I have decided to leave the program after attaining the Platinum Premier level this year. I have stayed nearly 1000 nights in Marriott properties over the past 6 years and feel that Marriott really does nothing special for their Platinum Premier members. While a few properties, thank you Marriott New Orleans on Canal Street, do recognize my status and offer additional amenities, the majority of the US properties that I stay in really do nothing special. As a frequent flyer with Delta, I am often upgraded on flights ahead of time and without asking, so why is it that Marriott doesn't have the same ability at their properties to offer upgrades ahead of times. I think it would be or would have been extremely cool to get emails from the properties ahead of time saying that your upgrade is confirmed upon your arrival.
While some Marriott Reward members may feel that I am just complaining, I truly don't expect a red carpet out for me when i arrive, but I do feel that if you are going to offer the "unpublished" Premier Elite level, then you need to make it something that is truly different. If you are always treated the same, then this level is not worth the title. Therefore, I began this week with HiltonHonors. From what I can see so far with three stays this week alone with Hilton, I am going to like it better.
And another one bites the dust. As story after story like this pops up over the various social media networks; Marriott Insiders, Flyertalk Marriott Forum, and even Marriott Rewards Facebook, it becomes evident to me that the economic effect of these departures is apparently being overshadowed by strong financial performance elsewhere (possibly new target audiences, brand extension, overall economic growth or combo of them all). The longer term impact of this avoidable (as witnessed by competitors gobbling up disenchanted Marriott elites) negative word of mouth of long term loyalists has yet to be seen. These types of departures and posts do once again remind me that it's no longer a 'family' (and I don't mean that in a naive consumer way - but in a business driven market share perspective) and that information from these types of forums become invaluable to the elite looking for service worthy of the years of business previously provided. As a former business partner of the Marriotts used to sing; jmring, "Happy trails to you".
I am fairly new to Marriott having switched from Hilton Honors just over 2 years ago. So far I've attained "only" Gold status, however the reception I've received has been far superior to Hilton, We were Hilton Platinum so there is the ability to compare.
Upon check-in we have been warmly acknowledged, upgraded,and thanked for being loyal Marriott customers. This has been both in the US and Europe and staying in brands ranging from Courtyards to Marriotts to JWs to Ritz Carltons! Often there are unexpected amenities such as fruit in the room.
The ability to use points for free stays is much better and the bonus nights are just that -- a bonus! As long as there is a Marriott property convenient to our travels, I will choose it,
Good Morning All
Well, this subject will likely be discussed forever. There are points well-taken on both sides and the old axiom "the grass is always greener" holds true. Quite honestly, the 'benefits' attached to one's status, whichever program you are referencing, are easily compared and contrasted. Hilton promises this, Marriott promises that, Hyatt professes to promise something else. Each have their differences, and each program's benefits can be weighed against the others. Easy enough. Now the hard part. How does one weigh the unwritten benefits, the above-and-beyond, the stuff that actually makes all the difference in the world in judging a company. It's that stuff that is judged by each of us through the prism of our own eyes and is weighed differently by each of us. Those attributes tend to solidify over time and are not harmed by an occasional disappointment over a lounge closure, or missed upgrade, or a errant front desk person who doesn't welcome us with acknowledgement of our supreme status.
Yes, I am a Marriott person. I have plenty of 'beefs', many of which I have blogged about, but none of them have ever been enough to make me seriously consider changing loyalties. Actually, I see the Hotel companies as all very similar. Kinda like McDonalds, Wendy's, Burger king, Jack-in-the-box, etc. I am a McDonalds person and I am sure many folks are Wendy's people, etc. To each their own. At the end of the day, they all provide much the same in product and services, but, for some reason, we tend to fall into line with one or the other. My point is that Marriott's competitors would each likely satisfy any of our's needs and anyone that wants to give them a try, should, by all means, do so. Give it a try. But, for me, I have a long -term relationship with Marriott that has definitely had some ups and downs, but for this weary business traveler, I find comfort each night out on the road when I enter my home away from home.
Exactly. I'm apparently a lifer also. That's why all of the traveling tips and insights from this and other forums (with the possible exception of Facebook - that seems to swing between a lovefest and an 'occupy' zone) are so valuable. It's just disappointing to see folks (many who contributed greatly to this forum) who could probably have pretty easily been kept, allowed to slip away. Oh well, we just keep on, keepin' on.
I tend to look for a Marriott first and when there is no Marriott stay at another. I do find things elsewhere that I wish Marriott would do but then Marriott does do some nice things.
Example: I had a stay at a Hampton Inn reserved with a non-smoking king. I got there and they sent me to a room with a queen. I went back to the front desk and they said my reservation was for a queen. They offered a king and I asked if it were the handicap room and they said yes. I told them I wanted what I had reserved. I called reservations and was told that I had a king. I went back to the front desk and the man looked at the history of the reservation and I did reserve a king and it was changed at the hotel that day. At that point he told me that the policy was to give me the room free and I could have any room that was left. The price of rooms there was $350/nt. This was impressive. Marriott has never done this for me. I have had many bad rooms and in almost all cases don't even get a discount. I am only silver at Hilton and platinum at Marriott.
