OK, too much time on my hands (my wife claims) and too much posting make for a weird idea that just popped into my otherwise empty head.
What if Marriott exercised its option, the one shown below:
OK, I know this is a remote possibility but then it is clearly spelled out in the terms and conditions that we are standing on a tenuous ladder here. Seems to me that the t&cs used to say with advance notice of six months this might happen, but I can't get to the page where I read that, if I ever did. But in a strange alternate universe it might be an idea that is rolling around in some board room somewhere. Who knows?
But, let's say it happened, and the program evaporated? What would you do? Would you hope that the other lodging companies did not adopt a wait-and-see attitude and then not follow suit? Or would they?
What I am asking here is what is the depth of your Marriott loyalty? Is it so important that the quality that Marriott offers would supersede your decision on where to stay? If everyone, including the other chains followed the lead and the programs disappeared, what would you do?
Not a poll just a chance to tell us what you think. The answer that they would never do this is already stored in the memory bank for this post.
This may not be so far fetched. Take a look at the MVC program. It did not go away but nobody seems to be able to explain where it went. At first blush it seems nice but you can never nail it down. The people, salesmen who are pushing it don't have a clue. Unlike the origional MVC people who knew their product you get a lot more "but it is an improvent, you get more for your ownership, and YOU JUST HAVE TO TRUST US". After almost two years I can not find any true improvement on anyone who thinks it has improved.
I am a true Marriotteer and will continue to be but I am not completly confident in the full faith and credit of Marriott.
Jep and SS,
Your points are very well made!
Look at the things that have changed just in the travel business in recent years. Now American Airlines may merge with US Air. Many places have gone the way of the "Do-Do Bird". I am just glad I am not into "Time Shares". Hope I am wrong, but my desires to "Own" much of anything are minimal anymore.
Great question, thanks for the opportunity to discuss this issue.
After experiencing first hand the 'scorched earth' approach Marriott took with the Marriott Vacation Club, I wouldn't rule out any possibilities. We have seen the many ways they have currently undertaken to 'de-value' our points and who knows what might happen when those ideas run out.........
It would be open season for me.....my loyalty was/and is being severely tested with the MVC experience and it only goes so far. I'm still loyal but I'll be 'on the move' if they breach those waters.
It is fascinating to see what has happened with MVCI--I am not an owner and have sat through both old program and new program presentations. In short, it never made economic sense for me, and I told the agent that. Yes, this is shows what can happen to any program. I think, as was mentioned elsewhere, we might be victims of the death by a thousand cuts--the airlines have perfected this by reducing everything we want and making us pay fees for free flights! And at the same time we put up with overcrowded flights and poor service. I think eventually this will reach the Business and First Class passenger group as well, most of whom appear to be upgraders not full fare payers anyway.
The bottom line (in spite of contrary posts) in my view is that nothing is forever, except change, and that is not always for the better.
Well put....and the reach to the First Class upgraders may be near at hand!
With the current 'discussion' about a merger of American and USAir, I think that would open the gates for all kinds of further 'changes' to the 'upgrade' programs....like a system where an upgrade would be for a fee and points to fill the seat as opposed to the upgrade by status pecking order they use. I'm Platinum with USAir and I know the addition of the American base of customers would severely water down my upgrade possibilities. I have been upgraded on every flight so far this year and only not upgraded once last year....that will surely end......
It boils down to numbers and competition--the merger mania will certainly make it harder to do things with miles. I was actually insulted that I had to pay 80 bucks for the privilege of cashing in my miles on United to get to Denver on short notice. Otherwise the prevailing fare was $1340! So I forked over the 80 and complained all the way to the Terminal. Snagged an exit row--a major victory these days--and no one sat next to me so I could enjoy my complimentary coffee and dog-eared magazine in comfort!
Airlines are the bow wave. Hotels are watching customer acceptance of reduced benefits. You can draw your own conclusions, and I already have.
SS, that's the bottom line for me too with regards to MVCI. It just doesn't make economic sense, although some people can afford to overlook that, and good for them. The airlines are the worst, which is why as a purely leisure traveler, I don't bother to collect FF miles. Tried it with Alaska Airlines for a while, but then when I would cash in for a free ticket, I couldn't get a decent flight (could drive it faster than the free ticket itinerary). "Ohh, you want the same itinerary you usually take? Well, that'll cost you 35-50% more miles." Live and learn. Will never get enough miles on Qantas for a freebie, Air France and Lufthansa don't partner with each other... FF miles are for business travelers. The free nights with Marriott are a much better pay off for me. If they ever go away, so will I.
With the merger of Continental and United I am a Million miler with the new improved airline but they tell me in the fine print that no benefits accrue from that. I only use United, Delta or American in a rare pinch--Virgin and Jet Blue are my carriage of choice these days. At least the snacks are free in steerage.
Just heard about the Titanic on the hundredth anniversary: Even third class passengers were served sitting down and for the first time for many of them, they had a menu of choices. So calling it "steerage" was an insult to the Cunard Line and those ill-fated passengers, Leonardo DiCaprio included!