Get Compensation When Hotels Change Brands & Leave You Stranded
Sometimes you plan out a trip to perfection only to have it all go up in smoke at the last minute. This could be a flight cancellation, a new hotel not opening on time or even a hotel changing brands right before your trip. The last one isn’t a big deal if you are paying cash for your stay but it can be a complete mess if you booked the stay with points. And that is exactly what happened to a reader of ours. But not all hope is lost, sometimes it can work out in your favor. I will share his experience and then my experience when I had something similar happen.
Hyatt Place Marathon Key Switches Brands
Between Bankrolls alerted me to the fact that Hyatt Place Marathon Key is no longer a Hyatt. This was one of my favorite Category 4 hotels, perfect for a annual free night certificate. Between Bankrolls had an upcoming trip scheduled when Hyatt alerted him to the fact that the hotel was leaving their brand.
When he called in to Hyatt they said they would work with him on alternative locations. The nearest Hyatt hotels are in Key West and they are category 6 hotels. He had booked 2 nights on points and one night on a free night certificate. They ended up agreeing to giving him 10,000 points a night for the difference on the two points bookings. That netted him 20,000 points in total. They were unwilling to do anything with the free night certificate though. He asked to have it turned into points but that was a no go.
The nice thing about this is even if he ends up canceling the trip he will get to keep the points. Sometimes you can turn a negative into a positive!
My Experience With Baha Mar
About 5 years ago I had booked a trip to Baha Mar for mine and my wife’s 10 year anniversary. The reservation was for a few weeks after their grand opening. If you have followed Baha Mar at all then you know that it was mired in delays. A few weeks before our trip we received a call from Hyatt telling us that they would not open in time, it ended up opening like a year later. They were very apologetic and wanted to make it right.
I had used two free night certificates to make the booking. That used to be the welcome offer for the old Hyatt card for many years. Hyatt was willing to pay any change flights fees etc. but I told them no need. We had booked 2 nights at the Hilton British Colonial downtown Nassau too. I would just extend our stay there with a few more award nights.
As an apology they were willing to give me my free night certs back plus 40,000 points (20K a night) so I could rebook the hotel when it opens (used to be a category 5 hotel). That was more than generous and I gladly accepted. We ended up using the free night certificates at Park Hyatt NYC and the points on various low category hotels.
Get Compensation When Hotels Change Brands – Final Thoughts
When the travel world gives us lemon sometimes we have to make lemonade. When something happens, that is out of your control, don’t be afraid to ask for compensation. Hyatt is usually pretty good about being proactive but there are often times that you need to be upfront about asking for compensation. I have had a lot of success with Hilton in the past for this very thing.
Hotels often change brands. They may get a better fee structure or get more support with a different brand and will jump ship to the competition. When you travel enough this will likely happen to you at some point or another. Luckily, we should be well diversified to make adjustments on the fly but be sure to get compensated for your time and effort as well.
Share any similar stories you have in the comments below, I look forward to reading them!