For those fun select few people who also like to stalk the availability tool and make one day waitlists to piece together tough-to-get trips, I became aware of a relevant change yesterday. The policy in writing (at the bottom of the waitlist confirmation page) has always said not to book multiple one day waitlists or you may have to switch rooms. In practice, I have NEVER experienced this to be true because Member Services will always merge them into one reservation if they match and are in the same accommodation at the same resort. There is no notification about waitlists being deactivated if others match in a similar time period.
I currently am trying to book a 3 night stay in April/May for a renter and I waitlisted the 1st and 3rd nights. When the 1st night matched, they automatically deactivated the waitlist for the 3rd night. The only other time I have ever experienced a waitlist being automatically cancelled was when the waitlists were for the SAME night. I know that that has always been part of the system and they can’t get around it when the waitlists are on the same night, allegedly.
The Member Services cast member I spoke with yesterday said that he was surprised they’ve been deactivating any waitlists near each other lately if one matches, and he has complained about it himself. He said it was a recent development that he has noticed happening frequently. So I guess there are other people that strategize like me. 🙂 His tip was to make sure to call promptly if you get an email that one waitlist has matched. I’m honestly not super worried personally because I typically call every morning and ask if my waitlists have matched, and find out they’ve matched that way. This was the first time one matched without my knowing, because it happened on a holiday. If I had called in and caught it first, I could have told them not to cancel the other one (apparently…I haven’t tested this yet).
Subsequent to this happening, I created waitlists for the 2nd and 3rd nights of the trip, and found out they both matched when I called in this morning. They must have matched simultaneously. The cancellation of the nearby waitlists seems to happen during the actual manual booking of the reservation part of the process, not the part where the system matches the night. When I called in, the nights were showing up as “matched” in the system but had not yet actually been booked for me. This is pretty typical in my experience. There seems to be a 1-2 day delay between the system grabbing a match from someone’s cancellation and a staff member actually applying it to your reservation.
As background for those who are unfamiliar, the reason people would create single night waitlists as opposed to a waitlist for the full length of their desired trip, is that the entire length of the waitlist needs to match in order for your waitlist to match. If you create a 7 night waitlist and someone cancels a 5 night stay, those 5 nights will go to someone who potentially created a waitlist after you. They won’t hold the 5 nights and wait for your last 2 remaining nights to match. They match waitlists in the order in which they were created, but your full stay has to match. So the shorter the waitlist, the quicker they match, since odds are people may cancel trips that don’t perfectly line up with yours. It isn’t totally fair, but if someone has been sitting for months with a waitlist for the three nights I’m trying to book, and I created my single night waitlist yesterday, if only the first night became available, my waitlist picked it up before their’s did.
So I respect that this change is protecting people who make longer waitlists. It is protecting them from everyone switching over to doing one night waitlists all the time and jumping in front of the longer waitlists in line. It is also keeping my competitive advantage (and the competitive advantage for others who are as actively involved in the process as I am), since I can keep doing things my way, without every single person doing the same thing, because most people aren’t too eager to call in daily to check on their waitlists matching. I talk about it as a competitive advantage because we are all “competing” for a limited inventory of rooms, lol, I view it as a game because I’m a weirdo and it is fun for me.
The people who need a heads up are those who are sitting idly with single night waitlists for nights near each other (non consecutive) and aren’t aware that when one matches, the other will be deactivated (without any notification).