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Points-Obsessed Travelers Are Terrified of Losing Perks

Points-Obsessed Travelers Are Terrified of Losing Perks

 
Old Aug 13, 18, 4:19 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post
I mean, if we're just going on bare speculation and don't have to provide any data... Usually that particular objection is specifically brought up when it comes to lounges. SPG grants lounge access with a much smaller level of effort from the guest (as few as 25 nights!) so I would think a higher percentage of SPG crossovers would be sampling lounges than the opposite.
Without getting into class and that whole mess - if lounges were of core importance to SPGers, they would have been Marriott elites instead. M Clubs are nice, and the one JWM lounge I went to was nice, but otherwise it's not much to write home about.

(And let's not get into "levels of effort" to reach Plat, given what we have seen w/Marriott CC spend, Rewarding Events, Rollover nights, etc.)
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Old Aug 14, 18, 1:39 am
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by HeadInTheClouds View Post
I was lifetime plat in both SPG & MR. SPG always had such a distasteful element of status flaunting that it always left me feeling icky watching those around me checking in. It figures those kind of people would be 'terrified'. Marriott was always much more predictable, comfortable and dependable. I don't care for or even desire suites unless I am traveling with someone, which is almost assuredly the time I won't be getting one (longer stays, popular properties, etc.). Who needs that suite on a one night stay by yourself in Omaha? That's why most of my stays in the long run went to Marriott.
Not everyone travels alone and Spg actually was pretty good at upgrading longer stays to suites and as such some people do desire / value them.

You version of dependable, predictable, comfortable I have to say may apply in North American but in Asia and many parts of Europe I find Marriott to be frankly boring and uninspiring with varied service levels and very poor customer service when you call the Platinum line when compared to SPG.

​​​​​​Everyone has different needs and likes / dislikes and to some Marriott fit that but to many others it didn't SPG did, as for status flaunting sorry you see that in all elite programs hotels, Airlines it really doesn't matter, it's just there but generally the more desirable the program the more you see It as it attracts more people.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 9:27 am
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by UKTraveller4Fun View Post
Not everyone travels alone and Spg actually was pretty good at upgrading longer stays to suites and as such some people do desire / value them.
Again, LT Plat at SPG, so it’s not like I am unfamiliar with the the program. SPG was excellent at suite upgrades on short, business-like stays. IME, not at all on longer/aspirational (vacation) stays. In fact, every one of my banked 10 annual suite night upgrades expired since I couldn’t ever clear one on a desired stay. But certainly, everyone has different travel patterns, and it is “expectations” that sets this table in the first place.
Originally Posted by UKTraveller4Fun View Post
You version of dependable, predictable, comfortable I have to say may apply in North American but in Asia and many parts of Europe I find Marriott to be frankly boring and uninspiring with varied service levels and very poor customer service when you call the Platinum line when compared to SPG.
Valid statement, especially on top end Luxury Collection properties. That was one of the things that kept me in the SPG family. But go hunting around Sheratons in the US... well...

​​​​​​
Originally Posted by UKTraveller4Fun View Post
Everyone has different needs and likes / dislikes and to some Marriott fit that but to many others it didn't SPG did, as for status flaunting sorry you see that in all elite programs hotels, Airlines it really doesn't matter, it's just there but generally the more desirable the program the more you see It as it attracts more people.
That is just a hard disagreement from me, and the crux of my comment. IMHO, it is SPG elite entitlement that created so many cringe worthy exchanges. I never really see that at Marriott. I don’t like to go somewhere feeling like it’s going to be a battlefield at the check in desk for negotiating benefits. I had a couple coworkers who relished in this challenge, and didn’t like Marriott because it wasn’t as easy to “score” upgrades. This is what I never cared for with SPG, especially when the squeaky wheel gets the grease, many times at the expense of those who don’t squeak.

SPG promises a 10, delivers a random number above 6, but arms you with the T&C to fight your way up to an 8 or 9 or even that occasional “10” stay. Marriott promises a 7 and delivers a 7, and doesn’t leave you with any higher expectations. Maybe I accept a lower level of benefits consistently executed in a dependable fashion. I’m ok with that, and hence I’m not “terrified” of losing my negotiating sword. Clearly, YMMV, and that is in fact the entire point of the article we are discussing .
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Old Aug 14, 18, 11:41 am
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by HeadInTheClouds View Post

SPG promises a 10, delivers a random number above 6, but arms you with the T&C to fight your way up to an 8 or 9 or even that occasional “10” stay. Marriott promises a 7 and delivers a 7, and doesn’t leave you with any higher expectations. Maybe I accept a lower level of benefits consistently executed in a dependable fashion. I’m ok with that, and hence I’m not “terrified” of losing my negotiating sword. Clearly, YMMV, and that is in fact the entire point of the article we are discussing .
Hard to say how this will turn out, particularly since my impression is that legacy SPG properties will continue to use Lightspeed, and may not be able to prioritize among guests.

