The New York-based company owns chains such as Sheraton, Westin and Le Méridien, and believes that some customers who carry “Miles and More” cards – a frequent flyer partnership between Lufthansa and Deutsche Kreditbank (DKB) – may have been the victim of illegal charges during their stays, daily Financial Times Deutschland reported.
The paper specifically named the Sheraton Hotel in Frankfurt as one of the affected locations, citing customer credit card bills that showed illegal charges in the US after they had stayed at the hotel.
The “Miles and More” card is popular among business travellers in Germany, the paper said.
“We have been informed of the problem and are investigating the incidences,” Starwood told the paper, adding that so far there has been no evidence of data abuse in their computer booking system.
The problem may be the result of electronic failures similar to the glitch that caused banks in Germany and Spain to recall some 250,000 bank cards between July and November of 2009. The cause of the problem turned out to be a computer accessing the data.