David had this crazy, completely irrational idea in his head. He thought that just because he had a confirmed ten-night Candlewood Suites stay, made through the InterContinental Hotels web site, there might be a room waiting for him. The reservation went through just fine, and was in the system. The problem was that the grand opening of this new hotel in El Paso, Texas had been pushed back to a few months after David’s planned stay. His reservation was now invalid, but no one at the hotel chain bothered to notify him. Are other guests due for a rude surprise when they check in or call to confirm their reservations?
In early March I received notice from my employer that I would be required to relocate to El Paso, TX by the end of June. On the 6th of March I made a reservation for a ten night stay during the first two weeks of June at the Candlewood Suites in El Paso. I received an email confirmation of the reservation on the same day.
Fast forward to last weekend, some of my family members attempted to make a reservation at the same hotel but were unable to do so as the IHG website would not accept reservations prior to September 1st. When I called to inquire about the status of the hotel I was initially told that my reservation was valid and I was good to go. However, when I had the IHG employee try to make a second reservation for June he became aware that the hotel for which I had a confirmed reservation would, in fact, not be open until September.
At this point I was forwarded to IHG customer service representatives who, to their credit, were apologetic about the issue. However, none of the representatives I spoke with were able to adequately explain why IHG was unable to provide a notification of the delayed opening. In fact, the employees I spoke with said that I was the first person who brought this issue to their attention. This is despite the fact that the reservations website was updated to show that reservations could not be accepted prior to September 1st.
My big issue isn’t the fact that the construction of the Candlewood Suites was delayed, but rather that IHG clearly had no intention of notifying me that my reservation could not be honored. If I didn’t call I would have traveled to El Paso thinking that the hotel would be available since I had a reservation confirmation in-hand.
Consider this a cautionary tale for other Consumerist readers. Just because you have a confirmed reservation doesn’t mean that the hotel will notify you if they cannot honor it, nor does it mean that IHG even knows the hotel is not open.