Many readers have gotten in touch about their bookings being cancelled by the Intercontinental London at the 02. These are almost all cash bookings, were not made on any special or crazy rate, and were all confirmed for reservation with IHG.
The hotel’s reason for cancelling was perfectly legitimate, but their subsequent handling of stranded guests has been a lethargic embarrassment, which willfully and knowingly denies IHG’s core, long standing policy for what happens to a guest booking if a hotel becomes unavailable for any reason.
Frankly, unless it’s rectified, it’s hard to believe any IHG reservation is “confirmed” until you actually get into a room, no matter how early you book, or how much you paid. It’s not impressive and the lack of communication has been even less so.
IHG’s Rebooking Policy
IHG, like most hotels, has a clean cut, red tape free policy for what happens when a confirmed reservation can’t be honored. It’s not necessarily a “walking a guest policy” but actually a reservation guarantee policy.
These policies exist specifically to give weary travelers a point of confidence, knowing that even if a president makes an impromptu appearance and the hotel can no longer honor a reservation, it’ll make it right, every time.
Here’s IHG’s policy in its simplest, terms as per the IHG website…
“Booking on IHG.com is the best way to guarantee your room. If for any reason your reservation cannot be honored, IHG will provide you with a room and transportation to another convenient and comparable hotel. And, we’ll pay for the full cost of the first night’s lodging price, plus tax. Any advance deposit will be refunded to you.”IHG Rewards
In short, your reservation will be honored at another IHG Hotel, or similar property at another hotel group and IHG will pick up the tab for the first night as an apology. You’ll also be eligible to claim reasonable expenses for the transportation from one hotel to another, if the cancellation occurs when you’ve already arrived.
Intercontinental 02 Knowingly Avoiding What’s Due
Recently, a GSTP Premium member who happens to be an IHG Spire Ambassador as well, had a lovely suite booked at the Intercontinental O2 in London’s Greenwich area. It’s a great hotel I’ve stayed at before and never had any issues.
After the reader made a reservation at IHG.com, The hotel chose to become a quarantine hotel, likely because the economics of the contract work out better than the hit or miss level of reservations and revenue being experienced at the moment without business travel. That’s totally fine, good on them.
What’s not fine, is that the hotel, is trying to flout the crystal clear rules and guarantees of the IHG brand, despite numerous attempts from the reader to rectify the situation under the IHG guidelines. Every response is met with vague denials or disregard.
Another Intercontinental hotel in London has a similar room type available for the duration of the dates, which would theoretically be the easiest solution for the hotel since it’s in the IHG family, yet they’ve denied every attempt to switch over. Talk of a refund of the first night’s charges have also been avoided in every communication.
Sadly, this is another example of a hotel trying to have its cake and eat it too, at the detriment of its hotel group. Being a part of the IHG Group presents huge marketing reach and “baked in” reservations from corporate channels. Hotels join onto these big chains to get more bookings and make more money.
It comes at the cost of issuing points and perks on stays to loyal guests like our reader, but the overall benefits always outweigh the minor costs. Sadly, this reader never got any points or perks, just a ditched confirmed reservation for which the Intercontinental O2 still fails to provide any recourse.
Reading Loyalty Lobby, it’s clear that it’s not just our readers, but hundreds of others who are experiencing the same unnecessary dramas with this hotel. It’d all be totally un-newsworthy if they just honored the crystal clear policy, popped displaced guests into another Intercontinental in London, or similar equivalent and went on their way.
Instead, the hotel chose to play dumb, then proverbially disconnect the phones, then go into hiding, and that’s subsequently lead to lots of negative coverage, and likely a lot more to come.
The hotel had every opportunity to rectify this clear cut situation privately, so no advance warning of this post was given to the brand, so as to level the playing field for every day readers who deserve better, without as much social reach.
Intercontinental 02, you’re welcome to get in touch, and we’re happy to connect you with our unhappy loyal IHG Spire Ambassador, who just wants what’s clearly due via IHG policy set in internet stone.