My Hotel Mistake Rate Dilemma – What Should I Do?

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aria mistake rate situation
View from my room at the Aria earlier this year.

My Aria Mistake Rate Dilemma

Back on May 26 I found a great deal at the Aria in Las Vegas on Booking.com. (Actually I saw the deal on Extreme Hotel Deals via my friend Doc Maur.) The deal was for a Penthouse Suite which normally goes for close to $1,000 per night, but was costing $110 for one night only next April. (That price includes the resort fee!)

Earlier this year I stayed at the Aria and thought it was a decent enough hotel, but not something I would go out of my way to pay for again. This Penthouse Suite though is not part of the regular Aria, but instead is part of their hotel within a hotel known as Sky Suites. In other words, this is a room I would definitely pay $110 for.

aria mistake rate situation
The Penthouse Suite’s layout as shown on their website.

Before I go any further, this is how the Penthouse Suite is described on their website:

We’ve left nothing to chance in creating our Penthouse Suites. Within this 1,465 square-foot sanctuary you’ll find lavish décor and amenities, pulse-quickening, one-of-a-kind views through floor-to-ceiling windows, and our exclusive one-touch in-room technology that allows you to easily customize your suite’s features. Our 1-Bedroom Penthouse Suite wraps you in a luxuriousness you’ll be reluctant to leave.

Sounds awesome right? Are you jealous? Well you shouldn’t be. I have been excited about this booking for the past 23 days since I confirmed it and they charged my card. Of course, this morning my excitement went away when I received the following email from Booking.com:

ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter Las Vegas has been in touch with us today regarding your reservation 7#######3. They informed us that due to technical issues they have oversold the type of room you have chosen (Penthouse Suite) .Unfortunately, this means that they won’t be able to honor your reservation as booked. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Instead they can offer you the Deluxe room with a food and beverage credit of $100.00.

The Wind Out of my Sails

aria mistake rate situation
My confirmation clearly shows the type of room I have booked. Remember my card was also charged the full amount at booking 23 days ago.

So they oversold the room? That really isn’t surprising given the very low rate. Their website does also show this type of room is completely sold out for the one night I am booked for. There are plenty of other suites though and other category rooms which makes me dislike their proposed solution.

They want me to take a “Deluxe Room” which is actually their lowest category. This is a standard room on a low floor with a freeway view. Being an MLife Platinum I checked their rates for this night and the room is going for $105 before resort fee. My rate is about $75.

Yes they are also throwing in a $100 food & beverage credit. although that isn’t anything too special. When I stayed at Aria earlier this year I paid $100 for the night and that also included the same $100 credit. So this would be marginally better than my MLife offer but not much.

The Response

aria mistake rate situation
Aria. Photo by Travis Wise.

So I responded to Booking.com asking if they were willing to do anything more. Remember they didn’t even offer to give me a room with a view, but simply their lowest category. A few hours later they responded that Aria said no to them.

In my next response I asked if they would give me a Penthouse Suite on an alternate date. I do live here and thus have some flexibility. What do you think their response was to that? They said sure I could do a different night in a Penthouse Suite and all I would need to do is pay the rate difference. What?!? So why don’t I just cancel and rebook?

What to Do

I did respond one more time asking for them to get a supervisor involved. At this point I am not playing the role of angry customer, but the wording of their original email indicated to me that some people had this rate honored until the hotel filled up. If that is the case then I have a problem with them cancelling or changing my reservation almost a month after it was booked and my card charged.

The chances are this was a mistake rate, although we aren’t talking about a $5 rate here. My rate is just slightly below the rate they are selling their basic room for on the same night. I’m not sure how far I am willing to push and if I will take a Deluxe Room. Most likely I won’t, considering I stayed in one earlier this year and I won’t even receive Hyatt credit.

Conclusion

So at this point I am a little torn. I have booked several mistake rates in the past that weren’t honored and while it is upsetting I have moved on. Never have I had a hotel come back nearly a month after the booking was confirmed and try to change things.

What do you think? Should I just give up and cancel? Should I keep the basic room and enjoy the hotel or should I keep pushing to find some sort of a resolution. They do after all have regular suites available on that night and many other room categories.


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21 COMMENTS

  1. I know that you know that there was high likelihood that this would happen. Still, they should have handled it differently. I don’t see why it took them so long. And the consolation should be a little nicer.

  2. As you said, this isn’t a $5 hotel room. They need to make it right. You booked a specific category of room, and that’s what you should get. Your offer of an alternative night was kind and sensible, and that should be enough. If they refuse to do anything more, what can be done? This is a non rhetorical question, since someday I may be in the same spot someday, and it’s always easier if you know your options.

  3. I think you should get rid of booking.com or MGM. It is their mistake not your mistake. I would not pay the difference. Deluxe Room sucks.

