41 Replies Latest reply: Feb 24, 2016 1:42 PM by peymanagement RSS

Marriott needs a Plutonium tier

pltnmprincess Platinum
Currently Being Moderated

I have been reading the discussion on the "double nights" thread regarding the comparison of those who earn status by staying the full amount of nights and those who earn it because of certain promotions.  I understand both sides of this issue.  As Thinze pointed out, Marriott's business grows by having more members with status.  But I also agree with Pingreeman that if everyone becomes gold or platinum, then where is the recognition for "true" status?  For every 50 people who are "almost Gold or Platinum", 1 person has stayed their 75 nights (or 175 nights).  While it makes business sense to keep those 50 people happy, it is not a good business practice to anger the person who actually stayed and paid all those nights.

 

So, a proposed solution would be to add another tier for those with 100+ (or should we make it 125, 150?) actual nights.  I called it the Plutonium level, because this caliber of member is "untouchable" and should be handled very carefully.  This tier should have guaranteed upgrades, free internet, 75% bonus, 1000 amenity points, and dont forget the slippers.

 

What do you think?

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Plutonium does not exist in nature but as you know is a byproduct of another manmade reaction.  I think the Marriott Plutonium level idea is a great one but fear that the reaction from Marriott might not be there to produce the result!

     

    Very good post and thanks for brightening my Friday!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    "While it makes business sense to keep those 50 people happy, it is not a good business practice to anger the person who actually stayed and paid all those nights."

     

    I'd like to think there are more substantive issues to get angry about.  And, doesn't Marriott already have a couple of levels above platinum -- platinum premier and lifetime platinum?  We could always turn this over to the government and add several other layers of bureaucracy to the program.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    wgrotr Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I agree with the Plutonium tier for the folks that are road warriors and are paying for 100 nights plus. That means they are spending twice as much as gold and deserve more. I appreciate the 50% extra. However if you are a 100+ for two or three years in a  row they should  have marching bands when you walk throught the doors. Most of hese type travelers stay at the same places regularly. There should be some higher tier for 100 or 125+ nights.Laughing

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    On the new Marriott.com, the tagline for Bill Marriott's blog says, "Sharing Insights. Connecting with customers."  This topic prompted a look there for some "insight" on what Marriott's thinking might be about another Elite tier. 

     

    Published earlier this year on July 22nd, Repositioning Marriott for Global Opportunity provided a starting point.  As Bill Marriott notes,

     

    "The strength of our company has always been our ability to look for new opportunities and to continue to re-invent ourselves."

     

    Opening new hotels in new markets is very strategic to the major players. If Marriott did place a stake where loyal travellers are headed, there is the chance of defection to brands that do. Maintaining brand standards and refreshing brand freshness contributes to keeping the ranks of loyalty loyal. Absolutely no one I know wants to return to a hotel 5 years later only to find tired looking furnishings and fixtures.

     

    Bill Marriott's statement speaks volumes, too:

     

    "What will never change is Marriott International's commitment to our core values, our culture of taking care of our people, whether they are our customers, associates or investors."

     

    With leisure travel expanding and business travel declining, will the composition of Silver, Gold and Platinum Elite change?  Probably.  Will the % of loyal travellers with stays above 75 nights increase or decrease?  Who's to say? 

     

    Having said that, will the cost to add another layer of administration to support another Elite tier be justified? Will such a tier provide a new opportunity for Marriott to re-invent itself?   Quite honestly, I don't presume to have an answer.  What exactly is the value proposition of creating another tier, anyway?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    pltnmprincess Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    TJC,

    You raise some excellent questions which got me thinking:  Will a Super Elite tier create more loyalty amongst MR members?

    I posted an article with some ideas on Travelprincessdiaries - there I tried to keep it more generic because this is not just a Marriott question.  But for this forum, here are my thoughts:

     

    1.  We have seen posts on this forum from folks asking why they should continue to stay at Marriott once they have reached Platinum status.  This was a question in my mind as well, and while there are good reasons to stay, there are also good reasons to build status at other chains.

