So I bit on Flash Perks this morning, only to have achieved nothing but an unpleasant after taste. At 11:59 am CST, I waited for the flash perks to go live. Refresh, refresh, refresh. It took until almost 12:03 pm for it to become active. Then - nothing. No flash perk availability on the reservation calendar that my flash perk click sent me to. Refresh, refresh, refresh. Nothing. At 12:05 pm, I contacted Marriott reservations, as I knew it would sell out and didn't want to miss the opportunity. The (very nice, pleasant) agent had never heard of flash perks. She put me on hold and while I waited, the half price did show up - for a millisecond. When I clicked on the date to reserve, it went from points to dollars. Back to the calendar, and the half price was gone. The girl came back on the line and told me she was going to check one more thing. While holding, refresh, refresh, refresh. Finally the half price showed up again (and for ALL 34 of the advertised dates on the calendar and by this time 12:10 pm), but it only would let me book one night at a time. I booked the first night and then tried again and again and again. Nothing, but the full price. She came back and said unfortunately it was sold out. There were 34 nights available in the advertisement, all during winter and up to 10 rooms/night. That's a lot of rooms and a lot of nights. I fail to see how it could be sold out - IMMEDIATELY. A lot of frustration and time wasted (plus the pre-flash perk airline research). Frankly, I think Marriott Rewards Flash Perks is a scam or at the least a joke. The web app (combined with the Marriott pricing matrix) is deeply flawed and/or there really aren't as many rooms/nights available as advertised. I have no faith in it. The reservations associate transferred me to Marriott customer care. I then relayed my experience and disappointment only asking that the customer care associate pass it on to "the greater team" in hopes that something could be done to effect improved future outcomes and though he said he would do that, he could not possibly have stated so with less enthusiasm or concern.
I will not waste my time or energy chasing Marriott flash perks in the future. Honestly, this is yet one more disappointment in a string of disappointments (CY lobby coffee/bistro fiasco, hotel category increases, MR Plus Points that never happened, loss of category 4 and 5 certs, lack of upgrades and recognition, breakfast and platinum arrival gift downgrades, unknowledgeable and/or unengaging associates, inferior customer service in the U.S., etc.) that Marriott has created for it's customers this past year. I grow less and less enthused and motivated by the "benefits" of Marriott Rewards over time. I realize that I am not a high revenue customer, however I am (representative of) legion and we are many.
If anyone out there has had a good experience with one of the flash perks "real" deals (a lot of the "perks" are not deals, imo) please tell us about it.
"Good Experience"?!? I don't think there is such a thing. I also had the same pathetic experience.
Checked availability to Renaissance Hong Kong at 12pm CT. As soon as I tried to select more than one day, all of a sudden points converted back to 35,000. Refreshed and went back to try book each day separately and all rooms for all dates were back to 35,000 points. Refreshed several times and nada. Complained to Marriott Rewards on Facebook and went to lunch. Came back 45 minutes later and decided to look at website one more time (don't ask me why, maybe I was looking for more punishment). All of a sudden, voila! several dates were magically listed at 17,500 points. Tried to book again and guess what? Nothing was available again.
This website is a scam...bait and switch. They get you to try to book at an incredible deal, then switch the points back to regular rates before you can book anything.
I'm very disappointed in Marriott Rewards. I guess if you use Flashperks to purchase merchandise, you'll have a better experience. But don't expect to book any rooms...their reservation system is terrible.
Yes, my experience was very similar, rkung. I think the website is easily overwhelmed, which creates a huge amount of frustration and disappointment for those of us who end up caught in the cog. In this case, poor technology equals poor customer service and satisfaction. Very uncivilized (like crawling on the floor chasing after spilled nickels) and not worth it.
