READER QUESTIONS: Hilton Curacao Disaster, LOT & EC 261/2004 Compensation Denial & Marriott India Platinum Arrival Gift (Consecutive Stays)

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Here are three reader questions from the past week that I have decided to reply here publicly. You can always email me, leave a note or private message on Facebook, or Tweet me with your questions.

Reader Questions Hilton Lot Marriott U

Note that I can shorten the emails and edit them for clarity. I always remove the personal information of both the reader and front line employees. If there are managers involved, I may leave their names intact.

Hilton Curacao

Hilton HHonors Diamond Treatment At Hilton Curacao

Hi john. I read your blog all the time, especially the compensation clinic. I’m currently only day one into my 6 day and 2 room stay at the Hilton Curaçao…I’m a Hilton diamond btw. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing advice on any steps I should take…here is the jis so far…

– No HHonors check-in, when inquired about HHonors check-in I was asked to “wait in line like everyone else.” There were about 7 people in line.

– Felt the check-in agent had to be promoted for everything

– No explanation of amenities

– No welcome waters

– There was arrivals no record of my arrivals order (strawberries, cookies and sprite for the kids)–it took an 1 1/2hrs to receive the welcome arrivals I ordered in advance.

– When they arrived the cookies were burnt, kids wouldn’t eat them.

– The room is extremely dirty. Actually very disgusting; walls toilet, doors, bathroom.

– Ceiling leaking, woke up this morning to a large puddle in bathroom. And the ceiling bulging (from water)

– A/C not working….turning out the a/c was busted and amused the leaking.

– Smudge marks from maintenance — dirty gross finger prints all over the wall.

– Broken hair dryer

All of this in less than 24hrs…

Thoughts? Advice? Thanks for any help john!

When I have so many issues (doesn’t happen too often), I tend to just cancel my stay and move to another hotel. But I understand that this might be very difficult in reader’s situation.

If the reader had so many issues with this hotel within 24 hours and management haven’t taken any steps to fix these, it does indicate that there is a problem with the management and probably with the ultimate owner too that doesn’t want to invest in upkeep.

I would write all the issues down, as the reader has done, and then further document them by taking photos. Ask to have a meeting with the General Manager and simply explain every singe issue you have had and support them with the photos you have taken.

Usually, it is best to speak with the General Manager that all tend to be expatriates, as they are better equipped to fix these issues than local managers that may have “couldn’t care less” attitude, although they may be apologizing to you.

When you meet the management, it doesn’t hurt to tell them how much time you have spent at Hilton and other hotels over the years and stress if this was special occasion such as holiday. I always try to start with few things that I have really liked the hotel before hitting them with the issues.

If they don’t take care of the issues and offer compensation, you must open a case with Hilton Guest Assistance after you stay. Just write the information down, like you have done above, and email it to diamond@hilton.com with a request it to be forwarded to the Guest Assistance. Remember to always be concise and clear. Nobody wants to read novellas.

I always include the email what I would find to be the appropriate compensation. I would ask the points to be refunded for 2 or 3 days of the stay or 2 Be My Guest Certificates.

It is really unfortunate to have such a disastrous stay. It is best to let the management know by hitting them where it hurts (cash). I would also leave a detailed and short review on TripAdvisor warning other potential guests.

PREVIOUSLY: READER QUESTIONS: IHG Rewards Club Crowne Plaza Award Availability, Cannot Go But Can I Get Qualified Stay & US/AA Chairmans/Executive Platinum Integration

LOT

LOT Flight Delay & EC 261/2004 Compensation Denial

I have been refused compensation for a delay of 4 hours, which resulted in a missed connection (not same booking) and therefore overnight hotel and payment for another flight next day.

They cite ‘flight safety shortcomings’ but I have pressed them to explain this and they will not. This seems like a ‘get out of jail’ card they can use to cover any situation.

Any thoughts that I could go back to them with? Thank you!

