Posted by Ric Garrido

Nor1 e-Standby Upgrades are what you sometimes see when your booking is nearly complete and then you get an offer of paying a surcharge for a higher category room.

Hyatt Hotels and Hilton Hotels use this option frequently. For an extra $15 you might get a preferred view room offer, and for an extra $50 per night a junior suite and perhaps $90 more for a suite.

That is Nor1 technology, a Silicon Valley company that matches available hotel room inventory with customer profiles to upsell the room reservation.

The basic idea is that you book an e-standby upgrade at time of booking at a discount compared to the regular published rates, but there is no guarantee you will get the room at check-in. The upgraded rooms might get booked at higher rates initially or another Nor1 guest might have already booked the upgraded room. But you do commit to paying the higher rate for the upgraded room at time of booking your hotel stay if you get that room upgrade upon arrival.

Nor1 is one of the technology solutions impacting the upgrade availability for elite guests, yet also increasing the revenue for hotels. Hotels would generally rather sell a room upgrade than give it away for free to an elite. And several hotel chains contract with Nor1 to upsell their guests at time of booking with lower rates for higher category rooms at the hotel than ware publicly available online at time of booking.

InterContinental Hotels Group partners with Nor1

Nor1 eStandby Upgrades initially launched with the InterContinental Hotel luxury brand of IHG. Now the upsell system is planned for rollout among all the IHG brands globally by the end of the year.

Nor1 e-Standby Upgrade program will likely mean fewer higher category rooms available for complimentary upgrades to IHG Rewards Club Platinum members.

Nor1 e-Standby Upgrades are an enhancement in my opinion for consumers who are not top elite members of the hotel loyalty program expecting complimentary upgrades. Nor1 reduces the cost of upgraded hotel rooms when you choose to buy-in at time of booking for the opportunity to get a better room at check-in.

I have used Nor1 upgrades several times to pay something like $15 more per night for a larger room when the published rate was $40 or more higher on the hotel website for that room type just minutes before. The eStandby Upgrade upsell offers appear only after the initial hotel reservation is confirmed with a credit card. Once you have committed to a hotel reservation the upsell offers appear with rate discounts compared to the published rates. And sometimes they are enticing discounts. This is how the Nor1 system works for the consumer.

Here is how Nor1 works for the hotel:

About eStandby Upgrade

eStandby Upgrade uses the industry’s most sophisticated pricing and merchandising engine, PRiME, to make real-time, data-driven, upsell offers for each reservation, post-confirmation. Leveraging predictive analytics, this patented decision intelligence technology makes upsell offers at specific points in time through an algorithmic approach that is currently generating incremental revenue and building guest loyalty for thousands of hotels worldwide.

I kind of look forward to discount upgrades at brands like Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza since getting an upgrade with Platinum elite status never seemed too consistent.

Related post: Nor1 “e-standby upgrade” Can Save Money on Hotel Rate

This May 2010 post shows examples of Nor1 eStandby Upgrade offers at Hyatt with a table showing the Nor1 discount compared to the rate on the website for different room types at time of booking the reservation.

 

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out my page of collated current hotel promotions.

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4 Responses

  1. Before doing Nor1 or anything like that they would need a functional website first. The current one has became a really disaster one, not storing my CC details even, but using the ones from years back.

  2. @Timo – I have had many problems with IHG’s website over the years. When I am doing rate searches I frequently have to close my browser to refresh information after I get stuck only being able to see certain rate types.

    When checking 2-for-1 rates I have to frequently go back to the original link on my blog to get the 2-for-1 access rate to reload. The IHG website will default back to regular rates.

    And often I change the city I am searching only to see rates for the city I was searching previously.

    Close the browser and start over again is common when using IHG.com

  3. It’ll be interesting to see how their implementation goes. Hyatt and Hilton seem to have done a great job rolling out NOR1, while Starwood likes to offer me suites at roughly 1.5X RACK. (Why yes, I’d love to pay $1200 plus the $400 I just paid for your suite that retails for $1000)

    It’d also be nice to see NOR1 do some better integration with elite programs – don’t try to sell me lounge access when I’m a Starwood plat, and so forth.

  4. @Nik – Hyatt seems to have integrated Nor1 with their elite program. I generally get one or two upgrade options for $0 additional as a Diamond elite member after booking a Hyatt Hotel.

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