Reader Questions: Booking IHG On 3rd Party Sites, AA Award Routing Rules, Accor Stay Postings, Delta’s Program & LoyaltyLobby Emails


Here are five 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 February 14

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.

READER QUESTIONS: Marriott Status Buy Back (Failure), Accor Platinum Lounge Access, Hilton MVP Rate Identification Requirement, IHG Best Price Guarantee Reimbursement & Converting Avios To Hotel Points

Question From Russell About Booking On 3rd Party Site & Double Dipping On Benefits

I have a question. I am a current Platinum Member with IHG and I was thinking maybe I should be booking my hotel stays through a 2nd party site like Is it possible to earn points with both programs simultaneously? I other words double dip on the rewards?

Unfortunately no. Some chains such as Hyatt and Hilton do extend the benefits on bookings made on 3rd party sites, but you won’t earn any points or stay/night credits (unless the property makes a mistake).

The only chain that allows 3rd party bookings and count those towards the elite qualification is Fairmont, Swissotel & Raffles.

Ahish Has A Question About American Airlines Award Routing

Was looking to do KTM-DOH-PEK-HND award which is a published fare, however AAdvantage desk says it is backtracking-Any insights as this is the first time I have heard this term on a one-world partner ticket.

Don’t get me started about AAdvantage partner awards and the draconian unpublished “rules” American has.

You are not usually allowed to transit on a third region, although there are number of unpublished exceptions to the rule such as going fro Europe to Australasia allows you to transit in certain gateway cities in Asia.

The requirement of having a “published” fare for the city pair is nuts because you are then constrained by the AA’s own rules of not allowing to transit on 3rd regions etc.

If you get a good American Airlines agent, they may contact the rate desk and ask them to patch the routing for you. Sometimes the rate desk may agree.

In January 2014, I was going from Helsinki to Papeete and found a routing HEL-CPH-LHR-DME-NRT-PPT that the “computer” wanted to price as two awards. Quick call to the rate desk and the issue was resolved.

On coming back, I wanted to ticket PPT-AKL-SYD-SIN-DPS using Air Tahiti Nui, LAN, British Airways and Qatar Airways (quite a few fifth freedoms), but couldn’t get it approved by AA. I had to choose a longer routing with Malaysian flights before it got approved.

READER QUESTIONS: Marriott, Hilton Or SPG Status? Platinum Member Upgrades At Holiday Inn? Accor Advance Payment DCC?

Hyper’s Question About Getting Accor Properties To Post The Stays Properly

Hi John, I have been having constant trouble with Accors Le Club stays and points system of late. Seems to be hit or miss when awarding points and nights to ones account. Most stays I have are prepaid so they have record of the reservation yet I constantly have to provide receipts of my stays to get the points. Also I have had to chase them up with many phone calls after filling out their online forms. Should I be compensated for my efforts as their system costs me a lot of time and effort not to mention frustration. Most recent stay not awarded was for the Pullman Nirwana in Legian in January.

As a matter of fact, I wrote about this issue with Accor couple of months back (read more here).

Seems that this is an epidemic problem especially with Accor. The properties are actually manually typing the account numbers and monetary values to the loyalty program system (supposedly once per day). Some properties may “forget” to do this, as they are paying extra when a loyalty program member stays.

Nowadays, I get someones business card from the hotel that I can contact afterwards when and if the stay doesn’t post. The Accor also seem to love “generic” email addresses such as (general manager’s email) or (operations manager).

Mitch’s Question About Delta’s Program

My wife are both Diamond with Delta (and have been since they added the Diamond level).  Trying to figure out when award seats are available is next to impossible.  Trying to find awards for the minimum miles … is there such a ticket?

Then there are the Global Upgrade Certificates.  Trying to use GUCs is a Gordian knot exercise and we are without swords.  The only advice Delta offers is “call the Diamond line” and those reps keep saying – “check back.”  We recently tried to use the GUCs for flights from RSW to SIN (connecting through Tokyo).  We were, after multiple calls,  able to get a confirmed upgrade into Tokyo, but nothing on the NRT-SIN or SIN-NRT legs.  We called probably 50 times to check availability and all we got was – “check back later.” Very frustrating experience.  I exchanged some emails with Delta and was told this info (upgrade availability) was “proprietary.”

You may find a lower priced award on partner airlines. You can use Flyingblue’s website trying to identify them.

Consider yourself lucky that you were able to use them to Narita. Delta tries really hard to obfuscate the availability of all kind of fare buckets, so that fliers are in the dark. I believe that this will eventually this will backfire.

READ MORE: Ritz-Carlton Rewards Status Buy Back, Thai Award Surcharges, Air China Award Segment Gone, Oil Tanks No Effect On Fuel Surcharges & Cannot Purchase United Ticket In Finland

Reader Questions About LoyaltyLobby’s (almost) Daily Email Blog Broadcast

I have received few emails in the past week from LoyaltyLobby reader’s that had stopped receiving the daily email blog broadcasts and were wondering why. Let me try to tackle this issue.

We use a 3rd party company to send the email from our behalf to ensure maximum deliverability, as they have worked with number of ISP’s to ensure smooth delivery of emails.

If there is an issue with your email service provider and they bounce the email back several times, our email provider automatically removes the email address from future broadcasts. Your ISP may also think that these are messages sent unsolicited and request automatic removal.

The issues are normally with smaller ISP. I have not encountered any deliverability issues with Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL (yes – some still use them) etc.

If you stop receiving the daily emails, check first that they have not ended up in your SPAM folder. If they are not there, just subscribe to the list again.


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.