Marriott Updates Platinum Suite Upgrade Terms

Filed Under: Marriott

Marriott’s new loyalty program launched on August 18, and the integration has been rocky, to put it mildly. There were a few surprises when the program launched (both good and bad), and one of the unpleasant surprises was the verbiage for the Platinum suite upgrade benefit, which wasn’t as we expected.

Marriott’s new terms & conditions stated the following for the Platinum suite upgrade benefit:

Complimentary Enhanced Room Upgrade for Platinum Elite Members.  Based on room availability at check-in and limited to a Member’s personal guest room at no additional charge.  Enhanced rooms may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites.

This wasn’t as we expected because we were told the upgrade benefit would mirror that of Starwood Preferred Guest rather than that of Marriott Rewards, but that wasn’t the case.

One of the things that made Starwood Preferred Guest unique was that they offered Platinum members suite upgrades subject to availability. For a long time they were the only program offering that as a guaranteed benefit.

There’s an important distinction to be made between how Starwood and Marriott promised suite upgrades for Platinum members:

  • Starwood offered top tier elite members upgrades to the best available room subject to availability, including suites
  • Marriott offered top tier elite members upgrades subject to availability, and that room upgrade “may” include a standard suite

Marriott told me shortly after the new terms were published that it wasn’t their intention for it to be phrased the way it is, and they said they’d update the terms. They’ve now done that, and Marriott’s new terms for Platinum suite upgrades state the following:

Complimentary Enhanced Room Upgrade for Platinum Elite Members.  Platinum Elite Members receive a complimentary upgrade to the best available room subject to availability for the entire length of stay at the time of check-in. Complimentary upgrade includes suites, rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities or rooms on Executive Floors.

So that’s great news, because now the benefit officially reflects SPG’s old policy.

Marriott hasn’t updated their member benefits page, which still states the following:

We’ll do our best to upgrade your room (including Select Suites), based on availability at check-in. Upgrades are subject to availability identified by each hotel and limited to your personal guest room. See terms and conditions for details.

Of course the biggest question is how individual hotels adhere to this policy. Historically Marriott hasn’t been as good as Starwood when it comes to getting hotels on the same page regarding policies, so we’ll see this plays out…

Bottom line

It’s good to see that Marriott has updated the terms to reflect what they claimed was the intent of the new policy. It would be nice if they updated the benefits page as well.

Personally I think this integration continues to be poorly executed. It has now been 2.5 weeks since programs have been integrated, and it’s still not possible to redeem points at former all-suite properties online…

What has your experience been with Marriott & Starwood hotel Platinum upgrades in the past couple of weeks?

  1. Redeeming points at all-suite hotels is the least of it. I’m still missing a half dozen stays and a month’s worth of credit card points, with incorrect and randomly changing totals of points and year to date nights, and no one at Marriott or SPG seems to have any idea when it will be fixed.

  2. Lucky,

    Could you explain to me why all blogs writers have this “fixation” with suite upgrades. From what I read, you stay at most 3 or 4 days in any given hotels, so why does it matter? Is it because of the benefits that come together with a suite (e.g. access to a club lounge) or what?

  3. It will be interesting to see as I am in Venice this weekend as a LFT PP let’s see what they do.

  4. Lucky ,

    Do you think the way that’s worded means anything in terms of whether a hotel will upgrade you or not? You think 9000 hotels got the memo and read that? Do you think yo I can show them those terms and based on the way it’s worded verse the old terms a hotel will process your upgrade ? If you think so , you are wrong. Absolutely no difference at all

  5. I still can’t see a number of stays at Marriott properties in August in the activity view. The number of nights is wrong, and I have no idea if the points are accurate as I can’t see what I earned for each stay.

    The rep on the phone was quite nice… She said every time their IT group fixes something it breaks something else. I love how another rep called it a “latency issue”.

    It’s also bizarre how the mobile app and website provide different points totals, etc.


