As a frequent business traveler who has many short stays (>over 135 nights last year) It is a pain to have to cancel the day before on some short notice trips. So far I have avoided the cancellation fees but it is inevitable that it is going to happen sooner or later and it will come directly out of my pocket when it does. My company won't pay for it and they are going to suggest that I find a room at some random hotel instead of making advanced reservations. Personally I find that this fee is showing lack of respect for your main customers, the business traveler. Its intention is to bring in more money to your bottom line, clearly. I rarely have to cancel reservations but it does happen. As a long time customer of Marriott as well as a couple of other chains I find this appalling. The airlines have done it as well adding all the fees to their ticket prices. When I fly i always get horrible seats for the same reason, my company won't pay for all the extras like seat selection etc. At my age it is a comfort to know that I don't have to try to find a hotel room in a strange city while driving around at the last minute so this is important to me. I am a gold for life member, hoping to be platinum for life before I retire. I hope that Marriott figures out that customer loyalty is also important and eventually hits the bottom line. Maybe offer to waive the fees for members or at least gold and above?
I understand what you're saying, bigdave240. I agree with your idea, or, if Marriott doesn't want to do it based on rewards status, how about a set number per year, say five or 10 cancellations without any penalty, on the assumption that if a person has more than that number it's excessive? Either way, I think agree with you. It hasn't happened to me yet either, but I can't predict the future!
I agree that I don't like the new cancellation policy. The old policy was that you had up until a certain time the day of check-in. Whether you are a business traveler like me or just a leisure traveler who is not able to get to their original destination as expected, it is very inconvenient. It could be many things beyond the travelers control - weather, airline cancellations, traffic problems. I travel for leisure as well and as much as you would like to get to a certain city in a day sometimes it just doesn't happen which forces me to book the day of arrival and is less than a good situation.