I just completed a stay in Boston, booking it via the Marriott website using the 'flight and hotel' option on Marriott.com back in March. Even prepaid. Learned today the error of my ways. According to Gold Elite line, that really isn't "Marriott"; "you should book direct with us". Alas, it turns out, it's a 3rd party they use. That apparently means no points and no elite nights. Bummer, as I thought I would only be 5 nights away from renewing gold for next year as of this July (with six nights more booked, shortly to be canceled) and was contemplating a dash toward platinum. Instead, I find myself renewing my Hilton loyalty program and will be canceling my Marriott VISA Signature credit card. To be fair, it was pointed out today that the fine print says "select rates may not qualify for airline miles or hotel rewards". It is something like bullet point 12 in the fine print. Interestingly, Delta Air gave me credits, but "Marriott" (third party) did not. Oh, I will get 5,000 'bonus' points in about a month, but not points for stay, concierge club closed, promotion stay, etc. (about 15,000 points by my calculation). Worse, no one I spoke to could explain how one knows what 'select rates' means.
I find it sad my first post will be my last. Marriott Rewards used to be a loyalty program. Sure don't feel the love from even a couple years ago. Time to move on, in my case back to a program that once served me in Diamond status. Good luck to those of you who remain. Don't click flight and hotel package button lest you suffer my fate.
Sorry to hear about your plans to leave marriott and about your bad experience with the flight + hotel booking options.
My one tip would be to always research first. There are numerous posts, both herre and on flyertalk discussing this same issue, and while I agree it is an issue, it is fairly well documented. I'll be honest, it seems a little drastic to no longer frequent a brand because of this, or to cancel a credit card because of this, but, to each their own. It's probably a good way to get attention from staff, but it likely won't get you your points or elite nights.
As far as getting airline miles, almost all airlines will award miles for flights booked through third parties. Almost no hotel chains will give you points/nights for third party bookings.
There is also an FAQ page, ( Kid and Family Friendly Vacation Packages and Deals) that is by no means "fine print" which lists that it is both third party, and not elligible for points/nights.
Not trying to be the bad guy here, but yeah.
Not a minute of my time, I type fast.
And you've already posted more than you stated..........."I find it sad my first post will be my last".
I just don't like folks coming here to voice a gripe and then state they are leaving Marriott. Thus my reply. Should you have the desire to be part of Marriott and this community that is full of excellent travel advice and more, then I will swallow my words. Otherwise, your loss.
Apparently, you bring out the worst in me! You raise a fair point. I too don't just gripe to gripe; hence my "first/last" comment. I promise I will let it die here. Those who disagree "have at me" knowing I will go down in silence, reading all, hoping only that one other member does not suffer my fate!! Wish you all the best.
I appreciate you pointing out what happened so that others can learn. I also would have assumed anything booked on marriott.com would be considered "booking through Marriott". We don't all have time to research these things or consult a lawyer before clicking. As for the true 3rd party sites like travelocity, etc, I have no sympathy for those that have issues with a hotel when using them and can't get satisfaction from either the site nor the hotel.
Many call this type of post "one and done". I'd say take a deep breath - you can always skip MRI, (Marriott Rewards Insiders) site, but you might not want to skip every Marriott Property based on this one rather lousy experience.
Having left the HH folks and never looked back over serious discrimination issues, I can say I'm happier at Marriott.
Thanks for your perspective. That's the beauty of a forum like this!
I get your point of view and appreciate that others have likely gone (and reported) before me and "I should have learned". Frankly sounds like Marriott's response. I might add this is not my only disappointment lately so my reaction is cumulative, not just knee jerk but wanted to spare those details lest it become a bit## session. At this point, not really looking for "satisfaction" from Marriott. Just hoping to inform others as ignorant as I apparently was.
The lesson here, I believe, is that when you book via an airline site for travel (Like DL, AA, UA, etc) they often offer hotels and now with UA and AA on Rocketmiles, if you take the hotel and rate offered via the airline booking, it becomes, in effect, a third party booking (since it wasn't done thru Marriott.com). The warning here is to be careful how you book travel so if you wish, you can max the points earnings. When I travel for leisure and pay out of pocket, I never use the airline site to book the hotel, usually because I find the hotel sites offer better and often more deals than the airline site does. On the rental car front, where the third party booking doesn't result in any loss of points or other penalty, I often find better deals from the airline than on Hertz, Avis, Budget or National sites, (but not always, so I check them separately as well).
I think the poster had deeper frustrations as they have stated, which for those of us who have or used to travel frequently, can probably relate to; so I can understand the once and done posting, but would encourage them to come back and let us know how things are for them.
Hilton is no panacea, and they really devalued that loyalty program a few years ago. I found that the greener grass on the other side is often AstroTurf, and so its not always a real as it seems. But hey, to each their own.
As one of the star wars characters once said (pardon my paraphrasing): "Book wisely my child, and may the hotel site be up and running and allow you to book what you want without losing points"
drr14 if this really was your last post, then I am sorry to see you go. I will say that my experiences have been both up and down with almost any hotel/airline/car rental, etc. loyalty program. Personally, I don't care for Hilton from a string of issues several years ago. And whatever cumulative set of events transpired to make you take your business elsewhere, then that is both your business and none of ours; and sadly Marriott's loss for not fully appreciating how folks book travel and how they value the program.
Generally speaking I think there is a broad push in the industry to push consumers toward loyalty through various mechanisms, but trying to balance that with the revenue generated. So, companies are moving toward rewarding credit cards which have created a glut of "benefits" in the system (too many people with too much status and too many points) which means the company can only gift fewer benefits or create more tiers, etc. to combat the challenge.
Though each of us has an unique experience, we all tend to believe that our few measly dollars (in the scheme of the multi-billion dollar hotel and travel industry) will make them sit up and take notice. It won't. The sad fact is that one has to find the right balance for themselves - it seems you have found yours at Hilton and I wish you luck.
However, and the thing I hope the moderators here notice, is that the recent changes (past few years) to the Marriott website have made it challenging and confusing to book. Frankly, one could argue a bait and switch mindset when booking on a link through the company's website does not generate the benefits of the company's program. Regardless of how well documented it "may or may not" be, how customer focused is it to promote booking channels that provide no additional benefit to the customer.
I greatly appreciate you providing us a warning regarding this issue, and I hope you continue to participate in Insiders. I agree with mrbmbrown regarding the difficulty in keeping up with Marriott's website changes and policy restrictions regarding what earns points. I don't think Bill Marriott would appreciate these types of changes, and their impact on loyal customers. I recently learned the hard way by booking a 'no cancellation' rate by accident on the website because I was in a hurry and didn't read the fine print. I agree with you that I would expect anything booked on the Marriott website would qualify to earn points, similar to the upgrade fees paid for award nights. Management appears to be trying to find new ways to restrict our ability to earn points, and add fine print to T&C to cover themselves.
So sorry to hear of this drr14! My name is Cara and I am one of the Community Managers here on the forum. I'd like to take a deeper look into this for you and have gone ahead and sent you a direct message.
The same thing happened to me a few years ago after booking the Ritz in NYC. Booked on their website and chose the flight and hotel option. Even though my confirmation was from the Ritz and I booked directly through their website, I was informed it was a third party and not eligible for any reward benefits.