For any of you who have followed my posts for many years, this won't come as a surprise, since I have been a minimal presence on MRI lately. I tried to stay involved even when I no longer stayed at Marriotts, which started with the devaluations in rewards, diminution of CL privileges, and the lack of hotels in European and MIddle Eastern hotels where I do my research. Even more for me, MRI itself changed. I probably no longer matter to most of you, or jerrycoin, or so many others who never knew us but who traveled internationally all the time and -- I think -- offered valuable information on places to visit, where to stay, where to eat, etc.
All that seems to have changed with the new MRI site, and I want to emphasize I am not singling out MR moderators. But every time I check in and click on INBOX, which is where I found most of my useful info, it was empty or filled with corporate info and supposed values for MRIs. Sometimes I tried checking activity, but too often it was way too specific to be of any interest.
I will continue to check in occasionally though I no longer consider myself a Marriott member, even though I have Silver LIfetime status (whoopee). Three years ago I made a decision based on devaluation, higher rewards thresholds, and fewer Marriotts where I travel to cut my ties. (Venice is a perfect example -- even though I stayed at one (Boscolo) it was so far out of the way I'd never stay there again since I practically live in Venice several times a year. The second is apparently on an otherwise uninhabited island. I cannot understand why if someone goes to Venice they would not want to stay in San Marco or on the Grand Canal. But maybe that's me.)
At any rate, it was the best hotel decision I ever made when I cut my ties to Marriott. I never thought I would cut my high elite status to Delta, but that is exactly what has happened this year to me and so many others with their unbeatably arrogant attitude, constant unannounced changes, and utter devaluation. I've used my remaining half million miles for three 'free' business class tickets to Greece and Venice before 2016.
I was always loyal. Then I learned loyalty didn't matter. Guess what? The result, as I learned when I stopped staying at Marriotts and now am learning thanks to Delta's arrogance and greed is that I am better off. I am no longer chasing the unattainable. For years, I've found the best hotels with best rates, best breakfasts, wifi, etc and when my Delta Platinum runs out on January 2016 I will fly the airline that gives me the most for the best fare.
Loyalty should ALWAYS be a two-way street. I give hotel brands more credit than airlines, especially Delta, but I also feel liberated. I was chasing something that was ultimately stupid for me since I am at best middle to upper middle class and will drop radically upon retirement.
We miss you all, jerry, steppingstones, nuhusker, pluto (a lot of the time), and so many others who made this a great site. Now when I check in, all I see are supposed Marriott bargains. Sorry, not interested.