Like you, I went back later and encountered exactly what you described. After more wrestling with the Marriott alligator, I ended up with a Friday night and a Monday night. I have to pay for Sat and Sun. So it's a 25% savings instead of a 50% savings (plus airfare) to go somewhere during the cold weather/shorter days season. 50% (and a three hour headache) might've been worth it (maybe?) 25% and that poor after taste in my mouth is probably not. It's like fighting for an ocean view that you were offered and payed for, but aren't getting upon checkin. Who wants that experience?
I may be one of the only people satisfied so far with my FlashPerks. I reserved a room at the NY Marriott Marquis for Labor Day weekend - Friday through Monday. I believe the deal was one included in the very first week of Flash Perks, so it may be in part that not many people knew to look for the deals yet. I did book within the first hour of the Flash Perks going live, but I had no issues with the reservation process. The correct price (half normal points) were listed, and things went well.
As a side note, the stay was pretty great too. I was upgraded to a Times Square view room, and the room itself was significantly bigger than I was expecting considering the location.
You're not the only one disappointed. Someone on Flyertalk posted his experience w/ NFL Flashperks that cost him more than if he had just purchased the room & tickets separately. Also others were po'd that one property (forgot which) was sold out within seconds (literally) of the Flashperks starting. What I find interesting is that the merchandise usually sells out faster than the hotel packages & most of the merchandise deals are lousy from a points redemption vs. what you can actually the item for. I don't even know that all the hotel deals are selling out because a lot of them are weird dates or short notice or nonrefundable. For those who can take advantage of them I'm sure they work, but to me this is more of a marketing campaign for Marriott than anything; a tad more sizzle than substance.
The first two threads over to the right in the More Like This column were authored by yours truly. I believe what we have all learned in dealing with Marriott and their 'deals' (be it Elite Offers, CyberMonday, FlashPerks -whatever) is to go in with low expectations and then not be shocked when even those are not met.
I posted has anyone gotten a FlashPerks deal and received squat in participation (I found several NFL deals without the tickets). This is the key to Marriott getting away with this level of all sizzle and little steak - innocent bystanders don't speak up until they're hosed, and then we're onto the next shiny object or the newer members of Insiders who can't understand all of the complaining.
In the other FlashPerks starting July 17th, brightlybob and I discussed how if we could squeeze one deal out of the process in the entire 12 weeks, given the track record of Marriott 'deals', we would regard that as a major victory.
As I wrote today, I, as a long haired, overfed, leaping gnome, n'er do well, can go virtually anywhere, anytime and yet until today, I could not put anything even close to a deal together.
You are dead on correct Pluto. Marriott seems to often get by with customers splitting among themselves over "what's all the complaining about?". Not me, in spite of my fluke today, I'm with you and stand by with torches ready.
First of all, congratulations on securing a great deal (and congratulations to ecj too, and to speak to @ecj's comment, it sounds like luck definitely has something to do with it.)
1) I agree with your assessment that low expectations are compulsory with these advertised deals.
2) If I had to spend 3 hours a pop, over 12 weeks, only to secure one good deal, I'm sorry, but I would never consider that to be a victory of any kind (oh, if you were being sarcastic, sorry.)
3) I would simply appreciate the software to work properly and tell me what dates are available and what dates are not, rather than showing the full rate across the board when we know there are available deals (as evidenced by checking back later and seeing the deals still there for many days), or showing the cash calendar when I'm using flash perks, thus creating frustration. This is very similar to the level of frustration (and huge waste of time) that I experienced with the inept MR Plus Points program. With Marriott, lousy software has become the norm.
Now, to make things right in the universe, I am ashamed that I was focused on all of this frustration, when today of all days is - Sept. 11th. It's important for me to take a moment to focus on this day in history and all who were affected by its tragic events. May all of the families be blessed in extra measure and in unexpected ways.
Even though for me and my capabilities, his answer might as well be in Mandarin Chinese, rkung gives an excellent response to folks like you who actually know what you're doing on the ol' Commodore. What I really like about rk's answer was the fact that the answer was geared toward helping Insiders succeed (possibly doable) vs. changing Marriott (no matter how worthy, unlikely).
