So I just read this on BoardingArea....don't forget this is unconfirmed but what does everyone think?
I don't think I know, if this does come to pass and the current Platinum level to include Lifetime Platinum Marriott can kiss goodbye to a large number of Gold and Platinum members for further revenue stays. That just might be the final smack in the chops for loyalty.
Initial thinking of my plan will have to wait until it is written and I get a chance to blow off some steam, but my thought right now would be unless I was to be able to book a room on the CL at a descent rate I just might go the kiss my butt goodbye for any further revenue stays as well.
Gee, I wonder what this type of action might have on all those new Gold Reward members from UA MileagePlus Premiers? That pretty much puts the UA/Marriott partnership in the old dumpster out back doesn't it!!!!
If a massive devaluation takes place along the lines of the current rumors, it would be devastating to many loyal Marriott elites and the program itself. I fail to see how this would enhance the Marriott brand. Of course, if the Marriott properties are turning guests away due to 100 percent utilization of capacity, they have no need for a loyalty program. I hope the rumors are just that. The rumor(s) certainly caught my attention and are a cause for concern.
I hope the rumors aren't true, but if they are, I hope they get announced soon, that way I can cancel all of my revenue based reservations immediately, they can give my rooms, at good revenue rates to the Millennials and high stay travelers they are chasing (oh, right, I forgot, the Millenials don't have the wallet and the properties I stay at often are at less than 75% capacity). I havent flown Delta in over 10 years, kissed UA goodbye as well 5 years ago, and if the rumor is true, I will use up all of my points and go elsewhere, as my loyalty is a 2 way venture.
This is the exact same language as outlined by takingthehighroad outlined in How will points change in 2014 http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/95365#95365. Taking is a new Insider (DC native) and has not been heard from since. Taking, are you the Ric mentioned in ks77's link?
Conspiracy theorists (about Marriott intentionally leaking the devaluation) start your engines.
It appears Ric Garrido of Monterey Ca. (check him out anadyr) owner of Loyalty Traveler lifted the entire blurb from Insiders (which he said, so no sweat there) and then Ric's post was picked up by the Boarding Area blog - boy, talk about the old phone grapevine game.
I have not met Ric but then I am in Witness Protection and should not be seen in public! I read his blog from time to time. Anytime you search for language on Google one of the results might be from the Insiders, so be aware and careful!!!!
1) Well have 'your people' do a check
2) iah - start saying you and I are Nigerian Princes and will be accepting deposits - maybe it will be picked up by The Madoff Letter and we won't have to worry about benefits devaluation ever again
And now, we return you to your regularly scheduled thread; 2015 Devaluation (Rumor Mill)
3) ks77 thank you for allowing the detour
I could see some of those changes happening but not all of them. Category 10, increase of 5,000 points per level, elimination of free 5th night, and publishing of PP requirements all seem like they could happen. But free parking for Gold and above...not going to happen...parking is $40/night-$60/night in most major metros. I just couldn't see Marriott making that free--significant loss in revenue and parking in major metros is expensive.
The confirmed suite upgrade at booking is possible (kind of like an airline), but some hotels have such few suites and which suites would be eligible--probably not the biggest suites If they are a big step above the other suites in the hotel.
Like Obamacare, empty promises and much more cost to the consumer.
All I can say is WOW! I'm trying to catch up after some time away from the site and all this 'stuff' about big changes in 2015. Almost seems like this 'rumor' of changes is taking on a life of its own. All I can say is when something goes this way it may become a 'be careful what you wish for' deal.
I look at rumored changes like these and, no question in my mind, the big M would take a huge hit when they lock out the Plats from the concierge. Do they think we stay at their properties for all the the upgrades we get?
The CL is a respite from a long day whether it be work, travel or leisure. Take that away and......well, they'll bear the consequences from a great number of folks would be my guess.
Well said Tef, and yes anything is possible,
Totally agree with you Tef. I am retired and was Gold, but because of health issues cannot travel so much anymore, and am now silver. Fair enough. But upgrades were never on my horizon. I got upgraded once, at other times the hotel was full - and it really was. I have always booked and paid for a room category above the standard room, and booked for room only. Then I could use the CL (or executive lounge as they say here in the UK) because, as you rightly say, it is a respite from whatever you have been doing during the day. We are leisure travellers, and appreciate the breakfast away from the main throng, the evening offerings with a glass of wine if we have been out all day etc.
Now I am silver, I will book a room with CL access in future, (or use points) but if I was still gold, never mind platinum, I would be very unhappy that this was taken away from loyal customers.
If MR eliminates the fifth night free and platinum access to CL, I am through with Marriott. I have been a loyal customer since the inception of the program and my traveling is increasing again. The devaluations over the past few years have reduced my loyalty (and my traveling coworkers) from 95% of my stays to about 50%. I currently prefer Renaissance and FS Marriott's if their cost is within our corporate guidelines (which is becoming more rare). If not, I will consider Springhill and occasionally Residence or Fairfield Inns, but will choose HGI, Homewood, or Hyatt over Courtyard (which I avoid due to Bistro and no coffee). It is amazing how fast Marriott ruined the competitive advantage of their loyalty program and customer focus after the Marriott family became less involved in the leadership.
