A lot of people are unhappy with how Marriott is handling travel packages. Over the weekend Marriott shared the new chart for how legacy travel package certificates work in the new program.
I didn’t expect things to be much better than this. Marriott hadn’t shared how old travel packages would work in the new program, and new travel packages are less valuable not more valuable. However many members redeemed old travel packages in the hopes of a windfall. Some just had old travel packages certificates they hadn’t assigned a reservation to yet.
Marriott listened to the feedback that came in quickly over the weekend and is already making an adjustment. A spokesperson tells me, “members who purchased a Category 6, Category 8 or Tier 1-3 certificate prior to 8/18 are able to request a one-time exchange for a package one category lower.”
Category 6 certificates don’t have more value than category 1-5 certificates going forward, so they’ll treat you as if you had redeemed for a category 1-5 certificate and give you back the 30,000 extra points you paid. The same holds for these other packages.
You’ll need to request this through Marriott’s contact page by selecting “packages – deals” from the menu and letting them know. In other words, they’re processing these credits manually upon request.
You can also request a refund for your travel package. You don’t get all of your points back. You get 45,000 points for a category 1-5 certificate that would have cost 200,000 points with several airlines and yielded 50,000 miles. You get the incremental points for each level above category 1-5. So a category 9 certificate gets 165,000 points back (45,000 points plus the additional 120,000 points that a category 9 certificate costs over a category 1-5 certificate).
All in all this seems fair, though of course some members had hoped to be able to redeem top tier old travel certificates for top tier hotels in the new program.
One other piece of good news is that these old certificates are bookable again. Marriott had announced a one month moratorium on booking old travel packages. You weren’t going to be able to make old travel package certificate bookings, or change travel package certificate bookings, until mid-September. However they’re confident in the IT setup at this point. They’ve lifted that moratorium, and you can make bookings now.