Sad news to report. Not the way we wanted to kick off this new website, but the news is the news. Yesterday, I had written about how I was still foolishly optimistic about Chase and Disney. We’re not feeling so optimistic anymore!
We spoke to two separate Chase Sapphire cruises and tours agents today. They both confirmed that on Friday, Chase sent a memo to their agency saying the cruises and tours department (run by Connexions) is no longer allowed to book anything Disney. That means tickets, hotels, and perhaps most hilariously, cruises. Apparently there had been a lot of discussion around the office about it, because one of the agents I spoke to hadn’t been in Friday and one of her colleagues interrupted our call to break the news to her. I asked the agents if they thought the change was permanent, all of them seemed to think so. (At least for as long as Connexions is running things).
I was able to confirm that any existing Disney reservations, including cruises, would be fine. However, I have a “placeholder” cruise with Disney right now – I made a deposit onboard my last cruise. I was able to transfer the reservation, including the 10% discount, to Chase two weeks ago, but as of right now the agents I spoke to weren’t certain if that particular reservation would be honored.
I asked the Connexions agent whether this was because of the move over to Expedia, but she wasn’t sure. She also wasn’t sure whether Chase would even be routing calls to Connexions in the future. That’s something else to monitor, though as we said in our previous post, we still think Chase will have to have some sort of travel concierge. But I guess we’ll see.
If we can book hotels and tickets through the Sapphire portal (once it’s powered by Expedia) like we can through the Freedom portal (already powered by Expedia), then all will not be lost. We’ll still be able to get 1.5 cents per point of value from our Ultimate Rewards points on Disney purchases like tickets and hotels which can save a bunch of money.
Losing Disney Cruises, however, would be pretty painful. I hope that gets walked back though I’m not so certain. And since we now know that Chase shut down the Disney stuff, that’s even more worrisome.
Update : sounds like everything is dead between Chase and Disney.
As an amusing final note, I called Citi Thank You Rewards cruises and tours department to make sure they could still book Disney tickets, hotels, etc (they can).
Agent: “Well, sir, as of last Friday we could, but we are no longer able to…hold on…”
Me (internally): “Oh, !#!#%!%!”
Agent: “Sorry about that, I was thinking of another program we work with. What would you like to book?”
So, make that three agents confirming Chase no longer will book Disney stuff through its cruises and tours department. (After a laugh, the agent and I had no problem pricing out Disney tickets to pay with Citi Thank You Points). Also, now we know for certain that Chase and Citi use the same Connexions agents!