I firmly believe it's going to be awhile (perhaps the next downturn) before Marriott changes (even the posting of Lifetime posts comes in a fashion that could probably be easier to find and more up to date accurate, but hey, we've learn to take whatever scrap we're given). But I am just as confident that through the strength of this forum, we can optimize our travels, wherever we stay. I know I certainly have (frequently, courtesy of your insights) and we're only running at about 50% of the forum's potential. So hang in there, rant all you want, you certainly deserve it (just do it for recharging purposes, not in the belief that it will change anything), and then back to making the most out of your travels. Like the Blues Brothers, we're on a mission. Hup, hup.
Hi everyone. I am new to the community and fairly new to the Marriott Rewards program. Very new compared to most of you from the sounds of it!
Pluto your experience today sounds awful.
I had a good experience today with my first Flashperk reservation. maybe beginners luck
Had my eye on the offer for the Boston LongWharf property. Plan is to give both my wife and my son a surprise by taking him into Boston for two days, JUST with Dad. The property is perfect striking distance to the Aquarium which is first on the hit list.
I clicked through the link in the reminder email Marriott Rewards sent me this morning a few minutes after the clock was going for the perks. Selected the dates that worked best for me, confirmed the selection and it was reserved. All on my phone while walking back from a late lunch.
The offer seems okay to me as that hotel is a Cat 9 where a standard room can go for $699 a night. In addition they added free valet for each night and $25 dining gift certificate. I am sure for the nights offered in this promo the rate is much less but the points I have are from business travel so it is just upside for me.
Regardless it Sounds like there are some serious issues to work out with the program based on the other reports! Just wanted to share one small example of a positive experience.
Just my $0.02-Like you, I was successful in getting the Long Wharf deal. The deal looked great to me because I'm originally from New England. I go up to Boston regularly to see friends and family, which means I can be flexible with dates. It was nice getting a Cat 9 for Cat 4/5 points (usually stay at the RI in Woburn with certs/points). As for the process, it went smoothly for me. Once 12:00 hit, I reloaded my browser, and was done in about a minute or two, no problems at all. I can see how this process can breed frustration-a slow reload, an internet hiccup, and you're out of luck.
I had low expectations coming into this-I had read on Flyer Talk about all the problems with Flash Perks (the one with the NFL games is especially appalling-I would be furious if I was that guy.) I feel lucky that it worked for me without any problems, and the next time one comes out I'll def. try for it. I did print out the offer as a backup-I'm afraid that I would be charged for parking or not receive the $25 dining credit, so I wanted a paper copy just in case. Still, for me at least, Flash Perks worked out pretty nicely.
Congrats to those that were able to get a room from FlashPerks. I agree with Pluto77 that it is a software design issue and dependent on your proximity to their server's data center.
Given the limited number of rooms, I went into this not expecting much. What surprised me was how Marriott's reservation system would flop back and forth between rooms available, then not available, then available (on different dates), then not available again. I'm sure some of this has to be how cookies are refreshed and how the site treats room availability when someone hits the [Select] button without completing the reservation.
So instead of dwelling in the past, maybe we can provide suggestions to the community on how to increase their chances of getting a deal. If you are trying to book multiple consecutive days, here are some of my observations and tips you can try (I don't know if it'll work but you can give it a try):
When you select the room deal from FlashPerks, the system take you to the Marriott.com website (more specifically the calendar used when you select "Flexible Dates". You then enter start date and end date of your reservation along with number of rooms and people. Now you have to hit the [Find] button. System refreshes with a listing of room types available on your selected dates and the total number of points needed (TIP#1 - Make sure you know the total number of points for your stay and compare it with what is listed). If you are lucky, the total points will match the discounted rate so immediately hit the [SELECT] button. Those unlucky will see total points matching the standard redemption rate.
TIP#2 - Instead of wasting time clicking through FlashPerks website, try starting at the Marriott.com website and get your reservations pre-loaded in the reservation screen. When the time comes, keep clicking on the [FIND] button until the discount rate appears as a room type.
