Marriott Bonvoy Offering Status Soft Landings

Marriott Bonvoy Offering Status Soft Landings

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Marriott Bonvoy will have a more generous policy when it comes to status soft landings this year than we initially thought…

Marriott Bonvoy’s 2023 status soft landing policy

Marriott Bonvoy has announced its status soft landing policy for 2023, for situations where someone didn’t qualify for a particular elite tier based on their activity in 2022. Specifically, elite members who didn’t achieve the published criteria to maintain their status will only drop down at most one elite tier.

In other words, Ambassador Elites will at most drop to Titanium Elite, Titanium Elites will at most drop to Platinum Elite, Platinum Elites will at most drop to Gold Elite, and Gold Elites will drop at most to Silver Elite.

This is interesting, because just a few weeks ago, Marriott Bonvoy revealed that it wouldn’t offer status soft landings, except in the case of Ambassador Elite members. So it seems there has been a change of heart here.

For what it’s worth, the updated policy matches Marriott’s historical approach to status soft landings. Before Marriott and Starwood merged, back when Marriott’s loyalty program was named Marriott Rewards, Marriott consistently had a status soft landing policy. With this, Marriott Rewards members never dropped more than one elite tier per year, regardless of their activity.

More recently, when Marriott Bonvoy was launched, the program downgraded members at most one or tier elite tiers per year. Obviously this wasn’t a concern for a couple of years, given the status extensions we saw due to the pandemic.

Marriott Bonvoy is offering status soft landings this year

I’m not surprised to see Marriott updating its policy

Airline and hotel loyalty programs are in a tough spot when it comes to deciding on status extensions.

There’s no denying that Marriott Bonvoy elite tiers have become especially swelled in the past couple of years. We’ve now seen status extended for two years, plus earning status has also been made easier. On top of that, earning status with Marriott Bonvoy credit cards is also more lucrative than before.

While that’s a problem, I imagine Marriott also doesn’t want to lose the business of any members who might not quite be back on the road the same way as pre-pandemic. By only dropping them at most one tier, Marriott probably hopes these members stay engaged in the program.

If anything, I’m surprised Marriott isn’t extending status in a more regionalized way, for people in countries that have had significant travel restrictions.

Marriott has long been generous with soft landings

Bottom line

Marriott Bonvoy has a generous status soft landing policy for 2023, for those who didn’t requalify for status in 2022. If you didn’t requalify for your current status tier with Marriott Bonvoy in 2022, you can expect that you’ll be downgraded at most one status level.

What do you make of Marriott maintaining its status soft landing policy?

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  1. iamhere Guest

    I don't think this is right. I think people should qualify based on the nights they receive. For example if in a particular year you had 75 nights or more for Titanium but then the next year you got less than 50, you should be gold based on that. Downgrading one tier is not right if you don't meet the requirements for that status.

  2. Eskimo Guest

    So how large will the Platinum member pool be.

  3. Roberto Guest

    Super weird. I requalified for Platnium with only 35 nights stayed.

  4. Gabe Guest

    Out of curiosity, do other hotel chains offer soft landings?

  5. Tom Guest

    The writing has been on the wall for a while - Marriott has in recent years decided the more higher level ‘elites’ the better for the bottom line and Marriott status is therefore increasingly useless in terms of benefits. All those who last earned Titanium in 2019 will now still be in the lounge and taking upgrades away from others in 2023 four years later…

  6. Chris Guest

    What are your expectations that this will continue on to 2024 or will this be a one timer?

    1. TProphet Guest

      Given that Marriott status doesn't even get you daily housekeeping, I'm not sure that having it counts for much.

    2. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      @chris, your kidding right? He had zero idea this was going to even happen for 2023, and now your asking about next year? I for one am livid Marriott isn't having these people drop at least 2 levels, much less all the way down. It was a slog to earn 75 nights in 2023.

  7. RP Guest

    Weirdly, I appear to have retained Titanium status without even dropping a level. I was expecting to drop to Platinum. I’m not planning on flagging this anomaly for Marriott.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      No anomaly, no windfall.

      Your qualifications period ends at December.
      Your status expires end of February.

      Loyalty programs work in this manner for decades, when IT isn't instantaneous as today.

  8. Lapot Guest

    Of course in true Marriott fashion, this announcement comes after I scrambled to make several stays I didn't need, just so I can achieve the lower status I now would've gotten anyway. Wasted my money and points for no reason.