     

    2.  Because certain benefits are limited (like room upgrades), the more Platinums vying for the upgrades, the less likely it is for one to receive the upgrade.  This leads to a perceived (or in some cases actual) diminishing of benefits for Platinum status. 

     

    3.  I would think that it would cost Marriott more to administer the double nights and rollover promotions than to add another status tier.  With the current promotions, many data inputs must be checked per individual as to what is the current status, how many nights above current status, etc.  With a flat status tier, one either qualifies or not.

     

    4.  No other hotel chain offers a higher tier - wouldnt this be a huge competitive advantage for Marriott to draw and retain those who spend 100+ nights/year?  And wouldnt this be a reason for those who have achieved Platinum currently to stay and try to attain something more?

     

    5.  This is a WIN/WIN - those who earn status based on promotions are happy, those who pay and stay more than the minimum nights earn extra rewards so they are happy too.

     

    Now the "plutonium" name was kind of a joke; "Uranium" might be a better name.  All in all, I see no downside here.  Perhaps, some extra administration is required, but probably less than with current promotions.  The big question as you pointed out - what is the size of this market (those who stay 100+ nights/year) and is it large enough to warrant extra marketing and admin costs?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    As stated by others, perhaps Platinum Premier is the answer? Although 'unpublished' at Marriott.com, early references to this Elite level go back at least five years to May 2004.  Platinum Premier benefits include Platinum benefits plus a special phone line. 

     

    See Marriott Concierge's post on FlyerTalk:  Platinum Premier Level 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    pltnmprincess Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Pingreeman,

    I am curious to get your feedback as a platinum premier.  The comments I've read echo your sentiments that it really doesnt get you anything extra.

    Do you think that a higher tier would be beneficial to you?  What kind of benefits would you like to see if there were a higher tier status?  Do you spend all your nights at Marriott or do you participate in programs from other hotel chains?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "If the concierge level has only 22 rooms and there are 25 Platinum members vying for the floor, who wins and who loses?"

     

    Guests paying full freight always win. Then, Lifetime Platinum, Platinum Premier and Platinum.  The key is leveraging the power that the status has by calling the special reservation line.  If the property fails to deliver, the GM bears the responsibility of compensating the guest. 

     

    You didn't ask this, but who wins on the on the Marriott Vacation Club side?  Who gets the oceanfront views and the larger villas? Believe it or not, it's a level playing field as far as Elite status in my humble experience.  With only 50 properties and more than 400,000 owners, the best villas and views are reserved for owners staying at their home resort and season.  If you own multiple weeks, your priority is bumped higher.  However, if you exchange and stay at another MVC property, the playing field becomes level.  Owners with multiple weeks have higher priority.  What you're trading affects priority too.

     

    There are many Insiders who own multiple weeks of Marriott Vacation Club timeshare.  Statistically, the average owner owns 4 - 5 weeks or 28 to 35 Elite Qualifying Nights.  The average annual maintenance fees for a week have risen from $900 to $1200.  You're a math wiz - that's a great deal considering luxury accomodations for 8 days 7 nights in a 1, 2, or 3 bedroom villa.  Btw, these nights are considered 'deeded nights' and ineligible for earning Double Nights. 

     

    So, if an owner is already paying $6000 to Marriott to earn 35 nights and gains 15 nights using Marriott VISA they hit Gold Elite.  If a multiple week owner spends a few bucks more to stay 25 nights and some of them happen to earn Double Nights, is that not earning the right to Platinum Elite?  And, if a multiple-week owner happens to have already earned Lifetime Platinum, who's to say they should not get the best suite at the Courtyard Isla Verde Resort or any other property?

     

    Btw, I happen to know two multiple-week MVC owners who are Lifetime Platinum and one gracious individual just celebrated an 80th birthday.  Did this person stay 175 nights this past year?  Far from it.  Does this person get the best suite?  You betcha.  

