I’ve made no secret about how much I enjoy the Olympics, and I especially enjoyed my trip to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Naturally, as soon as that trip was over I started planning for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Those games are actually just one year and three months away, which isn’t that far out in the world of planning trips on miles and points. I even wrote some about some tips and pointers for others who are interested in attending those games primarily on miles and points.
Due to some compulsive checking and good luck, I had secured some reward nights at both the Radisson Blu Resort @ Congress Centre in Sochi and the Park Inn by Radisson Rosa Khutor during the Olympic Games in February 2014. I secured these award rooms online using Club Carlson points earned primarily via the “Big Night Giveaway”. I was super excited as that meant I would have some time staying in the actual city of Sochi near the Olympic Village, and then some nights on the mountain near the downhill sports. I had also been able to use Club Carlson points at the Olympics in London to stay at the beautiful May Fair Hotel, thus saving me a ton of cash.
A few weeks went by and everything seemed fine. The award availability online quickly dried up, but my reservations seemed safe. I then received emails a couple weeks apart from both hotels stating essentially that the reservation could not be confirmed (although I already had email confirmations for both) due to:
Greetings from Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre, Sochi!
My name is X and I’m Assistant Director of Sales in our property.
Let me thank you for received booking from you from X. Regrettably we cannot confirm this booking for you. Please kindly find enclosed the letter of apology from our General Manager.
We would be very glad to confirm new booking request from you in any other convenient date.
Should you have any questions or comments to the current matter feel free to contact us any time convenient for you.
Thank you and best regards.
The attached letter then goes on to say:
I emailed back saying I understood that the Olympics were an unusual situation, but I had confirmed reservations that I made with points, and I would like alternate accommodations. I also contacted Club Carlson and asked if they could assist, and what the policy was in terms of hotels being able to cancel confirmed award reservations. I know that a few others who made similar reservations are having the very same back and forth with Club Carlson and these specific hotels.
I have gone through this cycle of communicating with the hotel directly and with Club Carlson a few times without making any real headway. The response is typically something like “we will look into it and get back to you soon”. Admittedly, I should be doing better about putting more pressure on them to come up with a solution, but haven’t yet had time to do much more than send a few emails. I’m not yet done following up with this issue, but I am now curious as to whether others have had a similar issue. I am thankful that I have never personally had an issue with a confirmed award stay being honored before, but unfortunately I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has had this happen.