As Platinum benefits are reduced year after year, this makes excellent business sense. Marriott provides an additional incentive for travelers to 'stretch' their Marriott plans/nights, any additional incremental costs created by having/maintaining a larger platinum base is A) countered by the additional stays and B) can easily be offset by further reducing benefits if necessary.
Also as Marriott adds newer Platinums to the base, they have an elite base that having never experienced suite upgrades, appreciate the high floor upgrade; never experienced weekend Concierge lounge benefits enjoys the continental breakfast; never having received a welcome amenity gift is thankful for the $10 F & B discount etc etc etc (as shown by several comments in this very forum). Thanks for sharing, all information on Marriott promotions is helpful to Insiders as we implement individual strategies to optimize our travels.
This only benefits Marriott if they are able to hold this "loyalty base" of platinum members! If they don't raise the level of recognition and train hotel staff to treat these guests "as our most important revenue stream" this accommodation of extending membership is useless to them.
They (management) refuse to realize that a room is a perishable item. If it goes empty on any given night it can never be recouped.
I would love to know how many suites go empty in major Marriott properties each night. These empty suites, a little or no extra cost to Marriott, could have been used by a platinum member that is in the hotel staying in a 290 SQ FT room.
Like Chairman Ben and his QE programs with money, Marriott can (and as we've seen, does) just keep on printing out platinums (or in one fell swoop bringing in millions of elites with trades). We long time loyal Marriott customers are IMO, unfortunately on the wrong side of the financial equation and are no match for the uptrend in business travel, Marriott's industry leading revpar, and their near term, virtually unlimited, new business development (along with their very effective financing agreements and capital raising programs).
I agree with your intuitive feel that there are no doubt many upgrades going under-utilized, but as Marriott's own pricing guru D.R. Roberts stated on the CNBC profile, they'd (understandably) rather leave a room empty than alter their pricing strategies, so I can only imagine their attitude toward ungranted upgrades. We probably are better off not knowing the statistic.
This forum is filled with literally years of forecasts of Marriott's new service approach to Rewards elites being harmful to Marriott's financial performance. But as John Paulson found with shorting CDO's, being right ahead of its time, can be a costly approach (or in our case, if we don't react, harmful to our satisfaction of overall travel experiences). That's why this forum with an exchange of ideas of how best to deal with the current environment (as opposed to using too much energy trying to change it) is invaluable. Keep on keepin' on Insiders.
Meanwhile, I have 162 nights this year (and had to fax two missing stay requests yesterday for more stays in late August), but in all reality, while I might be PP again, I will also be fighting for the $10 coupons and limited upgrades with people with 100 less nights who couldn't even make 75 nights with roll overs from the previous year.
Good point Bookworm. I've grown to take for granted the reality of Marriott's attitude toward long time travel loyalists, that I left out the understood, but unmentioned, "it makes excellent business sense for Marriott, given that they have already alienated Premiers, Lifetimes, and decades long elites, so incremental dissatisfaction among them is low". Millenials, new elites and new markets are where Marriott is placing their efforts, we're yesterday's news.
It is just disappointing. I continue to watch the requirements for the most elite level become less stringent while the benefits become more and more watered down. I know whining on a message board doesn't solve anything, but this new extension offer is just a kick in the gut for those of us who are so loyal. I could maybe understand doing this for Gold, but Platinum?
As erc, and many other rabble-rousers can attest to, and to which he has so eloquently stated (ad nauseum) I might add, to the endless corridors of deaf ears in Maryland, "It is what it is, and that's all there is".
Take for example this poor, young, hip, member about town type, Marriott elite, (A millennial at the time), who went out with her friends for a bachelorette party (note the tiara), and chose a Courtyard, because back then "free coffee" was a deal breaker !
As you can see, she is still patiently waiting for it's return.
Brushing aside your harsh latin (I'm sure my mom loves reading her bundle of joy's pensive writings), I agree, it is what it is, and that's all there is" (Marriott apparently is taking its customer service cue from Popeye).
As if to demonstrate our gerbil in the treadmill, apparent quixotic challenge, here's a post dealing with almost the exact issue more than three years ago, http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/26141#26141
To: My rabblerousing friend
Please forgiveschkae the punshkae.........pig latin ?
We all love reading your pensiveness.
My previous latinesque verbiage is in no way, an attempt towards an indictment against you continuing on your journey to Nirvana....Home of the free, and land of commensurate benefits....................................................YOU KEEP GOING GERL !
I suppose I could have left out the "ill" reference, but as you know, we............(well, most of us long term, ex koolaid drinking, rabblerousing, doppleganging, " AKA - most valued customers", P and PP's anyway) and we just got "sick" and tired of fighting a fight that can not be won, as the heir apparents to the Marriott focus are none of us. The referenced post was normal for years then, and is still a common theme today, hence the disdain that still permeates the boards, but apparently does not osmose the hermetically sealed vaults between the ears in Maryland
I am glad you went to the "Dark Side" competitor down in Mickeyville, I have never had a bad experience there and they know how to consistently treat their elite members.
Just wanted to drop a quick line before another flight.
Regarding the bundle that your mother was referring to....are you sure it was "joy" ? LOL