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
      phctourist Platinum 20 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      tjcnewyork You ask "

      "If the concierge level has only 22 rooms and there are 25 Platinum members vying for the floor, who wins and who loses?"  and then you answer "Guests paying full freight always win. Then, Lifetime Platinum, Platinum Premier and Platinum.  "


      I'm not certain that it always works that way!  It appears, to me, that the earlier that I check in, the better my chance of an upgrade.  so it might be that the first 22 will get upgrades, even though some of those may not be on the Concirge Level.  I, my self, prefer a suite to a CL room even though it may be lest convenient to the lounge.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "I try to reserve a "cash room" 24 hours before a vacation on points to see what rooms are available to determine my chances of any upgrade on status alone"


    That's still throwing the dice, IMO.  Rarely is online availability a true reflection of real time at the Front Desk. 

     

    Calling Platinum Premier back to reconfirm or calling the hotel to engage the Front Desk directly and have the name(s) of the person(s) who have taken ownership of your reservation and assume accountability for your satisfaction works 99.9% of the time. In any event, the Platinum Premier booking is in your favor. And, respectful of the context of this discussion, should have the 'Plutonium' effect.

     

    The inclusion of MVC ownership is respectful of the Insiders who are both MVC owners and Platinum Elite.  Buying into the Marriott brand speaks for itself.  Last year, Marriott Rewards claimed over 30 million members.  We already know that the top 3% are Platinum Premier.  By MVC admission there are 400,000 owners which is 1.3%  PlatinumPrincess, for this 1.3%, perhaps Platinum Premier Owner is the answer?

     

    "I am a non-owner and have never had an interest in becoming one."

    That speaks volumes.



    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I applaud Marriott corporation's willingness to be a leader in delivering customer satisfaction and providing service in a very competitive lodging industry,  Using best practices, Marriott has tried (and succeeded) in being innovative in a down-turning economy.  The double nights and rollover promotions are exemplars of this innovative program.  I feel that both have set the bar higher for the industry, and hope they reappear next year. Many of us have benefited from them without diluting the value of the Rewards program.

     

    Maybe I am late to this discussion but a quick read omits a central fact in room assignment:  larger Marriotts have a person in charge of "rooms control."  Normally this person sits near the reception area or in the office and may double as an At Your Service (AYS) assistant when those phone lines are filling up.  In my experience at the larger Marriott hotels this person assigns you (based on your profile and status) a room. 

     

    That being said, at the time you book there is no chance (according to the Marriott Rewards terms and conditions) of a suite upgrade, but all else in the way of getting the best possible room is possible.  Platinum Premier Elites have a little added perk (called the Platinum Premier Upgrade) when staying on points -- one night can be upgraded at no charge--this benefit ends at the end of this year and there is no indication that it will be renewed for 2010.

     

    So, rooms control is the key at larger hotels:  this associate uses a formula (not being on the inside I am guessing here) that calculates your loyalty index, starting with amount paid per room, Elite level:  Platinum Emeritus/Platinum Premier and working down the list to Silver Elite, then your preferences, then he or she matches those data with available rooms for your stay.  A simple logarithm used by any company needing to handle multiple variables in assignment real time.

     

    But, you can always ask to speak with rooms control when you call the hotel--at least I have--to check on how you've been assigned and where. Timing is also key--good rooms tend to be blocked for frequent stayers at large hotels--meaning that you'll be out of luck if you wait too long.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Pinegreeman:

     

    "Never-the-less, I will keep posting as usual to have my opinions heard"

     

    Excellent, that is the nature of dialogue within the Insiders community.  You are correct,  Marriott's core values as a company, knock-your-socks-off service and tighter brand integration (whether it be comp internet access, Pointsavers or Elite programs)  are among the key topics that stir up my passion. That said, I echo Stepping Stones' thoughts:

     

    "I applaud Marriott corporation's willingness to be a leader in delivering customer satisfaction and providing service in a very competitive lodging industry,  Using best practices, Marriott has tried (and succeeded) in being innovative in a down-turning economy.  The double nights and rollover promotions are exemplars of this innovative program."

