How about a consortium of Platinum programs that crosses brand lines and hotel companies? This would allow those who have reached Lifetime Platinum (or equivalent) status within Marriott to be comped into Lifetime Platinum status within Hilton Honors, IHG, Fairmont, etc.
As a lifer many of us are winding down our traveling careers and would appreciate the reciprocity of program benefits.
No one has had the nerve (or wants to be first) in implementing this fair plan (for those living in MA it bears no resemblance to that one).
What do other Insiders think?
I too would welcome it!
Especially when there are so many markets that we cannot choose a Marriott property. That is the main reason I am a Diamond with Hilton. I just go to so many smaller markets with no Marriott choices.
Look at the success AMEX has by having selected "Travel Partners"!
of course, as a lifer that will be winding down sooner or later, I would embrace such an idea. why wouldn't I? Wait a sec.... If I can't seem to get upgraded now, how on earth will I ever get upgraded if there are many, many more platinums dumped into the pool???
I give a very strong THUMBS DOWN to this idea. Talk about diluting the elite program..... Frankly, in my mind it would also render all my efforts to stay at marriott exclusively over the years, irelevent (sp).
Shoeman, your glass is definitely half empty, I can see that.
Actually the hotel lifer pool (of which I am a member in two programs) is not really that large compared to the entire membership. Some dilution would happen, of course, but less than almost nothing is still almost nothing as the saying goes. So if you get very little now from lifetime why worry?
My fear is that all loyalty programs will end sooner than later but that the "end" will be incremental, and relatively unnoticed: just like airlines "improve" their frequent flier programs while diminishing the chance to redeem miles and get upgrades. I see the hotel folks realizing that this is costing them lots of money, and if there's another downturn in the economy (5 bucks a gallon is a good start for that), then the programs will be tweaked and not to the advantage of their membership.
Just my opinion, of course, and worth every cent!
somehow, your argument begins to sound like what we are hearing out of washington these days about "spreading the wealth". well, I would rather keep mine, thank you. Also, I question what would be in it for Marriott to build this consortium? Either way, I enjoy the conversation and welcome your further thoughts.
Good questions Shoeman. I have no inside information that this is even being considered, but wondered what the issues for and against might be. Your posts and others have helped me think of this in broader terms--thanks for that.
Marriott might view this as a risky proposition, from the standpoint of additional cost with additional members. You're right there.
Also, decisions in the corporate world require a cost/benefit analysis, and that might be the first step. That said, there is a tendency to let one sector try something and see if it flies (baggage charge on planes comes to mind), then implement.
I remember a NYC phrase from when I was young: "Does Macy's tell Gimbels?"
Considering that Marriott, Hilton and Starwood are competitors, the only possible benefit I could see for any company would be if they thought they could poach Lifetime Elite-level customers from the other company.
But since the targeted customer is already Lifetime Elite at Brand M, is s/he likely to suddenly stay enough at Brand H with such a carrot being dangled in front of him/her for Brand H to risk pissing off their own Elite-level customers? (Whether Lifetime or not)
As a Marriott LPE, I would personally love such a deal.
As a realistic businessman, I'm not sure I see the benefit to Brands M, H, or S.
I certainly can't imagine Continental/United Airlines. offering those benefits to the Lifetime Elites from Delta or American!
The whole idea of a loyaltry program is to build loyalty to your own product, not recognize or reward a customer's loyalty to a competitor.
Much a I would love such an arrangement, I personally don't think this dog is gonna hunt!
Good morning, Husker, Shoe,
How do you think we keep the rats in the subway under control? And don't get me started on the alligators in the sewers. A man's gotta protect his family!
Seriously, I'm a tranplant from the beautiful countryside of Chemung County NY and my entire family was one of hunters. (Wasn't my cup of tea, but I understand the process.)
I know how to milk a cow too, but they're pretty hard to find here in Manhattan. Hardly ever see 'em on Broadway.
In case you're looking for clarification about the "when I was young" part of my original post: I moved to NYC when I was 24. (Gimbels was still in business then.) Compared to how old I am now, 24 was YOUNG.
I was a hick from Horseheads (its a real place - check it out, real pretty area) cut loose in Manhattan and I knew I had found where I was meant to be.. You can take the boy out of the country, but ya can't take the country out of the boy!
I think it's a very valid idea but might be unworkable due to:
1. I envision it becoming a "time share type exchange" - i.e. during certain periods it would be impossible to acquire space for rewards and each company would favor their own members first.
2. Secondly, it might not be necessary to "cross lines" to another company as Marriott has numerous brands where in most cases one of them will suffice.
Just one traveler's opinion.
OK, first off, I am a 4th generation NYer, can trace my family back to 1880 coming into NYC from austro-hungarian empire, and while I know where Horseheads is, and no offense, I wouldnt go there unless I had to. Just too rural for this city boy. No onto the topic. Anyone rember Allegiant? It was the combo of old UA, plus westin and avis, idea was an integrated flight/hotel/car company woith cross loyalty bennies. Stock market hated it, and it was unwound 25 years or so ago. Do I think the idea of a cross company loyalty is great- yes, but lets face reality, how would the $$ fit in if you earn in one and use in another. Amex got into it to be competitive with the FF programs and UA and other allow merchandise (terrible points usage if you ask me). So its a noble idea, but I dont see it working. Am Ex uses its buying power to get merch and cards at a dsicsount, so they dont pay too much for the "rewards" they offer
As to loyalty programs, if UA, AA, DL MR, HIL, *wood ever stop, then I start using the fine hotels of the world and the meg travel companies can bottom feed for the lowest spender since they would give nothing in return (feels like th 1970's). Rewards and FF programs are used to drive behavior, If they werent in place, I would expect prices to drop since noone would need to "pay" for the properties to buy points from the flag company they fly. Odds of that happening are slim to none, and if MR and others want the business, they will retain loyalty programs in some form, because the backlash would be too great. Once you offer a bennie, it is hard to take it away in TOTAL (piecemeal reductions get noise but are tolerated). Just look at "entitlement reform" for SS and Mediscare that will be bankrupt shortly after I am eligible for them. That's why I saved up my MR points, that way I have a place to live and can use my cash to buy healthcare.
"Just too rural for this city boy."
The words "too rural" can only logically be followed by "city boy."
But for record, I'm probably more out of my element in the city, than you are in the country. We live in a great country!
You mentioned Allegiant. That airline still flies to a handful of destinations from DSM and CID....las vegas, sanford, and probably others. Is that the same Allegiant you're referring to?