FACT: It is impossible to upgrade all members entitled to that benefit on any given night at a full service property.
FACT: The non-receipt of upgrades is the number one complaint/opinion/discussion on our "insiders forum".
FACT: The level of Platinum has far too many members and should not be the "main" top elite level (placing Premier to the side for a second).
FACT: Marriott is making it easier and easier to achieve Elite status adding to the numbers and exacerbating the problem.
FACT: Joint marketing programs are an additional dilution of possible benefits on arrival and add to the CL crowds experienced at many properties.
I am posing this question with the following credentials: I am far from the most experienced traveler. I do though believe that I am in the top 5% of business travelers with over 50 years experience as a hotel guest.
Here is my opinion and a suggestion that I would appreciate the forum's members to comment on.
I estimate my average stay on a business trip (not vacation stay at a resort) is between 1.5 and 3.0 nights. I want a comfortable room and the benefit of lounge access. Give me that and I am a "happy camper".
It is my opinion that the verbiage of benefits that state "upgrade based on availability" is idiotic - it opens up to discussion of "why didn't I get upgraded" etc.
The "elite system" has caused more complaints than it has satisfying many members and has turned into a "bragging contest' among members. (forgive that statement, but those who know me are aware diplomacy is not my strong suit).
WHAT CAN BE CHANGED: I suggest that each level be awarded a certain amount of upgrades that can be reserved in advance. Furthermore I suggest additional levels that would in detail list what "you are definitely entitled to" irrespective of occupancy levels etc.
I could go on and on. What is most annoying are those members that are staying one or two nights at an FS property and complain that they didn't get upgraded. They have access to CL's where they receive food and beverage that other guests don't - they usually are treated/acknowledged with respect and (normally) have an overall satisfying stay.
Simply, if a hotel has 50 superior accommodations/suites and 60 Platinum members reserved ......well you do the numbers.
Okay, I have my "Kevlar vest " on start shooting!!!!