I just wanted to see if anyone else had this problem this year.
The Westin had some rooms available a few days before housing opened. It was a bit more expensive than through the housing portal, but the last few years we have missed out on staying downtown, so we decided it was worth it. I booked two rooms for our group and received confirmation emails and my credit card was charged.
We ignored the housing portal since we already had these rooms booked. The next week after the portal had opened, I get a call from the Westin telling me that the rooms were listed as available by mistake and they were cancelling my reservation.
I have spoken with several people at the hotel, including the general manager, and everyone has basically told me tough luck and it's not their fault. I have opened cases with Starwood corporate and Mariott corporate and everyone there is ignoring my emails and phone calls.
I have had wonderful experiences at Westins in the past and this is extremely disappointing to me.
This story, or one like it, comes up every year. I hate <brand> hotel, they cancelled my out of block (OOB) reservation. The hotels are only going to maintain a very very small selection of rooms (for there high value rewards members) that are OOB. Every other room is going to q-rooms (the third party group that manages the housing lottery).
Did you book your room via the hotel website or some third party vendor?
I feel your pain, I had that happen a few years back as well; not Westin, but one of the downtown hotels had a block of rooms in January that I booked through and it turned out to be a "tough luck" mistake.
This is why I use Hilton Honors points for stays whenever possible. They cant cancel out from under you that way. I also see that Mariott has the same policy. If you book with rewards points, they are required to have such a room available, and when you book it, they cannot say that room was intended for Q rooms...
Blackout dates traditionally refer to a limited number of dates, such as during peak travel times throughout the year, when a hotel can choose not to have Members redeem Points for a Free Night Award stay. With our “No Blackout Dates” policy, hotels are required to have a limited number of standard rooms available for redemption every day.
Thanks for the heads up.
It got me to wondering if my travel agency had any protections against that sort of thing.
I called them and found out that they do not.
You were informed of the error in a reasonable amount of time to make other accommodations (based on your post, you had 7 months to book rooms). As you stated, mistakes happen, and I assume that somewhere in the communication there was a "we are sorry for any inconvenience" note. Beyond that, why do you feel you are entitled to more?
"You opted to take a chance on booking directly with a hotel (with no reasonable expectation of room guarantee) "
Um, forgive my ignorance, but when people book with a hotel isn't it the assumption that the room is guaranteed?
Else why bother booking at all?
"See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don't know how to *hold* the reservation and that's really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them."
Status: Booked! No need to reconfirm.
I will be from now on though :)
Yeah, I feel better when I get a human to look at things.
Though of course if they really want to dump you for someone paying more, they can just say that the human didn't see that your reservation was a double booking over another one.
Assuming they want to go to the trouble of coming up with a reason in the first place.
So you convinced me to call my hotel front desk and confirm my reservation...
I am confirmed. Good advice though...
I have an OOB room at the westin that I booked as soon as they opened booking for the time frame. Almost a year in advance. I have steadily checked to make sure my booking stayed booked. I check every month. I have had no problems and even added a day recently. I know that the only sure fire way to guarentee a room is to put a deposit down and I was willing to do so. I've never had issues with either marriot or hyatt and have member ships with both of them. when I made the inital reservation I called the westin direct. I always call the hotel I will be staying at to make my reservations because many times the booking line doesn't know specifics of the hotel.
I'm sorry you had difficult. I wish you the best.
We picked up a Westin room on Housing Portal day and got it canceled out too, despite it being a pay in full one. We ended up going with Marriott, and then stalking the housing portal until we got a much more reasonably priced room, but we were very lucky in that.