Reader Questions: Royal Ambassador Qualification Requirement, How To Get Best Hilton Rate & United Flight Cancellation


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

Reader Questions January 11 2015

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, however.

Evie would like to know the InterContinental Royal Ambassador qualification criteria

I have been an IHG Royal Ambassador for approximately 8years. I am confused about the requalification criteria for the RA status

When asked I am told it is the top 1%of users but I am skeptical that this is the case

Apart from the information on your web page I can find nothing to state it is anything other than the top one per cent.

ICH representatives maintain that the status is only for the top one per cent.

IHG Rewards Club made the InterContinental Royal Ambassador qualification criteria public last year with Terms & conditions update (read more here and here).

Here’s what you need for IC RA right now:

– 60 qualifying nights (paid)

– Minimum of 20 nights at InterContinental hotels

– Minimum of 3 different InterContinental hotels

READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Emirates Delayed Bag, Use Of Hilton’s MVP Rate & Freeloading Wanker?

PohLeng would like to know how to get the cheapest rate at Hilton Hotels:

I feel that it is real difficult to get a cheap rate from Hilton hotel and yet get the reward points. The published rate are always not the cheapest, but if you book from 3rd party like Expedia/Agoda, then you are not entitle for points.

I want to know a way to figure out the cheapest offer from Hilton instead of going out to 3rd party vendor because I can’t get any reward points.

The problem here is that you can often book these chain hotels on 3rd party sites at lower (sometimes much lower) rates than on their own sites.

Hilton offers Best Rate Guarantee program (read more here) that promises to match the lower 3rd party rate and lower it by further $50, but they have very strict requirements what qualify.

You could try using any of the following discount programs MVP (access here), Gold medal rate (access here) and Corporate Benefits employee offer (access here). These are eligible for points and, if available, discount the rates by 15% to 42%.

READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Expedia Best Rate Guarantee Woes, What Program In Singapore & 2 Extra SPG Nights Worth Getting SNA’s?

Canceled United Airlines flight and rebooked for two days later:

I’m sorry to bother you – I saw your blog online wondering if you can help me. I had a flight booked with UA from Houston to London in August and due to technical issues our flight was canceled and we were not put back on for two days.

We stayed in a hotel for two nights paid for by UA and were given around $7 per meal which as you can imagine didn’t even cover half a meal at an airport or hotel which were the only place that accepted them. I’m from England and they are aware of this and they’ve now given me a $300 UA voucher valid for a year which is no use to me as all UA flights from the UA are more than treble this! So essentially they’ve handed me a ‘25% or less of your next ticket’ voucher.

I’ve complained and said I either want a full air fare or the money or them to find me a flight from the UK that covers this and they have brushed me off. I don’t want to plow lots more money into UA which is what they are ensuring by giving me such a small voucher when they are fully aware of my location. I was expecting a voucher to cover at least 80% of my airfare (any airfare im not fussy). Anything I can do? Would much appreciate your help.

You should have known for you rights in case United cancels your flight. They could have put you on any other carrier or carriers with or without connections that had availability to your final destination and they should have done just this. They often won’t, however, unless you explicitly request it.

The customer service with United Airlines is in the toilets and I would encourage you to file a complaint with Department of Transportation consumer protection unit (you can do it here online). United tends to take these complaints more seriously than the ones that you sent them by email.


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