Color me shocked. Baffled, surprised. Use your own words. American Express came out of left field with an early Christmas present for me.
Have you ever looked back on something you’ve written and known that you were right at the time, only to find out a year later you really weren’t? I did recently. Oddly, it involves travel. Take a seat and hear me out.
2018 was a year of ups and downs. Most of the ups were improvements in the Hyatt program. The downs were mostly owned by Marriott. Here’s a brief look at my year in hotels and what I think the future holds.
One more bite of the apple? Marriott has announced that the increased category 8 pricing for awards won’t go into effect until at least March, 2019. We had assumed this would happen in January. That means you may still have time to book at least one or two more “once-in-a-lifetime” vacations at unbeatable redemption rates.
Two weeks is enough time to work out the kinks on the Marriott/SPG integration, right? How about two months? Apparently, that’s not long enough, either. While members continue to have these issues, Marriott sits mostly silent. They do find time to tell investors things are great. It doesn’t seem they’re spending the time to ask customers if that’s actually the case.
Marriott quietly made a change that’s likely to have a big impact on frequent travelers. Loyalty program members will no longer have elite benefits on stays booked through online travel agencies (OTAs). Will all Marriott properties be enforcing this rule, or will it be selectively enforced? Are you willing to risk it?
I’d be lying if I said I tried to get excited about the Marriott Rewards promotion. After 3 weeks, I was finally able to login to my account a couple of days ago. My elite progress is messed up. So, I already had a slightly pessimistic attitude when I viewed the new Marriott promotion.