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Do you have to ask for upgrades?

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Old Sep 13, 17, 6:10 am
  #16
 
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I've never asked but have been upgraded much of the time since making platinum.

Example: Current trip is 4/4 (Boscolo Milan, Boscolo Venice, Marriott Copenhagen, Courtyard Stockholm).
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Old Sep 13, 17, 11:32 am
  #17
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Originally Posted by qofmiwok View Post
I am a Marriott/SPG Gold, Hilton Silver, and IHG platinum, all from credit cards.
For what it's worth, none of these are real "upgrade" statuses. It's not so much that they're from credit cards, it's that none are top tier and most are in programs that aren't really built around large upgrades. (I still consider SPG an "upgrade program" where full one-bedroom suites are a real possibility, but you need base Platinum at a minimum to really be in the mix.)

I wouldn't even bother to ask for anything on IHG Plat or Hilton Silver. I mean, you can I suppose, but we all know they aren't real statuses. On Marriott Gold and SPG Gold, I'd expect the hotel to get the basics of your room right and give you a fairly desirable room.

IME, the "upgrade statuses" that still exist are SPG Platinum (higher tier the better), the top Hyatt status (whatever used to be Diamond but now has some weird name), and maybe that paid IHG status (Royal Ambassador something-or-other). I hear Kimpton regulars at specific properties still do really well, as do Fairmont regulars at specific properties.

Marriott and Honors aren't really upgrade-centric programs. Many properties have relatively few true suites to begin with. Sure, I used to run into one every now and then as a Platinum, but I never expect it (and almost never get it) as a Gold.

I do have a week at a Boscolo hotel in 2018 (Rome), so tai4de2's post has me mildly hopeful, although I'll still be a Gold - not a Plat. Maybe a room-category mini-upgrade or a nice view, perhaps. In any case, I hear it's a great hotel so I'm looking forward to it either way.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 11:35 am
  #18
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To amplify this, SPG Gold has an enhanced room in the same category as what was booked as its published benefit. Golds are not entitled to upgrades at Starwood, although apparently Marriott Gold and Platinum are treated the same (IME badly) in terms of upgrades, but YMMV.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 1:02 pm
  #19
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
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In my experience, the last 20-25 stays (between 2016 and now) in both Marriott and SPG, I was offered an upgrade about 80% of the time. Other times, I kindly and respectfully asked the rep if there is any upgrade available today, and there always has been for me. My advice is, it doesn't hurt to ask, but don't beg or fight either. Also, the earlier in the day you check-in (between 3pm to 6pm), the better chance you have at an upgrade. I have never been denied an upgrade-- except at Hilton properties as a Hilton Gold.

I am a Marriott and SPG Gold. I book a basic 1 king room. This always gets upgraded to the usual 1 bedroom suite with the preferred view. Rarely if sold out I get a corner room or junior suite. At one point I was upgraded to a bi-level suite.

My stays mostly happen on Fridays/Saturdays/Holidays. I also always request 4pm late checkout. And these take place in major North American cities.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 3:21 pm
  #20
 
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I do have a week at a Boscolo hotel in 2018 (Rome), so tai4de2's post has me mildly hopeful, although I'll still be a Gold - not a Plat. Maybe a room-category mini-upgrade or a nice view, perhaps. In any case, I hear it's a great hotel so I'm looking forward to it either way.
Stayed at Boscolo Excedra in Rome in Jan '17 and was upgraded to an absolutely stunning room with what must have been 20' ceilings. I'm afraid I can't quantify the room category vs. what I booked but I was very happy with the room. That hotel is really a gem.
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Old Sep 13, 17, 9:17 pm
  #21
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Originally Posted by jtwiz View Post
I agree with this completely. Sure, if traveling for business and I land a nice upgrade, I am happy. But I never ask for one. I did recently get a horrible room in LA and was told it was due to the bed type guarantee. It was the only King bed left. I said I don't care what type of bed I have and they moved me to a giant 2 Queen bed room overlooking the pool, with a balcony.

But when I am traveling somewhere out of the ordinary with Mr jtwiz, then I may call/email in advance asking for an upgrade. For example, when we went to The Glasshouse in Edinburgh (on a paid stay), I asked for an upgrade as we were there on my birthday and got an amazing suite.
Mind me asking what you say in the email? I would like to pre-arrange upgrades when they matter but not sure what to say that doesn't sound demanding or pretentious. I usually just wait until check-in but getting it done ahead of time would be great.
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Old Sep 14, 17, 3:08 am
  #22
 
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Originally Posted by CommentatusMaximus View Post
Mind me asking what you say in the email? I would like to pre-arrange upgrades when they matter but not sure what to say that doesn't sound demanding or pretentious. I usually just wait until check-in but getting it done ahead of time would be great.
I've done this a few times. I find that the tone is most important. A pre-upgrade is a favor. Ask like would any favor, politely and deferentially, letting the reader know that you understand that anything they can do is favor and even the consideration is appreciated.
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Old Sep 14, 17, 3:14 am
  #23
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
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I travel for leisure with week long stays on average but at multiple Marriotts for 4-8 weeks at a time. Currently Gold, hitting Plat soon, travel mostly Asia but have done most continents. I've come to not expect any kind of upgrade unless I ask. I usually check in late evening and if it's important to me, I'll ask in advance.

