This weeks Fabulous Fridays is about receiving instant compensation at hotels in the form of transfers, F&B credit or spa treatments when something goes wrong during your stay.
Usually I’m in favor of requesting points when something goes wrong, but I will outline instances when it’s more practical to just ask for on-property compensation items.
Every now and then, things go wrong at hotels, and then the question is how to even out these issues in terms of compensation.
Depending on the severity of the problem the resolution can be one of the following:
- Complete waiver of the overnight rate (refund of used points)
- Specific amount of points credited to the Loyalty Account
- On-Property Benefits / Instant Compensation via F&B, Spa or Limousine Transfer
There are of course more ways to get things taken care of but these are the most common ones that I use. Sometimes hotels try and promise an upgrade during the next stay which I usually decline because I’m entitled to such an upgrade anyway as a top tier member in most programs.
Let me give you two examples:
Last week I stayed at the Marriott Doha Hotel (City Center) and through some oversight housekeeping did not make up the room the second day of my stay which I noticed upon returning to my room at 11pm. Too late to get anything done. Next morning there was no hot water available, only slightly warm. I departed at 6:15am and mentioned the matter to the Duty Manager. Result was he offered a complimentary Limousine Transfer to the Airport. Uber would have cost ~ US$ 20 so I accepted this resolution. Would he not have offered it I’d have requested 10,000 Marriott Rewards points.
After that, I flew to Abu Dhabi where I stayed at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi about 18 months ago, and unfortunately experienced many issues during the stay including almost missing my flight because the hotel couldn’t find my shoes I gave them for shoe shine service, delaying my departure from the hotel by almost an hour. I negotiated a complimentary Spa Treatment (priced at 600 AED) and a 250 AED F&B Credit. Both of these exceeded the room rate I paid for the night I stayed.
Why is this a practical method over just requesting points?
For one it doesn’t pollute your account too much especially if you have such problems repeatedly. Having many similar point credits might eventually lead to a hotel company cutting you off which is why I recommend to not request points for frivolous claims but only real problems.
Secondly the hotel can be more generous when it comes to compensation provided at their own property. Food&Beverage doesn’t really cost them anything or very little at best. The same goes for Spa Treatments or Car Transfers. For both of these services they have idle staff available.
When you request points, the property has to purchase those from the loyalty program (at preferred rates) in order to be credited to your account. In very serious cases where an entire night refund is warranted I usually request a full points credit without exception.
You have to outweigh what is more beneficial for you. Generally choosing points is always a better deal for the guest but a higher burden, both financially and on the administrative side for the hotel.
On the other hand a few extra services can add extra comfort and convenience for the entire stay, especially if you visit the property for more than one night or items such as Spa or F&B are quite expensive. If an evening buffet runs you $70 (such as at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi) then you’re well served just being a bit more flexible and asking for a complimentary dinner instead of points.