It’s now August 16, and Marriott’s new loyalty program kicks in under 48 hours from now, on August 18, 2018.
That leaves many of us still trying to decide whether or not to book Travel Packages. I’ve written repeatedly about my thought process, yet I still haven’t actually booked a Travel Package. What the heck is wrong with me?
For context, here are the posts I’ve written up until now about my Travel Packages decision making process:
- No, We Still Don’t Know How Marriott Will Handle Existing Travel Packages
- My Theory On How Marriott Will Handle Existing Travel Packages
- Marriott Travel Packages: I’ve Decided On A Strategy… I Think
- Marriott Provides Update On Existing Travel Packages
- It’s Marriott Travel Packages Crunch Time
Since a lot of people are still tryin to decide what to do, it’s worth pointing out some updates that Starwood Lurker (an official company representative) has shared on FlyerTalk about Travel Packages yesterday.
This may very well impact some peoples’ decision making process, especially those who were hoping to upgrade or downgrade packages as of August 18. Specifically, Starwood Lurker says:
- Travel Packages certificates expiring during the blackout period may be extended upon request
- As of August 18, members will have the option to “cancel and get points back at a reduced amount” if they don’t want to use the hotel portion of a Travel Package
- As of August 18, 2018, Travel Packages can’t be upgraded or downgraded to other category certificates
So there’s no further context for that, but I do figure the above updates are worth sharing. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that you won’t be able to upgrade or downgrade the category of a Travel Package as of August 18, 2018.
Furthermore, historically you can get 45,000 points back if you cancel a basic Travel Package. There will still be some option to get points back if you don’t want to use the stay, though Marriott says it will be at a “reduced rate.” We don’t know what that means.
So yeah, I’m still thinking I’ll stick to my strategy and book a few Category 9 Travel Packages in hopes of them being valid at any Marriott family property. I’m really not feeling terribly confident about how this will all play out, so maybe I’m foolish. But I feel like the value is so good that I need to book, yet I can’t decide what to actually book.
(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)