TIP#3 - Site is ideal for those with flexible travel dates and those looking for 1 night. If you are trying for specific multiple consecutive days, they may be harder to get.
Also for 50% off redemption, "Reservations & offer stays may be from 1-4 nights and cannot be combined with any other discount."
TIP#4 - For longer stays, take advantage of the 5th day free program. That's guaranteed and you don't have to bother with FlashPerks.
TIP#5 - If discount rates are not showing in the calendar, keep checking. Not seeing a discount rate does not mean rooms are sold out.
I hope this helps. If others have any tips on how to "game" the system please post what works for you. Good luck to all! I hope you have better luck than me. Sorry for the long post.
Ahhhh...Flyertalk...I LOVE this site although I don't post on it. Someday, when I retire, I hope to do those MRs everyone talks about.
No, I don't mind you posting it. Keep in mind I haven't been able to test my work-around...it's a work in process. This was my first experience with FlashPerks and I just want others to have a better experience. If it can help others, great! But not those Platinum and Gold members, they already get all the good perks! Lol
Please do forgive me, but while I think your post with helpful suggestions is great, I'm glad you wrote that you haven't been able to test the work around, because I did do your tip#2 again and again, and unfortunately it didn't work. First, one must have the corporate code, which will only populate when coming in from the flash perks page. But once you see what the corporate code is, if you manually punch it in (as I did) and try to do what you suggested by going to the specific property reservation page, it converts your points search for the property into a cash search. At least it seems like what you are describing is exactly one of the many things I tried, if I'm understanding what you wrote correctly. The other tips however, are splendid and much appreciated.
I am definitely pleased to see that a number of MRI's were able to gain advantage from this flash perks opportunity. At least it's working for some.
As far as where and when we attempted, I attempted at noon CST (10am PST) from west coast (CA).
At the end of the day, it's a **** shoot no matter how we slice it. I just wish that for those of us on the losing end of the deal, the software didn't make it so confusing and therefore frustrating as well as a huge time suck.
I've been on Flyertalk for 12 years & I have yet to do a mileage run LOL. And if you've been reading Insiders, you'll know that the Gold/Plat perks have been disappearing/being downgraded over the years...
I'll post your tips sometime in the next week. We've got until Thursday before the next set. Thanks for sharing!
skiadcock, here is an update.
Pluto77 has tried Tip #2 and apparently there is a corporate code that gets attached to a FlashPerk deal. So Tip #2 will not work. So here are the latest tips:
TIP#1 - Make sure you know the total number of points for your stay and compare it with what is listed when you make the reservation. If you are lucky, the total points will match the discounted rate so immediately hit the [SELECT] button. Those unlucky will see total points matching the standard redemption rate.
TIP#2 - You must start at the FlashPerks website and click on the deal you want. The system will take you to the Marriott.com reservation website and include a corporate code.
TIP#3 - Site is ideal for those with flexible travel dates and those looking for 1 night. If you are trying for specific multiple consecutive days, they may be harder to get. Also for 50% off redemption, "Reservations & offer stays may be from 1-4 nights and cannot be combined with any other discount."
TIP#4 - For longer stays, take advantage of the 5th day free program. That's guaranteed and you don't have to bother with FlashPerks.
TIP#5 - If discount rates are not showing in the calendar, keep checking. Not seeing a discount rate does not mean rooms are sold out.
Here is my next unproven tips that needs to be tested by the community:
TIP #6 - Get multiple family members or friends to click on the FlashPerk deal and use your Marriott Rewards account number to secure the deal.
TIP #7 - So far, based on comments, we know that there is a higher probability of getting a deal at 12:00pm CT on the east coast vs. west coast. Try find someone on the east coast to get a deal using your Marriott Rewards account.
Hope this helps.
