Showing posts with label loyalty programs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label loyalty programs. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Loyalty gets you something

Everyone is treated like a king! December 2015, Park Hyatt Vendome, Paris.

Last January, Hyatt ran a somewhat targeted promotion that would guarantee their top tier status if you completed a challenge - usually a certain number of nights or stays within a period of time.  TH had by chance booked nearly the number of nights/stays that would make her eligible for this promo. The promo had been leaked by a blogger and then posted on several message boards and like with anything - people started to take advantage of it or thought they could.

TH called and asked if she was eligible. The agent on the phone couldn't even find the challenge (more on that at a later date), she was finally transferred to someone who told her that the challenge was targeted at guests who stayed a lot, but not enough to make the highest tier status, so she was ineligible.


She ended up moving all the stays to the Kimpton chain.

I fumed for a while, we could have lived like Queens on all our stays at the Hyatt - all the suite upgrades, the lounge access, the plushy bathrobes, the extra points! The truth be told, I was a Hyatt Diamond for about eight years and it was lovely. But the hotels that we stay at the most within the Hyatt chain already treat us well, we don't need anything else and that is what matters the most to us.

Sometimes I grow weary of all the things we read on the internet, scams, bonuses, gaming the system successes and hacks and wonder if I'm a rube for not taking advantage of them or relieved that I don't care enough. I wonder how people have the gall to game the system or spend nights coming up with loopholes to let them get away with paying nothing and getting everything.

It is a whole industry and people are happy to add their experiences and knowledge, but I'm not sure I'm game for it.

I'm looking forward to staying at two of the properties that treat us well in the next week.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Single Payer System

Le Crillon, Dec. 2013. We are so fancy.

I love travel, loyalty programs and  I love eating. These are the three truths. I also love to plan. I would have made a terrible hostel goer or backpacker back in the day.  I am not a seat of the pants traveller either, I like to have a decent idea of where I'm going and what I'm going to see.

I also hate waiting in lines, all of them.

I'm a big fan of online reservation systems that ensure that I don't have to wait in line for food, museum exhibitions and ticket machines that only take exact change. For dining, I use OpenTable as much as possible to make restaurant bookings. I have even been known to fire up the app on the way to a restaurant just to ensure I'm not going to be hanging out in the parking lot with one of those ugly pagers.

Restaurants sometimes run promotions through OpenTable to get people to dine during off hours. Typically a diner earns 100 points for booking through OpenTable, but sometimes that bumps up to 1000 points.  Points start to add up fast when you book them at these odd hours and for those who love their points, it can mean convincing your loved one eating dinner at 545 is really a very late lunch.

What does this have to do with the Single Payer System?  Most of these promos require a party of two to get the 1000 points.  The solo traveller is just as likely to eat either earlier or late, but they don't qualify for the promotion.  Shouldn't we be getting at least 500 points?

I know that the restaurants pay to be part of the OpenTable program and it costs them x number of dollars to give out these points, but who is to say the solo traveller is not going to order a more expensive entree, a better glass of wine and perhaps linger over a cappuccino before heading back to their room to watch Dog the Bounty Hunter?

The same thing goes for restaurants that will not book tables for one. I use the French and UK equivalents of OpenTable to book restaurants and often times they will not take a solo diner.  I end up booking for two and bring my bear to lunch (Kidding, sort of) . Instead I'll sheepishly say that my companion was not going to make it and hope they don't put me next to the bussing station.

I think it is time for the single payer/diner to be recognized.  We can easily just order room service and sit in our pjs, but we choose to adventure out and try the newest kombucha on tap hotspot, so rejoice and give us our damn points for trying.