Waldorf=Astoria Jerusalem No Longer Plays Games With Award Availability

A couple of months ago Dan’s Deals wrote about the limited options some chains have in Jerusalem, how the Waldorf=Astoria Jerusalem is probably the nicest property, but that they were playing games with award availability.

At one point there were no award rooms available for six months. Then there were no award rooms for Thursday and Friday nights. He quoted a hotel manager saying that the room type for awards was made available only midweek, and that the option was “CLOSED on High season.”

I read the post and reached out to the folks at Hilton HHonors. Hilton doesn’t have blackout dates or capacity controls. When a standard room is available for sale, it should be available on points.

But what about hotels playing games with their revenue inventory? Hotels aren’t supposed to do this. I was told that “standard room type availability should not be restricted for the purpose of limiting redemption availability.”

And the HHonors program reached out to the property. The property fell in line. I then promptly forgot about it.

I was looking for the email address yesterday of the person I had been corresponding with, which reminded me to share that you can now book award nights there most of the year at the regular points price — which is quite high, at 80,000 HHonors points per night whether close-in or months into the future.

Hotels sometimes play games with their inventory, we’ve seen that across various chains. I’ve heard the head of one program a long time ago describe the game a ‘whack a mole’ — a local property will decide that they can earn more money by being a member of the chain and program, but not making award rooms available. Even though they’re compensated for those rooms, they think they can earn more without fulfilling their redemption obligations.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Unfortunately, hotels in Israel seem to be extremely expensive, despite the government’s attempt on lowering them. There is just a very high demand and a very small inventory. I wish it wasn’t like that.
    Not sure if this is the case, but enjoy Israel if you’re heading there!

  2. You’re better off driving to Tel Aviv to stay. The Intercontinental is 40k. Sheraton doesn’t play games except they will make you pay the extra 4000 points most nights, or 16k.

    During the high season, rates can be 450 and up at both hotels and I know Interconny has a kosher kitchen which means crappy food after Friday at 4. Just go to a non-kosher restaurant, There are zillions.
    Having experienced quite a few places in Israel, and knowing how the locals take advantage of tourists, I recommend paying for Ambassador status, then booking a series of one-day reservations at the Intercontinental. You’ll get an upgrade, and a new fruit plate and bottle of wine every day, and 10% back on points.
    Game the system in Isreal. Please!

  3. I’m not sure the problem has been completely resolved. I have tried to maneuver an August 2017 reservation, and still the Thursday and Friday nights are unavailable.

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