Best Rate Guarantees

Discussion in 'Deal Page | Air/Hotel' started by carsonheim, Feb 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. carsonheim
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    carsonheim Gold Member

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    I recently started executing some BRGs via the info on bestrateguaranteeblog.com. I would LOVE if we had a BRG stickie here, or maybe one in each hotel forum?? While I've enjoyed getting the expedia BRGs I'd like to find more opportunities to BRG particularly with SPG and Hyatt.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. bk3day
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    bk3day Gold Member

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    Great minds think alike as I've already started a BRG (aka LNF) thread in the Marriott Forum [​IMG]
     
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  3. sinfonia
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    sinfonia Silver Member

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    I agree that a BRG thread would be excellent. I do like the idea of posting BRGs for chain-specific hotels, but I also like the idea of having a comprehensive BRG thread inclusive of all chains. How can we do that?
     
  4. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    Some airlines also have BRG, although difficult in practice to make a successful claim.
     
  5. sinfonia
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    sinfonia Silver Member

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    Really? I never knew this. Can you explain how it works and which airlines do have it? If it is workable at all, it might be worth having its own BRG spot. Thanks, Kiwi, for the information!
     
  6. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    For instance Air NZ has a best rate guarantee (for domestic flights only I think).
    If you book online and find a cheaper flight elsewhere, on the same day as booking, for much the same travel, then you get a refund. Not sure if it is just fare difference or some extra.

    In practice can be difficult to obtain since all claims are manually verified and if the lower fare elsewhere is gone by the time they check then tough luck.
     
  7. sinfonia
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    sinfonia Silver Member

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    I can see that -- especially with all of the dynamic pricing these days, it could be VERY difficult to verify before the price changes. Thanks for the information, though - something to remember in the future.
     
  8. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    The problem isn't just dynamic pricing (although that is an issue - recently JQ & NZ had a sale fare war dropping prices several times within a few hours), but also that the best fares are online only not bookable in CRS. Thus harder to verify.
     
  9. bk3day
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    bk3day Gold Member

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    United Airlines has a BRG (aka "Low Fare Guarantee" or LFG), the details which are posted at http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,51216,00.html?navSource=hp_benefits_features&linkTitle=lfg

    Be aware, that UA often changes the reward/compensation offered for a successful LFG claim.. Currently, the compensation is a 20% ecert on rt tickets systemwide.

    In the past, it used to be quite easy for me) to spot a UA BRG/LFG opportunity. These days, I find all the sites are able to match prices more quickly.

    As a mater of course, I'd first price an itinerary on ITA. When I found an itinerary & fare that I wanted to purchase, that's when I'd head over to united.com to ticket, However, often I'd find that united.com's fare was high for that exact itinerary.

    That price difference between ITA & united.com alerted me to head over to a 3rd party site like Expedia where I would be able to recreate the ITA price. Then I'd follow the BRG instructions on submitting a claim.

    FYI, I'd also price out the rt itinerary as two 1way trips. If the fares on united.com were higher on both segments, that meant I now had 2 BRG/LFG opportunities and possible claims.

    The biggest problem arose when United failed to reply with the stated BRG terms or would initially deny the claim. It's been awhile since I've submitted a BRG claim and United may have changed the process, but in the past there was no way to submit a screen print of the lower fare find with your claim in hopes of streamlining the approval process.

    That bottleneck and trying to communicate with the United BRG dept usually made the exercise more frustrating than rewarding,

    hth
     
  10. DrG
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    DrG Gold Member

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    I have had some experience with hotel best rate guarantees lately. I have found this method great for getting the price down and still getting stay credit at the hotel chain. Some quick thoughts on a few of the various hotel best rate guarantees I have attempted. I have submitted the claim immediately after making the reservation by web form when possible.

    SPG - successful BRG claims receive a price match and either additional 10% off or 2000pts.
    Email response is usually received the next morning after submission. The customer service was friendly and made me aware of additional rates when better rate became unavailable after submitting the claim.