I have a few different tricks.

My most recent one was after a problem arose while I was at a JW. I spoke to the GM to offer feedback and suggestions on how to improve. In addition to a small bit of compensation (which I didn't ask for), he offered to call the GMs of my upcoming stays to warn them of me / upgrade me as a favor to him. In my current hotel they upgraded me to the second biggest room in the hotel and gave me a platinum welcome present & hand written note, despite being only Gold.

Will be Platinum next month though
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Old Sep 14, 17, 3:19 am
  #24
 
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Originally Posted by prince.ali View Post
... My advice is, it doesn't hurt to ask, but don't beg or fight either....
I won't beg (I'm not sure what that means ) But I am happy to fight. If I am entitled to an upgrade per the rules of the program, then I don't see why I shouldn't insist on it, if I care. I upheld my end of the bargain, spent the requisite nights and funds, the hotel should uphold its end of the bargain.

Nearly two decades ago when I first started traveling, I was a regular guest at the Monrovia Holiday Inn. Based on my status, I was entitled to a suite upgrade, if available. Every FDC was happy to upgrade me to a suite, except one guy. He tried his best not to give away those suites. You'd think he was paying for them out of his pocket. After this happened a few times, I insisted on the suite and he would reluctantly relent. He always looked so unhappy )

A few years later, I met him at the Omni hotel in Los Angeles trying the same foolishness, but I this time, my upgrade was not subject to availability, but rather I used an upgrade certificate that had been applied at the time of booking. Again, he looked so unhappy
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Old Sep 14, 17, 12:25 pm
  #25
 
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Some related discussion can be found here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marri...pgrades-2.html

Posts#24 makes good conclusion
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Old Sep 14, 17, 7:05 pm
  #26
 
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What I find interesting as a Plat Premier and occasionally staying at SPG properties as a mere Plat is that SPG properties almost always take a suite upgrade as a requirement. I never have to ask at an SPG property. At a Marriott property -- where I have a higher status -- I often have to ask.

That being said, my upgrade rates to suites are fairly comparable at both brands although I haven't been tracking (I'm switching back to focusing on Marriott properties now because I'm a little concerned about PP renewal -- not that it matters!)
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Old Sep 15, 17, 9:27 am
  #27
 
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Originally Posted by CommentatusMaximus View Post
Mind me asking what you say in the email? I would like to pre-arrange upgrades when they matter but not sure what to say that doesn't sound demanding or pretentious. I usually just wait until check-in but getting it done ahead of time would be great.
As one of the other posters mentioned, the "tone" of the email is important. In the example I cited, a birthday stay at The Glasshouse in Edinburgh, I of course, mentioned I would be celebrating a (milestone) birthday. I also indicated that I would be reconnecting with my Scottish cousins and seeing my Grandmother's birth place, etc. In other words, it was a special trip. The room we were given was larger than some NYC apartments! With a view to match.

I will say I tend to ensure I book the level room that is the least I can live with. In a city, I don't care that much (view, no view, etc.) But on a beach vacation, I like to have a water view so I book it. And if I get an oceanfront upgrade vs. partial ocean view that was booked - that's great.
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Old Sep 16, 17, 3:34 pm
  #28
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
What I find interesting as a Plat Premier and occasionally staying at SPG properties as a mere Plat is that SPG properties almost always take a suite upgrade as a requirement. I never have to ask at an SPG property. At a Marriott property -- where I have a higher status -- I often have to ask.
It's all about how the benefit is written into the program benefits.

Marriott's version of it ("Based on room availability at check-in, we'll do our best to upgrade your room. Upgrades are subject to availability identified by each hotel"), is pretty weak, and similar to Hilton's.

Starwood's is much stronger ("An upgrade to best available room at check-in including a Standard Suite.")

Will be interesting to see the 2018 go-forward language...I'm not optimistic.
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Old Sep 16, 17, 8:45 pm
  #29
 
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Marriott's version of it ("Based on room availability at check-in, we'll do our best to upgrade your room. Upgrades are subject to availability identified by each hotel"), is pretty weak, and similar to Hilton's.

Starwood's is much stronger ("An upgrade to best available room at check-in including a Standard Suite.")
Yet the results are exactly the same--Starwood properties are infamous for claiming no upgradable rooms are "available", even when they're available for sale or paid upsell.
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Old Sep 16, 17, 9:10 pm
  #30
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Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman View Post
Yet the results are exactly the same--Starwood properties are infamous for claiming no upgradable rooms are "available", even when they're available for sale or paid upsell.
LOL dramatize much? Isolated cases != dogma.

I run legit upgrades (not just a higher floor) ~50% of the time w/SPG, year over year...and I never ask.
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