A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question about how a hotel can cancel a confirmed reservation without providing any comparable options?
You can access this offer on IHG’s website here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
Yet more appalling service from IHG, this time the Intercontinental O2 in London
I have a weekend stay booked 2-4 July and tonight have been advised that the Hotel have cancelled my booking.
The hotel has put itself forward as a quarantine hotel which is commendable, but they will be being handsomely rewarded for this. Despite this they are simply cancelling bookings with no alternatives being offered. In my case I am using a weekend night certificate that expires on the 31st July, a certificate I have not been able to use this year due to the restrictions.
Given the late nature of the cancellation the two other hotels in London that will accept the certificate, are significantly more expensive. In any event If I wanted to stay in Park Lane I would have booked it. All I would have expected is a move to somewhere local with perhaps some points and and extension to the certificate as compensation.
The email from IHG is awful and I am genuinely very annoyed by the approach rather than the principle.
I have 31 nights booked in IC hotels to the 31st December and with an increasing chance of actually being able to travel so I will give them a chance to undo the customer service debacle but its truly dire service.
Here’s an email that IHG Case Manager sent to the reader:
We are contacting you regarding your upcoming reservation at the InterContinental London – The O2, checking in on 02 July 2021.
The InterContinental London – The O2 is proud to have been selected to operate as one of the Government’s approved quarantine hotels until further notice in an attempt to keep infection rates at bay and allow the UK economy to reopen as soon as possible. Unfortunately, because of this, they will be unable to honor your reservation for your stay. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Should you be interested in finding alternative accommodation for the duration of your stay, please contact the IHG Customer Care team on +44 20 3349 9179. On the other hand, you may also contact our office at your earliest convenience at one of the telephone numbers listed below and one of our IHG Rewards Club Service Center Specialists will be happy to assist in finding alternate accommodations for you at a nearby IHG Hotels & Resorts property. Alternatively, we invite you to visit our website at www.ihgrewardsclub.com.
Please note that the Food & Beverage outlets, the SPA and gym will also remain closed for the time being. If you wish to make a booking for the future, please follow the hotel on their social media channels for any updates on when the hotel will reopen their doors to the general public.
As an IHG Rewards member and valued guest, 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.
IHG corporate guidelines in place for displaces guest (when the hotel walks the guest):
I was in touch with the IHG corporate spokesperson:
Thanks for reaching out. Our team is looking into this and will reach out to the guest directly.
I received an update from the reader too:
I have managed to get my Ambassador certificate extended by 6 months but only by using “a once in a lifetime benefit” in truth, with 31 nights booked to the end of the year this was an absolute minimum. Had they not, I’d have cancelled everyone of them and still might.
There was absolutely no suggestion of moving me or taking care of me. Indeed, when I called last night I was advised that they could re accommodate me at my expense at the Holiday Inn Express Camden!
The Philippine staff are charming but hopelessly ineffectual. They are entirely script led and it’s painful.
There is no understanding that the U.K. has been closed for almost 18 months and that being unable to travel is not the same as being unwilling to travel.
I like IC hotels but they make it hard and have no interest is customers when things don’t go well.
The Intercontinental O2 should have accommodated the guest free of charge at a comparable property, not necessarily affiliated with IHG, and offered him a free night on a return stay.
If the reader wants to go for a nuclear option, he could book a comparable property for cash and file a Money Claim against the Intercontinental O2 and IHG in the UK. It is difficult to see how they would not settle the case and wire the money.
Understandably, the InterContinental O2 has decided to go for a lucrative quarantine deal. Still, they need to take care of the guests with the confirmed booking rather than just telling them essentially to go pound sand.