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My wife and I have a big trip to Europe coming up later this year

I’m a planner by nature, so part of the fun for me is figuring out the route, and the hotels that we’re staying at.  We are flying BOS-DUB using Avios

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We’ve only got one night in Dublin, and so I used Award Mapper to look for possible hotels.

(SEE ALSO: Award Mapper – finding hotel rooms)

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I have mid-level status with most hotel chains, but not top status with any.  I had somewhat of a preference for staying at a Hilton, because Hilton Gold is the only mid-level status that will still give you free breakfast / lounge access.

The one that I really had my eye on was the Morrison hotel, which is a Hilton Doubletree hotel.  It’s close to the city center and most of the things that I wanted to do on my day in Dublin, and it’s a Hilton so I’ll get free breakfast and wi-fi.  It doesn’t have a free airport shuttle, which is another thing I look for, but the Dublin airport is far away, so pretty much none of the hotels in this part of town have one.  On the other hand, I’ve had bad luck with free airport shuttles before…

One of my biggest travel mistakes!  I should have booked my hotel early but instead I ...

Time to book the hotel

So even though I had decided a few months ago that I wanted to stay at the Morrison hotel, I never got around to actually booking the hotel.  I’m not sure why, since there is really no downside to booking hotels early, since for the most part you can cancel at any time (especially with award bookings).  So last week, when I finally got around to booking the date I needed, I found…

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No standard availability!  And as much fun as it would be to have a 1 bedroom suite with a river view, I’m certainly not paying nearly 200,000 points for one night!!!

Reaching out to the Morrison hotel

So I took a handy look at my list of hotel and airline hotel contacts, also found the Morrison hotel itself on Twitter, and googled my way into a contact form on their website, so I sent them a note:

Hi – my wife and I are staying in Dublin on Sept. 16th for one night and were looking to book at the Morrison and reviewing it for my travel website PointsWithACrew.com (part of BoardingArea.com)

I was planning on using 60,000 Hilton HHonors points but I see that you are sold out of regular rooms – only suites available.

I am a Gold member but if there are no upgrades available, I’d be open to paying the difference, but 158,039 HHonors points for one night is a bit out of my price range.

I thought I would check to see if there were any standard rooms that might open up or what other options you might suggest

I was trying not to be too much of a DYKIA but I did want to mention that I had Gold status (not that it’s worth a ton, but it is entitled to a “Space-available upgrade to a preferred room“) and I figured what’s the point of being a “famous” travel blogger if you can’t name drop at least a LITTLE (“famous” in total air quotes”)

(I didn’t want to be this guy)

Response from the Morrison hotel

A few days later, I got the following response from the Morrison hotel

Many thanks for your email and your interest in the Morrison Hotel.

I’m afraid we are fully booked for the night 16th Sept. Can I check an alternative date at all for you or are your travel plans fixed?

Alternatively we could possibly waitlist you for the night of the 16th Sept in case we receive any cancellations?

DOH!

So… now I did end up booking the Hilton Dublin for 40,000 points as a backup, while I wait to see if the Morrison hotel has any rooms open up.  Lesson learned – since / when there is no cancellation penalty, there is no reason not to make speculative bookings.

Have you ever been burned like this by not booking a hotel early?

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