When looking for special rates for a trip I'm always frustrated by the extra hoops that I must jump through to get those rates at Marriott.
If you check "Special Rates" you must then select just one category, such as AAA, Senior, Military, etc. The system will display only one category of discount rates and then you must select another category and repeat the entire search process for each category. After looking at all three discounts that I qualify for, I must then go back to the best rate and select the reservation that represents the best value. This is time consuming, especially if you qualify for three or more separate discounts.
At some competitors of Marriott, you click on each discount for which you qualify and get all the options presented at the same time. It is much more efficient.
Why can't Marriott do it this way?
Well, we all knew who would jump on this one .
After years of battling the matrix and documenting such battles to no avail, I'm quite confident it's not of case that Marriott can't do it that way, it's a case of Marriott doesn't want to do it that way. The specified item was not found. actually once asked why the Brussels Marriott AAA rate was more than $100 more than the Standard Rate for the exact same room and essentially was told, "when we run weekend rates we don't regard them as standard rates" (even though it is a Standard Rate and still begs the question, why have a AAA rate higher than an apples to apples comparative rate?).
Also promotions often are 30% off of Standard Rate, but Standard Rate (since it theoretically varies night by night at Marriott's discretion) is an unknown, thus resulting in Promo rates higher than pre-Promo Standard Rates, as I highlighted with the Boston Marriott Custom House last week.
and just like;
Marriott doesn't want to average the cost per night per multiple night stays
Marriott doesn't want to tell people how Platinum Premier is obtained
Marriott doesn't want to remove AAA, Senior, and Marriott Elite Offer rates higher than Standard Rates
Marriott doesn't want to remove promos that are "from xx price" when xx price left the building weeks ago
Marriott doesn't want you using AAA rates for Cash + Points but calling C+P an 'enhancement'
and on and on (just like Marriott for years didn't want to display Lifetime Points on your account)
But what the heck, let's try once more to hear the official answer, by politely asking the moderation team KatieC and/or NathalieF if they could inquire why Marriott makes us go back and forth when checking rates.
This again is what many of us replied when asked, "how do we take guest loyalty to the next level"? Just get back to doing the basics effectively, like previously (thus earning the immense loyalty as displayed in this forum).
I will also chime on that I bet Marriott rates are just like airline fares, very few rooms at the "Special Rates" and when those are gone so is that special rate deal. Any toying around from rate to rate as phctourist refers might give enough time for the likes of erc, misterchk, foxglove or myself to snag that last room at the "Geezer Rate" so when you check back to book it the rate is no longer available.
For years when traveling with the government we were required to book the gov't rate and if that property didn't have the gov't rate available I'd have to book another hotel close by if able or use another chain. I would continue to check back often times until a day or two before the trip when I'd find the rate available again.
I'll agree & disagree a bit. I don't know that it's the norm that people qualify for multiple special rates. My guess is most are none, AAA, maybe sr. discount or corp. but not all. If one does then of course it can take a few more minutes than only one & that of course can be a bit frustrating.
What I do like about the Marriott site, though (and what turned me away from Hilton) is that if I do plug in a special rate such as AAA it will bring up all the properties w/ the price listed that offer that rate, so I could just scan the list to see which one best meets my needs.
In the past (no idea if it's still the case because it drove me away from Hilton) the Hilton site made you literally check individual property by individual property to see if it offered the rate. Even the Hilton reps had to do it that way. Now THAT was a time waster.
On a dif note, I agree w/ erc's other points above.
My experience has been that I usually can get a discount rate, but not always the Government rate which is usually the best one, when it is available.
Only twice, during the 20+ years that I have been in Marriott Rewards, have I lost an offered rate, while looking at other rates.
I would think there are plenty of people who are able to qualify for multiple rates since you have AAA included in there along with senior which some government employees might get as well. Guess I really never thought of it that way though, good stuff skiadcock as always.