    -EDIT-
    I forgot to mention the best part of the Starwood BRG. You don't need an existing reservation to submit a claim. I simply submitted the claim and they responded back if successful and asked if I would like to have them make the reservation for me and asked if I wanted 2000 points or the 10% discount. The points only award after the stay is completed.
    -/EDIT-

    Marriott - successful BRG claims receive price match plus additional 25% off.
    I have submitted one claim via web form and found that their response to be very fast and generally positive.

    Intercontinental Hotels Group - successful BRG claims receive price match plus additional 10% off.
    I have had one successful BRG claim. They responded within a few hours, but other submissions went without being answered at all

    Hilton - successful BRG claims receive price match plus $50 AMEX gift check
    It is nearly impossible to complete a successful BRG claim with Hilton. I have tried many times and received rudely worded denial responses each time. I suggest saving your time and not bothering with a Hilton BRG.

    Expedia - successful BRG claims receive price match plus $50 hotel voucher
    In my experience, this has required a 30 min phone call (mostly waiting on hold). This could be a nice way to get future cheap hotel stays, but typically no points or stay credit.

    Hyatt - suggessful BRG claims receive the price match plus 20% off.
    I have not yet had any experience with Hyatt BRG claims, but according to bschaff1:
     
  11. Flyer_Esq
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    Flyer_Esq Silver Member

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    Lots of good info - thank you. I need to look into SPG and Marriott's BRG's because I like the idea of submitting claims for BRG's online and receiving responses back via email much more than waiting on hold with Expedia. My average phone call time with Expedia is probably 30 - 45 minutes, which almost defeats the purpose.

    Does anyone know of any other good blogs on BRG's aside from "The Best Rate Guarantee Blog?"
     
  12. I just starting getting into expedia BRGs and can say that they are phenomenal! Not sure if I can link to another blog from here but google expedia best rate guarantee and a certain wonderful blogspot website pops up - now that is a winner!
     
  13. bschaff1
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    bschaff1 Active Member

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    Hyatt: A BRG gets you 20% off the lower rate that you found. This is hit or miss with what Hyatt will match to such as I had success having my rate matched to one from a transparent consolidator but the same match was refused for others.
     
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  14. Peachy3
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    Peachy3 Silver Member

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    I'm happy to provide a detailed outline on the hyatt brg process with tips etc. if needed/when stickies are made!
     
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  15. Hmac
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    Hmac Silver Member

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    A sticky would be great for experiences with specific hotel chain BRGs. I've just gotten into Expedia BRGs, as they seem to be the most liberal in terms of stay limitations.
     
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  16. travelingmore
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    travelingmore Gold Member

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    Great post, and great idea. I had the most success with Starwood BRG - easy to do online, and also a phone contact number available, to very helpful staff, if any problems. Marriott LNF has also worked well, via online form. And did a few with Hyatt - took longer as it was all by phone but still worked most times. These all take a bit of work, but are worth the savings/bonus points.
     
  17. carsonheim
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    carsonheim Gold Member

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    DrG, do you know if SPG has a max number of BRGs that a member can submit per month?
     
  18. DrG
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    DrG Gold Member

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    I have not read of any limitation on the max number of claims per month. I looked through the terms and conditions and did not find any such conditions. ( https://www.starwoodhotels.com/bestrate/terms.html )

    In my original post, I forgot to mention the best part of the Starwood BRG. You don't need an existing reservation to submit a claim. I simply submitted the claim and they responded back if successful and asked if I would like to have them make the reservation for me and asked if I wanted 2000 points or the 10% discount. The points only award after the stay is completed.
     
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  19. bk3day
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    bk3day Gold Member

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    FYI, when booking a SPG BRG, you may want to book each night separately, in case your plans change!