UPDATE: Even though I did not want any FlashPerk deals for 9/18, I went to the site to test the system. Here is an update:
TIP #8 - You may experience a very slow response at 12 ET getting into FlashPerks website. Let it run and if your browser times out, refresh the page.
TIP #9 - FlashPerks uses a unique corporate code every week for each type of deal. This week, it happened to be "5V3" for Rate+Perks-30% and "5V4" for 50% off points hotels. Codes probably change every week so you cannot pre-populate them in your reservation screen. As you know, when booking a room, you can either book for cash or points. FlashPerks uses cash option. The system displays a new tab called "Special Rates" along with other cash option tabs. If the special rate is not available, you will see a message "The special rate you selected is not available for the dates you requested." and the standard cash rate tab is displayed.
TIP #10 - Do not trust what the calendar rates say. You may see a 50% off point rate listed for the date you want, but once you click on the day, the next screen may show a message "The special rate you selected is not available for the dates you requested." and the standard cash rate tab is displayed. Keep in mind the room may free up later...you never know.
TIP #11 - For those looking to book an extended stay for 50% off points (more than 1 day):
a) Try to book rooms individually. I'm not saying you can't book rooms in a block, but the more days you list as a search criteria, the worse your chances are at getting the deal since rooms are limited.
b) Do not trust what the calendar says. If any day within your stay is part of the 50% off points offer, you will see the deal on the calendar, but when you click on the first day of your stay, the next page may only display standard cash rates. The system is not smart enough to allow you to book your stay as points + cash (for days that the 50% off points offer is not available) or special rate points + standard rate points. As a result, you will have to start over and book them separately.
Overall, I have seen some improvements on the website since the last FlashPerks deal. I don't know if that was planned or due to complaints. The still need to work on refreshing their calendar.
Good luck and happy deal hunting....
That's some wild and crazy stuff, way to go. But for us tech troglodytes, here's an issue unfortunately all that brilliant FlashPerk technical workaround can't solve - several of the cash hotel deals are weak.
I made a point of looking at the Baltimore Waterfront Marriott both yesterday and today and guess what, the Standard Rates are lower than the FlashPerk rate.
Take 10/31 for example - FlashPerk - $268 Marriott.com $229
so in effect Marriott is selling us the aquarium tickets ($70 for two) and two cocktails (let's say $20)
$90 worth of stuff you may or may not want for ($268 - $229 = $39) let's say $40 for tax thus the discount
Lot of sizzle, little steak. Oh well, I got my points deal and await my surprise .
See, I wasn't going to say anything, but since you already did... it was the same for the Boston Copley Place deal. The (non-refundable) flash perk was more expensive that the standard non-refundable rate (albeit it did come with trolley tickets - no thanks). But to be balanced, the half priced points packages are stellar.
It's not a coincidence that for the past several weeks, many of the Room Rate + Perks offers have gone the full 24 hours without being sold out. Points offers, in spite of their limited availability and tight window of dates, are clear to see as deals, where the Room Rate + Perks are often just a hodge podge of stuff requiring a very specific interest in order to qualify as even a minimally worthwhile 'deal'.
Given the powerful economic momentum of the lodging industry, deals are harder to find anywhere; as bejacob and I have both observed, rooms booked months ago have seen rates increase (as opposed to the previous years where they often went down), Marriott Elite Offers are often at, if not even beyond Standard Rate (if offered at all) and Marriott Rewards Exclusive Offers are thinner and thinner each release.
THAT'S WHY IT'S IMPORTANT to try to capture any potential advantage. Along those lines, the NathalieF is offering to "post some Member Exclusive Offers about to go live" (here's hoping the SOME is a significant number ). Insiders, please be sure to share your thoughts in the poll - thanks.
Great work, rkung. These are the kinds of tips that continue to make Insiders really shine!
I must say, I do think Marriott is listening (hopeful anyway). I noticed an improvement today, some additional, helpful instructions for making the flash perks points reservations that were not their last week (see bottom of image).
I Can only relate my own experience.
