I have been requested to engage the "Princess Poll" once again to try to uncover any issues with receiving upgrades to the concierge level while booked on a discount rate. Some recent posts have indicated that some hotels have not been honoring the upgrade policy when discounted rates were booked.
So the question is......when you've received a complimentary upgrade, what rate did you book? Please weigh in at www.travelprincessdiaries.com and let's see if we can provide some ammo to our fellow posters who have downgraded.
Nicely done. Thank you for taking the time to put the poll together. Among my 3 choices is 'Other' which merits clarification. I have enjoyed complimentary upgrades to Concierge, 1 Bedroom Suites and Executive Suites using discount coupon rates clipped or printed from RoomSaver.com and/or TravelCoupons.com
To elaborate briefly, I can share with everyone that the lions share of Marriott hotels that participate in either of these discount coupon books will only accept them on a walk-in basis. In fact, they can be quite adamant about it. That said, there are a notable few who will book a reservation at the coupon rate and are extremely cooperative about honoring requests for complimentary upgrades as Platinum Elite.
Candidly, my experiences at these properties have exceeded expectations compelling repeat stays using points or various rates including AAA, promo and negotiated. It's also worth noting that the Front Desk associates at these properties have significant/life-long tenure with their properties or with Marriott.
I've never paid "full rate" at any hotel. For work, I pay government rate, pleasure either AAA or some Marriott leisure/weekend rate. I can probably count on one hand the number of times over the past nearly 10 years when I wasn't upgraded to either the concierge level or a suite. If marriott is discriminating against lower rates, you couldn't prove it by my experience.
Very surprised to get a call from the West Des Moines Marriott an hour ago from Bridget at the Front Desk to remind me of my stay there tonight and to let me know that I'm blocked into a concierge level suite. I can deal with that kind of service. Although it wasn't necessary, I thought it was pretty special for her to call my cell to welcome me. Nice going West Des Moines Marriott!
Just a follow up -- Great night at the West Des Moines Marriott (not to be confused with the Des Moines Marriott). Upon check-out, I dropped off a comment card to the front desk manager thanking Bridget for the extra effort and the top-notch service. Let me add that the concierge lounge at the West Des Moines Marriott nearly always (I stay there about 50 nights a year) has two hot dishes in the evening that easily satisfy my supper appetite. Again, kudos to Bridget and the West Des Moines Marriott.
"what rate did you book?"
Interestingly, the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University published a paper in January 2010, "How Hotel Guests Perceive the Fairness of Differential Room Pricing."
This brief extract from the Executive Summary is intuitive,"When customers perceived hotel revenue management practices to be fair, they are more likely to be satisfied with the hotel and are more likely to return to that hotel in the future. Hotels theoretically can charge as many different rates as they would like, but if customers view the hotel’s rate policies as unfair, they are unlikely to patronize
the hotel in the future."
Directed towards hotel revenue managers, the paper explores the factors that influence guest perception of fairness including familiarity with pricing practices, the provision of rate information and hotel brand.
Ironically, Loyalty is not addressed as a factor that influences perception, but considered an outcome. I say this because Marriott Rewards enjoys popularity (32 million members) and tenure (26+ yrs). Earning points to get free nights is a big driver that influences repeat stays and repeat stays drives Elite status. So, the underpinnings of the report reveal a gap in thinking. Does anyone agree?
I really how the peer survey is evolving and wonder if there might be a way to engage the Insiders community with another poll that ties together 'fairness', 'loyalty' and 'frequency of stay' and any other factors that merit inclusion. Just a thought.
Great comments!! I know this information is helpful, but it would be most helpful if it was something we could quantify. There have been a lot of views of this thread, a lot of hits to the TPD website, but only 8 voters so far in the poll (6 others besides TJC and me). Please go ahead and take the princess poll so we could better organize the information you have given us. The website is:
The poll is right on the home page.
I stay in full line Marriott hotels. Over the last five years I have averaged over 100 night a year. I pay rack rate. I have been upgraded less than 10% of the time, and almost 100% of the upgrades have copme from 1 hotel. I ask all the toimne and mostly get a snicker and a hopeful promise "maybe next time". It's pretty sad. On a positive note, my wife and I were upgraded at a Ritz Carlton on Maui on a rewards stay.
"100% of the upgrades have come from 1 hotel"
With the exception of 1 hotel that will upgrade you, your expectations are rarely met. What is your preferred way to book a reservation? Do you rely on booking online, call Elite Reservations or call the hotel directly?
The poll on the home page sums up the sentiment pretty well. A whopping 98% have an expectation about receiving a confirmed upgrade.
This is happening much more frequently. I have to book w/business travel service & they always book lowest rate @ site. Last year, upgrades happened regularly. This year, in 23 stays, have only received upgrade when I inquired if any were available.
Automatic upgrades must be a thing of the past.
"Are you suggesting that one method of reserving a room may yield better results? "
Not exactly. Will a hammer drive a screw? Perhaps. How reliable are the results? Online reservations delivers a room. Engagement seems to deliver personalized service with consistent results. How does one engage?
Let's open this up. Anyone else care to comment?
Thank you to all who participated in the poll. There are 12 voters so far and 21 votes cast. By looking at the results, it appears that upgrades have been given at all rates:
3 votes for full rack rate
4 votes for discounted corporate rate
4 votes for discounted governement rate
4 votes for AAA rate
5 votes for points
1 vote for other (which TJC explained was for using coupons)
I will leave the poll up for a few more days so those who havent participated will be able to do so.