    I had found a deeply discounted SPG BRG and booked a 2 night stay. Plans changed & I tried to modify the res to a 1 night stay (same arrival date, check out 1 day early)

    Found out that SPG rules allow them to reprice the entire itinerary thereby negating the BRG savings for the first night (despite the fact SPG could now resell that room at the current, now tripled BAR)

    Luckily in this case, & only after an extremely protracted back & forth over several days SPG finally made an exception and allowed me to keep my now single night BRG.

    fwiw, Marriott's BRG (aka LNF) has no such rule & will glady modify your reservation, even if the change is to arrive a day later in a multi-night booking.

    Plus, another reason, I prefer Marriott's BRG (LNF) is that their approval process is usually no more than a few hours versus the minimum 24 hr lag, typical of SPG.
     
  20. travelingmore
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    travelingmore Gold Member

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    Yes, I like this feature of the SPG program too. For Marriott, you have to book in advance and submit the LNF claim online within 24 hrs. For Hyatt, you find the lower rate, call Hyatt's BRG on the phone, wait while they look up and verify the lower rate, then they will book the Hyatt reservation for you at the newly discounted lower rate, so no res. in advance needed.
     
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  21. iloveawardtravel
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    iloveawardtravel Silver Member

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    Wow, this is a great thread. Dear Admin Team, please consider making this a Wiki page if we expand on that concept.
     
  22. tigerwong
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    tigerwong Silver Member

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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned using kayak.com for hotel BRGs. I've found their meta search and brand filter function to be the most user friendly.
     
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  23. DrG
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    DrG Gold Member

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    Is it possible to use a BRG voucher toward Expedia's unpublished rates?

    The answer seems to be a No when attempting a dummy booking, but I thought I would see if anyone has any input. It would be great if the two could be combined.
     
  24. sinfonia
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    sinfonia Silver Member

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    Haven't tried it, but here are the BRG coupon rules (copied from a BRG coupon sitting in my account):

      • This offer is from Expedia.com® and is available to Expedia.com US members only.
      • This single-use coupon is valid for a discount of up to $50 towards the new booking on Expedia.com of either: (A) one (1) room at an Expedia® Special Rate (“ESR”) hotel; or (B) one (1) air plus ESR hotel package booking. The cost of the booking (excluding taxes and fees) must be at least $25.
      • This BPGC (Best Price Guarantee Coupon) is valid for one (1) year from date of issuance, rounded to the last day of the month (for example, if your coupon is issued on 3/15/2006, you have until 3/31/2007 to redeem).
      • There are no blackout dates when using this BPGC. Bookings are subject to availability at the time of booking and all applicable terms and conditions. ESR hotel and Package purchases have an advance purchase requirement of 3:00pm Pacific Time on the day of planned arrival.
      • This BPGC is transferable to other guests for bookings made within the same account to which the BPGC was deposited. It is not otherwise transferable. It may not be combined with or applied to other coupons, promotions, special offers or air-only bookings.
      • All taxes, fees, charges and surcharges applicable to the booking, including, without limitation, extra person, phone, parking and other charges are applicable to your reservation, and this coupon cannot be applied to them. These charges must be paid at the time the reservation is confirmed or to the hotel property directly and are the responsibility solely of the customer. This BPGC cannot be applied to the cost of cancellation or change penalties, prepaid reservations, administrative fees or other miscellaneous charges.
      • This BPGC will be deemed fully used once a qualifying reservation has been made and will not be returned or replaced, even in the event that the reservation is cancelled. If travel dates are changed after the use of coupon, then the coupon will not apply to the changed travel schedule. There is no residual value and no credit will be issued if purchase amount is less than the coupon amount. Customer is responsible for the cost of the booking above the value of the redeemed coupon.
      • Terms and conditions of this BPGC are as written and cannot be changed by any representation of any unauthorized person, including employees of Expedia, Inc.
      • This BPGC is not redeemable for cash. Coupon cash value 1/100¢.
      • Void where prohibited by law.
     
  25. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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