I am in NYC for a long weekend at the end of October on points and was originally going to stay for the first 2 nights at the downtown Marriott before moving uptown to Times Sq. Thanks to Flashperks I was able to upgrade my stay to the Ritz-Carlton in what I found was an easy and seamless process. No delays, no crashing, once booked the email confirmation came through immediately as always...
So, for me, Flashperks are a
I had a great experience with the Flash Perks. Booked a room at the Gaylord Texan, took the family, enjoyed the water park and the $25 credit was automatically added to the bill. Only problem was the room wasn't ready when we checked in (just a little after 3PM). But they paged me within about 10 minutes of arriving and we were able to check in. Great experience!
It's great to hear several people were successful with FlashPerks. When posting your success or failures, can you provide your location, an estimated time (and time zone) of when you were able to secure your deal? In my case, it was San Diego and 12:00pm CT.
It will help others gain a better understanding of the Marriott system. Thanks!
Thursday 9/11 FlashPerks
Location: Boston Long Wharf
Time: 12 central
randomname you have actually put your thumb on it. The FlashPerks is most likely not geared toward any specific niche (and as you write, certainly not the traveling business person). Flashperks appears to be Marriott's attitude of biggest bang, smallest buck - a tried and true Marriott technique,which one day will rise up and bite Marriott in their proverbial fanny, but not in these current economic trends, where hoteliers rule.
Whereas most veterans of Marriott deals are aware that they are few and far between and those that do exist are often extremely difficult to secure (requiring luck more than anything) they will understand deals offered (like concert tickets or must see plays) disappear quickly - that's why brightlybob and I at the beginning of this big sizzle, small steak promotion, made the statement that these deals, like most Marriott deals, must be treated as, "better than a stick in the eye" and not part of a travel strategy. But if Marriott continues offering non-deal deals participation snafus like pluto faced above or like others have written about (I saw two Redskins offers without tickets, others saw no offers available only to find offers 10 minutes later, etc etc) it will eventually have a negative impact, but by then Marriott will have moved onto the next shiny object like free electronic badges .
Sorry to hear of your (and others) frustrations with the Flash Perks. With many of the popular deals selling out quickly, I understand why you would be discouraged. Please let me know if you have any questions or additional concerns, and I'd be happy to help.
I also wanted to recommend to always book Flash Perks via https://www.marriottrewardsflashperks.com, as on-the-phone agents cannot actually book these deals.
Firstly the flash perks have nothing much in the UK. I can't be the only UK Marriott Rewards member. Hey, no, BrightlyBob isalso in the UK, and his profile in Marriott is massive! But the thing is, I can always get relly good rates through my contacts (nothing secret there, just Marriott people I have got to know through staying at the hotels). The flash perks rates are nothing special.
Alright, in an effort to be more gracious and kind and to provide her with the benefit of the doubt (while still being honest), I am cleaning up my reply to Miss Lindsey.
Lindsey, I was offended by your remark. It honestly rang hollow for me, and seemed like nothing more than a veiled attempt to do damage control on behalf of Marriott. In hindsight (and with a little help from my friends), I'm sure you genuinely meant well. Of course only some people are going to get the deal and for those who don't, a mild disappointment. While you stated the obvious, you did not address the real frustration (perhaps re-read the discussion and comments along the way) that has been expressed here, that of the deeply flawed software that works for some, but completely blows up for others, resulting in a colossal waste of time and unnecessary additional frustration from the confusion that the faulty software created (and completely aside from the disappointment of not getting a deal.)
Additionally, the telephone associate did inform me that there is nothing they (at the telephone reservation desk) could do, as the flash perk is strictly an online thing. So what do you do when the online thing blows up? Call customer care, or write about it on Insiders, of which I did both.
Message was edited by: pluto77
Your Note to pluto77
"Sorry to hear of your (and others) frustrations with the Flash Perks. With many of the popular deals selling out quickly, I understand why you would be discouraged. Please let me know if you have any questions or additional concerns, and I'd be happy to help".
