Question: Why Can I Book These Nights but Not Those with Points?
Our question of the week looks at something that frustrates everyone: why can’t I book these hotel nights with points? I can book other dates right around it. What gives? We’ve all been there. Let’s take a look at why this happens.
Our question of the week comes from David in our Facebook group:
I plan on staying at the Hyatt Maui on Feb 10-13 but there’s no award availability. But if I book Feb 9-13 then there is award availability. Could I just book Feb 9-13 and call the hotel on the 9th saying that something happened and I won’t be checking until the next day? Will this cause any issues like my reservation getting cancelled? I’m not looking to get my points refunded for the 9th or anything as it’ll be cheaper to do it this way than using cash / points equivalent for my actual travel dates of 10-13th.
I’m ahead 50K points by doing it this way.
Oh man…I feel you, David.
For everyone’s reference, the hotel David wants is the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa.
Here’s What’s Probably Happening
There could be a few things happening here:
- Blackout dates – this is usually the first thought. However, that’s not David’s issue. Since he can clearly book the dates around his desired stay, it’s not a blackout dates issue. We’ve also looked at the fact that Hyatt in particular isn’t supposed to have blackout dates on awards anyway, yet we all know hotels bend the rules here.
- Minimum stay – around holidays or popular tourist seasons, hotels may have a minimum stay. Some hotels just have a general policy on this, such as really popular hotels that always make you stay more than one night. For others, it depends on the time of year. No hotel near Times Square is going to let you book for just one night around New Year’s Eve. David may be running into a minimum stay requirement. How can he verify? You can call the hotel or ask Hyatt’s Twitter team, which is usually pretty good. Oddly, the hotel David wants is allowing a one-night check-in on February 9 (the day before he wants to arrive) but won’t allow a 3-night stay starting on the 10th.
Detailed look at minimum stay
When you can stay 4 nights at a hotel from one booking but can’t book nights inside that with your points, something is going on. We clearly know the room is available all 4 nights, so why can’t I just get 3 or 2? This makes me think it’s a minimum stay “during this time”.
It’s likely that the minimum stay either:
- Starts on the day David wants to arrive, so his stay must follow the rule but his desired stay isn’t long enough, or
- Involves all the days around David’s desired stay, but the minimum is 4 nights, so his idea of adding a night is why this works now.
So what’s happening? Here’s what I tried:
- The hotel has cash bookings available for the nights David wants to stay.
- I also see the ability to book February 9, 2022 as a one-night points stay at this hotel.
- And I can book February 9-13 to cover the dates David really wants (February 10-13).
- I can’t find any availability (cash or points) for a few weeks following the dates David wants.
- To me, it looks like the hotel is going into a busy period, possibly combined with Valentine’s Day and President’s Day holidays, so they’re implementing a “minimum stay” going into this busy time.
- I didn’t search into March, but even on February 28, 2022 (15 days after David wants to check out), I can’t book the hotel on points for just 1 night or 2 nights.
So What Should David Do?
David already suggested booking February 9-13, 2022 and then contacting the hotel to say something happened / now he’s arriving on the 10th. He’s worried that the hotel would cancel his stay. I find that unlikely, as long as he communicates with them. People miss flights all the time.
David also mentioned being a Globalist. I would bet the hotel won’t cancel his reservation if he contacts them early on the 9th and says he can’t arrive today / is coming tomorrow. If he asks the staff to hold his room, they likely will.
In the meantime, David can make a booking for all 4 nights but keep checking for the possibility to book just the 3 nights he really wants.
He could also consider another hotel, if that’s possible.
It sucks when hotels play games with award availability. It looks like the hotel David wants is going into a busy period, and so they probably are instituting a minimum stay around that time. That’s likely why David can’t book the dates he wants using points at this hotel.
If it were me, I’d book the 4 nights while continuing to explore other options (trying to find just the 3 nights, considering other hotels, contacting Hyatt customer service to get some info).