I was there a short time ago during prime summer season. The one I stayed at just opened a few months ago. There is a Homewood Suites in Jackson as well, could that be where you stayed? That one was the same price as the Hampton. Perhaps you got that great rate because it was not prime season? I just checked and it was full in the near future but the best rate for Sept 14 is $312
Makes one wonder why Marriott does not have a hotel there.
My two cents....
Have been in the Marriott rewards program since the 1980s, Platinum many years in a row while traveling for work, and now a Lifetime Platinum.
I like Marriott because it has been consistent. Other chains I stayed in were incconsistent. One hotel was great, another horrible and I never knew what to expect. I would get pulled into employee dramas as they battled management and tried to get customer to speak up for them. This has never happened at Marriott.
On the other hand, I remember when the loyalty reward program was the gold standard for the industry. I was always upgraded into a suite if it was available. Now I have to ask if I have been upgrade not just when I check in, but after I am in the room and can't figure out what part of it was the upgrade. There was never a question about breakfast, it was in the CL, or in the restaurant with coupons. European Marriotts felt bad they had no CL, and always gave suites.
Now the gold is wearing thin, and I never know what I will expect.
I remember being in Kuala Lumpur when I was in the Hyatt Passport loyalty program and using points to stay. I got to the hotel, and they would not honor my points reservation even though I had all the proper paper work from arranging months before. I figured if I was going to spend alot of money, I'd stay in a great hote, so went into town (Hyatt was out of town on a golf course) and stayed at the Shangra-la, I wasn't even in their loyalty program, but was so distressed over the incident they put me in a nice suite on a high floor, and it was great.
I just hope that with all these franchises, that Marriott does not end up going down this road unconsciously. When the properties start making the rules, no one will ever know what to expect.
I think you hit the point that no one knows what to expect. However, when we push, they tell the hotels not to offer additional benefits. We have to work by calling ahead to find out if they will be giving breakfast, et. Elsewhere, one said it was like begging. We should not have to do that. Maybe, they shouldj post on their website what is offered.
Sometimes we need a change. I've been with Marriott a long long time. I have stayed in plenty of other chains, Hilton among them, but overall, I still prefer the Marriott Brand Hotels. Good luck, and if you decide to head back this way, please stop in and share a few travel stories.
As was stated earlier, "another one bites the dust" !
Yes, I still review the MI site from time to time to see if there are any tangible changes to the PP status...................For my long time as a PP, there have not been any besides the annual trinkets.
Over my 27 years with Marriott, I have complained yes, but also I have commended, where commendation was due. Unfortunately, the complaints far outweigh the commendations.
I do not know of one single enhancement to the PP status in recent memory, can anyone ? All of us "old" PP's have continually asked, begged, pleaded and threatened for some sign of life in Marriott to show that they "care" about their "most valued loyal guests"..........(at least thats what all the promos and personal snailmail documents have printed all over them). it has been the same for many years, all talk.........."we really are making improvements", "there is extra value in being a PP", "please be assured our executive team and committees hear your frustration at perceived reduction in benefits, and are working diligently towards an ameniable solution". "Perceived" reduction in benefits ? No more award point Carribean All Inclusives is just perceived ? Did not an email from Marriott come to us last September stating such ? How many millions of dollars have to spent on this website to run damage control when all we want is beneficial action instead of lip service ? In March, I finally became disillusioned with non action and chose to no longer stay at Marriott properties.......Once a true blue Marriott loyalist, I had enough and am spending my $'s( and making all arrangements(rooms and meetings for the other 22 associates I schedule for) at non Marriott properties. I wonder how many $ 290,000 hits Marriott wishes to absorb before they choose to really show they care ?
I dont blame you a bit for switching. (BTW, send an email to IHG/Hilton Customer care and ask for "Fast Track" to Diamond/Platinum status)..........usually it is about 20 nights over a 3 month period...........be sure to send them a screen shot of your PP status/copy of your PP card.
You can view my previous contentions and rants/raves from my previous posts over the years, if you can find them on this frequently changed, (some say upgraded) website......
Dejamo, I agree with you.
From my prospective we the members are to be blamed as well, since I see again and again many of the BLOGS seems to get derailed from the subject at hand and conversation loses its focus!
Thus we never get real satisfactory resolutions from Marriott to many of the real issues and concerns the community at large is trying to address. Point devaluation, BOGO offer, European Hopper, Weekend CL Breakfast, etc., etc. I believe if we are focused on the topics and subjects on hand we may get satisfactory resolutions to some of the concerns and issues.
It's unfortunate that we have these discussions on a too frequent basis. But, that, I don't believe, is the fault of the MRI bloggers. It's Marriott not answering the questions of many as the aggravation level grows. Heck, I'd just like to get the benefits we are promised!
