As I blogged about a couple of weeks ago, Priority Club announced they would be changing their award costs at many hotels as of January 18, 2012, which was yesterday. Keep in mind that Priority Club will actually let you book under the old award rates for the next two months by calling the service center. So while you’ll see the new rates online, the old rates are still available by phone.
While they’re still changing some of the prices as we speak, the changes I’ve seen thus far are largely nonsensical, and that’s putting it nicely. I’m actually wondering if it’s opposite day and they got all the coding wrong.
For example, the InterContinental Warsaw went from 30,000 points per night to 40,000 points per night, despite regularly having rates around $100-150USD per night.
Conversely, the InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora went from 40,000 points per night to 30,000 points per night, despite having rates of $700USD+ per night, and consistently being one of the most expensive InterContinental hotels.
Perhaps the strangest direct comparison of all is that the InterContinental Hong Kong remained at 40,000 points, while the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong went up in price to 50,000 points, despite the fact that the rates are always a lot lower.
On one hand I have to assume it’s an error, though there’s one way that this can be justified. Keep in mind how loyalty programs have to pay for reward nights. If occupancy isn’t high, they pay the hotel just slightly above the marginal cost. If, on the other hand, the hotel is full, they have to pay close to the flexible rate. So maybe their pricing was driven more by the occupancy level of hotels as opposed to the rates. Either way, this really doesn’t make all that much sense.
The same is true in Germany, where the InterContinental Berchtesgaden went from 40,000 points per night to 30,000 points per night, while the InterContinental Frankfurt went from 30,000 points to 40,000 points per night, despite the former having consistently higher rates.
Color me puzzled!