     

    Insiders is only one touchpoint among many that Marriott uses to gain insight.  Elite Rollover Nights and Double Nights were very successful. Combined with the Global Rate Break, many people were able to enjoy weekend getaways, family vacations placed on-hold, resume business travel that was curtailed and hold on to their Elite status threatened by economic conditions.  Marriott did a good thing for the travel industry, and reminded us in a bold new way how much they value our loyality.

     

    What you experienced at CYIV really had nothing to do with Double Nights. It was very important to make that clear. Ultimately, the ball is in Marriott's court to develop Elite levels and membership benefits that respond to their loyal patrons.  So voicing opinions and debating issues helps Marriott to achieve that end.

     

    Thank you for expressing your opinions.  I think you make many thoughtful contributions to Insiders and I always enjoy reading your posts. 

     

    In the meantime, very best wishes and good luck in getting your refund.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    jndcoff Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I think it should be significant.  Base nights of 150 +. The typical employee spend 220 days less vacation, so if a customer spends almost as much time in a facility as the average employee and pays (rather than getting paid) to be there, that's loyal.  I also think it needs to essentially factor out the ability to equally split time at a competitive brand. 

    If you spend your life on the road full time, its hard to find more time away from home to use more points.  This leads me to believe a Plutonium is going to use the added benefits to enhance their existing stay or vacation time with the family.

    I would really appreciate the chance to take a significant vacation with my family and treat them really well (or me if I were single) for all the hard work in traveling full time; rather than a few more free nights.  So my thought is:  for Plutonium status

    • Have to stay 150 base nights
    • You earn one certificate for a guaranteed no holds barred upgrade to a Class 6 or higher Marriott (Presidential suite, etc.).
    • Limit it to one stay continuous stay for a fixed number of nights i.e. a 4 night stay. Short but memorable.  Let them move out of the room if they want to extend the same stay.
    • Since there are a limited number of properties that would qualify x 52 weeks in a year, make a static calendar that would be visible to Plutoniums on a fist come, first served basis.  Each property would be asked to block a specific % of their nights for Plutonium Traveler Reward events. The Plutoniums could then start on a ceretain date, ie. Jan 15 to sign up for those event nights though the following January.  Pick the spot you want to go and commit to it.  When they are gone, move on down the list.
    • I think of these as President's Club recognition.  Marriott probably offers benefits to their best 1% or 2% employees in the form of vacations etc.  Plutoniums are your most loyal and valuable customers.  Make the fact that a Plutoneum Reward Recipient is on site be something that the local staff is aware of.  It would build a sense of recognition and feeling of appreciation to the customer and the local staff would become more cognizent of the rarity of the loyalty. 

    That's my take on it.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • what would another level do?
    bikesdestroy Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I have been following this forum for some time.  I have never had anything to say before this thread, so this is my contribution.

    I travel extensively for work.  So much so that I do not keep a home or mailing address. I am in a hotel nearly every night of the year! I am able to choose where I stay.  My employer realizes that my comfort and happiness on the road is key and sets minimal limits on my hotel budget (with in reason obviously).  That being said, here are my observations on the matter.  Being platinum is not what it used to be.  Rarely do I notice what "being platinum" does for me.  A bottle of water here, a "Thank you for being platinum" there; none of this really matters to me.  I don't care if my name is on a sign for others to see at check in, really, I'm fine if no one else knows my status. 

    Here is what matters:  CONSISTENCY and ATTENTION TO DETAIL.

    Are you listening Marriott?

    Here are some examples:

    My profile says I would like a refrigerator in my room:  I'm currently shooting 50% on that one.

