New hotel properties are highlighted here at The Gate primarily because they offer bonus points as a result of special deals which celebrate their grand openings — not to mention that everything is fresh and new…
One Disadvantage of Booking a Reservation at a New Hotel Property Is…
…but what if you booked a reservation at a new hotel or resort property — only to be informed that its official grand opening will be delayed and that you will be to another hotel or resort property?
With an award reservation booked with points approximately nine months ago at a hotel property near the city center of Paris whose official grand opening has indeed been delayed, FlyerTalk member turtlemichael received a letter a couple of days ago stating that he has been moved to the “nearest available hotel” property, which is located greater than 37 kilometers away in Roissy-en-France near Charles de Gaulle Airport — despite other hotel and resort properties which are closer to Paris having rooms available. Premium reward rooms are also available at most hotel and resort properties which are closer to Paris.
Although the surplus points — assuming that means the difference between the number of points required for the desired hotel property, which likely cost more than the hotel property near the airport — has been returned to the membership account of turtlemichael, he now faces a week of commuting daily from near the airport to the city center of Paris.
Even if turtlemichael wanted to move himself to a different lodging option closer to the city center of Paris, costs have significantly increased since the award reservation was booked.
I would consider this situation similar to being “walked” from a hotel or resort property. Walking is the practice of management of a hotel or resort property who informs a guest that he or she cannot stay there for a variety of reasons — usually because no vacant rooms are available — and provides accommodations at a nearby hotel or resort property of at least comparable value. This is a common practice in the lodging industry.
One issue is that members of the staff of the new hotel property would likely still be working the kinks out of the service aspect — which could be another disadvantage of staying at a brand new hotel or resort property — and could result in substandard service.
As turtlemichael is based in Australia, forcing him to commute by train or bus as much as one hour each way to and from the city center of Paris is simply unfair — meaning that at least 14 hours will be taken out of his stay of seven days.
I believe that turtlemichael should have been relocated to a hotel or resort property that is at least a comparable value close to where he was originally going to stay — with compensation in the form of either an upgrade to a superior room; some points added to his membership account for his inconvenience; or perhaps a combination both.
If a similar situation happened to you, how would you have handled it?
Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.