There has already been a lot of 'walking' to little impact, we just don't currently have the leverage to shift the momentum. I'm in agreement with most others (or with at least those of us who have stayed), that the other programs have similar warts and at least with Marriott, it's the devil we know.
I don't necessarily view the points as freebies. Although I would certainly remain pleased if concerning myself over point devaluation was my biggest issue in my advancing years, I do view the rewards program (as I do breakfasts at Res. Inns and Fairfields and the Insiders forum itself) as an arms length transaction benefiting both sides of the transaction (customers of Marriott Dulles Suites noticed how their weekend rate immediately went from $67 to $76 once they provided weekend breakfasts). Marriott of course has every right to manage their program (I do recognize that it is theirs to do as they please) and shame on me if I don't respond in the manner most effective for myself, as many of us have.
I have shifted my energy away from attempting to influence Marriott's direction and focused more on how to best play the hand dealt to me, thus again, pointing out the value of Insiders, highlighting the best rooms, deals, restaurants, transportation strategies etc (for which Marriott gets a forum of experienced travelers to interact with and use the communication however they wish).
It is a given that members of MR fall into a category of society that, at the least, would be considered a few plateaus above average (socially and economically).
We travel on airlines, eat at above average restaurants and stay in Marriott properties (rather than Motel 6 or a La Quinta Inn).
Extrapolating on that assumption I will go out on a limb and state that the majority of us are also better educated as well as simply smarter than the average citizen.
Therefore we should be acutely aware that we, or some other customer of Marriott, is paying for every point we are awarded (or earn if you prefer that description).
The cost is passed on to the consumer in many ways - hotel charges, credit card fees etc.
Simply said, every time we are given the opportunity to receive extra and/or points more easily, someone is paying for them. Or, their value is reduced. That is a fact of life that isn't going away.
We see this constantly in hotel category changes and increases in hotel charges.
As erc wrote, we have talked about this "ad nauseam" . It is almost analogous to Mark Twain's line "everyone complains about the weather and no one does anything about it"!
WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. We also don't have the right to do anything about it.
What WE CAN do is enjoy getting these benefits that OTHERS ARE PAYING FOR! I have no figures or statistics to back this up but I would guess that at least 50% the benefits I receive when using points have been paid for by someone else!
The main "gripe" I have is the very top tier of Marriott's customers, those individuals that stay overnight in Marriott properties some months more than in their own bed, should GET SOMETHING THAT TRULY REPRESENTS MARRIOTT'S RECOGNITION THAT WE ARE IMPORTANT.
That my friends is the only thing we can hope for.
(My sincere apologies for turning this comment into an essay)
Very strange. I just wrote a thoughtftul response to misterchk only to have it rejected when I tried to send it…..
Anyway, I am in total agreement with Husker on this. We hash and re-hash the same subjects over and over with nothing ever changing. I respect everyones opinion, but wish that those that are unhappy with Marriott pull up their tent, find a better mousetrap, and report back to us loyal souls the path to Heaven…. I will be the first to join you when you do so.
I had the same "failure to load" occur a few minutes ago.
As a teacher with limited travel-time opportunities (and a modest silver elite badge by my name), I'll take every point, discount, deal, or any other perk Marriott Rewards wants to throw my way. I'm certain my expectations are lower than those of many road warriors, but in the 10 or so years I've been in MR, I've never had a bad stay at any Marriott property--knock on wood. And because my traveling is primarily for vacation and enjoyment, I'm usually simply looking for a place to relax and unwind. For the 20 years prior to joining MR, the reasons for and the style of my travels were virtually the same as they are now, but without the rewards. For me, the benefits are worth it, and they're appreciated.
I like the comment from foxglove. The one thing I really like about Marriott is how they treat you well if you stay there 365 nights/year or if it is your first time there. Elites at the top level get all kinds of benefits that are not given to other customers. Some benefits are definitely advertised better than they actually are, but they are benefits nonetheless.
In terms of getting something that truly represents Marriott's recognition that their top elites are important, that's a tough one. If Marriott did a focus group and put a good number of top elites into a room and said we want you to brainstorm on what you should be given every year (within reason) so that Marriott can reward you for your extreme loyalty...would there be a consensus? Would the top 3 or 4 ideas even be that great?
I think Marriott should consider doing a focus group though. I'm not seeing much loyalty research being done by Marriott.
The depreciation of points does not bother me because Marriott is no different than other hotels in this respect (from what I've heard). It does force you to use them sooner than later if you are hoping to optimize their value, which can be an inconvenience or cause you to lose status (taking many stays on points instead of $), take unnecessary trips, etc.
