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How Vistana Helped Us Solve the 120-Day Window Problem

bobpark56

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Vistana placed 79,200 Staroptions in a holding account for us in May for a cancelled 13-night stay at WLR, with the the restriction that they be used only for bookings within 120 days of arrival.
In discussions with Vistana, I learned there was likely away around this constraint. So I booked a 1BR unit for 17 January nights at Westin Lagunamar using unrestricted 2021 Staroptions. They informed me that if I were to then call at the beginning of our 120-day window, I could apply our restricted Staroptions to this booking and get our unrestricted Staroptions back. So I did this.
When I called Monday to execute that option, a very pleasant young lady (sounded young...and pretty, too) quickly took care of that for us. She applied our 79,200 restricted Staroptions to the first 13 nights of our January stay and returned 79,200 unrestricted, calendar-year 2021 Staroptions to us...for future use or banking...and this process did not require a unit other than ours to be available. Thank you, Vistana.
Would anyone like to meet us at WLR in January to help celebrate?
 

DannyTS

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Good for you! I suspect you could have done it online as well if the unit was available. For a while there will be so many people who do not want or cannot travel that the 120 restricted SO may still be pretty useful.
 

jabberwocky

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How much you want to bet that now that this has been publicly posted this loophole will get closed?
 

dioxide45

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Looks like lots of availability still for January. You could have probably done this online by simply booking a new reservation with the restricted options and cancelling the old reservation with the clean options. Good to know that they will swap out though.
 

dioxide45

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How much you want to bet that now that this has been publicly posted this loophole will get closed?
We don't know if the unit wasn't otherwise available if it would have gone down the same way. I know the OP said "and this process did not require a unit other than ours to be available", but does it work that way in practice?
 

CPNY

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I’ve had them do this in the past when incorrect options were used. I’m hoping I won’t have restricted options by next year, but if so I will keep this in my back pocket.
 
Last edited:

Ken555

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Brilliant! Glad you were able to do this.
 

jabberwocky

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So do you keep your original timestamp if you swap out the options?
 

controller1

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So do you keep your original timestamp if you swap out the options?
I was wondering about this too. To accomplish this online would provide a new timestamp. If the original timestamp is maintained by Vistana swapping out the StarOptions that would be an additional bonus!
 

canesfan

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I was wondering about this too. To accomplish this online would provide a new timestamp. If the original timestamp is maintained by Vistana swapping out the StarOptions that would be an additional bonus!
Since I did mine online, I have a new time stamp and gave up my home reservation of Oceanview. Normally it would be an issue, if it were a place like Maui but it’s WLR. The views from most rooms are good and the staff there are very accommodating. WKORN not so much.


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dioxide45

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Since I did mine online, I have a new time stamp and gave up my home reservation of Oceanview. Normally it would be an issue, if it were a place like Maui but it’s WLR. The views from most rooms are good and the staff there are very accommodating. WKORN not so much.


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Isn't Oceanview the lowest level view at WLR anyway? Do they can't make it much worse except you may not be as high up the pecking order. Unless you meant Oceanfront?
 

canesfan

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No, I own the ones facing the ocean in 1,9 or 11. I don’t remember it’s exact verbiage, it’s not Oceanfront, maybe Oceanside? It’s definitely different verbiage than WKORN or WKOR uses. But really I’m not worried as I have added a getaway to accompany our home week in the past and usually get a decent view.

I much rather give up the view than have those restricted points sitting out there.
Plus I figured if I had to cancel WLR inside the 60 days, no harm no foul.


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dioxide45

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I don’t remember it’s exact verbiage, it’s not Oceanfront, maybe Oceanside
Got it, yes I think they call those oceanside.
 

MICROZE

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How much you want to bet that now that this has been publicly posted this loophole will get closed?
Why would you consider this a loophole?

I don't see how Vistana can prevent this.
  • It is legal to cancel 60+ days prior to check-in and receive back my Unrestricted Star-Options.
  • It is permitted to use COVID Restricted Star-Options 120-Days prior to Check-In.
 

dioxide45

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Why would you consider this a loophole?

I don't see how Vistana can prevent this.
  • It is legal to cancel 60+ days prior to check-in and receive back my Unrestricted Star-Options.
  • It is permitted to use COVID Restricted Star-Options 120-Days prior to Check-In.
Cancel and rebook is different than swapping out options. They can't prevent cancel and rebook, but if the reservation is not available to do that, they don't have to allow swapping out options. So you could attempt cancel and rebook, but you could lose your reservation in the process.
 

jabberwocky

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Why would you consider this a loophole?

I don't see how Vistana can prevent this.
  • It is legal to cancel 60+ days prior to check-in and receive back my Unrestricted Star-Options.
  • It is permitted to use COVID Restricted Star-Options 120-Days prior to Check-In.
No - that is not a loophole and I have no problem with cancelling and rebooking. I’ve done it recently myself when I’ve wanted to swap out options I could bank for options that were expiring. What seems to be different here is that the agent is actively swapping out points without putting the unit back into the general pool.
 

MICROZE

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No - that is not a loophole and I have no problem with cancelling and rebooking. I’ve done it recently myself when I’ve wanted to swap out options I could bank for options that were expiring. What seems to be different here is that the agent is actively swapping out points without putting the unit back into the general pool.
Appreciate the clarification.
Didn't realize the "Swap".
 

canesfan

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Right now it’s fairly easy to cancel & rebook as many aren’t traveling. But once people start to get more confident in traveling, I think that 120 day window will become very competitive.
I also don’t think they will be that apt to do the swap for you, if inventory is not readily available. IMHO.


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CPNY

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Right now it’s fairly easy to cancel & rebook as many aren’t traveling. But once people start to get more confident in traveling, I think that 120 day window will become very competitive.
I also don’t think they will be that apt to do the swap for you, if inventory is not readily available. IMHO.


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I think next summer will be tough. By then people will be traveling!
 

bobpark56

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Looks like lots of availability still for January. You could have probably done this online by simply booking a new reservation with the restricted options and cancelling the old reservation with the clean options. Good to know that they will swap out though.
There was no 1BR availability for 10-27 January or for 10-23 January at the time..
 

bobpark56

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So do you keep your original timestamp if you swap out the options?
There were 34,000 staroptions for 2020 in the mix that they automatically banked for me through 2022, with no fee.
 

jabberwocky

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There were 34,000 staroptions for 2020 in the mix that they automatically banked for me through 2022, with no fee.
Are you 5* or had you already paid to bank other 2020 options previously?
 

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Cancel and rebook is different than swapping out options. They can't prevent cancel and rebook, but if the reservation is not available to do that, they don't have to allow swapping out options. So you could attempt cancel and rebook, but you could lose your reservation in the process.
The trick is to book with the restricted Staroptions and then cancel the reservation made with unrestricted ones, if a unit is available. I had to check repeatedly, but eventually was able to do that with our late November reservation at the Westin Princeville. My fear would be that, if I cancelled and then rebooked, a 4* or 5* owner on a waitlist would get ”my” booking. And I have to think that there wasn’t a waitlist on OP‘s property, because it really wouldn’t be fair to somebody who waitlisted prior not to get the cancelled unit.
 

okwiater

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The waitlist doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t really work at all. There was a thread a couple years ago where some TUGgers tested it, and proved the “waitlist” was just a Vistana employee manually checking the normal availability pool on a periodic basis. It would be more effective to just log in and check the availability yourself once a day.
 
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