But with 70 actual nights at MR properties so far in 2018 and 25 actual night at SPG properties so far in 2018, its clear to me that Marriott delivers more consistently and my suite upgrade rate at legacy MR properties in 2018 that is far higher than in legacy SPG properties (40 percent vs 20 percent). I attribute that difference to (a) many -- but not all -- Marriott properties recognize that Plat Premier guests get priority and (b) many SPG properties don't prioritize.
Other than that, both programs deliver the breakfast/lounge - plat gift, benefits exactly as planned. And, except at a recent LC stay, I've always gotten the 4 PM checkout at both.

That being said, I've had excellent stays at both and I think things will continue to be just fine.I tend to think the issues will actually be at the extremes -- there were those who stayed 25 times and were used to plat benefits that they won't get any more and those of us who spend 125-150 nights a year and will now be in the same boat as those who spend half that.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 12:19 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
But with 70 actual nights at MR properties so far in 2018 and 25 actual night at SPG properties so far in 2018, its clear to me that Marriott delivers more consistently and my suite upgrade rate at legacy MR properties in 2018 that is far higher than in legacy SPG properties (40 percent vs 20 percent). I attribute that difference to (a) many -- but not all -- Marriott properties recognize that Plat Premier guests get priority and (b) many SPG properties don't prioritize.
Just to be clear due to the confusing rename of gold 50 nights in Marriott to Plat and 75 nights from Plat to Plat Premier, are you talking about the new Merged Plat Premier level (75 nights, published) or the legacy plat premier level in MR (unpublished, invite only)? That suite upgrade percentage might vary on location, property, etc. but I'm curious as I've heard a lot of (legacy invite only) Plat Premiers complaining it gave no benefit at all.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 1:41 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by HeadInTheClouds View Post
SPG promises a 10, delivers a random number above 6, but arms you with the T&C to fight your way up to an 8 or 9 or even that occasional “10” stay. Marriott promises a 7 and delivers a 7, and doesn’t leave you with any higher expectations. Maybe I accept a lower level of benefits consistently executed in a dependable fashion. I’m ok with that, and hence I’m not “terrified” of losing my negotiating sword. Clearly, YMMV, and that is in fact the entire point of the article we are discussing .
YMMV. 800+ nights at SPG (9 years Plat) and I rarely get below an 8, and am usually at a 9 or 10. I can count on one hand the times I've had to "fight" for anything. Less of a need for any fighting when you have a robust set of base benefits to work with.

I have long thought SPG to have an Avis-like "we try harder" mentality as it's not some behemoth with a property on every corner. People choose Starwood - they don't just default to it.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 1:43 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by phltraveler View Post
Just to be clear due to the confusing rename of gold 50 nights in Marriott to Plat and 75 nights from Plat to Plat Premier, are you talking about the new Merged Plat Premier level (75 nights, published) or the legacy plat premier level in MR (unpublished, invite only)? That suite upgrade percentage might vary on location, property, etc. but I'm curious as I've heard a lot of (legacy invite only) Plat Premiers complaining it gave no benefit at all.
Said poster and I have had many a back and forth on this, and (again no offense) he seems to be an outlier with a better UG percentage w/MR than SPG. Whereas I've seen many more posters IMO, long-time MR folks, who are amazed at the amount of suite upgrades they have gotten w/SPG in a very short time-frame.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 2:19 pm
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
YMMV. 800+ nights at SPG (9 years Plat) and I rarely get below an 8, and am usually at a 9 or 10. I can count on one hand the times I've had to "fight" for anything. Less of a need for any fighting when you have a robust set of base benefits to work with.

