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Walked as Plat 100 by Westin St. Francis on $ 781 room rate

Walked as Plat 100 by Westin St. Francis on $ 781 room rate

 
Old Jan 13, 15, 1:24 am
  #1  
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Walked as Plat 100 by Westin St. Francis on $ 781 room rate

We are in San Francisco for meetings around the JP Morgan Healthcare Investment Conference. I booked 4 nights in the Westin St. Francis about 1 1/2 months ago on a $ 781 (incl. tax) room rate. Since we were coming from Asia, we traveled about 20 hours to get to San Francisco.

Once we landed, I checked my mail and saw another mail from the Westin St. Francis: "Rest easy. Your reservation has been confirmed":

Greetings Mr Football Fan,

Your reservation is all set – we’re excited to welcome you to The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square.

At Westin, we’re committed to your well-being. If there’s anything you need as we prepare for your arrival, don’t hesitate to ask.

Stay Well,

Jon Kimball
GENERAL MANAGER
I had pre-booked a limo to the hotel.

This, by the way, is my 501st night in a Starwood hotel, I will be Lifetime Platinum this year.

Upon arrival at the hotel, we unloaded our several suitcases and bags (as we are traveling for a total of one month) and proceeded to the check-in desk at about 10 p.m.

"We are sorry, we oversold and we have to place you in the Palace hotel for one night" (we have a 4 night reservation)

No starpoints were offered. Taxi vouchers were given and a letter to be presented at the Palace hotel (which didn't mention any starpoints either).

I just asked: "Is that your standard practice, to walk platinum members?"
Response: "Oh, we have about 5 more of those coming tonight, everyone that's still coming (and won't have a room) is a platinum member"

Apparently they did these things on a first come, first serve basis, regardless of status.

When I said that I was quite disappointed with that treatment after a 20-hour journey and that I thought we would have to at least be offered some starpoints as compensation, the lady unwillingly said (after fiddling around on a calculator for a few seconds) "yeah I will give you those 2,300 starpoints" . (obviously, it should be a lot more)

We then had to wait for quite a while because they called a white cab, instead of a yellow cab, which the vouchers were for. In the meantime, the bellman kept drumming on my suitcase?!!?!

At the Palace hotel (which I had wanted to book anyway for all 4 nights, but which had been sold out) - no knowledge of my status, bed preference or anything. "All the Westin told us was your name."

I am quite appalled by the treatment by the Westin and Starwood as a whole.

- walked a Platinum (100) member
- didn't offer the proper compensation, reacted unwillingly when asked about it
- didn't communicate bed preference or status to the alternative hotel (obviously no upgrade at the Palace, just got the lowest room category, I think, not really their fault at all, not that I care much)
- obviously, my ambassador had done nothing to communicate with the hotel beforehand either, but I don't really expect anything out of the ambassador program anymore anyway

- but what bothers me most is - why do they send ANOTHER confirmation e-mail if they already know they are walking you? Why make us go through the hassle of going to the wrong hotel, unloading our bags, going to the reception for check-in after a 20-hour journey (obviously, they don't know about this) if they already know they are walking me? Why not send a message (they have all my contact details) saying "there is an issue, please contact us"? - at least, I could have saved another 45 minutes or so and the hassle of unloading the bags, loading them again, waiting for a taxi, and could have gone straight to the right hotel.

All this on the 501st night (just after qualification for lifetime platinum in terms of nights) at Starwood.

Sorry, just had to vent...I assume many will not be very sympathetic .

P.S.: Apparently, our room at the Palace (in the 280s) is above some power generators (?) or something which is incredibly noisy...like a 10 times louder old fridge. Kind of a drilling noise or road work noise??? Makes it impossible to sleep.

Last edited by Football Fan; Jan 13, 15 at 7:20 am
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Old Jan 13, 15, 2:16 am
  #2  
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When arriving late, say after 7PM I always email the hotel in advance, then call again on day of arrival. When arriving around or after midnight, this is critical.

It sounds like they changed your reservation in some form which prompted an automatic email.

Did you tell the Palace that you're Plat when you learnt they didn't know?

