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-   -   Marriott Bonvoy ‘Ambassador Elite’ Level : Ambassador experiences [Master Thread] (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marriott-marriott-bonvoy/1906860-marriott-bonvoy-ambassador-elite-level-ambassador-experiences-master-thread.html)

hockeyinsider May 2, 18 8:07 am


Originally Posted by EuropeanPete (Post 29706325)
You should definitely investigate Spanish and Italian sparkling wines some more (as well as French non-Champagne), as there are plenty which are a lot better than Lanson. I'd guess the same might be true of US sparkling wines, though it's an area I've less experience of myself.

Maybe it could be worth a visit to the Marques de Riscal?

Yes, I know there are plenty of good non-champagne sparkling wines. The issue is that, at least in my experience, airlines and hotels that serve non-champagne sparkling wine tend to give you something that sells for at most maybe $15.

kennycrudup May 2, 18 9:22 am


Originally Posted by hockeyinsider (Post 29706217)
... to a framed picture of my girlfriend on my nightstand.

"Hello ... I'd like a framed picture of "hockeyinsider"'s girlfriend on my nightstand, too. Thanks." :D

bhrubin May 8, 18 7:28 pm

I’m now at the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho Luxury Collection hotel with my husband for the start of our 8th wedding anniversary trip, having arrived at 7:15 am yesterday morning. I am on an incredible BRG rate for 3 nights, and my 3 SNAs did not go through—and I didn’t expect them to, since I could see even online over 2 weeks ago that there were no suites at all available.

Yet we arrived yesterday at 7:15 am and were surprised with the complimentary pre-arranged upgrade to a Kioi Suite, one of only 11 suites in the entire hotel of 250 total rooms. We were in our suite at 7:30 am, to boot.

The hotel and my Ambassador wanted to surprise us, so the hotel clearly had blocked off the suite well in advance to be certain I got the upgrade. Pretty darn amazing.

Not only did we get the wonderful suite upgrade, but we got an outrageously early check in time (despite no formal Your24 request), and I got 3 SNAs returned to me for later use, as well.

Ambassador status truly can be incredible.

CPRich May 8, 18 8:18 pm

Wow, you must be super awesome!!! We're all incredibly jealous of your super-duper-ness!!! (There, can we end this thread now?)

Harvard just released the results of a 75 year study on happiness. Shockingly, FF status was not one of the key indicators of a happy life. Who saw that coming?

(wait, only "LT Gold"? phhhtttt)

bhrubin May 9, 18 1:07 am


Originally Posted by CPRich (Post 29732095)
Wow, you must be super awesome!!! We're all incredibly jealous of your super-duper-ness!!! (There, can we end this thread now?)

Harvard just released the results of a 75 year study on happiness. Shockingly, FF status was not one of the key indicators of a happy life. Who saw that coming?

(wait, only "LT Gold"? phhhtttt)

I’m sorry if sharing a positive example of Ambassador status somehow causes you distress. As was indicated pretty clearly with the very first post, the whole point of this thread is to share both positive and negative examples of Ambassador experiences so that anyone interested might have a better perspective on the merits of such status, one way or the other.

If you’re not interested in hearing such positive and negative examples, it is quite easy for you to unsubscribe and ease your burden.

damon88 May 9, 18 5:33 am

Really! I consider reports of upgrades and Ambassador treatment valuable information when choosing which hotels to visit and helpful in deciding whether or not to pursue Ambassador status. I also find data points on the stay/spend pattern that results in upgrades edifying . It is logical that SPG (and I assume Marriott-though I don’t have much personal experience) have complex algorithms that weigh many factors- years elite, years Platinum, total lifetime points, average spend per night, total lifetime eligible spend etc. It may be apocryphal, but it was posited years ago that there were over 20 factors that determined upgrades.

I have only been a lowly P75 for the past 3 years but my experiences mirror bhrubin’s. Every single SNA has cleared except for 1 stay at the Suiran in Kyoto. We also understood why they did not clear and were pleasantly surprised at checkin to discover that they had upgraded all 8 award nights to their Presidential Suite which sold for $3500/night. That was one of our favorite stays ever.

