Starwood Preferred Guest Removing Benefit For Folks Planning Ahead

There are many different ways to plan a vacation.  Generally speaking, I think people self-select into two categories.  There are the “planners”, people who book many months, sometimes even years in advance.  Then, there are “pants” planners.  They fly by the seat of their pants, trying to wedge vacations in here and there.  They generally don’t plan very far ahead.  There’s not question I’m a “pants” planner.

For those folks who like to plan ahead, Starwood Preferred Guest decided to drop a ball of dirt in the punch bowl.

This morning, SPG announced award category changes for both SPG and Marriott.  While there were hundreds up properties moving up and down, for some folks SPG buried the lede.

If you read down to the bottom of the announcement, you would have seen this little tidbit:

Additionally, beginning February 11th, to closer align with Marriott’s booking policies, SPG will adjust its booking window. New reservations at SPG hotels (paid + redemption) will only be available for 350 days in advance (vs. up to 550 days). Existing reservations beyond 350 days, will not be affected and can be viewed or modified on spg.com or by contacting the SPG customer contact center.

The first person I thought of when I saw the announcement was my good friend Summer from Mommy Points.  Her reaction on Twitter was about what I’d expect:

The Final Two Pennies

This change isn’t all that surprising to me for a couple of reasons.  For starters, I don’t really expect Marriott to be more rewarding than SPG is/was.  I’m still openly wondering if Marriott is going to take good care of SPG folks.  Secondly, 550 days is a long time for hotels to predict what will happen with key events.  Hotels sell a “time and a place”.  They can’t sell more rooms than they have on any given night.  That means they need to make hay when the sun shines, taking advantage of demand. Letting some folks book awards 550 days ahead of time reduces the chance the hotel can make money on those rooms later.  In a booming economy, hotels are likely to push for more changes that customers won’t like.

Somewhere, my good friend Mommy Points is weeping softly on an airplane….

The post Starwood Preferred Guest Removing Benefit For Folks Planning Ahead was posted first on Pizza in Motion

5 Comments

  1. Ed, to answer your question; no,I would speculate Marriott won’t take care of SPG folks as they don’t really take care of Marriott folks. I’m a so called “lifetime” member hovering between silver and gold lifetime and have become disillusioned with Marriott. Since they bought out Starwood their customer service seems to have plummeted. Perhaps this is just my own experience and others have positive experiences? I’ve switched to Hyatt mostly these days – unfortunately their footprint is so much smaller than Marriott it’s not always possible to stay at a Hyatt property.

    1. Richard, there’s no question it’s harder to find a Hyatt than a Marriott. But, they’re in a lot more cities than they used to be. And, their customer service is great. I don’t think you can go wrong there right now.

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