Your client NathalieF on her FlashPerks blog
thanking us for our 'feedback', linked your note to pluto, so I thought I'd give it a try.
My question is - what are the dates for the deal highlighted (but not shown on the preview)
Half off of the regular Marriott Rewards points redemption cost for the New York Marriott East Side, plus complimentary desserts for two in the hotel restaurant
This would be very useful information for me to decide whether I should reschedule my pedicure and battle the fierce competition for snagging one of those babies. Thank you, in spite of my playful teasing, I really would appreciate it (but of course, no credit for info after 12 noon Central Time, this ain't no Oregon Ducks term paper ).
NathalieF (see erc request above)
I guess I'll table for the time being, my hope of having the Insiders as a "go to" resource.
Sorry you are frustrated. You know I share your desire to move Insiders to be the "go-to" resource for all things Marriott related, and I understand that timely answers are a part of that. For the final two FlashPerks post, I will see if I can get some more specific details included in the posts.
Although it's a little late, I am waiting on the answer to your question about the FlashPerks offer for the NY Marriott East Side and will hopefully share it in time (pending you are home from your much-needed pedicure ).
I'm very interested in Prof. Magnini's book! I never had him while at VT - I think he started teaching after my time (but I was an HTM major!).
I'm on it, firing up the ol' fingertips, ready to elbow my way in - good job CM.
Got it! and I can still hang with pluto77
I was a bit offended to read some of the comments here and thus felt like I needed to rant. Just because you couldn't get a reservation doesn't mean the person who could get it 1) Doesn't have a job or 2) Isn't a "Travelling Business Person"
I was able to reserve 6 (yes 6!) one night reservations at the Renaissance Hong Kong. I did have to book separately but people, what's the big deal. Book separately, call Marriott and ask them to combine. There is no sense crying about it while reservations dry up. If this is what the system required for me to get to my end game, don't complain about the system. Just work your way around it.
This is the first time I've tried to do this Flash Perk and I have to say my experience was excellent. I just wasn't able to get 1 night which then I used 35K points to bridge the gap. Overall, I am using 140K points for 7 nights which is an excellent deal.
More on points 1 and 2.
1) I do have a job. I was at work, went to a meeting at 1pm CST, came back around 2ish and still was able to grab the rooms. It took me all of 20 minutes.
2) I am a "Travelling Business Person". I made Platinum Premier with Marriott this year having 150 nights last year. I'm a Million Miler with UA and am at least Platinum or 1K with UA every year. To say this is not for a travelling business person is ludicrous.
As an additional bonus, UA came out with a fare sale to HK for that exact timeframe that same day and I was able to book a plane ticket for $882 to Hong Kong.
I for one have no complaints about Flash Perks.
Of course only some people are going to get the deal. For those who weren't one of the unfortunate that had to deal with the confusion from the blown up software (and therefore have no idea what some of us were dealing with), congratulations on a smooth transaction, but don't judge, please. And don't tell me whether or not I can or can't cry.
"It's my party and I'll cry if I want to,
cry if I want to, cry if I want to,
you would cry too if it happened to you..."
No need to be offended (and certainly as tommo writes, no offense was meant toward other travelers). Saying a promotion is not targeted toward a specific group (business travelers) is not the same as saying anyone who secures the promotion is not a member of that group, they are not mutually exclusive situations. MTV is not targeted to AARP members, yet viewing MTV (I greatly enjoy Rob Dyrdek's Ridiculousness show) does not mean the viewer is not an AARP member.
With that out of the way, welcome to Insiders. As a Platinum Premier traveling business person, you have plenty to offer the forum and I'm glad you've gotten involved and look forward to your ongoing participation.
