Now this is pure speculation but the head of Marriott Rewards addressed the UK Loyalty conference yesterday and according to Rob at Headforpoints (a U.K. pointshound blog) the big takeaway was:
Starwood’s ‘Suite Night Awards’ are something that impresses Marriott – allowing an elite member to lock down a guaranteed upgrade on stays which are important to them. A suite upgrade on an overnight business trip is often not appreciated and the failure to get an upgrade on a ‘special occasion’ stay creates annoyance.
So it would seem pingreeman may want to consider a return to his spiritual home, though it is of course one thing to say those words and quite another to act upon them.
Other interesting facts to emerge were that upon taking on Starwood Marriott discovered only 11% of its membership was duplicated at Marriott. That's a really, really low number. Marriott has suddenly acquired a lot more new members than it ever envisaged.
Also interesting, though not necessarily so welcome as a presage for the new scheme, Marriott takes the view that SPG was over-rewarding it's membership to make up for its small footprint. Take from that what you can about the forthcoming combined scheme. Marriott admits continuing that over-rewarding process with its 3-to-1 exchange rate making top Marriotts only 15,000SPG where the SPG scheme tops out at 35,000SPG (105,000 of our poor benighted points) and metal-to-metal status-matching.
Anyone else been to an event like this, anything else emerged?