A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email about an issue that unfortunately affects many every year. Hotel gets reflagged and reservations not honored.
You can access DoubleTree Vail’s website here.
Here’s the email:
I find my self in a problem I don’t know how to handle best.
This is my family trip I make every year to Vail Colorado for Christmas. I am an IHG Platinum level member and always stay at the Holiday Inn Vail 2211 N Frontage rd W, Vail Colorado 81657.
I had reservations paid points and cash for december 26 thru January 1, last week i tried adding january 2,3,4,5,6 and hotel wasnt available.
Today I got this email cancelling both my reservations since they are no longer a IHG PRoperty, they are now a doubletree.
I have prepaid everything!
- Six family plane tickets 4,800
- Rental Car 3,300
- Skiing passes 4,800
- Skiing equipment, 2,600
These are non refundable my friend.
I paid IHG my reservation more than 4 months ago, hotels now are triple the price and DoubleTree does not plan to honor anything! Doubletree will not open until december first since they are remodelling.
Cancelling me 85 days before i get there and not caring to help in anyway sucks!!!
I will now have to either find a cheaper hotel 20-30 minutes away or farther away because we are not paying the going rates of 750+ night.
What are my rights? What should I do my friend?
Thanks for helping us out.
This is really an unfortunate situation and I believe that there aren’t any easy solutions.
The hotel has left IHG and IHG Rewards Club cannot force the hotel to honor reservations made when it was under the IHG flag. Most hotels honor paid reservations and many honor award ones as well when the flag is changed.
The hotel must believe that they can attract much higher paid and occupancy rates under the Hilton chain and thus abandoning IHG reservations makes financial sense for them.
I believe that your only option is to find alternate accommodation by yourself. Perhaps this DoubleTree has some award availability loaded once it hits the Hilton system?
The reader should contact the IHG Rewards Club Customer Relations during the US business hours to get someone in Salt Lake City and not in Manila, which cannot handle issues such as this, to request compensation. The reader should state the extra expenses incurred and nonrefundable expenses paid. They probably give some IHG Rewards Club points for the inconvenience.
Here’s the email that the IHG Rewards Club sent to the reader:
We are contacting you regarding your upcoming IHG Rewards Club Reward Night reservation at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites – Vail, CO, checking in on 26 December 2016. Unfortunately, this hotel is no longer part of the IHG family. They will also be closing for renovations during their transition to the DoubleTree name. Therefore, they will not be accepting Reward points as payment for your stay. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. We have taken the liberty of returning your points back to your account.
If you would like to make a new reservation using your points, please rest assured we will make every effort to arrange alternate accommodations for you at a nearby IHG property. Please feel free to contact our Customer Care Service Center at (888) 211-9874 and we will be glad to assist you. Alternatively, we invite you to visit our website at www.ihgrewardsclub.com.
As an IHG Rewards Club member, we realize you have many choices when it comes to your travel needs. We thank you for your patronage and look forward to serving you in the future.
It is unfortunate that there is very little consumer protection when it comes to hotel reservations. Consumers cannot cancel nonrefundable reservations and get their money back but hotels can decide to reflag and not to honor any existing ones.
The problem is that all the hotel chains have gone “asset light” and thus own very few if any of the properties that are under their brands. If hotel owners are not satisfied with the terms or the performance, they may decide to switch to some other brand as Holiday Inn did here to DoubleTree.
Customer service in a situation such as this is not the strength of the IHG Rewards Club. Difficult to see them giving the difference back in points what the reader would be required to pay for similarly located hotel now that Christmas and the New Year are around the corner.