Well, using myself as an example. I don't work for the gov't, I'm not old enough for the senior rate, I'm self-employed so can't use a corporate rate, so None & AAA are about all I can check. I've got friends who are part of the Marriott program & I think at best they'd think/qualify for AAA. So I'm just extrapolating a bit. I could be off.
While Marriott's is clunky in that you can't check more than one code at a time, which in fairness would be a bit irritating if one did qualify for multiple codes, at least Marriott brings up all the properties to scan quickly. As mentioned Hilton drove me away from Hilton simply because I had to enter the code (which in Hilton's case is a bunch of numbers) for each freekin' property & if there were a lot of properties in a city, that took up a really long time. Since I no longer book Hilton no idea if that's still the same.
I have been booking Hiltons for a while and I enter all the discounts that I qualify for and it shows all hotels in the area and the best price for each. I really like what Hilton does and use it more and more as Marriott doesn't keep up. Now when I check in at a Marriott, it can show that I stay at Hiltons too.
Then Hilton did a 180%, probably when so many elites were leaving to other chains saying the website was so bad. At that time Marriott website was light years ahead of Hilton's. Of course Marriott's IT is now so bad that every time they 'enhance' something, they take away functionality.
I agree. I use the gov't rate most of the time except when the AAA rate is cheaper (like in DC). On the few times I bring my mom along, I always check the senior rate. It is a bit of a hassle to compare. Sometimes the savings are worth it even if it does take a while to sort through all the options.
What irks (not ercs) me the most is when the "special" rate is higher than the standard rate. That makes no sense ever.
That fellow traveling guy from IAH (I'll keep his identity a secret so not to embarrass the guilty) has forced me to come clean and out of the "closet" - "My name is Chuck and I'm a Geezer" and book the "Geezer rate" anytime it is advantageous.
In all seriousness this rate (aka Senior rate) seems only to be a bargain at corporate managed properties. When visiting areas where a full service property isn't available, or my need/desire is for a Residence Inn this rate rarely is different than the AAA rate.
Speaking of the AAA rate. It usually represents what would be a travel agent's commission (10%) - I assume they pass it on to the guest rather than send to an agent.
You can also list me as a proponent of a software change that would show all rates available so one does not aggravate one's "carpel tunnel" going through the maneuvers to view them individually.
That's a great idea, phctourist. I do the same thing when make Marriott reservations. Normally, the Military/Government Employee Rate is the lowest. Is that what you have experienced?
Government rate is often the lowest rate, even in big cities, when you look at more upscale hotels.
Recently, I was looking at NYC and while AAA and senior rates seemed to be less pricey at some less expensive hotels, at the FS hotels, the govt. rate was the same as at the FI and CY as at the FS hotels. Government rate seems to be tied to the government scale and is often the same at all hotels in an area.
Marriott has been very attentive recognizing A medical condition that was passed on to me by my parents (both were carriers ) . I was, literally, diagnosed at birth as having the condition.
Being recognized with this condition allows me to book the senior rate. I have found great reductions utilizing this rate compared to the offerings rates without a "special" category are in force.
I suggest you check with your medical adviser if, by chance, you have the affliction - if you do you will find Marriott will be quite responsive in allowing the rate.
When at the doctor mention to him the conditions name - it is called "TERMINAL OLD AGE"!!!!!!!!
Must be the destinations or "brand". I probably use the senior rate 75% of the time. The occasion where it is not available I will use the AAA.
Both these rates show up 90% of the time on full service properties but, I admit, are rare on those properties that are most likely franchises.
The one aspect of Hilton's interface is you can request at one time multiple discounts to see if any apply. The Marriott system requires re-entry to each request - can be cumbersome at times.
just stayed at a courtyard in mass and neither were available. I bet it is seasonal and location driven as i have used both at this hotel at other times. You also won't get these rates in Phoenix in March. I do try every time to see what the best rate I can get even if a company is paying for it