  6. I agree, the suites aren’t that important for me on most stays when I am by myself. Unless, say for instance, the suite has a unique amenity like a balcony or sauna. Its crazy that all the hotel programs don’t have checkboxes where you can indicate the level of interest in a suite upgrade other than using your SNA’s. There maybe:
    5 available suites;
    20 Platinum members;
    4 members where the suite upgrade would make a difference for that stay;
    16 members who couldn’t care less if they got a suite i.e. by themselves, etc.
    The hotel is just randomly assigning the suites based on some sort of criteria without any input as to if its important for that member on that day!

    The first time ever I had Platinum, of course, new toy, I wanted a suite upgrade.

    But with many stays it doesn’
    t matter.

    To me 4PM or later checkout, and a welcome amenity and breakfast is more important than a suite upgrade 95% of the time.

  7. I can’t speak for Lucky but I value the suites especially if traveling with family there is actually a couch we can all sit down on and watch tv or talk, also the coffee table for food, etc is nice. Also we often have two rooms with one room being my Mom or Dad by themselves, so this gives us enough room to all get together in the suite. I wish more suites would have a large refrigerator, maybe not full size, but just larger than the mini-fridge.

  8. Im platnium elite and have had several marriott stays over last two weeks (all paid) and have not received a suite at any of them. I do get lounge access.

  9. @Mika and JL100,

    I get that when one is traveling with family a suite can be a great place to seat and talk, but when you’re travelling alone… at least for me, that isn’t important at all… I just want a comfy bed to sleep… a nice breakfast is better than a suite upgrade, IMHO

  10. PPE: I’ve received one suite upgrade and one ‘higher-floor executive room’ upgrade on my two stays since cut-over. So, I’ve been pretty happy.

  11. Hey Ben,

    I think it’s interesting that Marriott’s language doesn’t explicitly restrict the suite upgrade policy to base level Standard Suites only — I thought SPG’s old policy was restricted to base level / standard suites. Am I reading too much into this?

  12. You’re missing the number one reason bloggers like suite upgrades… they make for much better photos. Everyone knows what a regular room looks like… but you get more referrals and interest from the suites.
    They’re priced out of most people’s range so upgrading for free is the only way to make them accessible.

  13. No upgrade to even a nicer room at the property I stayed at this week and they had availability on their website. The recognition to the new levels is wonky as well – the person checking me in thanked me for my silver status (I’m displayed as platinum and should be platinum premier). Not impressed

  14. It was good while it lasted, but sadly SPG is gone, and it’s not coming back. Marriott isn’t Starwood, and Marriott isn’t going to be as reliable as Starwood was when it came to upgrades and elite recognition for the simple reason being they don’t have to. Oh, sure, Marriott has competition (Hilton, Radisson, Hyatt. etc.) but with 9,000+ hotels worldwide they simply do not need to be as generous as the smaller players in the industry. Unfettered mergers in the airline and hotel industry (among others) have resulted in the oligopolies we now must deal with. In this environment, just like the major U.S. and European airlines, Marriott doesn’t need to be the best. They just need to not be overall any worse than their main competitors.

  15. Lucky (or anyone else),

    A bit off topic, but has anyone heard about the 20% off food and beverages for Platinum members at certain hotels? Is this a real benefit/are there requirements to qualify (other than being platinum)? I found this link over on Flyertalk, but havent been able to verify if this is legit or not.

  16. Lucky , it’s been a mess for me too ! Luckily the ambassador team finally reached out to me after a Twitter meltdown. My account is still all messed up but ….

  17. Happy to see that they finally seem to remember what they promised. Now it‘ll be to see how these Marriott hotels perform with this. To those questioning: yes of course, whenever I was not granted a suite upgrade but it was on sale at the time of check in and I cared, it was always possible to claim those upgrades and if the hotel wouldn‘t follow by itself, reaching out to SPG always did the job and I always ended up in a suite if it was for sale. Sometimes even got additional goodwill points from spg because of the nuisance.

  18. Lucky, my total night count is still incorrect and the difference between the displayed amount and the correct amount bumps me to Platinum Premier, which I actually need this year. At what point should this be fixed? (not sure you know). Who should i contact besides SPG Platinum, because they keep saying to be patient.