If these drastic cuts are made, I believe Marriott will regret its decision in a few years. There is a significant inherent value in loyalty. Without it, customers make choices primarily on cost, and hotels become commodities.
This is my fear. If Marriott makes those type of drastic cuts, they are in effect saying, that they are willing to play the game primarily without loyalty (with the exception of the very highest revenue customers). Marriott certainly reads, reviews, and knows the same stuff that all of us know and therefore is cognizant of the expected reaction. Making that type of move would indicate to me, they don't strategically feel they have to concern themselves with the reaction, that under supply of properties and current economic momentum will more than make up for the loss of disgruntled loyalists. I have heard three CEOs all discuss projected increases in future revpar, rates, occupancy, and earnings for the near future, so they're certainly feeling their economic oats.
So far, they've been proven correct given the changes they have implemented and the results achieved. Even if in the future, Marriott's move (should it be executed) is proven wrong, it doesn't do us customers any good short term, once again demonstrating that being right is overrated.
What if this is all true? If it represents a corporate decision by a major player then we can see almost all the big hotel chains doing the same, after a respectful time in which they see if Marriott has a 'winner' in this. Washington Business Week has mentioned that the Marriott CEO is one of the president's 'go-to' CEOs, been to WH dinners. The CEO moght be trying to change the game: make the corporation more millenial friendly, eschewing all that was past in a three decades old loyalty program, while strengthening the bottom line for Marriott.
I liken it to a slot that I used to play called The Sopranos. It was there, paid better than most, and disappeared. Sopranos odds at 80/20 (80 for the house) were too high, an employee told me so they took it out! Maybe the MR program was too much in guest's favor, who can say?
Warning - more speculation (but what the heck, it's either that or continue watching the Euro go up against my US dollar with my trip on the horizon - what's with that, c'mon): Well it does make you wonder, when or if Marriott would ever step in to ease the negative response currently circling around in cyberspace (afterall, they do have the magnificent michellel, doing the voodoo that she do so well) if these rumored changes weren't for real.
The takingthehighroad thread from Insiders generates lively discussion and is picked up by first our sibling, FlyerTalk which now has over 2400 views and 40 replies (and growing), then picked up verbatim (as disclosed) by Loyalty Traveler with 17 replies, 57 Facebook shares, 96 tweets (and growing).
Boarding Area blog runs Loyalty Travelers post. 30,000 readers (their number, and yes Marriott stated that they added more than 47k Insiders last year alone), 25 replies and perhaps more significantly, over 100 Facebook shares and 300 tweets and no doubt so on and so on, virtually all responses similar in disappointed, if not irritated attitude as those written on Insiders. Who knows (other than your special pals) where else this negative vibe has spread.
Here's the speculation part - if these forecasted changes weren't close to future reality and were just the internet gone wild, wouldn't it be relatively easy to help the market 'simmer down' and reduce the growing, can't be beneficial, irritated reactions of loyal customers?
We've speculated before about points devaluations and category 10 being on the horizon. None of us should be surprised if that happens.
Losing the 5th night would be a blow if that ever happens. Would people choose to shorten a stay by a day or two or use extra points?
As for the reported changes to Elite benefits, these would be a mixed bag, giving with one hand ("new" benefits) and taking with the other (more limited lounge access).
Whatever happens, change is coming even if it just award categories. Some of it we may like, some we may not.
There are no changes planned to Elite benefits. There is nothing hidden in these words – we have no devaluation of Elite benefits in the discussion, planning or execution phase. No ‘later this spring’ announcement of any kind planned. No new levels. No changes to concierge lounge access. No “Delta” model. Annual award category changes will be announced next week.
Thanks for the clarification.
We wait the category changes next week.
Now you've just ruined a great thread!!!
Actually it is nice to read that Andy, thanks much.
Now that's what we're talkin' bout! Real, Insider info. Let's see who picks that up and runs with it (I'll send a copy to Smoking Gun). You were right on the extension of Marriott/United (in spite of United giving everyone the Willies) so I'm putting my bet on you.
Now, if you can get the gurus at Intergalactic to see the wisdom of nuhusker's Veterans Appreciation Surprise Party, you'll be inducted into the Insiders Hall of Fame. Keep on keepin' on.
thank you for chiming in and easing some folks minds. not sure what the conspiracy theorists will now turn to……. I'm sure they will come up with something.
I have 20/20 speculator vision and having correctly predicted lots of things recently (sunrise, sunset, a list of honeydos, and the like) I feel confident that my specs are good, don't you?
Whew that is a relief, Andy. Hope that the category changes have a grace period as in past years.
I hope so too, Husker is a greeat guy and this is a fantastic idea that he suggested.
Rumors are just that. We have a chance to express our thoughts on what we like as well as what may or may not happen.
Thanks for putting these rumors to rest for at least another year.
Now we can all move on and get ready to complain about the new award levels and how our favorite properties will cost more points.
I'm looking forward to putting my shiny new Gold status through its paces. Counties await!
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