I have always valued my status as a gold elite and now I am questioning what does it matter. I recently took a vacation with my wife and when we checked into a Fairfield in Dallas. I was welcomed as a gold elite member and then I asked if there were any upgrade rooms available. I was told by Rebecca that there were not, that they were full for the next week. The parking lot was not full and it was 9:00 pm on a Friday night so I went to the room and went on the internet and brought the hotel up and found that I could book an upgraded room for each of the 3 nights I was going to be staying. My wife then called the front desk and asked Rebecca if we could be upgraded because we went on the internet and found they did have upgraded rooms available. She stuttered a bit and said that the internet had to be wrong and that there were not. I then called the reservation hot line and asked about booking a room at the same hotel and asked for a suite for the same 3 nights and was told I could book one. I did not but I did go to the front desk and confronted Rebecca and said I did not like being lied to and that I would be talking to her manager in the morning. She called our room 5 minutes later and said that she did some checking and that there was a suite available and that I could move first thing in the morning. At 8:00 am the next morning I called the front desk and was given a suite to move to. This room had to be available the following night but I was not moved to it then. This was the first issue with this hotel. That morning when I was having breakfast I was taking a bagel off the tray and had the tray taken away from me by the food attendant as I was reaching for a bagel. I asked if I could get one of them and she said it was time to put everything away. The breakfast area was a mess. Food all over and most of the trays were empty and even the orange juice was all gone. This was all at 9:25 when it was scheduled to close at 9:30.
The next morning the same attendant was having an argument with a customer because they were out of yogurt.
After our 3 days in Dallas we left for College Station where we had a reservation at a Courtyard. When checking in I again asked for an upgrade and was told they didn't have any. Because of the last experience in Dallas I checked the internet when I got to the room and they did have all the upgrades available. Then I called the hotel front desk from my cell phone and asked to make a reservation and wanted a suite they said they had all the different suites available and in fact the person made the statement that everything was available because they were not very full. I decided it wasn't worth the hassle that we had in Dallas so I did not confront the front desk but I would need to evaluate whether or not I would be staying at any Marriott's in the future.
I had reservations at two other Marriott's during this vacation and they did upgrade me and thank and treat me special for being a gold elite member so I do feel better about Marriott's but I really am questioning the value of giving them most of my business when there are some of their hotels that outright lie to me and treat me like a burden. I am also starting to think back on all the times when I have been told that they have not had upgrades previous to this. Were they all lying to me?
My question is "what is the value of being Platinum Premier for 9+ years in a row?"
This is EXACTLY my problem with Marriott upgrades on points - there are so many terms and conditions, not to mention the hotel's whims, that suites or other upgrades are (at least for me) more often than not nothing better than a corner room or one facing the pool versus parking lot.
I have several posts here at MRI where I describe taking the same steps as you on multiple occasions - - >
I have even taken additional steps at time of booking at 1-2 days before arriving, such as:
So - guess what happened with my last vacation? I was "upgraded" from floor 3 to floor 6, did your seven bullets (all checked out), reviewed my four bullets with the GM and was essentially told, "we only have to provide you with an upgrade, not a suite. To have a better view of the beach being three stories higher is welcomed by all our guests - it's the best we can do." I had to spend DOUBLE-POINTS to get a second room on floor 6 for the kids while the wife and I had our own room.
You want the answer......No value!
I often wonder why any of us have loyalty to a particular hotel or airline these days. It continually comes up where Platinum members are not given upgrades as pingreeman mentions and it appears to be spreading like wildfire throughout Marriott properties.
Why does Marriott not train their GM's to train their Managers and associates to provide their loyal customers what they advertise as a perk? Does anyone in this corporation give a rats ankle about their customers who have spent nights in their beds and putting billions of dollars into their bank account? My guess is NO, and then you have the other folks who get status just by signing up for the UA offer, hope they are not getting the upgrades of any kind.
I have Gold status and have had mostly negative experiences at Marriott properties with regard to upgrades. I have recently been told that there were no rooms available on higher floors on recent stays - I wasn't asking for a suite or a corner room. The parking lots were nearly empty and all types of rooms were available online. My response was to book the next few trips at SPG properties where upgrades were provided either without asking or with little effort. Plus, the Club Lounges are open on the weekends and available all day.
It is frustrating to see that a room type is available and to know that there would be very little extra cost to the hotel to provide the upgrade. And there's the fact that the agents tell you that they aren't available when they really are. I can only imagine how the Platinum guests must feel. I could fully understand being told that upgrades aren't available as the hotel is full or that they want to accommodate Platinums.
That said, I did receive a junior suite upgrade at the Marriott Burbank in July without requesting and a nice upgrade at a RI a few weeks ago.
I would respond that it depends on the hotel brand and the situation. I have rarely been upgraded at Fairfield Inn & Suites, Courtyard, Townplace Suites, or Residence Inns. I am always upgraded at Marriott, and usually though not always at Renaissance and Autograph Collection properties. I have never actually checked the websites to see if what I am being told at the front desk is accurate. Maybe I should start. The benefit I have had the most trouble using however is the complimentary breakfast for those properties that do not have a concierge lounge. There are so many exclusions and loopholes that you could drive a truck through them. I discovered the hard way that one must always read the fine print. I recently stayed at a Renaissance Hotel in Michigan. I had stayed there previously and have always been offered a complimentary breakfast because the property does not have a concierge lounge. Renaissance is one of the brands that is supposed to honor this request and the hotel is not on the list of specific locations that are excluded. At check-in I was surprised when they did not offer it to me. I asked about it and was told that complimentary breakfast was not available to gold elite members. I complained to the staff and they did not budge. I then called Marriott and complained to the Customer Care staff. After much back and forth I finally learned that because this location has the word, "Resort" mentioned in its title, the are exempt from this requirement. Sure enough, at the bottom of the terms and conditions section relating to this benefit is the sentence that resorts do not have to offer free breakfast. Why I had been routinely offered this benefit previously at this property as well as other Marriott resorts was never explained to me. In summation I would say that gold elite status has value but not as much as one might initially believe.