  19. “– Starwood offered top tier elite members upgrades to the best available room subject to availability, including suites.
    — Marriott offered top tier elite members upgrades subject to availability, and that room upgrade “may” include a standard suite.”

    LOL. There is no difference whatsoever between those two policies because even under SPG “best room” was identified by each property. That means that SPG’s policy was always that “room upgrade MAY include a standard suite”, if that is what a property, NOT A PLATINUM MEMBER, decided was “best room.” So, nothing was guaranteed.

    How do I know? Because if the policies were different IN PRACTICE, as opposed to the universally misinterpreted verbiage in the SPG policy, then there would not have been a need for blogposts like the one below from none other than @Lucky, who is still pushing the meme about how SPG upgrade policy was different:

    “Starwood Platinum Suite Upgrades: Why Does It Have To Be A Fight?”

    It had to be a fight because the policy was not at all what it was universally [multiple threads at FT] misunderstood to be, that is why!

    I doubt very much that knowing what they know now Marriott managers will open that can of worms. It is undoubtedly why “we’ll do our best to upgrade you” was inserted in the policy. They may change “Enhanced room” to “best available room”, but I can guarantee that the policy will explicitly state something like “best rooms may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites AS IDENTIFIED BY EACH PROPERTY” [the part in caps being what is always left out of what the SPG policy states to claim that the upgrades were ‘guaranteed’].

  20. The merger is still a complete mess for me. Still missing 610,000 points. Missing 7 nights from my YTD count. Plus another 7 nights from 15-22 August that haven’t posted yet. Marriott customer care have told me they don’t know when these issues will be fixed. I don’t mind waiting on most of the issues but I want my 610k points!!

  21. @TravelMark:

    Same boat as you…I’m missing one stay and all its nights, and a second stay has posted in “Activity” but the nights associated with the stay haven’t been added to my total. In all, I’m 12 nights short overall and 3 nights short of Platinum Premier. And all these stays occurred before 18 August. It’s infuriating. And all I’ve received from Marriott is the “please be patient” party line. And, like you, I fully was expecting to use that status in upcoming stays. Plus I will reach Platinum Premier with Ambassador by the end of the year but am rightfully worried that their systems will still be so bungled it won’t actually register in their system.

    When I did get a personalized response to a webform submission, the CSR who emailed me was clueless. I had to provide a verbal/written review of my entire account, to include dates, which should’ve been evident in looking at my profile. Literally nobody has any idea what’s going on or when the madness will end. Even their status page fails to list their most basic failings; rather, it glosses over them as “glitches”. I’d say these are a bit more severe than “glitches”. I wouldn’t hold my breath that the end is near.

  22. Oh, I did not see that the language in policy has actually been updated! Well, I was spot on, not just above also but in my comment last week on a post titled:

    “So, How Did Marriott’s Loyalty Program Integration Go?”

    DCS says: August 27, 2018 at 1:12 am

    “Marriott’s terms when it comes to their Platinum suite upgrade policy still hasn’t been updated to what they claim it should be.”

    If they change it at all, they will likely stick “best available room” in there somewhere, but I also suspect that they will clarify what they mean by adding something like:

    “Best available rooms may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites” and that “best rooms are identified by each property”

    If that makes you happy, great, but it still no different than what the policy was…

    …for me, it Q.E.D 😉

  23. The integration of these programs have been a mess. Just like the American/US Air merger. Poor planning. Poorly executed. I spent hours on the phone to merge my accounts last week. The frequent traveler loses in yet another consolidation.

  24. I don’t see my latest stay in the activity but I do see that it’s counted towards my elite nights and I have some points from the stay. I’m pretty sure this is just a software bug in the reports/queries that display the data. I think most issues will be corrected before long.

  25. Responding to Ben1982’s post above…I never seemed to get suite upgrades at SPG so that’s definitely a YMMV situation (presumably my travel patterns are similar to a lot of other elites). Is there a policy as to who gets the suite?

