Seems that some Luxury hotel brands decided that they treat every guest the same (as in very well) and have eschewed starting a points-based reward for staying loyalty program.
Click Here for details.
Makes a lot of sense. If I could afford to stay at Four Seasons Hotels all the time, I too would eschew Loyalty Programs. While enhancing the stay 'experience' is a very necessary thing, it's my opinion that point-driven loyalty programs struck a chord of those of us that have been on expense accounts, could not stay in high-end properties, and felt we were 'gaming' the system by staying on our employers nickel while earning free nights for our vacations. I think that the framework of the Loyalty Program is still valid and simply needs to be tweaked to maintain its relevancy. Of course, the type of stay experience that the younger generation is lpooking for is vastly diofferent than what we wanted and that needs to be the focus on Hotel Brands today. That said, I do believe strongly that everyone loves free stuff and point-driven programs are here to stay,
Being around Marriott when they crafted their program I recall that the intent, so effectively executed for decades, was to maintain their superb customer service for all, while 'recognizing' (similar to the article's comment about the luxury programs storing profiles) those customers who consistently chose Marriott as their brand when traveling.
Whereas I agree with arkwright about the DYKWIA attitude that has crept into the system, I certainly am not apologetic in saying if I'm checking in, after logging over thirty years of stays with Marriott (and more than 75 a year many, many of those years) and my daughter who just the night before got a room thru Priceline (probably cheaper) and ended up with Marriott by chance, is also checking in, that it should be me who gets the better of the two rooms available.
I smile at the Ritz' smug attitude - 'everyone should be given the same, best class service' - yeah, as long as you pay the $150 per night club lounge addition (which is fine by me, but don't act like you're an egalitarian for the proletariat) . Whether you call it a loyalty program, a practice of knowing the guests' idiosyncracies, or recognition of customers' preferences, to me it all seems to share the same goal -improving the guests' stay to make it more "personally meaningful"; and the more you pay, either through annual expenditure or nightly rate or both, the more the brand is willing to exert effort to enhance your stay . Again, no problem by me, as a matter of fact, now that I've paid, I'd like the recognition, promising to continue being appreciative and behaving politely.
So you liked it without knowing what it meant, eh? Better be careful about that, given your expertise and contacts .
"The goal instead should be to make everyone the same, and (sic) honored guest" quotes added by me.
Making everyone the same - seems to be coming true as we see tighter and tighter squeezing of the benefit differentiation (think platinum premier and platinum or the dramatic surge in all elite level membership and so on and so on).
Insiders inside note: I'm still heartbroken over california quail vs. quail, I was planning a celebration (but at least my quiz instincts remain intact). First Andy wipes out my merrie melodies cartoon (where I really did recall a quail being chased by a bobcat - or something like that) and then I had defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. Oh well, Happy Father's Day.
I tend to agree with this totally.
For myself I pay for all my stays (not on the company dime), so loyalty is not driven by stays & points to use when not on business, its quality of the property. I find these Elite catergories do create an expectation that may or maynot be met. Do I desire some acknowledgement for staying at one particular brand many times, yes I do...but the question is how can that be done, for me mostly my Platinum status with Marriott has granted few benefits, if I like the property I stay there.
Occasionally I use points to give me some free nights but in the long run if I booked on Travelocity or Expedia all the time I would have saved as much anyway.
All this chatter about free coffees and free breakfasts, hey maybe the hotel should just offer that to everyone and most of the time when you book through a third party that comes with the booking anyway.
Hotel pricing is very complex (and thats another topic), but in general I find these points programes are more a "sugar pill", it makes you feel good when you get lounge access etc. but in the end for me its all about my own personal preferences regardless of the hotel chain I choose.
anadyr, your posts bring a smile to my face. You are like the little anarchist using a nail file to scrape at the brick wall of structure. I wonder if you really believe what it is you are saying, or are you just putting it out there to get a response.
Loyalty programs have evolved into necessary and valuable tools for corporate chains to utilize and manipulate their sales revenue. They have the ability to "steer" the membership, through "special offers", and "discounted rates". When in truth, they could just offer these rates, and limit the number of rooms that would be available at those rates. By making it available to those with "status", they are able to stimulate the interest in the advertised property, generate a few extra guests for that property, and still not interfere with the guests that are paying more money than the "special" offer.
If you did away with the loyalty programs, and priced rooms at hotels along the lines of an airline model....you would see the occupancy rates in the hotels go way down. No, I am sorry, but loyalty programs do have a HUGE benefit to the corporation. The programs help to fill hotels, when they would otherwise have empty rooms. They make the "loyal" member dependent upon the program, by promising "benefits" and offering "rewards". They are the masters holding the stick with the carrot at the end of it, dangling it in front of the mule, making the animal do the work that must be done.
You are a smart man. You get my point. Do not "poo-poo" loyalty programs. They serve the master much more than you are portraying. Those who are against rewards programs are those who do not have well established ones or those who do not travel enough to take full advantage of them.