As an example of Marriott fumbling and bumbling......here I am at the Union Square Marriott in San Francisco....I check in Friday afternoon. The associate recognizes my status and says, 'Oh. let me get the extended hours schedule for the CL this weekend'. I think...GREAT...I'll get a little extra 'bene' this weekend...lucky me! The associate returns with a schedule that has the REGULAR CL hours closed from Fri noon until Sun eve. I said this schedule was no different than what it normally is and I get the 'yeah, you're right' answer when they look at it too. Now, the rest of the story......
I get back Saturday and find that a letter has been shoved under my door....it says 'To Our Valued Elite Members'.......our CL is closed all weekend including Sunday and Monday night........
No 'sorry for the inconvenience'...just 'we're closed'........and if you have any questions call At Your Service and ask for a manager.......
How's that for taking care of your loyal customers.......now, it might have dawned on these folks that maybe they should have said....take this letter to the bar and receive a free appetizer (consistent with the CL offerings) while you enjoy your favorite beverage so they could 1) take care of their elite customers and 2) they wouldn't lose the beverage revenue from the CL.....but, n-o-o-o-o-o, just we're not here.
I am thanking them for their loyalty to me by eating and drinking elsewhere this wekend.....and I usually spend $50 to $100 on drinks when I'm in a Marriott over a long weekend because I like to close the night with a 'nightcap'. Not here.
There's more here to this story but I'll do a full report after I leave. In summary....nice place, but..........
I agree with you as well, not the "Insiders" fault, but rather the fault rests squarely on the shoulders of MRI.
For me anyway, I got tired of having to ask for things that should be automatic. The preverbial "straw that broke the camels back" was the quarterly bonus structure. Their "bestest, mostest loyal "Elite" guests have to call and get their bonus structure changed because they went rouge on us and started randomly assigning crapola.
I had neither the time nor inclination to continue wasting my time with them.
Good luck getting ahold of "a manager" to listen to your issues (I just called them for the hell of it, and they said that the manager was gone for the evening and someone would be back Tuesday morning, unless it was an emergency they were not going to disturb them).
I for one am quite happy with MR progarm. I stay a large number of nights each year, but having them use the $$ I run thru my Marriott Visa toward days in the program (which they added just a few years ago) has been great. We charge everything (including my business expenses) thru the card and earn points toward stays and Platinum. We just turned in points for a great stay at the Eden Roc in Miami (wonderful property) and even though we were staying on points, we were upgraded to a suite with to die for views. Maybe they don't fall down and worship you when you sign in to some properties, but I find the program generous and anytime I have had ANY issues, their support folks have been great. I will be staying put with MR and I tell everyone I know to join up.
Good for you !
Your positive attitude will go a long way towards making your like more pleasant with the Marriott mantra.
"Worship" is not exactly what the top guests for a company would expect (I know certainly I don't). Maybe it's the "some properties" you mention that are in question. And over the past few years, the "some properties", have turned into "a lot of properties". Basic courteous status recognition and amenities would be a start, and an increase or at least a recognized increase in amenities between the Platinum level and the Premier Platinum level would be another.
"Not being able to please everyone" is usually a given, but even though the "Freddies" are highly promoted as a JD Power like attainment, and the WSJ subsciptions, solar chargers and the like are supposed to show appreciation for our loyalty they do little for the top road warriors to keep us in line and accepting the status quo, when the status quo is many years.
There has not been one benfit increase shown for their top customers in many years, al they have been doing is devising ways to increase revenue without commensurate amenity increases...................Platinum/Premier Platinum........no tangible difference..........after 31 December........I am demoted to Lifetime Platinum..........LOL.............again in the same boat...........I guess I will have to find the right "other hotels" if I am forced to use a Marriott property in the future.........
No longer drinking the koolaid is the path many of their top customers have chosen, and I submit that most, if not all are a lot happier for making the moves that we did.
As long as you are happy...isnt that what matters?
We are missing "Demajo's" insights and his primary point!
He is talking about "There has not been one benfit increase shown for their top customers in many years, al they have been doing is devising ways to increase revenue without commensurate amenity increases"
Yes over the years we are in ongoing fashion loosing the value of the benefits of Marriott Points, hotel categories are going up, required points are going up, etc, etc. This is not about getting a nice room upgrade is it?
I would settle for maintaining the benefits we have had over the years, and why I have invested into this program.
I have been observing an erosion of the loyalty program benefits, and being nickeled and dimed.
Have also had to spend so much time managing my visit ahead of time to try to maintain my benefits and have a pleasant stay.
Feel like I am part Philly lawyer (apologies to anyone from that wonderful city for using the expression).
I do want to acknowledge the one new benefit on the MI website. The insider of the month gift check which I just used, and was a very nice benefit. Based on everyone's comments about problems using gift checks, I warned the hotel on checkin, and it was a bit rocky using it, but with the help of platinum support line, the property and community manager, was able to use it for the stay. The other very nice bonus, is that I received full points for the stay.
So thankyou MI website for the nice perk!