    For example, let’s say there are 5 suites for sale and 10 Platinums and 10 Platinum Premiers checking in that day. Who gets the 5 suites? It makes sense to me that it would be the “most elite” guest, though I doubt hotels really have any consistent tie breaker.

    Am I right in thinking that the reality is that hotel staff may set up preliminary room assignments in advance (maybe for all expected guests, certainly for guests that use mobile check-in). They likely put top tier guests in the best rooms and go from there. If a suite sells after this, they make adjustments to the room assignments.

    Guests may show up to check-in and be upset to find they weren’t assigned a suite when one is for sale. That doesn’t mean no one is being upgraded to the suite. If they complain the hotel probably just takes the suite assignment from another guest, even if it’s taking it from a Plat Premier to give to a Platinum. That’s not necessarily wrong since both are qualified for an upgrade but it also doesn’t mean the hotel wasn’t doing the right thing.

    I like Mika’s idea to have more preferences available in our profiles. I sometimes laugh when I get some palatial multi room suite and never flip the lights on anywhere but next to the bed because I’m busy working. If I had the option I wouldn’t necessarily decline suites but they could ask questions like “Do you prefer the largest room, or the best room?” or “Do you prefer the largest suite upgrade, or the best view?”. Normally I wouldn’t choose largest, but when traveling with my wife I might for a specific reservation pick a larger room.

    That also sparked a memory of a preference I will really miss from SPG…the option to say that I’m booked into a 2 bed room but would prefer 1 bed. Several times each year I end up booking a 2 queen room if it was the only type available on a client rate, and by selecting this option I found I often did get assigned a king room instead. Very nice for me, the guest, and provides flexibility to the hotel. On occasion they may even be able to sell an extra room if they were to sell out of 2 bed rooms and knew they could move a reservation to a one bed room.

  26. I wake up usually 2-3 hours earlier than my significant other, so having a suite allows me to get work done while she’s still sleeping. When I am by myself, I have no need (or want) for a suite. I agree with Mike that the ability to indicate a preference would be helpful.

  27. T&Cs are nice, but what really matters is if the culture evolves to be much more like SPG, which as we (well, anyone who is sane & rational) all know, was just more proactive than Marriott, Hilton, etc. in giving suites to its best customers.

    Of course, some trolls will still claim “all T&Cs are equal”, when most realize that they aren’t and that the words actually matter.

  28. Unfortunately though, the updated terms also include the following:

    “Enhanced Room Upgrades are subject to availability and are identified by each Participating Property.”

    This language is very similar to that which was part of Marriott’s legacy terms & conditions and is concerning to me. Based on the way it’s written, a hotel could define its “Enhanced Rooms” for the purposes of upgrades as solely those with a view or on high floors and exclude suites. Then, when a Platinum member arrives, he/she would be entitled to a “complimentary upgrade to the best available room” with a view or on a high floor but not a suite because suites weren’t “identified by” the “Participating Property” at which he/she is staying.

  29. ^ that was TPG’s take on the updated terms and conditions. Lucky, did you see that line? Seems like that gives a lot of ambiguity….

  30. I spent my life living away from home. I am now retired and feel for all you folks travelling every week. Now, when I travel it is with my wife. I want her to enjoy a nice suite since she is the one that hauled the kid’s to practice and all those other things I was not there for. I find these changes by Marriott to be punitive to her and not so much me.

    I am with the guy above that likes the 4pm checkout and a good breakfast.

  31. It has been hit & miss for me on both sides, mostly miss. Some properties are better at adhering to the “spirit” of the T&Cs while others purposefully skirt around them being sure to keep the lights low in the gray areas.

    I didn’t get an upgrade at the Westin Singapore while others have been upgraded to a suite on a points stay. I guess the difference is that I am not “Lucky.”


  32. All I want is my nights and lifetime stays to match between the app and the web page. It’s been almost 3 weeks……

  33. For 4 years I’ve been getting my Marriott rewards points for my stays through my company. My company is in the Oklahoma city Courtyard every night of the year, but I’m only there 3 nights a week. After I stopped receiving my rewards points I called to ask why and the reply was because we get our rooms at a reduced rate. What difference does that make…a stay is a stay. It doesn’t state you cant collect reward points if you’re receiving a reduced rate. So fed up with not caring about the customer….

