sure Marriott will come through. OTOH, $1K/night is actually a decent rate at St Regis Aspen. I have seen it much higher for Superior (standard) Room during ski season.

cletraveler Mar 13, 19 2:50 pm

I am fairly confident that I could get this covered under CC travel insurance. Flights were booked with points but taxes/security fees were paid with CSR card. I am planning to make a claim anyway for other expenses related to our delay (e.g., hotel at DFW, food, etc.). However, I feel strongly that the St. Regis Aspen should not be allowed to get away with this so easily.

Good suggestion on disputing it via CC dispute. I may try that if other avenues are not successful. I too am optimistic that it will get resolved but who knows.

I don't normally get so fired up but this one just really irks me.

boolean64 Mar 13, 19 2:55 pm

First off, I find this crazy that I would incur a cash charge for missing my first night when all nights were prepaid on points.
Just for the record...the option to pay no-show fee in points has gone away post-merger. Every points booking going forward is subject to a cash no-show fee. Agree with others who think it is poor form to charge any no-show given the situation. But well within the letter of the current T&Cs so once the property chose to charge a no-show not surprised charging a credit card is how they went about handling it. Luckily the OP has the original T&Cs that both parties agreed to at time of booking which allows for points in lieu of cash for no-show. So this should be relatively straightforward to address.

ETA: I also agree that $1000 per room is about right as the charge for one-night no-show penalty for this property during ski season.

hotelboy Mar 13, 19 3:18 pm

As a hotel manager all of this is 100% kosher. I understand that the OP is upset but it is all within the T&C. It also follows the cancellation policy. I have worked in many a resort (beach and ski) that have had greater than normal cancellation periods. It is very difficult for these hotels to resell rooms at the last minute. A city property is much different. All in all this is why travel insurance was created. No need to cry over spilled milk.

sean1397 Mar 13, 19 3:19 pm

See my post just below yours. Seems St Regis really doesn't want point use as they are ripping me off too

sean1397 Mar 13, 19 3:25 pm

Also why should the no show change the fee from points to cash? The guy like me already paid in points and then because a plane doesn't arrive the hotel can just bill him whatever they like in cash? Ill be disputing my charge with Amex *(post below also on this crappy St Regis). Will also be posting all over about this crappy St Regis. Seems this is their policy. This property hates point use (They've told me this before) and Clearly this is their retaliatory method.

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