Please help. I am allergic to down feathers. My reservations clearly state this, and ask for the feather comforters and pillows to be removed from my room. My Platinum Rewards profile says this. I call hotels ahead of time to ensure this is done, too. I ask at check-in, just to be sure.
Of course, about half the time, there are feather pillows and/or comforters in the room when I get there. Sunday night, checking into a Ren, was a typical bad experience. I checked in around midnight. The room had been blocked, but the comforter was leaking feathers. I called the front desk. An employee came to the room and told me this was acceptable because it's hypoallergitic. Finally, he took the top sheet and comforter, but returned with a mattress pad and duvet cover. He also informed me it isn't his job to make beds.
What can I do to ensure the availability of a feather free room? I've called corporate headquarters. I've gotten enough make-up Rewards points to stay in Paris for a month, but Marriott still cannot fix this problem. I'd like this simple thing done, not excuses and apologies. Please, please, please...if you have any ideas, post them.
Thank you for posting this--we have had exactly the same experience virtually every time we travel to the Ocean Club in Aruba (where we own), and all hotels in Florida. This is the fault of JWM who dictated that all rooms worldwide must have feathers, without realizing that 40% of the North American population over the age of 40 has, or is subject to developing, asthma or related conditions. There are some Marriotts where he personally stays where the only room on the floor he stays in that has feathers is his. This is a CORPORATE policy that should be addressed and changedl.
I found out why we have problems getting a room without feathers. If you have several items checked on your profile preferences the feather free request is on a second computer screen when the clerk is assigning you room at check-in. We need to get a ground swell of members asking Marriott to redesign the computer screens to list the feather free request IN RED on the first check in screen!
Last night, checking into the Philly Airport Marriott, I may have finally found out why some hotels don't get the Feather Free Room concept. I called ahead of time to be sure the room was feather free, and asked again at check-in. Sure enough, the comforter was feather. I called downstairs - mind you, it was one in the morning and I had to be up at six - and the manager on duty came to the room twenty minutes later with different bedding. She then yelled at me that the comforter wasn't feather, it was down. She kept insisting that it wasn't feather, because the tag said down. I tried to explain that down means duck or goose feather, like wool means sheep or goat hair, or cotton meant from a cotton plant, but she stuck to her guns. Even after I did a Web search and showed her that every entry explained down is feather, she insisted that since she didn't think it felt like feather, it obviously wasn't. (Umm, if it didn't feel like feather, then how did i know the second I touched it that there was an issue and I should check the tag?)
So Marriott, the problem seems to be that hotel employees don't know that down is feather. Please, please, please, educate your housekeepers and hotel staff. I know it's hard to believe someone wouldn't understand that down means feather, but now that I've witnessed this, it makes sense. This is likely why some people insist a room is feather free when it isn't.
Great catch cjkatl, it's surprising, that over the three years that you have been patiently (saintly) highlighting this significant evaluative criterion for choosing hotels, that Marriott has been unable to master this. An observation I made reading this post, was that in August 2013 (i.e. two months ago), merb (who, if we know anything about her, it's that she does pass stuff along) received another good suggestion from dr. john and yet the issue remains an issue. And we wonder why Rewards members' input goes nowhere.
The decentralization that Sorenson highlights in the Forbes article, may not be our friend.
Apparently (said with tongue firmly planted in cheek) millennials don't have allergies. Best wishes toward overcoming this amazing shortfall in customer service.
I travel weekly and have this problem at nearly every Marriott I check-in to. Without a doubt, the issue is lack of training and procedures on Marriott/management's behalf. One poster mentions that 'down' vs. 'feather' is not clearly understood. Further the staff does not understand down/feather vs. poly-fil vs. foam pillows. Nor do they understand that once the linens have been contaminated with feather products they need to be completely removed and replaced with clean, uncontaminated linens to actually make the room mostly allergen friendly. Unfortunately for those of us who are extremely allergic those errant feathers that sneak out and land on the carpeting cause us to still need our allergy meds.
Additionally, many of the Marriott properties I've stayed with have no process in place for validating a guests preferences and communicating those to housekeeping to ensure they are executed and no follow-up process for a housekeeping supervisor to validate that it's been executed properly.
I'm waiting for the day when I forget to check for feather products, fall asleep and have my throat close in the middle of the night. Hopefully Marriott won't mind the wrongful death suit that follows...and perhaps that'll be the kick in the arse needed to get them to be responsible about this serious issue.
Okay, I am glad to know it's not just me experiencing this issue over and over... In my last 12 stays, in 12 different Marriotts in 5 different countries, not a single one had my room set up as feather free. I think there is only two ways to end our frustration with this issue;
1) Remove the feather-free option as an item on our reservation.
2) Make the hotel pay us some form of penalty when they get it wrong. ( I predict this policy would open some eyes quickly!)
If Marriott is really concerned with folks like us, then they need to have a policy with some teeth. Without a consequence, there will not be improvement. I know we are a small percentage of the guests, but you have to live in our shoes or a few nights to understand how tough it is to deal with this issue when travelling. I think it is great that there is this option for our reservation, but it's twice as frustrating when it never actually happens.
I've gone back and forth with Customer Service on this time and time again and basically they wash their hands of it saying it is the individual hotel's responsibility. Marriott does not provide them with any guidelines or policies around feather-free room preparation. So you're at the mercy of the local hotel's management and their procedures (or lack there of).
I agree with you there prost, and I am not a feather sufferer. You have problems because you don't get a feather free room despite your preferences. As I have said before, I have had a feather free room with rock hard pillows when my preference states extra feather pillows. So, although we are at opposite ends of the preferences, the problem is the same. Why have preferences if they are going to be ignored?