    Automatic room upgrade: again, around 50% of the time this happens.  When it doesn't, I don't make a fuss because I just want to get sleep at that point.

    Platinum phone line: average hold time 3-5 minutes and it forgets your MR# .  This is more in the last year.  Maybe staffing is cut back.  All that hold time adds up and for me, time is more valuable than money.

    Food:  Concierge lounges are closing sooner, are not open weekends, or are all together gone in some cases.  

    Internet: $10 bucks? Really?  I've given up there and have moved to a cell / sat card.  Price on that thing is only the equivalent of 12 nights internet in the Marriott. 

    Platinum override: 50% success on that bene.

    I could go on, but you get the point.  It seems everyone has the same frustrations with Marriott.

    So... what would another level do?  100, 150 300+ night levels? Premier seems to be a mystery, even to those within it's ranks. Maybe Marriott could just focus on it's current system.  Back up and follow through with what each tier benefits actually are.  If it says auto upgrade, then do it. If it says free breakfast / meals, then do it.  

    The last thing I want to do is come across as a prima donna, but I've chosen Marriott and Marriott rewards based on their description of treatment of guests and available benefits.

    I follow the words of my Grandfather who often said to me, "Don't come to me with a problem unless you're willing to be part of the solution." In this case however, I'm unsure of what to do outside of plain feedback.  So here it is: Do it, Marriott, do what you say you will do. Be consistent and have attention to detail.

    Thank you for your time,

    Troy

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Dear Bikesdestroy: 

     

    You have hit the nail on the head!  Consistency is the name of the game and I have also noticed that missing this year.

     

    One reason may be associate turnover:  many hotels have downsized and combined functions, meaning that you'll find new faces at the front desk when you check in, sometimes, in the same month! 

     

    It is the economy as well. It seems that the "do more with less" mantra is being felt at every property.  Ask a a manager and you'll get the news hard and fast if they know you well.

     

    But, that being said, there is no reason why requests (high floor, refrigerator, extra pillows, etc.) cannot be honored if humanly possible.  If have had the same experience with the fridge delivery, and find that it's less than 50% actually.  Room guarantee seems to be OK in my case but I do not travel as much as you do. I have had small waits on hold, never more than a minute, and have never had the person forget or lose my rewards account number.

     

    If I ran the world (or even Marriott), I'd convene a summit at year's end to address these consistency issues.  Marriott must understand that it's most frequent guests are the reason that they are as successful as they are and provide extra service to that smaller, elite group. 

     

    It's not a matter of adding levels as much as it is dealing with the facts as they are:

     

    • Elites seem to be getting less and less special treatment

     

    • Many Marriott Associates seem unaware of most guarantees reserved for elites, especially Platinum Elites.

     

    • Special requests are often unheeded--perhaps because of staffing and cost-cutting.

     

    So, here we are, wondering what's next, hopefully not more of the same.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Stepping and Plat. Prin.

     

    I just want to say I support your comments and observations about Marriott stays this year.

     

    I really notice more of the staff does not really know what Platinum level means when you check-in!  I used to stay at Holiday Inn's until they forgot who the elite customers where.  (They still don't get it at most HI's)

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    " Back up and follow through with what each tier benefits actually are. "

     

    Well said.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    "Maybe Marriott could just focus on it's current system.  Back up and follow through with what each tier benefits actually are."

    "CONSISTENCY and ATTENTION TO DETAIL."

     

     Great post.  Problem solved!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    pltnmprincess Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    NUHUSKER:

    ""Maybe Marriott could just focus on it's current system.  Back up and follow through with what each tier benefits actually are."
    "CONSISTENCY and ATTENTION TO DETAIL."
     
     Great post.  Problem solved!"

     

    I have to disagree with you.  While Marriott should absolutely focus on its current system and provide consistency and attention to detail, this is a different problem than what the Plutonium status concept is addressing.  No level of status (silver, gold platinum, plutonium) is worth anything if the promised benefits are not delivered, and if this is the case we should all find a new program.

