A lot of discussions have been focused on what's wrong with Marriott Rewards and reward programs in general. So, what would Elite Status perks look like if you could design it from the ground up? Or if you feel like being really ambitions, what would Marriott Rewards as a whole look like if you could design in from the ground up?
I'd love to hear what our very own Marriott team things as well... don't worry, we won't hold you too making it happen!
To help you along with your ideas, check out this blog post: http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2014/07/13/hotel-elite-status-perks-id-like-to-see-added/
Personally, I like the fact that lounge access is granted to Gold & Platinum. I also like the fact that Internet access is free to Gold & Platinum, but should this be expanded to best available Internet plan? Not just the slow plans? Maybe grant Silver Elites free (slower) Internet access?
I'd also like to see guaranteed late checkout of at least 4pm for Platinums and 2pm for Golds. Confirmed, free upgrades should also be available to Platinums for at least a number of reservations per year. Guaranteed early check-in would be nice, but thinking reasonably, isn't that big a deal. What I would like to see is the Bonus point award for Plats PLUS free bottles of water in the room. Heck, Andaz (Hyatt) lets you have at it with the mini bar free of charge, except for alcohol medicine.
Resorts definitely need to be included in the complimentary breakfast for Plats & Golds too. Marriott gives them too much leeway in terms of Elite benefits, and even regular MR benefits.
In terms of the program as a whole, I'd like to see award stays count towards Elite status. Marriott has the most difficult to attain elite status in the industry, so maybe easing up on that a little bit would help. Oh, and eliminating the reciprocal benefits program with MileagePlus.... Let's just not have that kind of relationship anymore. Period.
Would also like to have the rollover policy changed. For example, I'm Plat right now, but I know I'm not going to stay a whole lot this year. But rather than letting me rollover the points I earn this year, I lose them because I didn't re-qualify for my current tier and will be dropped to Gold. So what incentive does that give me to even stay at Marriotts at all if that's the case?
I'd also like to see Elite Status credit return to meeting only Rewarding Events.
First, because your aviation geek partner IAHFLYR's name is conspicuously missing this makes me suspicious that the two of you are just trying to distract me from grabbing that sweetheart of a deal at the Essex House (the $600 room going for $500 - ps that's made up by erc, hold your e-mails). Second, painedplatinum something I did in Seattle (along with a terrific visit to the Boeing plant in Everett - if you head to Vancouver and it's bad weather, pull into Everett) which was wonderful, but again probably not in January, was a tour of Seattle in a sea plane similar to the one in the picture. But I digress;
Of course, IMO, any Rewards programs suggestions would take so long to finally implement (and you have some excellent ones), that at my stage in the system, the new benefit probably wouldn't benefit me anymore. In this environment of record sales and stock price, I'm focused more on actually keeping what we already have (like the cancellation policy, the 5 nights for 4, free internet at whatever speed, breakfasts, etc). But these types of posts generate enormous interests and participation in the forum and every now and then actually nudge Marriott toward a mutually beneficially change (weekend breakfasts and hotel reviews being removed from the front page), so I'm in total support of your quest and wish you well. You are the right man for this job - with years and years ahead of you.
Be sure to send me notice at my nursing home when you install the new rollover program, the nurse may get confused and it could improve my health .
Missing because I bribed him with points to leave me out of such a cerebral discussion.
Great tip on the Boeing Tour in Everett, and after the tour they have a great restaurant next to the Washington State Ferry Pier, just can't remember the name right now. Sometimers has kicked in this morning.
You caught us! IAHFLYR and I were conspiring to abduct you and convert you into an AvGeek via UA's sophisticated brainwashing system
Totally agree with you by the way. We need to fight to keep what we have, but with other brands showing up Marriott Rewards in many ways, perhaps this should be a discussion on what additional benefits would be needed to complement the current ones we enjoy, in order to persuade us to stay?
Hmm... I'll have to give this some serious thought.
One thing I'd like to see about the MR program in general would be an option to choose a MegaBonus. My travel schedule varies greatly. In the summer I might easily meet one of the mid-tier options. Other times of the year, I could probably only manage the lowest level promotion.
If there are 4 options, I'd like to choose the one best suited to my planned travel during that particular promotion period without having to call customer service to have my pre-selected offer changed.
Now, what perks would I like to see added? I'll get back to you on that one kharada46.
Nice topic kharada46:
1. I agree whole-heartedly with bejacob that it would be nice to pick our MegaBonus, although historically I have earned a ton of points. In my retirement years I would like to have more flexibility.
2. Bring Marriott Resorts more into line with the Full Service Marriotts. Get rid of or waive the Resort Fee for Elite Members. Provide BF for the Elites. Look into Lounges, etc.
