Another Negative Marriott Change Or Just More Merger Confusion?

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Booking awards nights for others at Marriott

Booking Award Nights For Others No Longer Possible At Marriott?

There are plenty of reasons I already kicked Marriott to the curb but none were because of their issues from the merger.  They have had more than enough problems there though.  First they tried to devalue members 7 night certificates.  Then they limited the changes customers could make to those certificates. Now some hotels are telling people they can not book award stays for friends or family members?  Is this a new rule or just another issue with employees blowing smoke after the merger?

The Story

My buddy, the one who told me about the 7 night certificate changes and Airbnb’s terrible gift card policy, let me know of this most recent change. He owed me a stay at a hotel since I booked more nights than him for our upcoming Amsterdam trip.  With my wife having a need for an airport hotel next week I thought this was a good time to cash in the favor.  I depleted my Marriott stash long ago and thought this could save me some Hilton Honors points.

He booked the room online but didn’t see an area to add a guest’s name like many hotels offer. This is something that has never been an option for Marriott though.  In the past you could call the 1-800 number to have a guest added to the room.

Upon calling he was told that he needed to call the hotel directly to make this adjustment.  This is a new development but no big deal.  I will also remind you at this point that he is a Platinum member.  I am not going to take the time to look up what terrible name that makes him now in the joke that is the Bonvoy program.  He picked up the phone again and dialed the Sheraton where they informed him that late last year they changed the policy and the person booking must be present to check in.  The agent said you can not even have a spouse check in. Say What?

Booking awards nights for others at Marriott

HUCA (It Is Now Necessity With Marriott)

He decided to cancel that booking and call the 1-800 number again to book it directly with Marriott headquarters.  The agent that answered was very helpful and did the booking and added my wife to the room as well.  My wife called the hotel a few days later to confirm she was on the room and could check in.  They confirmed that she should be good.

But how does this even happen?  Why would a hotel have a different policy in place and why are different agents saying different things?  When your competitors are offering this service when booking online or by contacting the Twitter team you should have already been on top of this.  Not to mention Hyatt allows Guest of Honor bookings that even shares Elite status with the person that the reservation is for.  Just another short coming in Marriott’s universe.  This is one of the many reasons people are saying Bon Voyage to Marriott right and left. That and their horrendous card art…welcome to the late 80’s early 90’s!


I would not be surprised to have an issue at check in since the front desk agents had said no guest bookings.  Hopefully I am wrong.  This merger has been messy and it has been confusing.  Not to mention it birthed the worst program name in history (World of Hyatt wipes its brow).

But this is a solution that so many people will need to enact for so many different situations. Hang Up and Call Back should have been Marriott’s program name of choice because they simply don’t have the tools, the IT, or the skills to do it any other way.



Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. SPG hotels required the original owner of the miles to be present or go thru some hoops pre merger so I imagine this is why

  2. I recently booked a room for my aunt (two days ago). Called the hotel directly and informed them that she will be arriving earlier than me and to allow her to check in. They placed her name in the system and informed me that she will need to swipe her card for incidentals, that I am welcome to swipe my card when I get there. I thanked him and hung up. No issue

    • Thanks for the DP – I think it will work out a majority of the time I was just surprised that there was push back from Marriott this time around and more hoops needed to be jumped through to get it done.

  3. “Hang Up and Call Back should have been Marriott’s program name of choice”

    … and it’s STILL better than “Bonvoy” 😀


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