     

    THE problem that Plutonium status is trying to solve is the problem of benefits not being available to those who have PAID stays of 100 or 125+ nights per year because more people vying for a finite number of upgraded rooms means your chance of getting the upgrade goes down.  With the double nights programs and roll-over programs,  it absolutely means more people now have status that otherwise would not have it.  Great business for Marriott, great for those who earn status because of these programs, not so great for the poor person who actually lives half the year in hotels where an upgrade would really make a difference in the stay.  In my opinion, THIS problem is far from being solved.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    mdlegend Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    I think its very easy. If you spend 100 plus night a year in a hotel they should give you everything.  That customer is dedicated, driven, success oriented, and a true part of the place where he or she stays.  The price to keep that customer is very small compared to the price it would cost to gain a new customer of that caliber. 

     

    Just my thoughts.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "THE problem that Plutonium status is trying to solve is the problem of benefits not being available to those who have PAID stays of 100 or 125+ nights per year because more people vying for a finite number of upgraded rooms means your chance of getting the upgrade goes down. "

     

    As a "problem definition" there is lack of clarity. Following the upgrade senario:

    PAID always trumps when it comes to upgrade irrespective of status.  An upgrade for a stay using points combined with the higher-than-Platinum-elite level might mean that Marriott would have to 'walk' the guest with a lower Elite status that PAID for that upgrade. 'Walking' incurs cost plus the added guest dissatisfaction. 

    IMO, this particular scenario presents a conundrum and you are correct, not easily solved.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Well, the upside to this is that I wasn't trying to convince anybody of anything...simply speaking for myself and stating my opinion and agreeing with others that consistency and attention to detail will solve the problem for me.  So really, it just comes down to what you actually think the problem is...consistency and attention to detail as I and others do, or the need for more "status" as some others feel is necessary.  Seems to me that Marriott has it's hands full with the existing programs and getting/keeping them right before it concerns itself with another ego inflator.  And as long as there are double nights and rollover nights which allow MR members to accelerate their progress to the next level, and hotels which allow lounge access to silver level members, then the entire program is going to be watered down for everyone.  Creating another level is like saying the three cars in my garage are out of gas, so I'll just go buy another car to drive.  Ridiculous idea!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    For every 50 people who are "almost Gold or Platinum", 1 person has stayed their 75 nights (or 175 nights).

     

    pltmpri - what is the source of this figure?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    NUHusker:

     

    Well said! There is a lot of ego gratification that comes with status but it is fleeting. Rather than having to display the status why can't Marriott recognize it and act accordingly 100% of the time?

     

    The real issue, it seems to me, is the earned Elite status of any Marriott Rewards member and the way in which the Elite member is treated. I sometimes get caught up in my own world of points and nights, so I am not blameless here. (full disclosure).

     

    Let me explain:  I would like to check in and note that the Marriott Associate recognizes my Elite Level and makes a comment to the effect that he'd like to welcome me as a (fill in the level) Elite member. If possible, maybe thank me for my loyalty to Marriott, and offer his or her personal thanks. If sincere, this conversation goes a long way toward making a visit enjoyable.

     

    This sets the tone for the entire stay, and has for me on those occasions when I have been greeted this way.  Once offered as a greeting the number of things that can be offered seem to flow:  both points and Platinum welcome gift, free something like parking or Internet, etc.

     

    The Marriott experience begins not with the guest having to prove they are elite but the Associate recognizing and acting on the Elite status of the man or woman checking in on the other side of the reception desk.  If there were no customers there would be no company.  And to quote Deming, the customer defines quality.

     

    So please, Marriott, find a way to standardize Marriott Associate Recognition of Elites at each level from Platinum to Silver so that the rewards (some intangible) begin at the reception desk and with a simple exchange of thanks from Marriott to me.  Might work wonders, who can say?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    bikesdestroy Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    pltnmprincess said:

    "With the double nights programs and roll-over programs,  it absolutely means more people now have status that otherwise would not have it.  "

     

    Agreed.

