I feel your pain! But I must share a story of a recent stay that further adds to the pain... Recently found out I was Lifetime Platinum and when I checked into a major San Diego property they gave NO special greeting or upgrade or nothing! Matter of fact when I inquired about the upgrade they said they were saving those for the convention VIPS!!??
So I guess my 12 + years of loyalty make me an un-VIP??
Thanks for nothing Marriott for achieving your highest level of loyalty
Loyalty exposed, Texaschef! At least they told the you the truth. Sometimes it is the variance in the stories that bothers me more than the we-can't attitude I encounter. I'll bet there is a matrix somewhere hidden away that lets them decide who gets what and if the hotel were unoccupied, then the gifts would flow our way. Since the hotels are nearly dully filled we shuffle to the end of the line
I guess it still comes down to the fact that our upgrades and Platinum status, still are at a "when available" condition. I think that if they can sell an upgraded room, they will, because it does mean lost revenue (probably only the price difference between your room cost and the upgraded room cost) to the hotel if they turn down a paying guest to give it to one of us Platinum, or other Elite levels as a free benefit. I wouldn't have been happy either, but unfortunately, I think I do understand it. I hope your next stay gets you a nice upgrade, maybe to a suite!
This gets at the issue. There is a triangle here: the person checking in, the associative front desk, and room availability. The third leg of the triangle – – room availability – – in almost all cases is the longest leg and gets the primary sort. While I understand this need to fill rooms at maximum rates on the part of the hotel, it still hurts to see a guarantee for best room available subverted because of the fullness of the hotel.
You're right. It does a lot to make us feel less important to the brand. This would also have been a case where the guaranteed 1 - 4 Upgrades would have worked, and we would have realized how much we were appreciated by Marriott, if that had been available (at least I would hope we would realize and appreciate it). I hope we see that as one of the benefits they decide to implement as they decide what to do!
I think there may be an additional potential cost involved for the property when they 'upgrade' an elite member. Let's say they upgrade you to a suite, then I call looking for a fully-paid suite. Assuming the one given to you was the last one available, the hotel is out at least the difference between a regular room and the suite. However, it may be likely that the person willing to pay full-boat for a suite, would then say 'sorry, Marriott' and take his business down the street to a total that had a suite available. Now, the hotel is not just out the difference, but has also lost a customer for the night. This may seem unlikely to some, but think of it in terms of a first class seat on an airplane. I'm sure that a person willing to pay for a first class seat will look for other options if his first choice is not available. As much as Marriott (and others) appreciate there site members, I am sure they have a most special place in their hearts for their guests that book suites at full price........ It is a business after all.
I agree with you Shoeman if cost were the only consideration in making a customer happy. In fact, it seems to me that our continued loyalty to Marriott should engender a way for Marriott to develop a scheme whereby most loyal members would be given a chance to be upgraded regardless of the cost. other companies have decided that taking a small reduction in profit engenders loyalty – – Nordstrom department store for example will continue to match the price a customer finds anywhere else at a department store even if that means selling the item in question for less than they paid. I think Marriott could set aside a fund to reimburse hotelsfor the upgrading of elites. While not a perfect solution it would make the hotel owners, franchisees, and loyal guests a lot happier
I will put the NathalieF tag in here to see if we can get a response on the merit of your idea of a fund to reimburse hotels for Marriott Elite upgrades. We coule start an idea on this also.
Thanks tryt53 for including me and creating the idea so Insiders can vote. We'll make sure your ideas are heard and we'll keep you posted on any progress. We're still working on our framework for ideas from the community for things just like this because we welcome your input. More to come.
The flip side to that is..................How many First Class seats have you seen empty ?
I have seen zero...........(at least on Delta)........................because they always "upgrade" their tiered "elites" in order at the last minute. Something Marriott should demand that their "associates" do, and something we should all "expect".
great point! However, at what point do you release the room? 4 pm, 5pm, 8 pm, midnight?. Therin lies the problem with that idea..... Airlines can release the final seats as the plane is about to leave the gate, hotels never close off the boarding process so-to-speak.
I suggest they use the cancellation time of 6 PM.
Even though I usually dont show up until after 6 pm, I would have no issues with my top tiered brethren scoring an upgrade as long as it was fair, consistent and automatic.
A disclaimer on their website stating that unoccupied rooms considered as "upgraded rooms" (or something similar), will be awarded to top tier status customers after the 6 PM deadline, would go a long way in avoiding confusion.
There is no "wiggle room" for the associates at that point.
Those that get their before 6 and want to "wait" for an upgrade, can then partake in the overpriced beverages at the bars.............
Here is an example of what I am talking about. I am on a flight from Dallas to new York tomorrow. There are currently 33 seats aspen in coach and 6 seats open in first class. my status with the airline avails me of free upgrades that can be awarded to me up to 100 hours before departure. I am presently way in the back. The airline has some system that tells them there is still a possibility that the 6 first class seats available could be purchased by full fare travelers and they are holding them back in hopes of enhanced revenues. Both of you are right, you will not see an empty seat when you board, but that doesn't mean that the airline didn't hold back til the last possible moment before releasing these seats to their elite members. My point is that an airline can 'release these seats moments before boarding, a hotel has to rely on imperrical data that shows the likelihood of someone showing up last-minute desiring a full fare suite. Because of this, I would hope that efforts to obtain a defined amount of guaranteed upgrades annually would be successful. That way, hotels would not be gambling with this decision as the upgrade would happen at booking.
Right -- the algorithm is buried somewhere and tweaked by human beings but the requirements for upgrading seem to be the same--maximum seat and room revenue. Also, airlines since deregulation cannot name a price that stays long, since there is constant fluctuation on seats in coach and even at times in First. Hotels have lesser fluctuations but as you know discounts open if the hotel is not full almost at the last minute.
so true. a good friend of mine often books his room the afternoon prior to his stay. he often will be in the sam hotel as I for about a 40% discount. He doesn't mind not knowing what 3 star hotel he is in and will take whichever one is available. I, on the other hand, am loyal to Marriott (for the most part), and also want to know well in advance where I am resign my head for the evening.
So true, and why so many people use it!
As I see it the game has changed quite a bit since the last decade:
That is correct, and there's the rub: do I want/need the points or not. Now--big question and this happened to me at a Hilton when I was stranded and the airline picked the hotel: My Hilton Honors membership, elite status and perks were not honored at the plac even though I showed my card. I'd assume the same goes for Marriott Reward, no CL access, no free Internet, etc.
Yes, we do miss pingreeman! But he knew we'd miss him .
From what I remember, and can glean from old posts, we ended up the analysis each Marriott point had an approximate value of 1.25 cents. This was based on the abiltity to buy 1,000 points from Marriott for $12.50. People who had used points for big blowouts concurred that it was in the ballpark of what they would have spent when comparing the points they used, with what they thought they might have paid.
I guess that if you were a Platinum member and you went to spend a night at a Marriott room that would normally be $100, and paid for it with your card you would get (1,000 points base, 500 points Platinum bonus, 500 points for paying with your Marriott Premier Card, and 500 points arrival gift) a total of 2,500 points, along with a possible Platinum Upgrade (sometimes). If you booked through Priceline, you would lose 2,000 points (you would still get the 500 points for paying with your credit card) and a possible Upgrade. Basically, it seems the 2,000 points would be worth about $25 (or 25% of the cost if the cost of the room was higher), so if you saved more than that, it might be worth it, if you don't think you would get an upgrade. If anybody sees where my math is wrong, I would welcome comments!
I wish that were true SS. Seat filling I agree with.
Suite filling, I know for a fact is wishful thinking........here's how I know.
From time to time, whenever I get in the mood, I will call ahead of time to the hotel, and ask the occupancy rate, and ask about suite availability.
Shortly after that, I will check in to see if I am upgraded. One would expect with 8 suites open, you would get upgraded as a PP. If I am, I am greatfull, and express it to the associate, and usually fill out a survey card, (if any are around). if nothing else, I tend to drop a note to the location GM.
Now........if I am not............I basically do the same thing, without the "greatfullness". I will tell them that it was I who just called and I now know there are "8" suites not being used, and I am rather unhappy. I politely, but assertively, ask for the GM's cell phone # (and most of the time that takes care of the issue before I have a chance to call), but if not, I let the GM know on the spot.
I have walked out of a few after checkin, and charges have always been reversed after a call to the PP line, but the key is to walk out before the 6 pm cancellation deadline, otherwise they tend to get all hormonal on you.....................
And before anyone gets their panties all wadded up..........yes..........both sexes get "hormonal".
I think we all are forgetting that the competition, Hyatt and SPG have found a way to keep their best customers satisfied by offering guaranteed suite upgrades, on availability. I know I have used my 4 suite upgrades with Hyatt with great success and to date have not been declined due to non availability and booking a number of them well in advance of my stay date. I am sure the Marriott is in a position to give a similar benefit to their most loyal guests or they will continue to lose a lot of business like they have with me!!!!
I am currently in Queenstown, New Zealand and it is raining today, first bad weather day on my trip. So Tauck has had to do some changing in our itinerary..We were scheduled for a Helicopter Ride to Bob's Peak an Jet Boat Ride. Hope we will be able to get this in tommorrow prior to returning to Auckland..Keeping my fingers crossed!!!
Just for argument sake, what would happen if a person reserved two rooms, one regular and one suite and at check-in, but before 6:00pm, told the front desk person they want to cancel the suite reservation. Would that person be offered the suite as an upgrade?
Just for the record, I'm fine if Marriott offered a few guaranteed suite upgrades instead of offering them on an availability basis at check-in. At least with a guaranteed upgrade you can reserve it ahead of time and know that you will be getting it. Room upgrades at check-in have always been a bit of smoke and mirrors with me.