If Marriott were really competent, their reservation engine software would work properly. Just this morning (as well as last night), I plug in a city and a date (a single night mind you; I won't get started on the mess that happens when you plug in more than one night...) The list comes up with pricing for each property on the list. One particular property, $169/night. No special rates and awards clicked, just the 'none' button (under special rates and awards). I click the view rate button for that property in the list. Bingo, no $169 showing at all on the next page showing the list of available rates for the property. Nada. Zip. The only thing that shows is the advance purchase rate of $199, and then of course lots of other rates, higher. What happened to the $169 from the original list of properties? Frustration. Confusion. Waste of time. Another example. Click the AAA button in the city search box. Hit enter. The list of properties appears. $179/night appears for a property. I click 'view rates' for the property. $179 is indeed the AAA rate, but it's advanced purchase. Click standard rates tab, and there is another AAA advanced purchase for the same price. Grrrr... or worse, the AAA rates are higher than the standard rate. Nothing special here. Go back to your regular programming. Why would anyone want to go through this hassle just to make a room reservation? I don't have these problems with Booking.com. I don't have these problems with Travelocity.com. Do these problems exist with Hilton? Because if they don't... One of the reasons why I use AA instead of DL (many other things about these two airlines being equal) is that their reservation engine is easier to use. Seriously. The prices don't change from the original page as you drill further down. There is consistency and clarity. No rabbit holes. Well, you see where I'm going with this...
When NathalieF to her credit, at her own initiative, asked us "How Does Marriott Take Loyalty to the Next Level?", your description about the frustrating weakness of the Marriott.com reservations site was my response - forget next level of loyalty, execute at the basic service quality level first .
Marriott should be concerned, (I'm not, I've been forced to successfully experiment with other lodging alternatives) that like a football team that plays sloppy, but still beats up lower Division teams, when it comes time to really need the skills (a more competitive lodging environment) they have created a culture of a 'less than excellence' mindset.
How confusing is this (all on the same Rate Rules page)?
Fall Savings, includes wireless internet, prepay in full, non-refundable if cancelled less than 1 day before arrival, no changes, see Rate Rules
14 Day Advance Purchase. No Refunds or Cancellations.
Holding Your Reservation
To ensure that you receive this special advance purchase rate, we will charge your credit card a prepayment of 435.04 USD (your full room charge plus tax) when you make your reservation.
Canceling Your Reservation
Changes to your reservation are not permitted. Please note that you may cancel your reservation for no charge until November 19, 2014.
You, of course, have just entered the world of erc, that crazy zone with the guy who hangs in the weeds of the Marriott.com pricing grid matrix and writes about "pricing quirks". These tidbits of word play, confusing at best, deceitful at worse, are buried all throughout the grid (and have been documented, all to a collective yawn).
These illogical pricing schemes don't attract much attention or protest for two understandable reasons;
1) travelers who don't experience them, empathize with the posting member, but "it's not their battle"
2) as I saw yesterday with some of the remarks about the envelope for tipping - many folks on expense accounts (as opposed to self pays) are more concerned about what they have to go out of pocket, than what is charged, which I certainly understand (it gives me a clearer understanding of why folks don't value breakfast as a benefit as much as I do). I believe this allows Marriott to price the exact same room at different rates realizing that many (not all, but enough to make it worthwhile) customers, with significant time demands, book the first rate they see that is financially acceptable, leading to Marriott pocketing the incremental dollars that Marriott makes so difficult to find elsewhere in the grid.
Sadly (I say sadly, because the more you look, the more you will see) to the club
Deep cleansing breath. I won't let it make me crazy (she lived in a nice neighborhood once, was a community do gooder, respected among her peers and by her children... now we occasionally see her leering out through the weeds of the Marriott pricing matrix... though she never comes out... so sad, really...)
I know what you mean. In 2010 and then again in 2013 I sent a message to the webmaster about how when you click on a link that takes you to a Marriott page the timeout screen displays. Once you sign on the page does not take you to the original page that you attempted to get to. I also wrote to the CM here and was told that the request would be taken care of.
Well, here we are at the end of 2014 and it still hasn't been addressed.
Here's my post on the subject: