Not quite gone (but probably forgotten)

Discussion created by jkernitzki on May 6, 2019
Latest reply on May 7, 2019 by mrittmayer

Changes abound, both in the program and life. I'm still around, though not quite the road warrior I was a couple of years ago.


I left my previous employer in March of '17 and was recruited for a position based (for now) in Afghanistan. While travel isn't part of the job description, it's still a big part of my life, since I need to return to the US periodically (20-30 days a year at most), plus give myself a break every few months in Europe or the Middle East.


Gone are the days of Fairfield Inns in Podunk, Nowhere week in & week out, to be replaced by less frequency, but definitely further afield stays. I end up at the Marriott Al Jaddaf in Dubai fairly frequently with other--more interesting--locales such as Istanbul, Zurich, Frankfurt, Edinburgh, Dublin, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen now in the mix. 


So while the points aren't measured in the several hundreds of thousands any longer, the stays are certainly higher quality (and I'm really beyond caring that much about the points anyway). Staying almost exclusively at full-service properties, as a Lifetime Titanium I see the level of service I expected (but rarely saw) in the domestic US properties. 


Welcome gifts are still a thing internationally, and it's not just a bowl of stale nuts and split of $2 wine. Proper lounges are the norm, and I'm greeted like an honored guest for a change. 


Why did I wait so long to find all this!?


The whole Do-I-Stay-With-Marriott-Or-Move-To-Hilton discussion is dead now. Were I still traveling domestically it would likely still be a consideration, but with my stays being far less frequent now (25-30 nights per year as opposed to 125+ in the past). Besides, given Marriott's footprint internationally, especially considering the SPG merger/acquisition, there's no real argument there.


So, what's been up with you guys while I wasn't looking?