Has anyone booked a marriott advance reservation and then found out the hotel price is significantly lower a week before there trip? Has anyone been able to get marriott to match the price?
I regularly check back to see if any room rates are better than my original reservation. If there's a noticeably better rate on the same room type, I just make a new reservation at the lower rate, then cancel the original reservation. It's not worth the bother to try jawboning either the hotel or Marriott to reduce the rate on an existing reservation. Also, I only do this when the rate difference is meaningful - not just a couple of dollars/euros.
I check rates on existing reservations quite often. If there is a meaningful drop, I simply book a new reservation online and cancel the existing one. It's easy enough to do and does not require having to negotiate with the hotel.
I think troytraveler is asking about Advance Purchases where there’s no right to cancel, so if the price goes down, are you stuck with that rate? I’d imagine so, but very seldom book on Advance Purchase as I need flexibility. If it’s a big difference I’d call the property or the Plat line and see if anything could be done. Hopefully someone who books these rates regularly will be able to cast some light on this which is an interesting question.
YMMV and HUCA, if you are Platinum (may also work as a lower tier member, but never had to do it at a lower tier), you can call the Bonvoy hotline (and hope you don't get bonvo***) and the right rep will contact the hotel for you and attempt to get an Advance Purchase reservation canceled. I also rarely book an advance purchase rate, but I've had success in reps getting it canceled and either not charged or charges were reversed in my favor. I've never tried to contact the hotel directly to get it canceled, figured a Marriwood BonFIRE rep is better than me going at it alone!
That is the main reason I will never book the Advance Purchase rate as many of you know I always return to the hotel site to check the rates and most times find the rate has changed to something lower. Of course there are exceptions such as during special events and the like, but always worth the few minutes of looking to grab that lower rate.
It's important to view hotel booking as an option pricing exercise, where the premium is the difference between the Advance and Standard rates. If you book at an Advance Rate you've sold Marriott an option. Marriott has taken a small price hit but is better able to set the price for remaining inventory. When booking at the Standard rate, you pay more but then have essentially bought the option to re-book if Marriott makes a price shift in your favor.
Don't book at the Advance Rate unless you need to lock something in. If the gap between the prices is wide, ask yourself why. And don't expect Marriott to make you whole if you agree to a bad deal. In both scenarios, booking sets a cap on what we pay, so we've got that going for us, which is nice.
I normally only book Advanced Prepaid rates in the last week before the stay. Anything else, I book a rate that can be cancelled/modified, as I know there's a fair chance prices go down a week before arrival.
I never book Advance Rates as I typically find that rates change quite often. When I do book I always check to see what the cancellation policy is on the rate I'm booking. If it's anything other than cancellation is allowed up to two days before booking I won't book the room.
Thanks for the good points everyone. This was for personal travel and i thought i was getting the best rate with advance purchase. Right now, for the 4 day trip, I overpaid by around $130.
Advance purchase rates tend to be non refundable but not necessarily unchangeable. I’ve called reservations to have them adjust the rate downwards in the past, but not sure if they would respond differently today. Changing a booking isn’t cancelling one. Although some reservations specify no changes, it can’t hurt you to try calling.
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