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Southwest and El Cortez

Discussion in 'Downtown Hotels & Casinos' started by Jimbo338, Nov 18, 2012.

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  1. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    Laconia, NH
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    I start planning my winter trade show as soon as Southwest extends their reservations into march or so. For the last two years SWA has not had one of their systemwide internet specials that they used to in the past and ultimately my best deal would have been booking with Southwest Vacations early. This year I checked but they didn't offer El Cortez and prices were higher, no surprise since airfare was up and so were hotel rooms downtown on Kayak and others. I still prefer to put together my own vacation for better control, better convenience and usually better price. I booked my flight at $360 or so and room at Gold Spike. El Cortez was not listed as an option with SWVacations at first and separately was pretty high, and then there was the issue of a penalty if you stayed more than 7 nights. I normally stay 8 or 9 nights and I hate to switch hotels. I did it once moving between Gold Spike and El Cortez.

    For those who don't recall all of our unhappiness, El Cortez started a policy where if you exceed 7 nights on your stay, they added a $25 fee to each night of the stay, not the additional nights but then entire number of nights. This has eliminated my staying there for the last 2 years, and several others here as well.

    WHEN I read about the 24 hour sale, friday I tried every conceivable way to save a buck on my January trip without sacraficing my favorite flight times, or dates affecting my trade show. I tried typing in my vacation and roundtrip flights on the dates that I have already NH to LV along with 8 nights in the Tower Room at EC with taxes and fees was a Total of $523.00! And that was $23 extra cause I wanted a different flight for convenience. I never remember a deal as good!Now, you cannot do that booking directly with the hotel, and you cannot do that when booking with brokers like Kayak.com or Booking.com but I wasn't blocked from doing it with Southwest Vacations so I left my computer and called Jackpot Deals who were promoting the deal and explained the policy and saked if the 8 days was available. She said she would check and put me on cold for several minutes. She returned me and said it was possible. I guess the Southwest family business to the EC hotel means more to more than we as individuals or the brokers. I guess it is good to know information for those thinking of a package with SW Vacations. I would have booked it in a heartbeat except for one more little deal. SWVacations is a subsidiary of SWA and operates somewhat as an independent entity, however they do not accept any credits from SWA to pay for its packages. I would have had to cancel my airfare for my january trip, get a credit, and pay SWV without using my credit. Since I cannot afford to book the trip again right now and use the credit before July, I had to pass.

    I just thought I'd pass the information on for others t keep in mind if you are a SWA customer and like the El Cortez. Last year I waited to book as my trip got near and I paid plenty for the worst times.......all that was available that was affordable. This year I got a good deal early and could have gotten a killer deal had i booked when I did last year! I guess you can see why I'm not a big gambler!!!! lol

    Jimbo338
     
  2. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I booked through them last summer to stay there but ended up canceling when the cortez gave me 3 nights free. I recall getting some mailer from the el recently, where they said they now match consolidators prices if you want to book directly with them.
     
  3. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    Well, that's interesting! That's the first time that I've heard that. I wonder if they allow more than 7 days. Has anyone tried this yet? Thanks Merlin.

    Jimbo338
     
  4. marksind

    marksind Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Price Matching

    It appears to be something new. I just saw it yesterday in their newsletter. Says they'll match any rate you get elsewhere.

    Another note on Southwest - if you don't already have their credit card, consider it. Right now they are offering a deal on their premier card - get 50,000 points when you charge $2000 or more in the first three months. The premier card gives you two points for every dollar you spend. It's $99 per year. I've got their regular card, which had the same 50,000 point bonus, was free for the first year, but only gives one point per dollar spent.

    It's been been the best "perks" card I've ever had, since sometimes I can get round trips to Vegas for less than 11,000 points. They also don't charge for checking up to 2 bags and a ticket bought with points costs only $10.
    Unlike purchased fares, tickets bought with points can be changed or cancelled without cost at any time, and if you don't use the ticket the points are refunded to your account (that one amazes me).

    Until recently, when Southwest had a fare sale the points fares were similarly discounted. They haven't done that on the really great sales the past few months, so the points don't go as far as they used to. But you can always get a ticket at whatever the point cost is when you book it, and then change it without cost if the point fare drops pre-flight. I've done it more than once on the same itinerary.
     
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