Last edited by m0hamed; Jan 13, 15 at 2:56 am
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Old Jan 13, 15, 2:23 am
  #3  
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Did you book the limo through the hotel?
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Old Jan 13, 15, 4:02 am
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Sorry to hear about being walked, that thoroughly sucks!

Originally Posted by Football Fan View Post
P.S.: Apparently, our room at the Palace (in the 280s) is above some power generators (?) or something which is incredibly noisy...like a 10 times louder old fridge. Kind of a drilling noise or road work noise??? Makes it impossible to sleep.
Are you aware that the Palace is undergoing renovations right now? It might really be drilling!
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Old Jan 13, 15, 5:24 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Did you book the limo through the hotel?
No - in hindsight, I should have (booked it through pleasantlimo) - but I guess one never really expects to be walked, much less as a Plat who has an ambassador (although the only other hotel that has ever walked me was also a Starwood hotel, last year (Le Meridien Munich)).

Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
It sounds like they changed your reservation in some form which prompted an automatic email.
Yes, seems like it.

Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
Did you tell the Palace that you're Plat when you learnt they didn't know?
Yes, when the check-in person asked about whether I have an SPG number.

Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
Sorry to hear about being walked, that thoroughly sucks!
Thanks.

Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
Are you aware that the Palace is undergoing renovations right now? It might really be drilling!
I would hope they don't do that in the middle of the night. But after a call to the front desk, it got better?!
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Old Jan 13, 15, 5:58 am
  #6  
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for reference, this post details the official policy on recompense for a Platinum walk.
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Old Jan 13, 15, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
When arriving late, say after 7PM I always email the hotel in advance, then call again on day of arrival. When arriving around or after midnight, this is critical.

It sounds like they changed your reservation in some form which prompted an automatic email.

Did you tell the Palace that you're Plat when you learnt they didn't know?
this is bologna. it is not my responsibility- nor should it be- to have to contact the hotel day of arrival. i should "rest easy" knowing i have a reservation. it is their responsibility to honor that reservation. end of story.
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Old Jan 13, 15, 6:51 am
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It was actually a prepaid stay (not even just a reservation), so they have had my money for 1 1/2 months already. And still walked me.
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Old Jan 13, 15, 6:55 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by taipeiflyer View Post
this is bologna. it is not my responsibility- nor should it be- to have to contact the hotel day of arrival. i should "rest easy" knowing i have a reservation. it is their responsibility to honor that reservation. end of story.
That maybe your view, but any seasoned traveller does this to prevent being walked. Not all hotels have strong systems, and we often are arriving off flights after midnight, or even as late as 6AM the next morning.
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Old Jan 13, 15, 7:04 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by taipeiflyer View Post
this is bologna. it is not my responsibility- nor should it be- to have to contact the hotel day of arrival. i should "rest easy" knowing i have a reservation. it is their responsibility to honor that reservation. end of story.
No, it is not a responsibility to make contact, but the fact of life is things happen. Just like having car insurance is a good bet you won't need it, calling ahead just might prevent surprises upon arrival. The property could have handled this much better and I hope the OP contacts SPG to get the property up to speed on the rules for walks. This will be very costly for the Westin.
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Old Jan 13, 15, 7:08 am
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Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
Not all hotels have strong systems, and we often are arriving off flights after midnight, or even as late as 6AM the next morning.
I do this sometimes when I know I will be arriving after midnight or 1 a.m. or so - but for some reason didn't think of it when arriving at 10 p.m., and with the status and all. Also, I couldn't do it as I was on a plane without internet access from Hong Kong to San Francisco for 11 hours or so. And when I landed, I had that additional e-mail telling me to "rest easy". To tell you the truth, it was obvious to me that this must have been triggered automatically by something having been done to the reservation, but I assumed that they must have upgraded us, possibly to a suite - I guess I was spoiled after traveling in Asia for two weeks (Sheraton Sukhumvit, Conrad Maldives, Conrad Koh Samui, Conrad Bangkok) .

Back to (US) reality, I guess .

