The Definition of 'No Blackout Dates'

The Definition of 'No Blackout Dates'

OK, in the hotel wars, most of us have been made familiar with the marketing slogan for the Starwood Preferred Guest program, which is “No Blackout Dates.” It seems to work well for them and the point they are trying to get across is that there are no capacity controls when you choose to redeem a hotel award. If a room is available — anytime — you get it. But we recently came across the very same marketing slogan used by the new Priority Club Rewards program (see picture) and they, of course, mean just what they say — no blackout dates.

Here are the full terms and conditions of the Priority Club Rewards use of the term “No Blackout Dates:” All calendar dates are eligible for Reward Night redemption, but rooms are limited, subject to prior sale and availability of allocated resources, and may be unavailable during high demand periods. Starwood on the other hand says: Redeem your Starpoints for free nights anytime, anywhere. Starwood Preferred Guest is the only program that doesn’t limit you to a number of Free Night Award rooms. If we have a guest room available, it’s yours. And with no blackout dates, if we have a guest room available, you can redeem your Starpoints for it.

Inside Observation: With two ‘No Blackout Dates’ marketing campaigns going on, is there any wonder where the other hotels chains are on this issue? Marriott, Hilton, Best Western and Hyatt — we can’t hear you.

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