Fabulous Fridays: Instant Compensation At Hotels For Issues During Your Stay

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This weeks Fabulous Fridays is about receiving instant compensation at hotels in the form of transfers, F&B credit or spa treatments when something goes wrong during your stay.

Usually I’m in favor of requesting points when something goes wrong, but I will outline instances when it’s more practical to just ask for on-property compensation items.

Every now and then, things go wrong at hotels, and then the question is how to even out these issues in terms of compensation.

Depending on the severity of the problem the resolution can be one of the following:

  • Complete waiver of the overnight rate (refund of used points)
  • Specific amount of points credited to the Loyalty Account
  • On-Property Benefits / Instant Compensation via F&B, Spa or Limousine Transfer

There are of course more ways to get things taken care of but these are the most common ones that I use. Sometimes hotels try and promise an upgrade during the next stay which I usually decline because I’m entitled to such an upgrade anyway as a top tier member in most programs.

Let me give you two examples:

Last week I stayed at the Marriott Doha Hotel (City Center) and through some oversight housekeeping did not make up the room the second day of my stay which I noticed upon returning to my room at 11pm. Too late to get anything done. Next morning there was no hot water available, only slightly warm. I departed at 6:15am and mentioned the matter to the Duty Manager. Result was he offered a complimentary Limousine Transfer to the Airport. Uber would have cost ~ US$ 20 so I accepted this resolution. Would he not have offered it I’d have requested 10,000 Marriott Rewards points.

After that, I flew to Abu Dhabi where I stayed at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi about 18 months ago, and unfortunately experienced many issues during the stay including almost missing my flight because the hotel couldn’t find my shoes I gave them for shoe shine service, delaying my departure from the hotel by almost an hour. I negotiated a complimentary Spa Treatment (priced at 600 AED) and a 250 AED F&B Credit. Both of these exceeded the room rate I paid for the night I stayed.

Why is this a practical method over just requesting points?

For one it doesn’t pollute your account too much especially if you have such problems repeatedly. Having many similar point credits might eventually lead to a hotel company cutting you off which is why I recommend to not request points for frivolous claims but only real problems.

Secondly the hotel can be more generous when it comes to compensation provided at their own property. Food&Beverage doesn’t really cost them anything or very little at best. The same goes for Spa Treatments or Car Transfers. For both of these services they have idle staff available.

When you request points, the property has to purchase those from the loyalty program (at preferred rates) in order to be credited to your account. In very serious cases where an entire night refund is warranted I usually request a full points credit without exception.

Conclusion

You have to outweigh what is more beneficial for you. Generally choosing points is always a better deal for the guest but a higher burden, both financially and on the administrative side for the hotel.

On the other hand a few extra services can add extra comfort and convenience for the entire stay, especially if you visit the property for more than one night or items such as Spa or F&B are quite expensive. If an evening buffet runs you $70 (such as at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi) then you’re well served just being a bit more flexible and asking for a complimentary dinner instead of points.

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  • Al Moore

    Thanks for the great advice. I just wonder how exactly do you ask for the mentioned perks? You may just come to the desk and, after claiming problem, begin with one of these requests? The desk staff never talks about offering me something, I mostly end up with friendly smile in that kind of situations.

  • Es Pats

    “hotel couldn’t find my shoes I gave them for show shine service” – likely shoe shine show ended an hour later than expected, that’s why such delay happened.

  • Gary

    If I owned a hotel, I’d bar little Sebastian from staying.

    • Es Pats

      he would love staying in bar.

  • Where’s My Shoes ?

    Yes, getting ‘free’ perks instead of compensation will avoid your account being marked ‘Serial Complainer’ …. but why would you worry about that ? hasn’t that ship already sailed ? :O

  • Richard

    He should be barred from all hotels because of his frivolous claims!

  • Sweden

    “which is why I recommend to not request points for frivolous claims but only real problems.” <– Biggest joke statement I have seen from Sebastian. Is he serious? Talk about pot calling the kettle black!

  • Ian MacKenzie

    Family vacation a few years back at the Waldorf Orlando.
    Arrival reception (albeit late at night) was appalling, I am HH Diamond.
    Next morning duty manager presented us with F&B vouchers and complimentary hotel limo to/from outlet mall. The limo didn’t show for return journey pick-up so just took local taxi prompting more F&B vouchers + very nice golf shirt.
    Hotel reputation still intact !!