     

    As an example, due to the 'Double Night Promotion' earlier this year, I currently have accrued more nights this calender year than have elapsed thus far (or that will elapse total for that matter!).  With the upcoming 'Roll-Over' program beginning in 2010, it's going to be borderline absurd.  Completely devalued.

    I still don't believe another tier is the solution though.

    The Elite pool is more crowded than ever.  So how does Marriott tell us all apart?  I suggest that Marriott decreases the number of promotions.  I could care less how many points they give away, that only affects Marriott.  

    But nights? If Marriott gives away freely the very means it takes to achieve the various levels of status, then what's the point? 


    If there is a shortcut to the cheese, why navigate the maze?

     

    Troy

      

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    pltnmprincess Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Nuhusker,

     

    You are certainly entitled to state your opinion, and I have always appreciated your opinions.  I was simply stating mine which is that I dont think THIS particular problem is solved by attention to detail and consistency.  I would expect those to be a given, and if they are not, then I think we are in agreement that it doesnt matter what your status is:  any status would basically be meaningless.

     

    If the 3 cars in your garage are a Ford, Toyota, and Mercedes (all with plenty of gas and running well) and you earned enough money to buy yourself a Mazerati - I say go for it!!

     

    Regarding your question, I was basically reiterating a point made by Thinze3 in the Double Nights thread.  I have copied the post below.

    "Pingreeman

    You do have a good point, but Marriott probably has 50 people who have 37.5 nights to every 1 that has 175. As a business decision, yes Marriott should appease the 50, even if it means not having a room for you every once in a while."

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    FYI -- All the cars I own, personal and work fleet, are Ford.  Fortunately, those in my garage generally have gas in them since we no longer have teenagers at home.  

    Thinking about this a little more, if I had a Mazerati I'd sell it.  Wonder how much I could get for plutonium "status"?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    zukracer Alumni Steward Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I think its important to note that there *IS* a level above Platinum.  Its rediculously hard to get and theres is no documented requirements, its just the top 2-3% of all MR members from what I have read.

     

    That being said, I've put over 200nights in and not achived that Premier level but have several coworkers that have made it.  Not sure really what the difference is, my room is typically same floor, within a few doors.  I would love to see another level that splits the difference.  Most nights when I'm checking in, I hear the same "we have your platinum rewards number on file" for the 3 or 4 folks in front of me.  Regardless of actual nights or bonus nights, something for the 125 nights + or whatever the level is would be great.


    The down side as mentioned in a previous reply, status seems to count very little these days.  In some places it seems to be important upon checkin, others they could care less.  I find this across the brands, though at full service and JW locations I almost always get an upgrade of some type.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    pltnmprincess Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Troy,

     

    Thank you for your posts!!  Your experiences as a "permanent Marriott resident" are invaluable and I hope you are willing to share more of those with us.  I have found the expertise in this forum to be most helpful and I appreciate the various perspectives.  I hope Marriott is taking some of our suggestions and putting them to action.

     

    Hope to hear more from you!!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Princess

     

    While in Boston, we enjoyed Disney's Holiday on Ice at the TD Garden.  Connecting the dots to the theme of this discussion, the parallel to Disney's character, Pluto, Mickey's faithful dog and the 'Plutonium' tier is strikingly deliberate, if not mocking.  While Pluto is a benign character, not all canines share that attribute.  When antagonized, they will bark, whine and howl.  How clever.

     

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I think the 5th tier has a name - Unobtanium

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
    phctourist Platinum 20 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I believe that Marriott knows the relative value of different members, based upon how much we stay, how much money we spend, and whether & how much we use a MR VISA.  I would never argue that I am more (or less valuable) to Marriott than someone who stays more nights but does not use a Marriott VISA.  I have no idea how Marriott values each guest.  I do believe that Marriott values me, as a guest, and that's what concerns me!