    From my experience, 1. there are always rooms available. I stayed at penthouse in Aria during Thanksgiving last year because my friend deposited $350K in his account to play Baccarat.( Yes, you guess right, we are Asian). My friend called his host on the way to Vegas from Orange County. It was Thanksgiving and 3 hours before we checked in. We got the penthouse and O show tickets, center seats of the 5th row.

    2. That was an awesome room for just two of us. The host told me the lowest price would be above $900 per night in Summer. But I won’t pay that much because the strip view is limited. I only saw the entrance of Aria from the Strip, Crystal Mall and PH. That’s it. I did not see the strip view but the traffic.

  4. I’m in the same situation. Contact a higher up manager at Aria. There is a better chance than trying to go through booking.com It is ultimately up the hotel and they are the ones who made the mistake. They will probably make it right if it will bring bad publicity and ratings.

  5. A month is egregious, if it had been a week I’d say move on. There is a legal concept called detrimental reliance and I’m not saying you should take booking.com to small claims, but I’d definitely escalate. Have you contacted Aria?

  6. If they’d contacted you within a few days, I’d say get over it. But a month? That’s BS. I’d respond again. Another of their MGM properties should have a comparable room they can offer you. Skylofts? I would hang on to the adjusted reservation for now and keep checking the date for the penthouse. Could you call Aria directly and ask if any are available? Then reply to booking.com?

  7. You actions from here really depend upon what your time is worth and what you’d like to accomplish. I definitely think if you press this issue you will be rewarded somehow. I cannot believe that they would not make this right on a different night when they have the room available. I say go for it!

  8. Same issue as well, I asked if I could be rebooked in the penthouse suite for either the day before (April 9 or the friday April 8) now waiting back for a supervisor to see.

  9. You certainly have every right to pursue this. Contract law provides for such issues; however, as another post indicated, how much time do you want to put into it, either outside of a legal arena or in it? I get quite exasperated these days trying simply to accomplish anything within a service area. One example, last week on a week night after midnight I attempted to talk to an American Airlines Customer Service representative regarding a segment of an international flight on an award that have us economy seating, not Business – as was the rest of our reservation. After waiting 2 hours and 2 minutes, I finally bid adieu to the recording. Most frustrating!

    I have had a similar experience with Restaurant.com with a restaurant award certificate. I am beginning to think that it is not worth the blood pressure increase, and that is exactly what they are counting on.

    By the way, when you had a post regarding “newbies” to MS, I had a question or two and never had a response that I noted. Would you please check it out & get back to me? Many thanks and best of luck with this one. ( I would probably go to see the GM since you actually live in Vegas – personal no confrontational interaction is always preferable.)

    I enjoy your blog, and you seem to have a great family and an appreciation for them. I really like that you include them in your adventures.

  10. Got a new reply/email from booking.com

    I again sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or confusion that this matter has imposed upon you and for sending you another email in regards to this matter but would just like to make sure that the information you are provided with was accurate.

    As advised from our previous emails the Penthouse suite that has been reserved at the ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter Las Vegas the rates were loaded incorrectly in our system. Due to this error the hotel is offering to honor the rate you have reserved but will not be able to honor the room reserved in the Penthouse suite. As the hotel is unable to supply the Penthouse Suite for the rate reserved in our system as an alternative the hotel has asked if you would accept a stay in either their Deluxe King or Queen room for the night and they have also stated that if you accept a stay in the alternative room type offered in either the Deluxe King or Queen room that they will also provide you with a $100 Food or Drink credit to use at the hotel during your stay for the inconvenience.

    If you accept this offer from the hotel we will make sure to update the hotel accordingly and ask them to confirm this for you. Please kindly note that due to the nature of this matter the hotel is unable to offer any type of changes or modifications to the current dates and if you accept the offer from the hotel a change of dates would not be possible as advised from the property.

    The hotel has stated that the original rate for their Penthouse Suite is $700 USD a night and are just unable to honor this reservation for the rate booked and have kindly asked if you would accept the offer from the hotel.

    If the offer cannot be accepted the hotel has stated that they would be more than happy to cancel the reservation free of charge.

    Please consider the hotel’s offer and please feel free to contact us should you have any additional questions or concerns and we would be more than happy to assist you anyway we can.

    I again sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or frustration this matter has imposed upon you and hope that despite this unfortunate circumstance that Booking.com remains your future choice in online hotel reservations.

    Best wishes,

  11. Any news from Booking.com or Aria?

    I also received the email from Booking.com telling me the rate should have been $700 and offering me a Deluxe Room plus $100 food voucher. So far I have not responded to them at all.

    I mean, an Aria room for 70 bucks plus $100 worth of free food isn’t bad either. But that Penthouse Suite certainly would be even nicer 🙂

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