Marriott Bonvoy has finally downgraded members who didn’t requalify for elite status last year.
Marriott Bonvoy status is supposed to expire in February
Ordinarily, Marriott Bonvoy status is supposed to expire at the end of February. In other words, if you were a Platinum member last year (earned based on qualifying for status the year prior), then your elite status was supposed to be valid until February 29, 2020.
However, this year March 1 came, and no one’s status was downgraded. I’m not sure if this was an IT glitch, or if this was intentional on the part of Marriott, since presumably they have a shortage of people staying at their hotels at this point. 😉
Marriott Bonvoy finally downgrades status
If you check your Marriott Bonvoy accounts now, you should notice that your status has likely been “corrected” yesterday. For example, in my case I’ve gone from an Ambassador Elite member to a Titanium Elite member.
Marriott had already sent out status downgrade emails last November to some members, so obviously I knew my status would be downgraded, and this doesn’t come as a surprise.
Marriott doesn’t seem to be offering soft landings
While Marriott had emailed some members to let them know they’d receive a soft landing, it doesn’t appear that they’re offering soft landings across the board this year.
Up until last year, soft landings were a standard part of the program. In other words, they’d drop you at most one elite category if you didn’t requalify — elite levels include Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador. That’s not the case across the board this year, and many people are finding that they’ve dropped at least two elite categories.
Ultimately this is a courtesy Marriott extended in the past and it wasn’t in the terms & conditions. We shouldn’t have necessarily expected that to be available again this year, but it would have been a nice gesture, especially in light of the current situation, where you’d expect them to get more generous, rather than less generous.
Marriott has now downgraded elite status for members, just a few weeks later than usual. They’re of course fully entitled to do that, and have done nothing wrong.
At the same time, given the current situation, I was starting to wonder whether the lack of downgrades was intentional, and the company was actually planning on extending status for a year, since they can surely use the guests.
While I loved my Marriott Ambassador, in a way being a Titanium is a relief — I’ll maintain Titanium this year, and then coast off my lifetime Platinum status starting next year. That makes my life — and overall hotel strategy — much easier.
Has your Marriott Bonvoy status been adjusted as expected?