I've been around a while in this travel game and on the insiders coming up on 10yrs now. My current project has me at a bit of a crossroads. The customer has a great rate and would prefer folks stay at the local Hilton but if you can find a comparable rate you can stay anywhere else. Since I have a Plat Amex, I have gold status with Hilton, so it's not flush with all the cool stuff I often get at a Marriott but free high speed wifi, a welcome gift, lounge access and a decent room works. I put a week in with their preferred hotel, mostly because why not but also to refresh myself with the Hilton "experience". It was as good as I could expect but not exactly the same as I'm used to at Marriott properties.
Now I start to look around here and find myself a local Marriott property to give it a fair shake but it seems Marriott in their infinite wisdom has decided to uplift the websites again. I've been plat prem for years, I can only assume since I didn't travel much less last year (130-140nights) I probably will renew but NO WHERE does it say I am a plat prem still (which technically ends end of Jan as I recall from previous year). Soooo I am left scratching my head. Is achieving the top tier status worth it? I mean I have lifetime plat here and a fair number of points in the bank and while plat prem doesn't amount to much in the US, overseas the upgrades kick tail. Do the wiz kids that do the Marriott site just get passes with not being good and accurate or does Marriott just not care enough about folks that consciously make decisions based on loyalty to stay in their properties? It sounds trivial until you've lived the dream of being on the road away from home, family and everything for 130, 140, 150+ nights a year, year after year after year. If they can't get the most basic thing right on a web page for those who have proven their loyalty over and over again to achieve the level, where else is Marriott failing to meet expectations?
And for the record I've also got top status with IGH (though nights) and Best Western (through challenge) and they both bend over backwards when I stay at those properties to ensure my room is up to expectations....something perhaps Marriott could learn from
So I pose to you all, how do you view your loyalty changing in 2018. What drives you to pick a loyalty program or hotel chain (or sub chain)? Perhaps more importantly to dance along with my rant what would cause you to start visiting another chain?