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Interesting Bloomberg Report/Theory on Marriott Woes Driving HHonors Enrollments

Interesting Bloomberg Report/Theory on Marriott Woes Driving HHonors Enrollments

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Old Feb 18, 19, 12:46 pm
  #76  
 
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Originally Posted by hhoope01 View Post
Personally, I think it was thought out, deliberate and unlikely to really cause them any large push back from customers. First, legacy Marriott Rewards didn't have any guaranteed late checkout for any elites. What Marriott has done now is a compromise that gives a previously enjoyed benefit to their "best" legacy SPG members (i.e. Plats), as well as, adding a new guarantee to the legacy Marriott Rewards Gold and higher elites (which equates to the new Bonvoy Plat and above levels.) So they have added a new benefit probably to their larger elite base (Marriott Rewards members) while limiting the likely pushback legacy Marriott hotels had with adding this new benefit (by limiting it to the Bonvoy top 3 elite levels).

I just don't see that as a "mistake" and doubt they will change it to include the new Bonvoy Gold levels as there are too many elites with that level, but I've been wrong before and I'm sure I will be again. So who knows.

I'm not following you on this. The old SPG Gold level never had guaranteed lounge access and the old Marriott Rewards Gold level is now the Bonvoy Plat level. So the same people that had lounge access before have it now. I do guess there was a short period of time where having SPG Gold translated to Marriott Gold, but that was never implied nor intended to be a long-term benefit.

And if you are saying bonvoy to the Marriott Bonvoy program and going with IHG or Hyatt instead, I do hope that works out for you. But IHG now has 50K/night hotels that a few years ago were only 15K points (and there was no 1:3 translations or anything like that in there.) I used to use IHG as my secondary program, but their rate increases while limiting some of their bonus opportunities and all the while providing virtually NO real elite benefits and limiting award room availability, I've had to look elsewhere. And while Hyatt has some nice benefits, good hotel coverage where I tend to travel isn't one of them. So they are a niche player for me.
Sorry you are right just typing confused

I had Marriott gold before the transition.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 3:29 pm
  #77  
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Originally Posted by CCIE_Flyer View Post


I wonder if this will be the long-term legacy of the merger? All these years later, in spite of being a 1.5MM flyer w/ UA, they no longer hold any special place of preference in my travel pattern. Whereas I used to go to extreme lengths to stay at least Star Alliance if not UA outright, these days I book whatever looks like the best fit for the given point A->B requirement at hand.
This is pretty much exactly where I am. I used to be very loyal to AA, but I just wasn't feeling any love back. I have nearly 2mm miles in AA accounts (mine and my family), but my last three international flights (in the past two months) have been on Star Alliance. That is not because I prefer Star, but the schedule, J class product and price happened to be better this time. My last real loyalty was to Starwood, but the reasons for staying at Marriott hotels just seem to be vanishing. As I said, no reason to go out of my way to avoid Marriott, but definitely no reason to favor the company either.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 7:29 pm
  #78  
 
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Given the reported size of the rewards customer base before, the 14 MM number for new members sounds totally unrealistic. I do believe Hilton has picked up business from previously SPG loyal customers, but that number just doesn't seem plausible.

I think the Marriott - SPG merger is suffering from the same issue as the United - Continental merger, namely that each of the combining brands' loyal customers valued something totally different and the companies themselves operated on entirely different principles of how they should manage their customer relationships. There is no good way to combine elite pools and create a new product that makes everyone happy without becoming totally uncompetitive on costs given those limitations. Personally I was previously loyal to Marriott, and valued their reliability and consistency, even though most properties were a bit boring. Now the properties are still boring and they are less consistent and less reliable in their service delivery than before. If I didn't dislike Hilton so much I might stay there more often. But I have moved more stays to IHG, which is even less consistent than the degraded Marriott but has a few good properties in the cities I visit often. I had a huge service failure with Marriott shortly after their systems were combined and they gave me half off a $1000+ stay and 100,000 points as service recovery, so I'm inclined to give them another chance.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 5:56 am
  #79  
 
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I have no reason to doubt that many people are fed up with the length and problems with the Marriott-SPG merger. It has been mishandled in a number of ways and customer service has been sorely lacking. I think former SPG elites noticed the customer service change the most because I never found Marriott Rewards folks to be particularly helpful whereas I always felt SPG customer service would go the extra mile especially as a Platinum member (even when I was Gold). While the merger between Marriott and SPG has been challenged I'm not sure it's as bad as the UA-Continental merger, at least yet. I feel Marriott understands the problems and challenges and things have changed especially with how they handled the database hack.

