One More Reason To Love Starwood Award Redemptions

a bed with a white sheet and a striped pillow

One of my evening flights this weekend was delayed by 2 hours.  And as I was sitting on the plane watching people board, it occurred to me that we probably wouldn’t be landing until almost midnight, and I still had an hour and a half drive ahead of me.

It had been a long week and I didn’t relish driving through an hour of pine forests in the middle of the night. So I pulled up SPG.com on my phone to see how much the airport aloft was going for. Since it was a weekend night, I had the option of $89, 2,000 points, or 1,200 points + $25 cash.

Sweet! I did some quick calculations, the 2,000 pts = roughly $20 in cash back through credit card spend, so clearly a better deal than $89. The 800 points I might save with cash & points wasn’t worth $25. So I proceeded to reserve a room for that night. Or at least tried to. I guess because it was already 9:30pm, it wouldn’t let me book for that night, so I called the customer service number.

A rep answered quickly and started the process, but unfortunately I’d taken too long calculating cash vs points and the plane had almost finished boarding.

The lady on the phone was awesome, asking if I was already at the hotel and laughing when I told her I was on the plane. She immediately sized up my predicament and was incredibly sweet when I was telling her they were about to close the cabin door and could she finish booking it without me (she couldn’t).

She rushed through the cancellation policy and frantically hit refresh for me to get the reservation confirmed before the flight attendants got angry that I hand’t powered down yet. She confirmed it and wished me luck as I quickly thanked her and turned my phone off just as they made their way down the aisle checking.

Only problem with booking over the phone? All nearby passengers heard me spelling out my account password. So little tip — make sure your password is not embarassing to say outloud and that it doesn’t obviously sound like a password.

So I did in fact wind up landing at 11:48 and was relieved to pick up my rental car, check into the aloft a few miles away, and be in my room by 12:20. All for the bargain price of 2,000 points. Not to mention it gave me another stay towards the 25 Starwood stays I need to make Platinum status. Have I mentioned how much I love their new policy of counting award stays towards status??


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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One Comment

  1. My email address is embarrassing like that. I should get a new one for mass mail 😛 The agents always crack up when I recite it.

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