I've been a Marriott Rewards member for many years.
We used to be able to reserve a reward room without assigning points until a later time.
Why was that taken away?
It was very useful to be able to reserve a room many months in advance knowing you would have the points by then.
But still be able to use your current points for rooms you might need before then.
I really miss this feature.
I know I can get around this by reserving a room using all my points, making a future reservation, then canceling the dummy reservation that used all my points. But that is a pain.
Just seems like Marriott used to be more user/customer friendly.
How do you know the phone agents will still have the ability to make the ressie yet not pull points? The system has changed.
In the past if you booked an award stay through reservations phone line, they just noted (as on the online system did too) that you were short points but would need them one week out. You didn't need to do a special request to not take your current points.
You're mixing apples & oranges.
If you only have one reservation (ie, your first choice wasn't available so you have a reservation at your second), the only thing you asked the ressie line not to do was attach the e-cert to the ressie so your points weren't pulled. Not sure why you bothered going through asking them not to attach the e-cert since you could cancel the current award ressie if your original choice opened up, points get deposited immediately back into your account & you could reserve your original choice.
Also, presumably you had the points to cover your reservation. We're talking about the situation where someone could make a ressie if they were short points & not have any points pulled (until the week before the stay). That is no longer the case and what you experienced a short time ago might not be the case any longer.
Of course the only way to tell if the making an award ressie when short points & not getting what points one does have pulled by the phone line is to call today & see if the agents can override the system or if it defaults to pulling the points as it does online.
Different situation then.
Online, if you DON'T have the points, it allows the reservation without the points.
But if you DO have the points, but don't want to use them on that particular reservation, you have to do a workaround to make it work. And you did not used to have to do that.
Not true, as my Grosvenor House/London example above shows.
In the past if you were making an online reservation & were short points, it didn't pull what points you did have to go towards the reservation. It just told you you were short & would need all of them 7-days in advance of your stay & you got a confirmation email.
That is no longer the case. Now if you're making an online award ressie but are short points, it will allow you to make the ressie but will pull the current points in your account, apply them toward the ressie & tell you you still need x points.
That change is why there's now going to have to be a work-around that's now needed if you don't want to tie up your current points. But it potentially screws up ressies in a different way.
Example, I make my reservation for Grosvenor House & it attaches what points I have & tells me I need more. But let's say an emergency comes up before then & I need to do an award stay. I don't want to cancel the GH ressie because I know I'm going to stay there & will have the points by then, but I also need points for the emergency award stay before then. To get points back so I can make the emergency award ressie I'm going to have to cancel the GH stay to get points redeposited. But then GH might not be available for awards stay when I go to rebook it after getting the other ressie sorted.
If it was before the new system change, you didn't need to contact the phone agent to make the ressie & request that what points you had not be pulled. The system, whether online or agent, would make the ressie and not pull points until 7 days before the stay. Under the new system that request through the agent might not work. We need someone who is short points to call an agent & see if the verbal request will still work.
Ok, to test whether it's still possible to do award ressie without pulling points on the phone on a stay where one is short points, I just called & booked my London stay for next February and the agent did it, so even with the new online system there is a phone work-around as californian mentions. I'm also Platinum, so don't know if it's a courtesy just for Plats.
Of course the downside to posting the phone work-around on Insiders is that they might read it & circulate a memo to the phone agents saying don't do that in the future.
Still not what I'm talking about.
I want to make future reward reservations without using the points I have, even if I have enough points for the future reservation. The points I have on file I want to use on near term reward reservations, knowing I will have more points on file for the future reservations.
I understood what you were talking about. You were replying to Californian & I think the part where you said if you don't have any points at all it would allow you to make the ressie. I wasn't sure if that was the case now. I was going to do a dummy booking, drop my account to zero (w/ some still needed) & then see if it would allow the second booking w/ no points, but I wanted to test the phone theory.
BTW - I thought under the old system if you did have all the points it automatically attached the e-cert to the ressie so that required the call to agent so they wouldn't attach it (thus freeing up your points) so you could then use the points for shorter term ressies, knowing you'd replenish before the stay farther out? Or was there an option online to attach cert now or attach later? I can't remember.
Because Marriott IT hasn't figured out that there are ways to potentially game the ressie process so they think they solved a problem that doesn't seem to exist.
Evidently someone at Marriott decided that it was not a good thing for Marriott Rewards guests to be able to book award ressies when they were short points - even though the system had a built-in fail safe that the points had to be in the account one week before the stay when the e-cert attached. If you didn't have the points you had the option of switching to a paid ressie, but the award ressie would be canceled.
As I noted in this thread & as mentioned in the thread that I've started on Flyertalk:
When chatting with elites of other programs who are thinking of jumping ship to Marriott, in the past we could tout that Marriott allowed you to book ressies without all the points required. Somehow it's not the same to say well you can do award ressies without all the points required, but in order to do so you'll have to make multiple bookings, cancel, & otherwise game the system. Not quite the same ring to it in terms of a competitive advantage. :rolleyes: