A reader left a message on LoyaltyLobby’s Facebook wall about earning points and night credits for hotel reservations that are paid but eventually not consumed.
Well. This questions get asked every once in a while. Why wouldn’t I just could earn the miles/points and elite credits for just paying for the nights and flights without having to take them?
Here’s the question from the reader:
Let me ask something please.
Maybe my logical thinking is WRONG, still I hope you can give me some opinion about this.
Usually when we make a reservation in a hotel to get points, we do it somehow with a rate that allows accrual of those points. So lets suppose, I make a reservation in one of those chains, directly on the chains website. The reservation is guaranteed with a credit card.
For some reason I won’t be able to stay at the hotel on the reservation (f.ex. flight delay/cancel), still the hotel charges the first night as a NO SHOW.
I don’t have a doubt regarding this, thought some hotels believe that charging the no show gives them the right deny your room if you arrive 8am next day. 3:)
My point is, if they charge the NO SHOW FEE, which is a fully daily rate, and which is charged, because “the room was reserved for me”, why don’t they credit the points regarding this amount to the frequent guest program?
Is this question very nuts? I just think about this since I read in a reservation confirmation that my room will be held for me until 12pm next day, since it is a guaranteed reservation.
Usually, you need to book from the night before if you need to guarantee very early arrival the following day. It would be advisable to contact the hotel before and let them know about your plans. Then, if they deny your room, you can ask to be walked to another hotel and the compensation for doing it would apply.
If there is a flight delay or cancellation, hotels tend to be willing to work with you. Just contact them with the info and ask if they can either cancel your reservation or move it to a further day. You can also ask them to grant you a credit equal to any possible prepayment that you may have made.
Other option would be to give them a call and let them know that you won’t show up for a night and ask if they could check you in so that the program would credit you the points and stay/night credits. Theoretically this is against the most program rules, but some hotels may be flexible enough to do this.
If your plan would be to do this just to get more elite nights/points, my advise would be just book something close to your home when the rates are low and just check in. You can ask them to charge the stay in full and give you a zero folio. SPG allows earning points and elite nights/stay credits for up to 3 rooms at a time, so you can do this with them on steroids.
My advise would be to find another way to get cheap stays than trying to negotiate with hotels to get them to post no shows as checked in guests. This may also get your hotel loyalty program account audited if the hotel contacts their support.
Those guests that book non-refundable rates and don’t show up, are probably the most profitable customer segment for the hotels and airlines, and subsidize other guests. Remember that even if you don’t show up to the flight or to the hotel, it is unlikely that the seat or room would go empty if there is demand. Both hotels and airlines continuously overbook in anticipation of last minute cancellations and/or no shows.