  34. First off, the person who said what’s the big deal with a suite….your just off.
    When I travel, my goal is to be as close to comfortable as I am at home.
    That is NOT a regular liv8 g in one room. Suite upg are very important.

    Agree, and thankful to points pro/OMAAT for being our voice ..the voice of the hospitality customers..

    SPG/Marriott merger nightmares….
    Yes, I too am missing stays, nights, points, bonuses etc…pretty much from Aug1 onward…how Ling will it take them to get it right…will they loose them,and we get screwed….or have to PROVE something.

    SPG was special..Most properties had their own vibe and glorified their guests with YEs WE Can attitude…I fear Marriott military attitude will kill it…

    Okay Hyatt diamond and a Hilton Diamond….ready to take me back…?

  35. TravelMark here. Marriott must read this blog. My nights just popped. I am now showing the correct night count at 75+ and am now (presumably) Platinum Premier; although “My Account” still says Platinum Elite.

    Marriott, thank you for updating my nights total on the website. Please change my status to Platinum Premier. The app still has the wrong night count. Please fix that as well.

  36. We just checked into J W Marriott on marco island and did get updated to a gulf view room but not a suite. This is low season on marco. Not many people around.

  37. “Of course, some trolls will still claim “all T&Cs are equal”, when most realize that they aren’t and that the words actually matter.”

    LOL. SPG T&C on upgrades were so much better and most words matter so much that “most” took to the airwaves with these expressions of joy and delight:

    2014 — Starwood Platinum Suite Upgrades: Why Does It Have To Be A Fight?
    2012 — I am Sick of Arguing for Starwood Upgrades.
    2013 — Platinum SPG, best room upgrade: please change the language.
    2015 — Destroying Loyalty: Starwood’s Lies & Expectation Management.
    2015 — Is SPG the Most Deceptive Loyalty Program? [Big threat on FlyerTalk]

    How do you spell such “collective self-delusion”? T.r.o.l.l.i.n.g! 🙂


  38. @Ejg239 sez: ‘Unfortunately though, the updated terms also include the following:
    “Enhanced Room Upgrades are subject to availability and are identified by each Participating Property.”’

    That is not new. It was in the SPG policy. Those claiming that “words do matter” simply chose words that they did not like, so that they could go around claiming, head in the sand, that the policy was better, and its implementation not discretion of each property.

    Every single person knows that the claim was utterly bogus.

  39. The upgrades are not a big deal for me since I rarely lucked out with SPG, so had low expectations to begin with. I think someone mentioned it already, even under SPG language, it is still subject to each property.

    The big deal for me is this integration, which I agree Lucky, is “rocky” to put it mildly. I really want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and I know it’s a complex migration…. however, as an IT guy, I can’t help but come to this conclusion: This was a badly planned migration, executed poorly, without a thorough testing plan and with minimal mitigation/preparation for post-go live issues. My profile was “updated” with old info from SPG, I can’t correct those “updates” because the screen errors, stays take forever to post, and when they post, the total point and night count is still off vs. the detailed list. Booking through Marriott, clicking on an Starwood property takes you to book on SPG, and it goes own. I wonder if they hired an IT service provider to do this project for them and who… they’re not up to the challenge. Oh, and I love how customer services throws IT under the bus… you’re the same company, act as a united front at least!

  40. JR, I find it so relaxing to just automatically skip any comment written by DCS and it‘s so relaxing 🙂 I knew there were going to be some here given the topic but as there is absolutely no value in anything he comments, it‘s a great strategy not to worry about the state of mankind 🙂

    @Lucky, that line regarding that best rooms and availability are identified by each property is disappointing, indeed. Did MR comment on that?

