PLEASANT SURPRISE BY A BENEFIT OF THE MARRIOTT-UNITED AIRLINES PROMOTION THAT I WAS UNAWARE OF.
The agreement between United and Marriott that awarded Platinum members with United Silver Elite status enticed me to try United as I was fed up with American.
Although I have accumulated many qualifying segments towards the next level I was quite aware that I had a ways to go before reaching the next level (Gold).
Last week booked a round trip between Los Angeles and New York. When attempting to purchase upgraded "Economy Plus" seats (at $99 extra each way) I couldn't understand why it wasn't charging me the additional fare. (I am aware that these seats, on the day of departure, are free to Silver Elite but didn't want to risk the chance of availability on a long flight).
I completed the booking and payment process without the added seat charges. Although puzzled I wasn't going to argue when offered a service or product for free.
Then, by accident, I noticed that I was no longer United Silver Elite but had been elevated to Gold. This status allows immediate access at no cost to Economy Plus seating (at the time of booking).
I was quite aware that I had not yet met the qualifications for Gold status, but, once again wasn't going to argue with an additional benefit saving me money.
It wasn't until I returned from my business trip that I received the explanation. In the mail during my absence was a letter from Marriott/United advising that this elevation to Gold Elite was a benefit of achieving Platinum Premiere status.
ONCE AGAIN, THE MARRIOTT BUREAUCRACY FAILING TO ADVISE REWARD MEMBERS OF A VALUABLE BENEFIT. Why did it take months for this communication. Surprisingly this is the first concrete benefit of being rewarded with Premiere status that has worth!
MY QUESTION TO THE COMMUNITY - HAS ANY OTHER PREMIERE BEEN ADVISED OF THIS BENEFIT? AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHY DO I CONTINUALLY FIND OUT ABOUT THESE BENEFITS ACCIDENTALLY.
I AM, AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE, A LOYAL MARRIOTT CUSTOMER. WITH IT'S PROBLEMS I FIND IT TO BE ONE OF THE BEST LOYALTY PROGRAMS AVAILABLE AND THE FLEXIBILITY OF THE POINTS EARNED IS APPRECIATED AND EASY TO USE.
What I can't understand is why there is such a lack of communication between Marriott Rewards and it's top level members. AN IMPROVEMENT IN COMMUNICATION WOULD PLACE IT EVEN HIGHER ON MY LIST AS WELL AS MANY OTHER MEMBERS.
I WOULD WELCOME THOSE WITH SIMILAR EXPERIENCES AS WELL AS OTHER OPINIONS ON MY COMMENTS.