the best thing about this forum is the people and their willingness to accept opinions without trashing the writer. Not the same on all sites. But I really don't think any hotel will step out either better or worse( maybe smaller regionals) as will no airlines. So the differences are on the margin. Yes I get upset with Marriott but as some have said I never have been in a Marriott that I wanted to leave right away due to cleanliness or other reasons. So as long time LPP will be still complain at times but stay the course
I would like to add a couple points. There are people out there who are always angry and upset and complaining (and my guess probably NOT justifiably so). What makes these people think they are so special? Yes, your revenue is important to Marriott and yes you absolutely should be treated well. My guess, most Gold and Platinums if you flat out ask them do you get good service and rooms and perks, they will say yes. To those who never seem to be happy and actually think going to other brands will somehow get you a grand suite at every property you check in to (HA!) I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the fact is the grass isn't always greener. I have nothing against baby boomers. But as a Gen X/Yer, ('82) I am really tired of hearing about how unhappy those complainers are with the program. Fact is, there will always be a GenX or Gen Yer out there (and remember, that was YOU 35 years ago) ready to book that room on business, take that vacation, or schedule that meeting. It isn't that you don't deserve good treatment, you absolutely do. However, look at it this way, if MR started in 1983, and you had lets say 20-25 good years in the program, you did really well. If someone like myself who started their career in the early to mid 2000s, we got into the program much later than you and probably didn't get anywhere near the same fantastic perks and treatment you received in the 80s and 90s. I think these complainers should be happy with the fact they had many many good years in a program and even though it might not be as good in your eyes as it once was. Look at it from my perspective, I was only able to be part of the program during the time you think it was going downhill. I am happy with MR and will continue to be loyal to the brand. I will always look to stay at Marriott properties because I truly like staying at them.
KS please forgive me for referring to you as "my young friend". What it great about this whole "venting" process is that we have the same concerns even though we were born 30 to 40 yeas apart! I only hope that years after I'm "out of here" you and your generation will be "carrying the flag" of valuable loyalty customers of various service companies.
(now for a little misterchk stupid humor) - BUT please don't insult those of my generation by referring us as "baby boomers"!!!! I am not now, nor have I ever been a "baby boomer".........!!!!
In spite of my mental maturity level (attested to by those who know me best) of a fourteen year old, I fall into that generation known as "war babies" (1940-46). Not sure how many of my generation are left in MR - with my "big mouth" I imagine I make up for the smallness of our numbers (LOL).
Bedtime now - 'night John Boy!
If, in fact, I was born in what was called the "quiet generation", I was kicked out of that group back in elementary school. I spent more hours in the principal's office than the classroom due to my "big mouth"!
I totally agree with the idea of venting. I do it all the time! I did misstep and lump people into a group of Baby Boomers and probably shouldn't have but my observations seemed to fit that label so I went with it even though looking back I probably could have worded that better. Yes I agree with you that when it comes to my generation "carrying the flag" I do hope that happens and things are prosperous on both sides for many years to come!
This will prove to you how old I am - 4:30AM on the "Left Coast" and couldn't sleep so decided to watch the latest "House Of Cards" on NETFLIX and throw around some of my immature comments.
For future reference, the majority of my posts reflect my mental maturity ( 14 years old ) not the physical!
I just thought it was funny how many of the newer generations have forgotten there are a bunch of us that were born during WW2 (my actual birthday is "D Day").
One last quip - I've been around so long today used to be "Washington's Birthday" holiday.
HAVE A GREAT DAY
I have, at one time or another, achieved top status in Hyatt, Hilton, MR, and Starwood. To me, all brands have their own quirks, both good and bad. My experience is that all seem to offer a decent room and decent service (at least close enough for me to hardly tell a trend and/or difference among the brands) and with relative consistency. I would even argue that the loyalty programs are similar enough to essentially be "a wash" between one program's & with another program's & . Case in point: a few years back, I posted on MRI that Hilton members earn more points faster than Marriott but rooms in similar cities are cheaper on MR points than Hilton, but the difference was so slight, I had to take my calculations to two decimal points for significance. Consequently - - - -
I postulate that Marriott Points are an investment in Marriott by the MR member rather than an investment by Marriott in the member.
So,if you are willing to generally agree that hotel rooms and loyalty programs among the "big boys" are homogeneous, then the earning of points is really an investment into a brand rather than a reward and as such, investments can grow or shrink depending on the marketplace.
Consequently, I wish I could spend my points on guaranteed suite upgrades rather than see annual deflation in value.
great post, and hits at the beauty of Rewards programs. did anyone really think these programs were set up for the benefit of the customer?? In some quarters this is called getting them "hooked on the heroin". Pure and simple, that's what these programs were developed to do, and they have been most successful. That said, there is a new generation of folks that may not buy into these loyalty programs and the companies may need to re-think the basic premise of them.
marriottmemberfromla (us West Coasters might be the only ones still up - and I'm dosing off as I type)
Haven't seen full service properties that are closing CL's - did come across a few "all suite properties" that never had any even though they cater to business travelers (breakfast was provided in the restaurant for elite members)..
I don't believe that the deterioration of a point's value will spread to the reduction in benefits or services. That would be counter productive to retaining loyalty members. We will, as I and many others have commented, will find those perks will be there but at a higher amount of points.
I wasn't insinuating that Marriott Concierge Lounges would close...I didn't clearly state it...but what I wanted to say was that the grass is not always greener. I was talking to a Starwood member the other day and she said the Concierge Lounges at Westins are not as good as Marriotts. I really wouldn't know how Marriott's CLs rate against other brands though I think the Concierge Lounge at Marriotts are pretty good for breakfast and then mediocre at night (with some exceptions).