  41. @Ben1982 sez: “I find it so relaxing to just automatically skip any comment written by DCS…. there is absolutely no value in anything he comments…” and then in the very next breath makes a statement that buttresses DCS’s point: “@Lucky, that line regarding that best rooms and availability are identified by each property is disappointing, indeed. Did MR comment on that?”

    Lucky me to have such ‘enlightened’ detractors! 😉

    Anyway, here’s how things will go down now that self-anointed ‘travel gurus’ have declared “victory” about getting an ‘amended’ room upgrade policy that is “just like SPG’s”, even though it is identical to the initial MR policy that they purportedly hated.

    They will begin hyping the superiority of the policy, claiming that it “entitles” Platinum elites to or “guarantees” them suite upgrades when available. The only catch, as with the much-touted SPG policy, is that “Enhanced Room Upgrades are subject to availability and are identified by each Participating Property” — in fact, availability is repeated in the policy — meaning that in the reality-based world no one is “entitled” to or “guaranteed” anything. Oops!

    So, I am done trying to debunk a claim that anyone who ever made it knew was pure bunk, based on…their own experience! I will just sit back and wait for posts like these gems to begin rolling in…

    2012 — I am Sick of Arguing for Starwood Upgrades.
    2013 — Platinum SPG, best room upgrade: please change the language.
    2014 — Starwood Platinum Suite Upgrades: Why Does It Have To Be A Fight?
    2015 — Destroying Loyalty: Starwood’s Lies & Expectation Management.
    2015 — Is SPG the Most Deceptive Loyalty Program? [Big threat on FlyerTalk]

    …except that in the posts to come Marriott or Marriott Rewards, rather than Starwood or SPG (r.i.p), will be in the crosshairs. It should be quite a spectacle because I suspect that Marriott will not try to appease any platinum member who raises a storm with a front desk agent by brandishing a laptop or smartphone in the agent’s face and yelling that s/he was denied a suite upgrade when suites were clearly available for revenue booking.

    I’ll start the popcorn… 😉

  42. @Ben1982 – the conversation about this topic is much more civil at VFTW, where you know who doesn’t come around anymore *coughbannedcough*

  43. @UA-NYC
    I know, have been there, too 🙂
    But honestly just ignoring anything he writes makes it all better. Scrolling down I just saw he quoted my name (must be the same effect WH aids use to get attention) but can‘t be bothered to actually read what he says 🙂

  44. LOL. Just because you have your head buried deep “where the sun don’t shine” does not mean that the real world goes away!

  45. Just like Hilton it’s doubtful you will get an upgrade to suite even if the room is available. Hotels are not required to follow those rules and of you are denied it’s doubtful Marriot (or Hilton) will do anything about it. Hyat has the best idea by giving out free confirmed upgrades. That would be great for Hilton and Marriot to do for there revenue elites.

  46. @John — Unlike SPG Plats, and, soon, Marriott Plats, Hilton Honors Diamonds never felt “entitled” to suite upgrades nor that they were “guaranteed” such upgrades, which are impossible to guarantee if they depend on availability.

    So, savvy HH Diamond like me just politely ask and we don’t get it, we just move on. No fuss. As a result, I feel that when a Hilton Diamond requests a specific upgrade, there is genuinely an effort made to accommodate the request (In my case that is almost always the case because you can tell when they are truly looking for availability and when they are not). The result? I have cleared more of my non-guaranteed suite upgrades as a HH Diamond than SPG Plats ever cleared of their “guaranteed” suite upgrades and were “entitled” to. That’s something. AIn’t it?

  47. To the HH diamond.
    I agree. But we spg plats ( the rational ones) feel the same.
    Never guaranteed but usually offered automatically by spg. That’s the diff.

  48. @Paul Black – That is the myth. The reality is that SPG Plats had to ask like all elites, or they got nothing. The volume of complaint was the result of bloggers promoting the myth, and reality keeping intruding, creating a cognitive dissonance. Occasionally, in every program, but more frequently in Asia, suite upgrades can be offered proactively or automatically (e.g., I am invariably upgraded to a suite automatically at Conrad Hong Kong). In general, however, they must be requested.


