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Oddly enough I was denied the automatic room upgrade because I was paying "state rate". I've never had this happen before. The desk clerk said that Platinum Elite Status no longer means that they have to attempt to upgrade you and that this new policy is on the web site. I must've missed the notice on this one and I can't find it anywhere posted on the Marriot site.
I think the policy varies by hotel. The fact that lesser rates are treated differently smacks of discrimination to me. But then when I traveled on orders I normally got poor locations and poor chances of an upgrade. Making Gold then Platinum things got better, but there were times when the special rate deserved less than special treatment!
The desk clerk is wrong about the statement. There is no recent upgrade policy as the T&Cs look the same as they have for the last several years. As such, I would send an e-mail to email@example.com and request that the hotel provide an explanation to this misunderstanding of upgrade policy.
All assumes you are not considering a suite as an upgrade ==> suites are specifically excluded in the T&C.
I've been told that my rate would impact my room upgrade in the past as well, my response has almost always been to inform them that I would seek alternate accomodations. Not because I didnt get the upgrade because we all know that its hit or miss (mostly miss) but simply because they would nickle and dime me in that way. As a loyal member (at any level) the rate should not be tossed in your face because lets face it, if you were paying the highest rate possible your chances of an upgrade do not increase at all.
That being said, I have been upgraded quite often when using special rates, some even lower than the local/fed govt rate. Suites are definitely not a sure thing even as PP but I get them almost as much as I dont these days, which is pretty nice.
I think the biggest thing is the market and property. The property has the ultimate call on the upgrade and type. They do have some guidelines but they are not "rules" even at PP level, which is how/why they can get away with it. If you are in a market that is likely to be a high business travel area, you might miss an upgrade simply because of occupancy. If the upgrade or chance of it is important to you, I would suggest you look at the hotel room selections on the hotel's site. They tell you how many suites they have in the property. If you are in the middle of no where and they have a bunch of rooms you might expect an upgrade more regularly. If you are in Dallas and they have 4 suites in the property, eh, you probably want to just going to get the room you booked.
Definitely email customer care and let them know though, its almost like having the waiter chase you down because you only left 15% for the tip LOL
First, WHERE IS "Marriott" on this topic? This kind of discussion amongst Insiders, while interesting and appreciated, really needs a "Corporate" response. Even if "Marriott" only posts a quick response to the thread which says "Researching" at least we know we've caught the company's attention. Then, when responses are received from the appropriate departments, "Marriott" can simply revise the original "Researching" response with a more substantive answer.
In this case, we have a specific hotel referenced in TKodiak's post and a desk clerk who has quoted T&C's which don't appear to exist. Seems like an easy fix: "Marriott" contacts the GM and says "what the heck is going on at your hotel in Verona NY and why are your employees quoting changes to the T&C which don't exist?"
As for the topic at hand, I was always of the impression that any perks or benefits I received when staying at Marriott brands was a result of my Marriott Rewards Elite Status and NOT because of the rate I was paying.
I often look for and use various discounted rate (all of which I am qualified to use: Sr Citizen (when traveling with my spouse). AAA, Travel Industry, Elite Marriott Rewards Special rates and deals.
We all know that if a hotel is full, or close to it, the property's reservations manager restricts or completely blacks out any discounted rates since they would have the chance to sell that room for full price.
But if a hotel is having a period where they can't fill up the property, the local reservations manager will open up the discounts in order to fill as many rooms as possible - even if at less than full rate. It is NOT WITHIN OUR CONTROL if a hotel isn't full and has resorted to discounting to fill empty rooms. It is only logical that Marriott guests should try to get the best rates available for us.
While I have no control over whether or not a hotel has had to resort to discounting to fill rooms, it is VERY MUCH within my control to determine whether or not the service I am getting from a company (in this case, Marriott) merits my continued loyalty. And if I ever get the sense that my business - at whatever rate Marriott made available, as long as I am qualified for that rate - is not appreciated, I will (and have) very quickly "vote(d) with my feet". I make it a point to let the highest person in the food chain at the hotel I can speak to know exactly why I'm leaving and that the consequences will be a complaint with Marriott.
TKodiak, thanks for the input. There have not been any changes to the Platinum Elite status benefits and room upgrades are not tied to the room rate. I assume you booked through marriott.com with your Marriott Rewards number and had the reservations in your name? (likely a standard practice as a Platinum member, but I'm just confirming). While the program and benefits haven't changed, it is entirely possible there weren't any rooms available for an upgrade at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, particularly since suites are excluded.
I wasn't even noted as a platinum member or offered arrival points unitl I stopped back at the desk and told them I preferred the arrival points. I always book through the Marriott website, I'm on the road a lot and I can get more done through the website.
My problem is that TK clearly stated "The desk clerk said that Platinum Elite Status no longer means that they have to attempt to upgrade you and that this new policy is on the web site."
If true, the clerk KNEW his status, whether it was in the reservation before that moment or not, and was apparently stating a property policy in conflict with Marriott Rewards Policy. If there were no upgrade rooms available, NO PROBLEM, but that's not what he seems to be saying. It appears to be more 'Better rooms are available, but I don't have to give you one'.