     

    If we are going to add a category that gives more credit to actual nights, shouldn't they also consider making certain that those nights are not paid with discounted rates?  Shouldn't pricier brands like Ritz and JW get more credit than a stay at FFI or RI?

     

    This would become such a can of worms that someone at Marriott might even decide thaqt the idea of a loyalty program is too big of a burden.

     

    I do believe that this suggestion is typical of today's attitudes where people worry too much about others getting too much and not enough about making certain that they, themselves, get a fair share.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
      ne_traveling_man Platinum 8 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      You can't go by brand - if you look at Key West as an example, you could book a Fairfield Inn for a week at the end of March and it can start at $409 a night while the Marriott is $351 a night.  Location will drive prices in some cases; while I will agree that Ritz and JW are always going to cost more than most of the other Marriott brands (AC would probably be an exception in most locations). 

      I would be curious to know, what incentive Marriott gets from Chase with the credit card (besides encouraging users to stay at Marriott vs other hotels).  There has to be a financial gain that Marriott wants this partnership to exist and is happy to have more Gold and Platinum members as a result of the partnership.

      I agree that the "road warriors" probably deserve more for their business to Marriott (though I know some companies require it be with Marriott as they get a discounted rate).  While I travel on business, my actual stays are almost split 50/50 between work and personal/leisure stays.  While I am not staying 100 plus nights a year in a Marriott property, I am a fairly higher end location personal user of Marriott and quite possibly my actual total spend could be more than the "road warrior" who has stayed the 100 plus nights.  Should Marriott count nights to determine levels or spend??  I hate to open this can of worms as quite honestly I am happy with the current approach that Marriott takes with this program. Could it be better?  Probably yes in some of my experiences, but overall I am satisfied with the "perks" that I get with Marriott.

      This concludes the random thoughts of one man's opinion..... fire at will.....

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
        jakeal Gold 15 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        @ne_traveling_man, I am having the exact issue IAHFLYR describes in another post about tagging members who have user names with underscores. I am responding specifically to your question about what incentive Marriott gets from Chase - one specific incentive is that Chase is buying points from Marriott to then turn around and give out as sign-up bonuses and for spending.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
          ne_traveling_man Platinum 8 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Thanks jakeal for the information.  So if that is the case, it is a win/win for Marriott and Chase.... I understand and have experienced it myself the overcrowded Concierge Lounge because of all the Gold and Platinum members.  I typically only use it on business to grab a bagel and an apple and some water so I don't stay there very often.  It beats staying at Courtyard and paying for Starbucks coffee and the 8 to 10 dollar breakfast....

          Off the point of the original posting, so yes I am for another level - it would just be interesting to see what Marriott would offer these members and would it be enough to distinguish between a Premiere Platinum and a Plutonium member - is the additional perk worth something.... i guess my point is that if it is not something a bit more exceptional than what is given now to a Premiere Platinum member would that satisfy the Plutonium member of would they expect more... At a certain point, recognition could become watered down (possibly further than what some feel exists today).

          Me, I'm happy being Platinum with the extra points and having my room upgraded more often than not.... 

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
        phctourist Platinum 20 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Sometimes, every Marriott hotel in a city seems to be offered at the same Government Employees rate.  I assume that this is due to a contract between Marriott and the Feds. 

         

        This never occurs for any other rate!

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
          Platinum
          Currently Being Moderated

          There is federal govt rate that is specific to a region. Any hotel offering govt rate must offer a rate that is at or below the regional rate. Here's a link:

          Per Diem Rates Look-Up

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
          Platinum
          Currently Being Moderated

          but wait - this would make misterchk quite upset (and rightfully so) since it's totally off topic!

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: Marriott needs a Plutonium tier
            peymanagement Platinum
            Currently Being Moderated

            This is a perfect example of what he is talking about. This post started in 2012, it should have been archived long ago.

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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