    Also, the fact they're not taking the first half of the year into consideration, where many parts of the world were shut down due to Omicron is very inconsiderate, particularly when looking at the policy...

    Of course in true Marriott fashion, this announcement comes after I scrambled to make several stays I didn't need, just so I can achieve the lower status I now would've gotten anyway. Wasted my money and points for no reason.

    Also, the fact they're not taking the first half of the year into consideration, where many parts of the world were shut down due to Omicron is very inconsiderate, particularly when looking at the policy Hilton adopted in early 2022. If their policy resembled Hilton's, I would've been able to keep my Titanium Elite status.

    Finally, I for one didn't experience most of my Bonvoy benefits in 2021 and 2022. Lounges are always closed, upgrades are seldomly offered, and the service in general has been abysmal. So what happened to the status we earned, but didn't get to fully enjoy?

    1. JTC Guest

      I will passively make Lifetime Platinum in 8 years by doing nothing but holding 3 Marriott cards and using the 3 nights that come with them.

      That pretty much sums up what happened to this program and their status

    2. Eskimo Guest

      How is that mathematically possible, unless you didn't start from 0 nights.

      Still, that isn't the ugliest part of this program and their status.

      Few years ago when it was doable, one of my colleagues who arranges conferences was able to rack up lifetime Titanium, without even spending a night.

    3. Zain Guest

      He likely got 15 days each from his three credit cards plus 3 free stay nights from the card benefits. He would only need to pay for 2 days to requalify for Platinum status. Theoretically could qualify without paying a dime if he stays on points.

      It's a wee bit ridiculous to be honest. I finally got to Platinum this year and I'm like "what's the point"? Marriott almost never upgrades even if you...

      He likely got 15 days each from his three credit cards plus 3 free stay nights from the card benefits. He would only need to pay for 2 days to requalify for Platinum status. Theoretically could qualify without paying a dime if he stays on points.

      It's a wee bit ridiculous to be honest. I finally got to Platinum this year and I'm like "what's the point"? Marriott almost never upgrades even if you ask. There's always "a full house tonight". Or they just refuse without a good reason and people with no status at all are getting better rooms than you.

      I did requalify for status with Delta this year and they've finally dropped their COVID extensions. I'm curious to see if the upgrade list will look less clogged this year, pre-covid I had a decent chance of getting to Economy plus at least, but this year I was always down in the 30s even for E+. There was even a case where a gate agent refused to upgrade despite available space, insisting he had done upgrades already (yes, I was high enough on the list).

    4. Ricky Guest

      I'm with ya Lapot and I'm mad! I ended up paying for a 3-night stay at the cheapest Marriott I was able to find days before Christmas in Miami (a TownPlace Suites), so I wasted time and money to achieve 50 nights for Platinum, down from my current Titanium. If Marriott had not made that soft-landing announcement, I would have kept my 47 nights thinking I would go down to just Platinum.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Tom Guest

The writing has been on the wall for a while - Marriott has in recent years decided the more higher level ‘elites’ the better for the bottom line and Marriott status is therefore increasingly useless in terms of benefits. All those who last earned Titanium in 2019 will now still be in the lounge and taking upgrades away from others in 2023 four years later…

1
Zain Guest

He likely got 15 days each from his three credit cards plus 3 free stay nights from the card benefits. He would only need to pay for 2 days to requalify for Platinum status. Theoretically could qualify without paying a dime if he stays on points. It's a wee bit ridiculous to be honest. I finally got to Platinum this year and I'm like "what's the point"? Marriott almost never upgrades even if you ask. There's always "a full house tonight". Or they just refuse without a good reason and people with no status at all are getting better rooms than you. I did requalify for status with Delta this year and they've finally dropped their COVID extensions. I'm curious to see if the upgrade list will look less clogged this year, pre-covid I had a decent chance of getting to Economy plus at least, but this year I was always down in the 30s even for E+. There was even a case where a gate agent refused to upgrade despite available space, insisting he had done upgrades already (yes, I was high enough on the list).

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iamhere Guest

I don't think this is right. I think people should qualify based on the nights they receive. For example if in a particular year you had 75 nights or more for Titanium but then the next year you got less than 50, you should be gold based on that. Downgrading one tier is not right if you don't meet the requirements for that status.

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