One thing all travel pro’s know is that you can add considerable alpha to your points strategy by whining and begging for more. The most effective location to deliver your message is Twitter, since the company reps you encounter there are more worried about promoting the brand than giving away a few points.
So, which of the two is best, and how can you get better at it? The answer, of course, is both, and do it more! Not everyone has the chops for this of course, but even the nicest people aren’t above a little begging. I find the best solution for begging for things is to approach it with an optimistic mind, something is better than nothing. As long as you get something a bit better than that schmo next to you, its a win.
Dot Dot Dot
Taking that concept further, it’s frequently best to not lay out exactly what you are looking for, sometimes it’s great to just say ‘hey Hyatt, when I stay at Kimpton they always seem to give me a bottle of wine on arrival…(dot dot dot) but I always love coming back to Hyatt (dot dot dot) oh yeah – and Red please!
While I personally don’t beg for wine (well I do, but not for free) I did recently ‘beg’ for a free early checkin. We are heading to Spain tomorrow on Iberia with the baby and the flight arrives at 6:30am local time, having to wait til 3pm for the room would be a killer. I sent in a request saying ‘hey guys, we are arriving early, if there is any way we could have a room ready that would be amazing’. I added in that it was our 6 month olds first trip, and I omitted that I would pay for a day room. For the latter, I probably would. So I’m begging, leaving it open to suggestion from the hotel, and will do what I can to get in.
I won’t whine about it unless they screw me over.
If we get there and they can’t fit us in early due to occupancy then I wouldn’t whine – but it is an opportunity to. Even though the hotel doesn’t need to let us in early, and even though whining wouldn’t get us in earlier- it might get us something else, perhaps that bottle of Red?
When begging and whining – don’t forget your loyalty!
There’s nothing better than tagging on your Elite Status when begging and whining, I do this whenever I can, although as a person who doesn’t actually spend money on flights or hotels that’s restricted to what I get from Credit Cards.
Don’t forget, you can gain mid tier status with SPG, Hilton, Hyatt, Club Carlson, and many others just by holding a co-branded card. Part of the perks of this (in the small print that also discusses how you will pay 30% interest on cash advances) is that with the status you get the opportunity to demand better treatment when whining, as you are entitled to it as a loyal elite. I find Awardwallet.com a great place to store all of my fake elite statuses for such occasions.
Remember, when it comes to begging and whining – there is never an either or choice… do both! What’s the best thing you’ve moaned your entitled self into from twitter?
Several years ago, I arrived at the Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing at around 1:30AM with a reservation for that night wanted to check-in 😉
The guy informed me that check-in was at ~3PM, but I could pay for a day room for something like $150-$200. Since I had a private day tour starting at 8AM that morning and not feeling even a bit tired after my first class flight, I only wanted to take a shower, but not for $200. After a short discussion feeling rejected and not having a plan B, I sat down in a couch just in front of the reception area and started “working/playing”.
After the morning shift change around 6AM, they finally let me check-in to my room. I never whined, just asked once since it was kind of a ridiculous request, but once the front desk manager realized that I was not going to pay for the room, I sensed he felt uncomfortable with a future guest “staying” in his front lobby for several hours. They did have plenty of rooms available so it was up to them if they wanted to make me feel happy. I guess at the end, I did not have a plan B for that late/early in the morning.
Was it worth it? Borderline, yes, as I just felt that they were trying to charge me a whole lot more that what was reasonable.
That sounds pretty good – its what all of us would do (I might happen to pull the CC Gold line too !)
Yeah that was before the Club Carlson days not to mention the credit card so no status back then.
You mentioned you booked Raddission Blu in Madrid with 50K CC points. How much was the value of the points compared to advanced purchase? I typically see 0.4-0.6 cents value(x2). Is it better to pay w/ cash or B&B options over there? They also charge 60Euro for an extra bed!!!
Yeah – I learned that hotels in Spain are very cheap. It’s a complex discussion though as you have to compare ‘shelter need’ with ‘luxury wants’ since I wouldn’t pay cash for the Radisson, I would pay cash for a ‘shelter need’ hotel.
However, ignoring all the math -I have 50K+ CC points, so I use them. It is ALWAYS better to pay with points with this one golden rule: If you later needed them at better redemption rates, you may have messed up.
Never forget the value of Special Occasions for hotel perks.
We got free parking at the airport Hilton in SEA, along with a bottle of champagne and a plate of chocolate dipped strawberries, years ago when I mentioned it was my honeymoon while making the reservations. Oh, and I stayed at Hampton Inns four days at a time on business, back then.
This past summer, DD, taking after her mom 😉 got both an upgraded room and champagne at a 4 star hotel in Mpls, after mentioning that it was their first mini vacation since their baby had been born.
Hotels love to be the place that you remember fondly from important moments. I just BET you’ll get that early check in, Matt!
OK – how about saying its your honeymoon every time you go to a new hotel? 🙂 Fingers crossed for Madrid!
You could have a honeymoon each time, but I find that there’s something special about nearly every trip if you think about it in the right mindset… so, then just use your Jedi mind trick. I’m not very good at actual lying, but if I take a nice grain of truth and spin it the right way I can work with it and be more relaxed about it.
I think you nailed it here.
Anniversaries are much better than birthdays because your license can’t give you away 😉 !