Now we are on a 3 week tour of Austria & Switzerland and have had wonderful upgrades at all 3 of the SPG hotels we have visited (still to go the President Wilson)

Le Meridien Vienna upgraded our 7 nights (6 award) to a spacious Executive Suite (no SNAs). Schloss Fuschl let us upgrade our 1 BR lake house to the 2 BR for a nominal up charge (will be posting a review of our awesome stay upon our return) And yesterday when we checked into the W Verbier we had one of our warmest welcomes ever (special shout out to Miguel- a FDC extraordinaire) and an upgrade for our 3 night award stay to a truly Fantastic Suite with an expansive private view deck. (We used points for a Suite award- still a 4.3 cents per point redemption) Will also definitely post a review.
I find reports of great treatment informative- they have inspired many of our travels.Since I will be hitting Ambassador for the first time soon I am hoping for the best. Positive reports like bhrubin’s were a major motivating factor in making the push. ( I organically have been averaging around 85 nights each year).

lexdevil May 14, 18 6:11 pm

How will Marriott track spend for Ambassador status and what spend will count?
 
This morning I called the Platinum Premier line to take care of something I could not do online. Happily I got through to a human in just over 20 minutes, so it seems that perhaps the original onslaught of questions has died down and things may be returning to normal. There was no indication that I had, indeed, reached the PP line until I asked, but the agent did state that he was a PP agent.

I decided, so long as I had a PP agent on the phone, to ask how spend will be tracked and calculated for Ambassador status. The guy was very nice and he tried hard to get an answer, but everything he told me made no sense. He insisted that my Ambassador would track my spend and notify me. When I asked how someone who currently lacks an Ambassador would ever qualify, he was stumped. He was, however, helpful, and he proceeded to give me the number for the Ambassador line.

Happily, even without an official Ambassador to call my own, the person I spoke with on the Ambassador line was willing to help me. To my question about what charges count for spend, she said it would be room charges and incidentals, but not taxes. She could not, however, answer my more difficult questions.

I asked her what my current spend for the year is, and she said something over $8,000.00. This concerned me greatly, as I have already spent around $23,000.00 this year, not including taxes. She looked at the records and it appears that the $8,000.00 figure only includes charges for three rooms (they are probably just tracking it based on points earned). Because I generally book at least four rooms, and often fifteen or more, this method of tracking spend radically under represents my spend.

It is unclear whether this method of tracking spend is simply what they have now, and that they will be making changes between now and August 1, or if this is how spend will be tracked.

Another mystery that she could not shed any light on is how, if at all, events will count. If I pay for an event (catering, rooms, meeting spaces, set up), will I receive credit for that spend toward Ambassador status? If they're using points to track spend, this should not be too difficult. But what about the times where I sign a contract for a room block, and I risk paying for rooms if the block does not fill, but the room charges are ultimately paid for by my guests who book into the block? Currently, if I book a block of 10+ rooms, I get 3 points per dollar spent, even though I am not paying for the rooms. Given that, will event hosts get credit for some share of their guests' spend, in recognition of the business they have brought to Marriott?

The Ambassador with whom I spoke did not blow me off. She promised to pass my questions on and email me with answers when/if she finds them. I will, of course, share those answers.

In the meantime, does anyone have any insights? Perhaps from the SPG side?

getagb May 14, 18 6:30 pm


Originally Posted by lexdevil (Post 29753967)
In the meantime, does anyone have any insights? Perhaps from the SPG side?

On the SPG side, ambassador is not spend-based, but earned only through "100 Eligible Nights", where an eligible night is informally either one BIB night, or 1 night for every 20 paid guest room nights for an event. (For example, booking 15 guest rooms for a 3-night event = 45 nights = 2.25 Eligible Night credits.)

Following this logic, I might guess that the spend equation is something like:

your personal room rates + your personal room incidentals + (0.05 * your pre-tax event spend).

That's 100% a guess though.

I suspect there will also be a manual invitation process for high-margin spenders who don't meet the technical qualifications (just like AA ConciergeKey, Delta 360, and UA Global Services all invite people who control large travel budgets, even if they don't earn much spend themselves.)

This should become clearer once the terms and conditions post. I assume there will also be a $ spend tracker on the new website whenever it comes out.

