Today's suggestion (prompted by another thread): Marriott should identify a telephone number or email address where Marriott Rewards members could burn extremely large numbers of points in exchange for customized packages -- the royal vacation, the dream experience, the trip of a lifetime (you get the idea). Frankly, this is what I'd consider "low hanging fruit." It's easy. Marriott Insiders - if you agree, speak up, and we'll see if Marriott is listening.
Pingreeman got me started when he recently hit the nail on the head. He wrote:
When I have already "maxed out" the upper/upper/upper tiers of status, what would motivate me to remain this loyal? GUARANTEED SUITE UPGRADES TWICE A YEAR to take my family on a "Royal Vacation" where my 50 weeks a year at as an "absentee dad/husband" could be meaningfully regained by having the BEST that Marriott can OFFER for someone with 3157 lifetime nights, 8.4 million points earned, and 20+ membership years (sorry - not flaunting but trying to show my "personal sacrifice" I have made to my family). I only wish Marriott would counter my family's loss with fantastic benefit gains.
I tried to make a similar point, here - http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/thread/13713 - but was not as eloquent.
So let me try a different way: it seems eminently reasonable to me that - if the Platinum line were to serve its intended purpose - there would be a small number of folks staffing that line authorized to basically let you do whatever you want anytime you agree to burn (some arbitrary, but high number, say) 500,000 points or more. [Sure, (1) the same could be said for lower thresholds - maybe the magic number is 250,000 points - but, why not start high - we can quibble about thresholds later. And, of course, it doesn't have to be on the phone - there could be a special email address to contact these folks. But, again, these are details.]
Look, every benefit that Pingreeman (or, for that matter, any of us) wants, can be quantified and priced in terms of points. What I hear Pingreeman (and others) saying is: if you want to keep my (immensely valuable) business, make some effort to demonstrate that you value that business. It makes good business sense for Marriott to have a small team of experts who are willing to
- listen to your needs - specific hotel, type of room, number of rooms, other services (meals, spas, parking, etc.);
- promptly quantify the value of your request - or, in other words - tell you how many points your dream vacation it would require; and
- deal directly with the appropriate hotel so that they (1) provide the requested services and (2) graciously welcome Marriott's most valued customers and treat them with the status they deserve.
This isn't rocket science.... If you agree, share your voice....