  49. It’s funny that DCS claims to be an expert on SPG Plat upgrades when he’s never been one. Not for a moment. Never had an SNA.

    (And no, we didn’t have to beg and wave a laminated T&C copy in the face of a front desk clerk like you did).

    Here’s a hint – if you have to demand an upgrade, or demand a 4pm check-out – it’s not a benefit.

  50. One does have to be an expert on SPG Plat upgrades to see what is in plain sight: the huge volume of complaints about the SPG suite upgrade policy by SPG loyalists that no one wants to talk about. In fact, @Lucky did write a post a while back on his approach to trying to increase his chances of clearing suite upgrades, and guess what? The approach, which included politely requesting an upgrade when not offered, was straight out of my own playbook!

    SNAs were so useless that SPG was compelled to offer alternative perks. Again, the report on the alternative perks to SNA that were offered was posted right here.

    Lastly, there are thousands of reports out there (even here) by clear-eyed SPG loyalists challenging the claim about how SPG was better at proactively offering suite upgrades to their Plats.

    You can walk around with your head buried deep in your arse and never see the sunlight, if you wish, but your claims will fool no one other than yourself and other “SPG myth believers” — it’s called self-delusion, which happens when one wants something so badly that they convince themselves that it’s real, when it’s nothing but a figment of their own imagination.

    By the way, even your language betrays what was wrong with self-entitled SPG loyalists. I never “demand” a suite upgrade or a late checkout, I always politely REQUEST, knowing that a perk that depends on availability cannot possibly be ‘guaranteed’. That SPG, and now Marriott, guaranteed 4pm checkout was actually a ploy to limit the perk! “Wanna a 6pm checkout? Sorry, the guarantee is only to 4pm. G’day.” By contrast, I have NEVER had a single late checkout denied, as late as 6pm, as a HH Diamond. The key to my success? I play the game with a “full deck” and always request a late checkout at CHECK-IN!

    G’day – though with the head buried deep in “where the sun don’t shine” I doubt you even know what a good day looks like…

  51. Hey, @UANYC, here’s the reality about SNAs:


    “Starwood Extends The Expiration On Their New Suite Night Awards. Why That Really Doesn’t Matter — December 15, 2013. By Edward Pizzarello:

    I received 10 Suite Night Awards based on my previous stay history, and those were due to expire at the end of 2013. But, SPG decided to extend them.

    People who earned these last year now have until April 30, 2014 to use them.

    And, frankly, I can’t see why it matters unless they plan to make changes to the program.

    I’ve heard from a bunch of folks who had quite a bit of trouble using them. And, even though I was awarded 10 of them, I’ve only managed to use 3, which IIRC was for one reservation. I recently had a stay where my request didn’t clear prior to check-in, and when I inquired at the front desk they said the only thing left for suites was a smaller suite that they wouldn’t upgrade me to. Now, the front desk could have been wrong about that, but in practice, I’d say Starwood needs improvement in this area. It’s often unclear to me what suites are for upgrades and which ones weren’t.

    I haven’t seen a vast improvement in the number of suite upgrades I cleared (rather, I think I’ve seen a reduction in my percentage) since the introduction of Suite Night Awards. I also haven’t run into anyone else who’s seeing a notable increase in their ability to secure suites.
    All in all, I applauded SPG when they announced the change, but was only cautiously optimistic. After a year of not much improvement, I’m not terribly motivated by these awards. And, the fact that SPG seems to be extending the expiration dates for a lot of folks leads me to believe SPG didn’t see what they expected for redemption rates. I applaud them for extending the expiration but I hope they’ll work to make these Suite Night Awards more useful.”

  52. Now fast-forward to exactly 3 years after the preceding piece was posted, and you get an even more damning picture:


    “I’m Letting All Of My SPG Suite Night Awards Expire Again This Year – December 12, 2016. By Edward Pizzarello

    And, I’m wondering if I’m crazy enough to pick them again in 2017. I’m letting most of my Suite Night Awards from Starwood Preferred Guest expire again this year.

