Hotels join and leave any of the global chains continuously. All the chains have an “asset light” strategy meaning that they own very few hotels and rather just manage them.
The result is that, if and when the owners are not satisfied with the performance, they might not renew the contract or throw out the current management overnight and take over the hotel or have it under another flag.
A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email today regarding a situation with InterContinental Port Ghalib Resort that was on the last PointBreaks list and would cease to be affiliated with IHG as of January 15, 2015.
Cancellation of confirmed Points Break booking???
Firstly, many thanks for an excellent and most informative website!
Perhaps you can give me your thoughts on the following tale of woe:
The IC in Port Ghalib, Egypt was on the current PB list.
I made a PB booking at this property for the family and on receiving the confirmation emails from the IHG, I then proceeded to make all the relevant flight/transfer bookings. (Mostly non-refundable)
On the 9th of this month I received an email from the IHG area manager in Egypt stating that the IHG management contract for the entire set of 3 IHG hotels in the complex in Port Ghalib would expire on the 15th (Only 6 days later…) but that “all existing bookings would be honored”.
To verify this oddly worded email, I called IHG and was informed that the “all existing bookings will be honored” was in fact not correct and that the PB booking could not be honored after all.
Based on your experience in the field (and with the IHG customer support team in particular), would you have any suggestions on how to move forward with this?
With many thanks in advance.
Well. This is an issue that many readers face throughout the year. You may have a prepaid booking for an InterContinental property that turns out to be Conrad by the time you stay.
Paid reservations are usually honored, but status benefit that you would have received usually are not unless you have status with the new chain that takes over.
The situation with award reservations tend to be more complicated. Sometimes they are honored and sometimes they are not.
The problem often is that the information about the hotel leaving the chain can come at the very last minute. Today a property is InterContinental and tomorrow it is gone from IHG’s website, as it had never even existed.
If the property has made a decision that they are not going to honor any award reservations that were done, there is not much IHG Rewards Club can do besides giving you some points for the inconvenience. They cannot force a non-IHG affiliated property to accept your award reservation.
So, I am afraid that the reader has basically two choices:
1. Scrap the entire trip and forego the prepaid expenses.
2. Go with the trip and pay to stay at some other hotel in the area or under whatever brand this InterContinental turns out to be.
The consumer is usually the party that loses out on these reflags and I believe that the hotel chains should give better advance notice about future changes.
I would probably go on with the vacation and just pay for the hotel and contact IHG Rewards Club and request some goodwill points for the inconvenience.