Marriott Travel Package Mapping Old to New
Hey Marriott. We get it. You don’t care about your customers. Or at least it seems that way to me. Perhaps that is a bit harsh, but yesterday as I waited 40 minutes on the phone only to be blindly transferred back into the queue to wait another 40 minutes, my overall thoughts from years of experiences with this company were reinforced. I just never really liked them.
Then, today they released news of how they will map old to new travel packages. Keep in mind that the program switchover date was at Midnight so they knew this information and just held it until it was too late for customers to do anything about it. Here is how they are mapping old to new.
Let’s start by saying that this is perhaps the least generous way they could map these packages. The absolute top tier package can’t even book a Category 8 top tier hotel beginning next year and customers who bought old Category 6, 8 and Ritz 1-3 packages paid more than people who bought Category 5, 7 and 9 packages, but won’t get anything more.
Here is the company’s spin according to One Mile at a Time:
No existing Travel Package certificate is losing value in terms of points and, with the new Free Night Award Chart that goes live today, 70% of our hotels either stayed at the same redemption rate threshold or moved down. As we structured the conversion chart, we considered the introduction of peak and off-peak redemption rates, which will be introduced in early 2019. This means that if you have an existing Category 9 certificate, which converts to Category 6 starting today, holders will still be able to attach the certificate to a stay when redemption rates within that category are at their highest.
Refund Our Points
While I doubt this would happen, I think Marriott should absolutely refund points to those people who hold old Category 6, Category 8 and Ritz Tier 1-3 packages. In each case those certificates cost 30,000 more points to purchase but are worth the same as the Category below them. Yes I know they were going to have to overlap some certificates, but in this scenario they did it in the least generous way.
In full disclosure I have a Ritz Tier 1-3 certificate so yeah I’d like my 30K back, but it just seems wrong and I would write this even if I had purchased a Category 9. They knew what they were going to do but let people overspend anyway. What kind of company does that? One that doesn’t value their customers highly I would assume.
Marriott also released the terms of their suite upgrade benefit for Platinum. Despite their initial indication that they were looking to mirror Starwood’s generous suite upgrade policy, the terms they released say something different. Their PR says they are going to edit the terms so we’ll see. OMAAT has more info.
I’m not surprised by these developments and most Starwood loyalists feared them. At the very least Marriott could have told members about their plans, but it seemed they wanted to trick them into overspending. Such is life in this world, I guess. Marriott is a behemoth in the travel world and it seems today they think we can’t live without them.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Marriott did the right thing in concealing their travel package mapping? Are you sitting on the sidelines laughing? Do you love Marriott? Share your thoughts in the comments!