I have long thought SPG to have an Avis-like "we try harder" mentality as it's not some behemoth with a property on every corner. People choose Starwood - they don't just default to it.
7 years elite and same here.

the ONLY time I have had to negotiate over anything with an spg property is those times when I want to show up and check in at 5am and the property is still on the night before meaning they might want me to pay for a full day while only officially getting a room for a few hours. 9 times out of 10 their response is 'platinum member?' sure, we can work something out.... But in terms of benefits that i'm entitled to per the T&Cs? Never had to fight for one of those. not ever.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 2:22 pm
  #54  
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I've had to fight for suite upgrades and the 4 pm guaranteed late checkout at SPG properties, but I still very much prefer Starwood over Marriott. I've also had more suite upgrades in a typical six month period at SPG than I've had lifetime with MR.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by phltraveler View Post
Just to be clear due to the confusing rename of gold 50 nights in Marriott to Plat and 75 nights from Plat to Plat Premier, are you talking about the new Merged Plat Premier level (75 nights, published) or the legacy plat premier level in MR (unpublished, invite only)? That suite upgrade percentage might vary on location, property, etc. but I'm curious as I've heard a lot of (legacy invite only) Plat Premiers complaining it gave no benefit at all.
I am a legacy Marriott Plat Premier for at least 10 years (unpublished, invite only, requiring probably a consistent 100 nights a year). The benefits can be inconsistent.

Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Said poster and I have had many a back and forth on this, and (again no offense) he seems to be an outlier with a better UG percentage w/MR than SPG. Whereas I've seen many more posters IMO, long-time MR folks, who are amazed at the amount of suite upgrades they have gotten w/SPG in a very short time-frame.
I know I've seen a couple of people talk about better upgrades at the SPG side but not many. This year, alone I've stayed at the Westin Tucson resort, Westin PVR, Westin Bonaventura, Westin Alexandria, Westin Nashville, Sheraton Charlotte, Sheraton Reston, Sheraton Buenos Aires, Park Hotel Buenos Aires,, Grande Bretagne Athens, W Minneapolis, W Scottsdale, and W Miami. I've had two suite upgrades in 25 nights (thanks W Miami!), so 10 percent or so for 2018 and all of these were 1-2 night stays. In several of these cases Westin Tucson, Westin PVR, Westin Alexandria, W Scottsdale, and the Buenos Aires properties, the hotels were all obviously low occupancy and had suites for sale on the website. In others, Westin Bonaventure, W Minneapolis, Grande Bretagne, the hotels were certainly busy.

In contrast, I've had multiple more suite upgrades in Marriott properties just in July and August alone. Perhaps its attributable to the legacy Plat Premier status on the Marriott side. But ... if all I was giving up was two suite upgrades in 25 nights, I wouldn't be two worried about my loss of "perks." That's not to say Marriott is perfect ...

The reality is these are all functions of effective general managers who want to drive business from repeat customers, not the program per se.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 6:38 pm
  #56  
 
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I have 60% suite upgrades this year with stays in Europe, Asia, Middle East and USA (NYC, SFO). I just don't see that happening in the new programme.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 8:10 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I've had to fight for suite upgrades and the 4 pm guaranteed late checkout at SPG properties, but I still very much prefer Starwood over Marriott. I've also had more suite upgrades in a typical six month period at SPG than I've had lifetime with MR.
Very limited data points. In the last 12 months I've had approximately 70% upgrade success with SPG with 40 nights (14 different properties). In the last 12 months I've had NO upgrades with Marriott with 9 nights (5 different properties).
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Old Aug 14, 18, 8:16 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
I have 60% suite upgrades this year with stays in Europe, Asia, Middle East and USA (NYC, SFO). I just don't see that happening in the new programme.
Why not? It's almost entirely at the discretion of individual hotels.

Do you think Marriott corporate is going to rap knuckles at your local Le Meridien if they upgrade you?
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Old Aug 15, 18, 1:16 am
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post
Why not? It's almost entirely at the discretion of individual hotels.

Do you think Marriott corporate is going to rap knuckles at your local Le Meridien if they upgrade you?
Two reasons:
1) Because the amount of suites is constant at the brand / properties I plan to stay at whereas in a new combined programme the amount of upgrade eligible elites will drastically increase
2) Because the "leaked" T&C already suggests language on upgrade exclusion / priority based on tier level
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Old Aug 15, 18, 8:45 am
  #60  
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Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
Two reasons:
1) Because the amount of suites is constant at the brand / properties I plan to stay at whereas in a new combined programme the amount of upgrade eligible elites will drastically increase
But the number of properties those elites will be staying at is also drastically increasing (and this effect is in the past, anyway, the combination has already happened for this purpose)

2) Because the "leaked" T&C already suggests language on upgrade exclusion / priority based on tier level
SPG golds weren't getting upgrades anyway
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