Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points are some of the most sought after for the frequent traveler, in part because they have some fabulous aspirational properties around the world. For my parents, who recently went on a Mediterranean cruise that ended in Venice, Italy, the opportunity to stay at The Gritti Palace was one they were looking forward to.
The Gritti Palace in Venice, Italy
However, my parents are not much into the travel game, and do not have the SPG bankroll (or the desire to spend 860€ for a single night!) to book the property.
Summer Rates at The Gritti Palace
Unlike some SPG competitors, which allow you to directly book an awards reservation online for another person (e.g., Hyatt or Club Carlson), SPG makes you jump through an extra hoop in order to do so. Discussed since 2006 on FlyerTalk, SPG allows you to reserve an award night for another person only through a telephone call. This was the first time that I have had to make an SPG award reservation for someone else, and wanted to confirm that the process was still as has been described. Please note that this is perfectly acceptable within SPG’s terms and conditions – you are not doing anything that is sneaky or may get you in trouble! Specifically, SPG states:
SPG Awards may be given to a third party where an SPG Member makes the request at the time the SPG Award is issued.
I called SPG Customer Support’s toll free number (1-888-625-4988) and explained to the agent (Carson) my situation. Within a matter of minutes (he was efficient and friendly!), he had located the property, confirmed award availability, and made a reservation which included both my name, and my father’s name.
All told, it took less than 8 minutes on the phone, and though I was 60,000 SPG points lighter, my parents will have an opportunity to explore Venice from the comfort of The Gritti Palace! Despite the extra step involving a phone call to SPG, this was a remarkably smooth process. My parents reported that they had absolutely no issues at check-in, and even received SPG Gold Elite recognition!
Have you had similar experiences booking award reservations for family members?