The sharing of travel ideas is one of the terrific benefits of the Insiders forum. Information provided by the Marriott representatives to our policy questions is another. merb and The specified item was not found. and previously ansaa have all done a yeoman's job of tracking down info for us (especially considering that as members of an outside firm http://www.saltcomm.com/ , they no doubt get the run around when they inquire); and johnl has
effectively handled several of our Rewards questions, so by no means is this a complaint about their significant contributions, just a reminder that some issues are still floating around out there (several where the answers haven't been decided yet).
Will there be a gift card bonus this year? No
Will the Marriott/United deal be extended? Yes, extended to 2/15
Are we still allowed to opt out of resort fees? It is a property by property decision - every man/woman for themselves
Do you earn points for paying resort fees? No
Do we earn points for the Marriott CCard renewal fee? No, but maintenance fees for timeshare charged to card due earn points
Why do Marriott Reward Offers exist that are higher (for the exact same room) than the Standard (cancelable) Rate?
Since it's unfair to pin this on the media team, I'll take a stab - Because we can, nothing to see here, move along
Who are the Tell Arne bonus points recipients?, Anadyr and brodiejoseph
and one that actually is a complaint, but not about the media team;
Why does the Marriott Cypress Harbour an Orlando vacation club property which only has 2 BR villas, list itself as a Category 7 and shows 35,000 points per night on the Find and Reserve screen only to inform you when you click View Rates that it's actually 45,000 per night (Category 9)? Are there others like this? Really Marriott? What next SpringHill Suites that say $99 for a room, but when you click View Rates it's $139 because it's a suite? It's one thing to look for rates for several nights and see the lowest rate quoted and discover it's the lowest of the four or five night stay (we've discussed this in the forum and essentially agree to disagree, but at least it has an element of truth), but the points example is just outright deception, the room will never be 35,000 points.
and before my good pal IAHFLYR writes in and asks;
Is erc crazy? this has been answered, like Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjluRCKL8R4
If there are other questions, please add to the list, because with this media team and NathalieF, issues will at least be researched.
Why do some properties NOT have rooms available either for paid or reward nights 11 months out? I've asked as well as others have asked NathalieF this question and have yet to get a satisfactory answer. A brand new property and you are not able to book it, places in Hawaii, can't book it, places in Europe, can't book it.......WHY?
Good topic erc and one that should always be on the Insiders Home Page!
This is an excellent question. Can't believe that any property is totally booked 6 months out, let alone 11 months out. Especially for Elites. What really gets me is that when you somehow succeed in securing a room using points (usually by calling your elite res number), the parking lot at the property is not even half filled. Makes no sense unless everyone is car pooling.
Community Manager responded on 11/26 to - why rooms aren't available for points even tho 9-11 months out
Essentially the answer: rooms should be available, but aren't always due to inventory control or the fact that not all properties participate in the no blackout rule
Before giving up, call reservations and give it one more try.
Hot off the press - merb just posted the following regarding earning points for resort fees - although a disappointing answer, we do (or at least I do) appreciate the straightforwardness of the research - thanks.
"So, I talked to the specialists, and this is what I learned: The resort fee is a tax-like fee and as such, they are not eligible for point earnings. Resort fees are equated to additional taxes that the resorts charge and are classified by each hotel differently. If the resort fees amenities are not "used," it can be refunded".
She no doubt is still researching the other resort question - opting out.
Here is what the last ruling on resort fees were - per the Marriott representative at the time;
Laura the Marriott representative answered on April 20, 2011 at 8:20 pm
For any reward redemption stay you may choose whether or not you wish to pay the resort fees for the additional amenities, opt out entirely, or opt out and pay a la carte. If you decide to pay the resort fee you may pay with points using an “instant redemption award” (for properties that support instant redemption), or you may pay cash.
Thank you merb for your efforts - they are appreciated (and I'm visiting a resort on your home island next month, so it's quite meaningful to me as well)
ps - for all who think that I'm a chowderhead and missed the part about the fees can be refunded if not used, I didn't. I just want to hear if that is the classic, property by property scenario (which of course is better than nothing - like the Mega Bonus) or a policy.
Ouch. Well I think every one of us has 'learned the hard way' in one way or another about the Rewards program. That's the beauty of the Insiders forum, we all share our ideas, tips, and yes, memories to optimize our travel experiences and shorten our learning curve with the program. You wrote a terrific response to profchiara's post about changing the past, and that's what it's really all about anyway, isn't it?
We're very fortunate to have our little Rewards issues as issues and most forum participants realize it, so we all have a good time commiserating (or at least I do ) with the few, we happy few, band of travel brothers, over the decline of civilization, otherwise known as the Rewards program benefits erosion. Great to have you on board, keep posting, we have a lot to learn from you.
Final Question has been answered. Post is now officially completed. Thanks to merb, joshm and community manager for their diligence in tracking down all of the answers to the Pending Questions.
Last question answered:
Resort fee - property by property, cut your best deal.
As Phil Esterhaus of the old, old, old show Hill Street Blues used to always say, "Hey, let's be careful out there".
I've got another question to add to your list erc!
Forgive me if this has been asked already, but will Marriott Rewards continue it's point rollover program?
By the way, regarding the resort fee question, the Waikiki Beach Marriott does allow gold & platinums to opt out of the resort fee (at least when I last stayed in March).
Where the heck have you been, on a honeymoon or something?
1) Points rollover - do you mean expiration of points or nights rollover (nights rollover are still alive)
2) Waikiki resort opt out - yes, that's what I've been told, but it ain't over till it's over, so we'll see
3) As a Law Enforcement financier, you better know who Phil Esterhaus is by time I get out there
See you soon. Won't be able to talk much, I'm learning the words to Mele Kalikimaka
Thank you sir! I was referring to the elite night rollover
Nice to know that's still going on at least!
You know, I had to look up who Phil Esterhaus is. I've never heard of that show before haha! I'm more of a Law & Order, Castle, and Hawaii Five-O (of course) kind of guy
So you gonna sing for us at dinner?
To help with the pronunciations, check out my blog post:
Hawaiian is a hard language and while most locals do get it reasonably ok, we don't pronounce a lot of the stuff the true way (myself included). Like Hawaii for example, it's actually supposed to be like Ha-vah-ee with a very short pause in-between the vah and ee.
He mea iki! Or as we like to say in the continental US, "you're velcome".
No, fear not, no singing from me, if we get the Mrs. to down a few Lava Lava drinks, she may belt out a verse or two (although that might frighten Mrs. Harada into thinking she's seeing the Ghost of Christmas future ).
Interesting that the vowel sounds are similar to spanish - but, I'm sticking to Aloha and Mahalo, that should cover it for me. See you soon.
ps - got my Alan Wong's, Duke's and Roy's (hey, what's with all the apostrophes?) all lined up. Will chat with you at dinner for House w/o a Key and other ideas (don't write now, my head is exploding from driving directions!).
That would be hilarious! Don't think Mrs. Harada would be afraid.
But haha, local people rarely ever use Hawaiian. I personally don't unless I'm at work, but even then my knowledge on the language is even worst than my Japanese or French haha.
But yup, we'll definitely talk about all that stuff when you get here! Look forward to seeing you soon!