Reservation Problem and Compensation

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Mar 25, 2019
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On May 1 of 2018, I booked 3 rooms at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown/Canalside in Buffalo for the NCAA Frozen Four hockey championships. I booked this particular property because of its location almost directly across from the KeyBank Center, where the games will be played. On Thursday of last week, my party and I received e-mails from the Courtyard stating that our reservations would not be honored at this property due to its being overbooked, and that we were being moved to the Courtyard Buffalo Airport, which is 11 miles from the arena and would leave us reliant on a shuttle provided by Marriott to get to and from the games. Due to the needs of the people in my traveling party, staying within walking distance of the event is a priority. Since we know that the event draws a large traveling crowd and that there were few options near the arena, we booked as early as we did.

Marriott has offered to pay for our stay at the airport location or to credit each reservation with 25,000 Bonvoy points (1 free night at a category 1-4 hotel) if we cancel and book elsewhere. However, I feel both options are unsatisfactory. An isolated airport property that leaves us entirely reliant on automobile transportation is a poor substitute for a less than 10 minute walk to the event that is the sole purpose of our trip. Alternately, any remaining downtown lodging is significantly more expensive than the rate we had booked at the Courtyard Canalside and is less conveniently located to the arena.

I wrote to the general manager of the hotel and to one of the executives listed on this site expressing my dissatisfaction with the proposed solutions and asking that Marriott either reimburse us the amount that the airport stay would have cost them so that we can apply it to other lodging that we find, or that it provide each reservation 3 nights' worth of points -- exactly the nights we lost due to its overbooking its property. They have since responded that after executive review, they find the compensation offered by the property to be appropriate and will not offer anything beyond that. Is there anything else I can try to come to a more acceptable resolution to my situation? I'm open to creative solutions and willing to work with Marriott. However, I don't get the same sense from them. Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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I poked around a bit and found the following:
  • The NFTA appears to have a 45 minute bus to/from the airport. Unfortunately, the links I choose to find schedules are all invalid.
  • The Buffalo Airport Shuttle, (716) 685-2550. indicates they are open 24x7 and for 5 people the round-trip in their mini-van is approx $30 per person.
  • The frozen four are at night on April 11th and 13th for about 4 hours each night
Given that Marriott has offered "pay for our stay at the airport location" makes this a viable alternative in my opinion should you accept their offer.
 
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Reactions: Neil Maley
Dec 19, 2014
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Ouch. That is an unfortunate situation. I agree with you that the compensation is probably insufficient, but you may not have any leverage to get additional compensation.

Just curious...
1) How did you book the hotel? Did you book direct or did you use a 3rd party?
2) Was the reservation pre-paid?
3) Are you a member of Marriott Rewards or Bonvoy
4) Is Marriott offering to pay for a shuttle between the Courtyard Buffalo Airport and the arena?

For reference, the Marriott Ultimate Reservation Guarantee (which is applicable for elites) only offers paying for a hotel at a comparable property + $100 + for platinum or higher you also get 90k points.

You may have some room to negotiate additional compensation, but that's about it.