Why did Marriott cancel this traveler's hotel reservation? It's complicated.

The hotel didn’t open as scheduled. What does Marriott owe me?

Cindy Tomlinson made a reservation at TownePlace Suites New York/Chelsea, but then Marriott canceled the stay. What’s going on here?

Question

I recently made a reservation to stay at the TownePlace Suites New York/Chelsea at a rate of $416 (for two nights). Recently, Marriott notified me that it would not be open when I arrived.

A representative said they could honor my reservation at the SpringHill Suites Times Square South and that I should contact the hotel. I tried calling the hotel directly, but I got cut off multiple times. So I called Marriott Customer Service to see if they could help. They contacted the SpringHill Suites, which told them to have me send an email with my confirmation information, and they would honor the rate.

I also received an email from the TownePlace Suites to send yet another email to another email address if I wanted to move my reservation to The Hub Times Square. I followed these directions.

After not hearing back from either hotel, I called Marriott customer service again a few days later. That representative once again contacted the SpringHill Suites, which told me to send yet another email — this time to a different email address — and that I would hear back by the end of the day. I didn’t.

At this point, I have made more phone calls than necessary to rebook my reservation. I find it hard to believe that there isn’t another Marriott property in midtown Manhattan to accommodate my request. And I also find it hard to believe that Marriott customer service can’t rebook me without me sending emails — which don’t get answered — to multiple hotels.

My trip is in less than a week. At this point, not only am I going to have to cancel my trip, but I am seriously considering rethinking my allegiance to Marriott. Is there anything you can do to help?– Cindy Tomlinson, Fairfax, Va.

Answer

Marriott should have honored your reservation. It looks like the hotel experienced some construction delays that affected your stay at the original hotel in November. It’s always a good idea to confirm that your hotel is actually open, especially as the pandemic winds down. There have been a lot of hotel closures during the last two years.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Generali Global Assistance. Generali Global Assistance has been a leading provider of travel insurance and other assistance services for more than 25 years. We offer a full suite of innovative, vertically integrated travel insurance and emergency services. Generali Global Assistance is part of The Europ Assistance (EA) Group, who pioneered the travel assistance industry in 1963 and continues to be the leader in providing real-time assistance anywhere in the world, delivering on our motto – You Live, We Care.

When a hotel can’t accommodate you, it will typically send you to a comparable hotel and cover one night’s lodging as a gesture of goodwill. So why did Marriott stall on that industry-standard promise?

Here’s what I think happened. You planned to be in town to meet up with a friend who had a reservation at a nearby hotel. The two alternative hotels Marriott offered were far away from the hotel where your friend had a reservation. So you tried to make two reservations — one for you, one for your friend, at one of the new properties. That may have confused Marriott, which delayed its response.

Here is the solution from Marriott

You can avoid a hotel problem like this by staying at an already-opened property. The only way to know is to call or watch for the “new” tag on the property description. If you booked through a travel agent, then that person would also be able to keep you informed.

I think a brief, polite email to Marriott’s customer service contacts might have helped. It’s clear the company was fumbling around with your request. We publish the names, numbers and email addresses of the Marriott execs in our company contacts database.

I contacted Marriott on your behalf. It reached out and offered to rebook you, but not your friend. As an alternative, it offered 40,000 points, which should cover two nights at some Marriott properties. You took the points and rebooked yourself at another hotel.

×

Keep an eye on what we are doing at Elliott Advocacy

Be the first to get the latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox. 

We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Latest