3. Count stays at MVCs toward the MegaBonus, as well as stays where you use reward points.
As erc articulated I'm definitely interested in keeping the benefits we have currently. Thanks again for posting this thought provoking topic.
Elimination of resort fees would be great too... at minimum!
I also forgot, what about special parking rates for Elites at all properties?
kharada46, I agree on the parking issue. It would be nice to see discounted parking based on elite level much as the bonus points percentage increases (maybe a 20% discount on parking for Silver, 25% for Gold and 50% for Platinum).
The UA reciprocal benefits aren't a big deal, but they are far better for UA premier members than for MR members. Currently, United Gold and up get MR Gold, but for going the other way one needs to be a MR Platinum just to get UA Silver. MR Golds should get UA Silver and MR Platinum should get UA Gold. Dropping the whole thing wouldn't bother me since MR members don't really gain all that much from it anyway.
It is important to keep the things we really like (5th night free, CL access, free internet).
I'm sure there are other things that would be nice to get, but overall I'm pretty happy with the perks we have now. Of course I'll probably think of something else to add right after I post this.
Did you really have to start on the UA and Marriott thing again bejacob, just when I had almost forgotten about the shafting Marriott Elites took on this entire deal.
As I'm typing this I'm wondering why, yet again...
But, like Scrat and a particularly delicious looking acorn, I just can't resist commenting on these threads.
Shortly after joining MR in about 2006 I joined flyertalk and although the wish list was long and varied 3 particular points were the constant refrain of MR Gold/Plat:
1. Free breakfast 7 days week.
2. Free internet.
3. Benefits to be valid in resorts.
2 out of 3 wishes granted isn't bad and does suggest Marriott pays attention to these threads.
ON this basis I join in again...
1. Benefits valid in resorts
2. Resume full lounge access at weekends, recession over!
3. The return of Premium Pounds/Bonus Bucks promo's. Loved 'em...
4. Lifetime points counter, it becomes more important as you get nearer the LT target
5. Choose your megabonus online
To my mind all these are cheap and easily achievable, the fact that elite benefits are meaningless at resorts remains a mystery, the second is based upon a straight fact, I'll admit the 3rd is my own personal drum that I enjoy bashing and the last 2 are pretty simple software improvements with no cost implications.
MMmmm, that acorn...
All good points brightlybob. Especially, these so-called Resorts need to be reminded they are part of the Marriott family and act accordingly, especially when dealing with Elite Members. This also applies to the MVC properties who are sometimes oblivious to your Marriott Reward status. I've even had one of the MVC desk zombies tell me "your Marriott Platinum Premier status means nothing here." In actuality my MVC Premier Plus status seems to mean nothing to some of these MVC properties. Thanks for your important post brightlybob.
Let's be clear here, you PlatPrems practically LIVE at Marriotts and your loyalty should be recognised throughout the chain. This is one reason why I maintain status at both Marriott and IHG as whilst Marriott loyalty recognition is good at Gold/Plat level it's pointless making the BIG sacrifices to add to that as Marriott allows parts of their inventory, notably MVC and resorts to decide the program doesn't apply to them...
Very good points brightlybob! While I've never been a PlatPrem, I've heard a lot about poor recognition and lack of differentiation from Plats. It would be nice if Marriott HQ took our community serious... We are the most loyal members and want to see the program and the organization as a whole succeed... so why not listen to us?
And really... what was up with not including the LT counter in our profiles with the recent update? A missed opportunity that seemingly wouldn't have been all that difficult to implement.
Love your reference to Scrat btw. Best character of that entire series!
brightlybob - In recognition of your 3rd bullet and my constant begging of MR to allow for guaranteed suites on points, I refer to a post from 2010: Unusual email from Marriott Corporation wherein the VP-MR had a conversation with me where I asked for this perk. The VP told me that MR was hoping to have such a program "within the next 18-24 months" - but the software kinks were the biggest issue. (I am in IT so I have a hard time accepting this as a major hurdle.)
So here we are, more than THREE YEARS LATER and still no guaranteed suites on points. My take-away is that even though Marriott "listens" too often nothing of substance results. I made a promise to myself that until MR initiates a guaranteed suite on points program that I will avoid Marriott venues and since late 2012, I have 250+ nights through HH and 40+ nights through SPG (both offer guaranteed suite upgrades at resorts on points-only). To be "fair" I should mention 1 night at Marriott during this time period.
So I continue to pound my personal drum (as do you) regarding this as my "personal" perk. However, I am pounding the drum with my feet by walking away from MR and to HH / SPG until that drum is heard. Is anyone listening?
An excellent post of issues in general Unusual email from Marriott Corporation