That said, and being a bit Machiavellian, if that many people have left Marriott to Hilton that is more reason to stick with Marriott because I suspect they'll take efforts to win people back and reward current loyalty. Maybe I'm wrong but I like to take a long view on loyalty and I've found sticking with UA-CO, even after all their problems, has paid off as the program has improved over the years.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 6:16 am
  #80  
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Originally Posted by mh3265a View Post
I feel Marriott understands the problems and challenges and things have changed especially with how they handled the database hack.
I'm not sure I agree! I think they understand the problems and challenges but I do not think they have handled them well at all. A simple email to the members saying "we know there are issues that are inconveniencing you and we are working on it and anticipate it to be resolved by XYZ date" would have gone a long way. Instead they acted like nothing was wrong and then referred to the complaints about all the issues as "noise around the edges!" I know for a fact I spent several hours on hold with the elite lines trying to sort simple issues that should have been easily resolved.

As for the database hack, IMHO they blamed SPG and then sort of swept the issue under the rug. That was essentially the least they could do to avoid a huge PR issue that would immediately devalue their investment in Starwood.

I'm somewhat hopeful there is a light at the end of the tunnel BUT in the meantime I am looking elsewhere and finding that maybe it's not always greener on the other side but there are some bright green spots. The big issue is...before with SPG I likely would not have looked anywhere else to begin with.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 6:26 am
  #81  
 
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post

I'm somewhat hopeful there is a light at the end of the tunnel BUT in the meantime I am looking elsewhere and finding that maybe it's not always greener on the other side but there are some bright green spots. The big issue is...before with SPG I likely would not have looked anywhere else to begin with.
But are you one of the reported 14 million people who opened a brand new membership account with HHonors? To me, the relevance of this thread is not whether Marriott customers are booking elsewhere. I'm sure some are, maybe more than they normally do. The relevant comparison is how many new accounts has Marriott added during that same time? And if not comparable, arguably if not more than Hilton, why not? To a person who isn't a Marriott customer today, it could look pretty good after the merger with Starwood. The property portfolio is broad, and the footprint would allow a new program member to almost exclusively earn Marriott points anywhere they travel. Hilton and IHG don't have quite the same footprint, and Hyatt isn't even close. So why have 14 million people chosen to sign up for new Hilton accounts? Is 14 million high or low compared to Marriott?

The premise of this thread has nothing to do with people shifting stays away from Marriott. That's a fun discussion too, but nothing to do with the Bloomberg report.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 6:28 am
  #82  
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
But are you one of the reported 14 million people who opened a brand new membership account with HHonors?
NO and I posted up thread that the real topic we should be discussing on FT is how many people are booking away from Marriott. I agree that probably everyone here had a membership to HH to begin with. I guess I can't post anything a little off topic....the main point of my post was to comment on mh3265a's comment...not to lead the discussion astray.

Last edited by christianj; Feb 20, 19 at 6:33 am
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Old Feb 20, 19, 6:43 am
  #83  
 
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
I'm not sure I agree! I think they understand the problems and challenges but I do not think they have handled them well at all. A simple email to the members saying "we know there are issues that are inconveniencing you and we are working on it and anticipate it to be resolved by XYZ date" would have gone a long way. Instead they acted like nothing was wrong and then referred to the complaints about all the issues as "noise around the edges!" I know for a fact I spent several hours on hold with the elite lines trying to sort simple issues that should have been easily resolved.

