A few months ago I wrote a post about Convenience or Loyalty, basically sharing my frustration that I couldn’t use my miles on a flight… but I could fly with easyJet for a low price – it’s hard to be loyal, it really is.
Well, recently I’ve been experiencing this “convenience or loyalty” feeling much more. I shared last week my frustration of recent award bookings, though eventually shared some good news yesterday. I’m planning some incredible trips for this year and I’ve already booked some amazing awards such as SWISS First, Etihad First, Cathay First,
United First, etc. However while I’ve been able to get the flight awards I want… hotels are now a pain.
Why? Because loyalty and hotel points/elite benefits.
Where do I begin? Basically I was looking at hotels in South America recently for an upcoming trip and basically I found deals on Expedia that are much better and make me sort of want to abandon hotel loyalty in general. For example, one of the cities that I’m flying to has two Starwood properties, and a Hilton hotel. Great! Not only that, the Hilton is $99 USD and I have Diamond!
Well, that doesn’t work. Because the Hilton is literally ~20km from the centre of the city and given that I’m only there for two days, I’m not booking that. One of the Starwood hotels is 15km away and the other is about 8km away. Of course the Starwood hotel that is closest to the city centre is ~$280 USD per night – a bit too much for me.
So I’ve decided to abandon hotel loyalty for some trips of mine and go with Expedia/Orbitz. I found awesome hotels, right in the city centre, with free breakfast.. for under $99 USD per night. As much as I would love to enjoy my elite benefits and earn hotel points… screw it.
I’m not going to stay further away just because I’d earn points and have elite benefits. Hell, I could care less about elite benefits since I will only be there for two days and want to see the city as much as possible – therefore leading to me only sleeping in the hotel.
Loyalty is really, really hard. On the other hand, I did earn 2x points since I paid with my Chase Sapphire Preferred. It just didn’t make sense to stay at the Hilton or the Starwood hotels just because I’d be earning points… I booked a nice hotel in the centre (yes, I will review it), and it is literally walking distance to anywhere.
So from this point on, I’m not being loyal to hotels at all. It doesn’t make sense for me to be. Sure, if in the future I can justify the cost of a chain hotel vs a non-chain hotel, I will book it. It all comes down to the individual situation and city.
On the other hand, I’m excited to finally visit South America soon!