Today I’d like to remind our readers that it can sometimes pay off to periodically check the pricing for certain flexible reservations again closer to the actual travel date and re-book at a lower rate.
Changing a rate isn’t complicated. When a reservation is flexible then you can either re-book it online if the provider allows or you can just call the company and mention there is a rate change and the price went down so they can adjust it manually.
Sometimes you find agents unwilling to do this for you but in this case you should insist and ask for a supervisor or just ask them to cancel it and then re-book for the new price.
The same holds true for checking on award availability in case there was none available at the time of your original booking. Hotels sometimes (very often actually) release inventory on award stays closer to the actual arrival date when they have a better picture about their room situation.
This week I was able to save on two such instances, one was Hertz at LAX Airport where the price for a weekend reservation on the AAA Rate dropped from $98 for a Standard Reservation to $67 for a Full Size.
Here is the old reservation:
Since LAX doesn’t really pre-assign cars anymore but sends Hertz Gold Rewards Members to the Ultimate Choice Aisle to pick up a car you can actually adjust your flexible rates very last minute (or even last second). As a cherry on top I was able to find a Mercedes GLE450 as a Presidents Circle vehicle.
Another savings opportunity opened up yesterday when suddenly an award redemption opened up for the same day at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. I had a paid reservation at the Sheraton Wall Center for roughly US$250 and the price at the Hyatt was CAD$ 602 for a ‘High Floor’ Standard Room. Obviously I preferred to pay 12,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points and cancelled the Sheraton reservation which had a 6pm cancellation policy.
It can really provide decent savings to check on occasion if prices dropped. Especially if you’re hunting for points reservations that aren’t immediately available. The savings I got at Hertz were also substantial given the total of the reservation (30% off).
The Hyatt Vancouver booking was also quite fortunate because that Sheraton isn’t really my favorite hotel and given the astronomic rates Hyatt is charging this week I was lucky they opened up a room on the morning of my arrival (upgraded to a Junior Suite later as a Globalist benefit).