Avid LoyaltyLobby reader

REPLY FROM LOT

“We are sorry to learn about the inconvenience that you experienced due to the irregularity of flight LO 027 from New York to Warsaw on June 25. 2014.

At LOT Polish Airlines we are always disappointed if a customer of ours should be in anyway inconvenienced and therefore we must advise you how very sorry we were to learn of your dissatisfaction.

We recognise that our customers expect their flights to operate as scheduled and we make every effort to prevent any irregularity. Unfortunately, however, mechanical malfunction, adverse weather, air traffic congestion, etc., can and do interfere with the operation of all airlines at times.

Please be kindly informed that irregularity of this flight was caused by unexpected flight safety shortcomings.

In light of Regulation (EC) no 261/2004 as interpreted by the Tribunal of Justice, it indicates extraordinary circumstances beyond the carrier’s control, which exempt the carrier from the obligation to pay compensation.

Considering the above we regrettably found no grounds of granting for the requested compensation.”

They probably won’t let you know what the ‘flight safety shortcomings’ because they are nothing that would qualify force majeure (act of god) under the EC 261/2004.

Things like mechanical malfunction is not an excuse to dodge the compensation and EU court has rules on this. Airlines can better maintain their aircraft.

The reader must open a case with national enforcement body, if he lives in an EU member state, or maybe open a consumer complaint with the DOT.

You may have to take LOT to small claims court before they pay, however. It is sad that you need to go this far, but seems that many European airlines won’t pay otherwise knowing that majority of the passengers won’t sue.

PREVIOUSLY: READER QUESTIONS: Accor Promo Issues, Securing IHG Rewards Club Platinum Status & Hilton Elite Benefits On Gifted Stay

JW Marriott Chandigarh

Marriott Consecutive Bookings And Platinum Arrival Gift

I don’t know whom to write to about my experience in Marriott so being an avid reader of your mailers, writing this to you sir.

I wish to bring to your notice my bad experience with JW Marriott Chandigarh despite being a Platinum Elite Member and Marriott Vacation Club Asia Pacific Premier Plus Member.

For over 1.5 months I am in follow up with Ms. (removed) and she says she is on follow up with Kuala Lumpur office but no one seems to take responsibility to credit missing 2000 points which were promised by their front desk. I have reminded her timely for the platinum gift compensation point also but there was no reply from her side for the same.

http://www.marriott.com/rewards/member-benefits/guarantee.mi

So I want to put up this humble request to

1. Maintain standards of JW Marriott and other Marriott brands in India as in the other parts of the world.

2. Given clear and transparent information to customers at the front desk

3. Maintain hygiene in the rooms.

4. Value loyal platinum guests.

5. Offers of Members Get More should be told to customers like dining discount and suite upgrade, and not wait for customer to ask for it. Unless hidden malicious intention of Franchisee Owned Hotel staff.

Time and again on their humble part Marriott Customer Care USA have replied to me that they have communicated the case to JW Marriott Chandigarh but there seems to be no seriousness to follow up this case of give any kind of customer service.

Waiting for some serious follow on these issues. Before its too late for Marriott brand in India and more elite customers experience what I did.

Seems that the reader has had some luck with one Marriott hotel for giving him the Platinum welcome gift for consecutive bookings, as this should have considered just one stay per the T&C’s of the program.

So, you cannot make five bookings for five consecutive nights at the same hotel and expect to receive 2,500 points as Platinum welcome gift (5 X 500). You would need to book the second and the fourth nights at some other hotel (mattress run).

The reader might have a case with Marriott Rewards Platinum treatment at Marriott affiliated hotels, but then he wold clearly communicate when,where and what wasn’t delivered and open a case with Marriott customer care for each instance. They cannot act upon based on broad information “Marriott hotels in India”.

Conclusion

Keep the emails and messages coming. I will have these READER QUESTION pieces at least once a week (sometimes more often) and try to cover issues that would help LoyaltyLobby readers

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