I did send the GM a message via Linkedin, and also mentioned that I started a thread here. We'll see what happens when we go there later. It's a major inconvenience to have to go back and forth with all the luggage and in between tons of meetings. Didn't get much sleep either, as you can see by my posting times.

But venting a bit on Flyertalk by writing down what happened is somewhat therapeutic. Thanks for listening .
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Old Jan 13, 15, 7:13 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
That maybe your view, but any seasoned traveller does this to prevent being walked. Not all hotels have strong systems, and we often are arriving off flights after midnight, or even as late as 6AM the next morning.
With another 5 Plats (all seasoned travellers having no doubt contacted the hotel in advance) checking in behind the OP and also about to be walked, I'm not sure that emailing would necessarily have helped the OP in this instance.
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Old Jan 13, 15, 7:16 am
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What a mess. For that kind of rate, they can do better. Hell, I was offered 7000 starpoints last week because the room I checked into hadn't been properly cleaned. 2300 for getting walked on a prepaid rate is just an insult.
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Old Jan 13, 15, 7:20 am
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Originally Posted by Football Fan View Post
I do this sometimes when I know I will be arriving after midnight or 1 a.m. or so - but for some reason didn't think of it when arriving at 10 p.m., and with the status and all. Also, I couldn't do it as I was on a plane without internet access from Hong Kong to San Francisco for 11 hours or so. And when I landed, I had that additional e-mail telling me to "rest easy". To tell you the truth, it was obvious to me that this must have been triggered automatically by something having been done to the reservation, but I assumed that they must have upgraded us, possibly to a suite - I guess I was spoiled after traveling in Asia for two weeks (Sheraton Sukhumvit, Conrad Maldives, Conrad Koh Samui, Conrad Bangkok) .

Back to (US) reality, I guess .

I did send the GM a message via Linkedin, and also mentioned that I started a thread here. We'll see what happens when we go there later. It's a major inconvenience to have to go back and forth with all the luggage and in between tons of meetings. Didn't get much sleep either, as you can see by my posting times.

But venting a bit on Flyertalk by writing down what happened is somewhat therapeutic. Thanks for listening .
Yes, events like this are very frustrating and venting here is a good tactic. Many versions of my posts never get posted, but boy does it feel good!

Do read up on the current walk policy for SPG and be aware before talking with the GM. It's funny how they react differently when they find out you know the rules. Sounds like the FDC you first dealt with was making things up, hopefully from lack of training and not deliberate lies. Do bring this up with the GM too.

Please hold their feet to the fire (just the feet, not the entire body)! They could have done much better and need incentive to do so. I hope they pick a nice room for you on your return.
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Old Jan 13, 15, 7:27 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by RogerD408 View Post
Yes, events like this are very frustrating and venting here is a good tactic. Many versions of my posts never get posted, but boy does it feel good!
Hehe, yes .

Originally Posted by RogerD408 View Post
Do read up on the current walk policy for SPG and be aware before talking with the GM.
I did that in fact while I was standing at the front desk and the lady was fiddling with her calculator. (Although I more or less knew the rules, as I had looked them up last year, when I got walked by the Le Meridien Munich.) Thanks Flyertalk, and thanks Starwood Lurker. I did bring up in my message to the GM that no proper compensation was offered.

Originally Posted by RogerD408 View Post
It's funny how they react differently when they find out you know the rules. Sounds like the FDC you first dealt with was making things up, hopefully from lack of training and not deliberate lies. Do bring this up with the GM too.

Please hold their feet to the fire (just the feet, not the entire body)! They could have done much better and need incentive to do so. I hope they pick a nice room for you on your return.
Haha, we will see what happens. I'll make sure to report back. One additional inconvenience is that we were supposed to have a breakfast meeting there at 7 a.m.. They had flyers on the front desk saying that only conference attendees and people with a room key will be let into the hotel. Obviously we will not have a room key (and we are not at the actual conference, either). So I had to somehow redirect the party we are meeting to the Palace hotel between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., while they are most likely asleep most of the time. Sent mails and text messages, as it wasn't really a time for calling. Haven't received confirmation from them yet that they will indeed come to the Palace hotel. Things like this throw a wrench into any planning.
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