As for the database hack, IMHO they blamed SPG and then sort of swept the issue under the rug. That was essentially the least they could do to avoid a huge PR issue that would immediately devalue their investment in Starwood.

I'm somewhat hopeful there is a light at the end of the tunnel BUT in the meantime I am looking elsewhere and finding that maybe it's not always greener on the other side but there are some bright green spots. The big issue is...before with SPG I likely would not have looked anywhere else to begin with.
I feel as if I did get an email in November or December from Marriott saying just that "sorry for the problems/inconveniences you've faced". I didn't save it but I do recall seeing something from them.

In regards to the database hack they did blame SPG but they set up a call center and did notify folks. Was it perfect - NO - but better than any private firm that has encountered this level of a hack.

I do agree with you that's it not always greener on the other side. Many people left UA-CO during the merger and went to AA but regretted that decision once AA merged with US Airways. I think Hilton has led the devaluation bandwagon so I would be cautious about moving. I think Hyatt is a better program right now but they are too small given the type of travel I have in business now.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:13 am
  #84  
 
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
NO and I posted up thread that the real topic we should be discussing on FT is how many people are booking away from Marriott. I agree that probably everyone here had a membership to HH to begin with. I guess I can't post anything a little off topic....the main point of my post was to comment on mh3265a's comment...not to lead the discussion astray.
I didn't mean to single your post out. I could have replied to about 25 posts of people writing about how they were booking away, so apologies for that.

I was just trying to make the point that it would be helpful if someone had some data, whether real Marriott data or even anecdotal about opening new accounts with Hilton or how Marriott's new account openings compare. Otherwise, this just becomes another thread about how people are upset about the merger.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
I didn't mean to single your post out. I could have replied to about 25 posts of people writing about how they were booking away, so apologies for that.
and understood about getting back on topic. Frustrates me too...that is when I am not the one pulling a conversation off topic!
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Old Feb 20, 19, 12:56 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
Oh, wow! A whole 98 cent benefit!
you can mock the water all you want but its important to me; my Ambassador and the Ambassador database knows that I prefer 2+ bottles of mineral water in my room. I've lost track of how many stays I've had at SPG/Marriott hotels where there is no water. Using my Hilton Gold status, since it's a defined benefit, my track record for getting or having 2 bottles of water delivered is far higher than Bonvoid. It's a small, but real reason I've been exploring Hilton more and more.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 7:20 pm
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Originally Posted by StuckinITH View Post
I was wondering where that name came from and what does it mean.
Maybe an unintentional subliminal message? Bonvoyage
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Old Feb 20, 19, 9:08 pm
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Originally Posted by itsaboutthejourney View Post
you can mock the water all you want but its important to me; my Ambassador and the Ambassador database knows that I prefer 2+ bottles of mineral water in my room. I've lost track of how many stays I've had at SPG/Marriott hotels where there is no water. Using my Hilton Gold status, since it's a defined benefit, my track record for getting or having 2 bottles of water delivered is far higher than Bonvoid. It's a small, but real reason I've been exploring Hilton more and more.
I'm impressed that hotels can reliably deliver mineral water to your room based on your profile!

Of course, keep in mind that legacy SPG leadership had an initiative to remove bottled water from SPG properties.

Hilton offers me the two bottles of water when I check in but it is standard, not mineral water. I suspect that Hilton will phase out the bottled water sometime soon based on their environmental initiatives.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
A simple email to the members saying "we know there are issues that are inconveniencing you and we are working on it and anticipate it to be resolved by XYZ date" would have gone a long way.
Someone explain to to me exactly how this solves anything? Maybe it's me, but this is akin to the stupid and irritating "We'll be right with you" when you join the back of a line; No it, Sherlock
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Old Feb 21, 19, 5:57 am
  #90  
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Originally Posted by kennycrudup View Post
Someone explain to to me exactly how this solves anything? Maybe it's me, but this is akin to the stupid and irritating "We'll be right with you" when you join the back of a line; No it, Sherlock
To each his/her own but IMHO it at the very least acknowledges the problems which is something they haven't really done up to this point. Back on topic now.
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