Your travel reservations are never guaranteed, if the travel provider can sell your trip to someone else for (enough) more money. I wrote recently about Hilton cancelling all summer reservations at a Hawaiian hotel property, leaving guests with few options when the hotel had a chance to sell out to a single group booking. Now a similar situation has happened with Hyatt, though unsurprisingly Hyatt did more for the guests that were bumped.
A customer booked at Alila Ventana Big Sur in September on points for their 25th anniversary found that their reservation was being cancelled by the hotel because the property got a better deal from a group booking.
- The property called the guest to say their booking was cancelled because “someone had bought out the property.”
- The only compensation was an offer to book different dates. However the 25th anniversary trip, including flights and other hotels, was built around being able to secure an award stay at Alila Ventana.
They had gotten a very good deal. Awards here are 30,000 points per night (Hyatt category 7) but the property is operating as all-inclusive with rates around $2400 per night.
Credit: Alila Ventana Big Sur
On June 21 I reached out to Hyatt about the situation and put them in touch with the property. They said they’d make sure the guest was made whole, but didn’t offer a reassuring statement about award bookings (or even paid stays) actually being guaranteed to be honored by a property,
After looking into this situation further, we learned this situation resulted in a small number of impacted transient reservations. This is not a trend we are seeing at Hyatt hotels, and guests should feel confident in their reservations with us. If this does ever happen at Hyatt hotels, due to unexpected business circumstances, we work to ensure our members and guests are cared for and accommodated in a most appropriate way by rebooking, relocating, or refunding the guest’s stay.
I didn’t actually discuss it with the guest, and two other folks on social media pushed on Hyatt as well here. The guest reports that in exchange for staying on different dates,
- They were given an extra room night (5 nights instead of 4)
- In an upgraded room
They were satisfied by the outcome, though honestly I feel their stay should have been complimentary.
I’ve had stays where the hotel preferred to rent out the room I’d booked to someone else. They contacted me and offered me a deal I couldn’t refuse, and were open to negotiation. On a points stay in Thailand a Sheraton there – which had the opportunity for a sell-out to host a wedding – paid to put me up in a premium suite at a Westin and cover meals as well.