DJ_Iceman May 14, 18 9:25 pm

In my opinion, it should be based on eligible charges for a single room per night. Meeting planners, travel agents, etc. who book many rooms have other programs to reward them for steering this business Marriott's way. Ambassadors should be there to help individual travelers with their special requests and needs; group reservations departments already exist to take care of those needs for big groups.

Marriott15 May 15, 18 12:04 am

Now are they going to calculate how much you spent at Starwood and Marriott from Jan 1 of this year.....then combine that number together to get your total spend amount?

clarkef May 15, 18 1:54 am


Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman (Post 29754429)
In my opinion, it should be based on eligible charges for a single room per night. Meeting planners, travel agents, etc. who book many rooms have other programs to reward them for steering this business Marriott's way. Ambassadors should be there to help individual travelers with their special requests and needs; group reservations departments already exist to take care of those needs for big groups.

Is there really a difference between a person who books 1 room for 2 nights or 2 rooms for 1 night? I agree that someone who books large numbers of rooms has other methods to get special requests met.

Wickersley May 15, 18 2:08 am

My assumption is that they would track "base points" earned from stays & do the math from there.

ie 100 nights & 200,000 base points earned & you're "in"

lexdevil May 15, 18 3:22 am


Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman (Post 29754429)
In my opinion, it should be based on eligible charges for a single room per night. Meeting planners, travel agents, etc. who book many rooms have other programs to reward them for steering this business Marriott's way. Ambassadors should be there to help individual travelers with their special requests and needs; group reservations departments already exist to take care of those needs for big groups.

Really? What are these ways? I'm not seeing any particular event planner benefit in Marriott world. When I book an event I get credit for 10 room nights plus 3 points for every dollar spent, but this credit simply moves me along in the regular Marriott Rewards program. It does not get me any special recognition or assistance beyond that. I know friends who have planned events on the SPG side have Ambassadors. What should I be getting that I am not?

Also, I'm not sure where your "should" comes from. Is this a question of fairness to you? I know that my interpretation benefits me, but I tend to think that the system "should" function in the way that drives the most business to Marriott. That is, after all, the purpose of a frequent guest program. This is one reason why I tend to think posts about folks spending their own money as opposed to their employer's money are silly. Marriott should not care whose money is being spent; they should care about doing what is necessary to drive the most business their way. This definitely includes encouraging folks who spend other people's money to choose Marriott.

Is it fair that I get credit for spending other people's money? Not if you think the purpose of the program is rewarding folks for their personal spending, but I don't think that's the purpose of the program.

Given that Marriott gives points for up to three rooms (and nights for one), I seriously doubt they'll go with counting spend on one room only. I would, however, like them to go further. They need to encourage me to bring my substantial room nights to them.

Also, I only book 2-3 "events" with contracts per year. Most stays I have 4-9 rooms for 3 nights, which is short of an event contract, but still substantial revenue for Marriott. I sometimes even opt to pay a higher rate and not do a contract even when I have more than 10 rooms, because I sometimes need some flexibility in room numbers.

I think I agree about having Ambassadors help individual travelers, but you seem to overlook that I am also an individual traveler. The sales office can run interference for me when I have a group contract. I would appreciate the assistance of an Ambassador when I travel as an individual, especially when I experience glitches. I would also appreciate assistance when I travel with a group that does not meet the 10 room minimum for a contract.

I tend to book multiple rooms (spending at least $40K with Marriott every year, often much more), and I assume that Marriott wants this business. I've been PP since 2011, and I am have already reached LTPx3. Once I hit Plat75 in the new system each year, I can't see a great reason to stick with Marriott for the remaining nights if the bulk of my spend will not count towards reaching Ambassador status. I would probably be better off using those nights to build status elsewhere. I guess that would be cool, but I don't think it is to Marriott's advantage.

lexdevil May 15, 18 3:23 am


Originally Posted by Wickersley (Post 29754987)
My assumption is that they would track "base points" earned from stays & do the math from there.

ie 100 nights & 200,000 base points earned & you're "in"

Which would mean only counting three rooms.

lexdevil May 15, 18 3:30 am


Originally Posted by clarkef (Post 29754962)
I agree that someone who books large numbers of rooms has other methods to get special requests met.

Still dying to learn about these "other methods." Clearly I have been missing opportunities for getting requests met for years.


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