    For those unfamiliar, Suite Night Awards were part of SPG changes back in 2012. These were a way to differentiate the Platinum members who qualified by staying 50 nights instead of 25 stays. It was a way to raise your hand and point out which reservations were more important, giving you a bump in the queue for suite upgrades.

    They weren’t a guarantee of a suite. And, they underperformed moderate expectations. One of the first indications that they weren’t working well was SPG extending the expiration dates. I had some expire in 2013 and 2014 as well.

    In 2015 SPG tried to tweak the benefit by giving 50-night Platinum members other choices. At first, I was pretty happy they were tweaking things. However, since the value of the alternatives was, at most, $100, Suite Night Awards was still the top choice for many. Given those choices, I elected for Suite Night Awards again in 2015 and 2016.

    I had more bumps and bruises in 2015, especially with some confusion at the Arion in Greece. We had another bump earlier this year when a property upgraded me using Suite Night Awards, but did so instead of giving me connecting rooms. The connecting rooms were key since we were traveling with our children and ultimately had to spend a bunch of time at the front desk undoing the upgrade.

    I never did get those 4 Suite Night Awards deposited back into my account. My account still shows 6 available, but I actually didn’t successfully redeem any in 2016.”


    BTW, those posts were by a travel blogger none other than @UA-NYC had once referred to as, IIRC, the “Godfather of Loyalty Blogging” or something to that effect.


  53. NAIL IN THE “SNAs ARE GREAT” COFFIN. Even self-anointed ‘thought leader in travel’ found SNAs to be useless, concurring that alternative perks were introduced as a result:

    “With Suite Nights Expiring Unused, What Should I Choose as My Starwood 50 Night Platinum Gift?

    by Gary Leff on December 13, 2016

    Just like Pizza in Motion who is letting all 10 of his Starwood Suite Night Awards expire unused I have to make a selection for my Starwood Preferred Guest 50 night Platinum benefits in the next month — and I don’t know what to choose.

    — Starwood Platinum status is achieved after 25 stays or 50 nights in a year. There are additional benefits for those who stay with Starwood 50 nights versus just 25 stays.

    — This began in 2012 when Starwood introduced ‘Suite Night Awards’ for Platinums who stay 50 nights or more in a year. For 10 nights they allow you to express first-preference for an upgrade, and perhaps more importantly Starwood centrally manages the process between 1 and 5 days prior to check-in rather than relying on the hotel to process upgrades.

    **Member frustration with using their advance upgrades led Starwood to introduce more choices early in 2015.** But those choices were weak. Suite Night Awards seemed like the no brainer. But I really haven’t gotten much use out of mine.”

    I will link to this thread and posts every time @UA-NYC makes his delusional claims about superiority of SPG suite upgrades (debunked by bloggers complaining about SPG’s duplicity), and SNAs, which his own very favorite bloggers debunked long before I came along. Just give the bogus claims a f’ing rest!


  54. DCS is apparently like Trump, unable to help himself from going on endless rants in the middle of the night, probably from the crapper. It’s like he has a file of his “best of I hate SPG” rants and just copies and pastes them over and over and over again.

    Get a hold of yourself…jesus H christ.

  55. LOL. Get hold of myself? That’s re-al-ly funny. He is cornered telling mindless lies like, yes, Trump, and is resorting to the same ol’ stupid talks about how this is all about my “hate” of SPG. If you had any sense at all, in the view of the mountain of evidence at hand showing how delusional you are, you would give me credit for trying to unshackle you from years of being brain-washed and not allowing yourself to consider a different perspective, which also happened to the reality.

    It cannot possibly be because I “hate” SPG that I post what I do, because…SPG is dead and buried!

    So, do you still maintain that SNAs were/are the best thing since sliced bread? And, do you want me to post thousands of testimonials from SPG Plats stating categorically that in their experience, claims that the program was the best at proactively upgrading their elites are pure bunk? (I will not bother because you know that to be the case as well as anyone; or you can just follow the links to the mountain of complaints by travel bloggers and at FT accusing SPG of duplicity for correctly interpreting…their own policy!).


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