Marriott Travel Packages Are Gone And Bonvoy Failed To Provide The Promised Notice To Members

Last week Marriott dropped into their terms and conditions that they were eliminating travel packages effective January 19, 2022. This was apparently published in the terms and conditions too early, and Marriott removed this from their published terms telling me they “published prematurely..[w]e will have additional details for members in the coming days.”

However Marriott never told members in advance about this change. Only readers of this blog – or readers of other blog that got the news from this one – knew about the plan to eliminate travel packages (multi-night hotel stay awards combined with airline mileage transfers) in advance.

Now that January 19th is here, the change to Marriott Bonvoy’s terms and conditions has once again been published.

3.14 Hotel and Air Travel Packages
Effective January 19, 2022, Hotel and Air Travel Packages are no longer available for purchase.

When I called out the change, Marriott removed this from their terms as if to hide the plan of the benefit’s elimination. A spokesperson said that they’d “have additional details for members in the coming days” yet they never notified members of this coming change. That’s disappointing.

Even worse, the approach of making changes to the program and not telling members about it at all seems to be a consistent one for Bonvoy. For instance,

The loss of travel packages isn’t ultimately huge because Marriott already eliminated most of the value from that redemption option, turning it into a niche use case in recent years because of award price increases. It’s what this represents more broadly that’s troubling.

Update: A Marriott spokesperson adds,

While you have written that Travel Packages with hotel and air components are being discontinued today (January 19), I am providing you with information that we are emailing to members in case you receive reader inquiries. This includes members with a current Travel Package certificate attached to a reservation and members who have purchased a Travel Package but not yet attached the certificate to a reservation.

The popularity of Travel Packages has been steadily decreasing. With the introduction of flexible point redemption rates sometime in March and the elimination of hotel categories, we can no longer offer Travel Packages.

For members who have a current Travel Package certificate attached to a reservation, they can rest assured their package will be honored, and no additional action is required. However, if they need to make any modifications after March 2, 2022, they will need to contact Member Support and an associate will refund the total hotel portion in points.*

Members who have purchased a Travel Package but have not yet attached their Travel Package Certificate to a reservation, must contact Member Support by February 28, 2022. for assistance in attaching their certificate. If a member does not attach their Travel Package Certificate to a reservation by that date, the certificate will be cancelled, and the total hotel portion will be refunded to your account as points.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Marriott is just dishonest. The list of Marriott’s dishonesty should be published atop every article promoting a Marriott credit card or bonus points offer because customers can no longer expect that the benefits or promotion they want will be effect at the time of redemption.

  2. And don’t forget: By eliminating award-redemption categories, Marriott effectively created a brand new loyalty program under the banner of Bonvoy. This wasn’t a mere change. It was a new program.

  3. Guys just move to AirBnB, get a much larger space with more flexibility in terms of location, and pay out of pocket for ubereats delivery in the morning. Why are we complaining about the same stuff over and over again? These hotel programs are garbage.

  4. At what point does a publicly traded company get held responsible for lying? One has to wonder if Marriott’s investor relations staff lies to investors in the same fashion as Marriott’s PR people and Bonvoy customer service lie to customers. It’s amazing that more industry analysts don’t raise these things on earning calls or shareholders at annual meetings. How can anyone trust Marriott?

  5. I don’t get why the scumbags just didn’t announce it when Gary first published it. Sure, some people would take advantage of it. But with the price of the higher category awards north of 500k points how many people could realistically take advantage of these? It’s not like was an error fare of a presidential suite offered at $25.

    While removing options is never a good thing for customers, that’s the nature of these programs. Doing it with no notice when they didn’t have to really reeks of sheer stupidity in this case. They create a bunch of negative press and member anger.

  6. @Noise Around The Edges – I don’t think the stock analysts who cover Marriott delve into guest dissatisfaction unless it has an impact on the company’s financial performance. For all the complaints we see on the blogs and forums ,the reality seems to be that travelers continue to book and complain rather than look elsewhere for accommodations. Only the traveling public can pull their revenue and until that happens then the status quo remains .

  7. This is a shocking sign of things to come in March! Time for everyone to take their business elsewhere!

  8. Gary,
    What should we expect with the points refund option. I have one of the 7-night travel package certificates purchased in the “old” categories, then converted to the “new” categories. Have been unable to use due to pandemic.
    Thanks.

  9. First thing I did was CANCEL my Marriott Bonvoy BLACK card! I used to get a free night for my $89 yearly fee.. it can only be used in a low Cat hotel which there are few of! I used it to pay my maintenance fees on the ever increasing costs of owning their time shares.. the Bonvoy points are a joke now..! I cancelled by high fee card and replaced it with a no fee card… STARVE THE BEAST!

    BTW
    NEVER NEVER enroll in one of their Vacation Destination Point programs!!!!!!!! A Huge rip off!!

  10. The popularity of these packages has been decreasing, huh? I wonder if that might have something to do with the fact that Marriott ripped the guts out of any value the packages might have offered?

  11. In reaction to some of these comments, Marriott is worse than dishonest and what has been going on in the background for so long is now being brought to the fore. The thing is, Marriott is now extremely powerful and is being controlled by corrupt people/groups who think they can get away with anything. When I met Arne Sorenson in 2019 to present some of my claims, it became clear that he was uneasy with the monster that had been created through the merger with Starwood; I also perceived that he was no longer in real control
    @Noise Around The Edges askes: “At what point does a publicly traded company get held responsible for lying?” Its a good question and I can assure people that evidence of corruption and criminality has been delivered to US regulators who will not even acknowledge courier delivered mailing. In fact the FTC is apparently refusing to receive anything else from the group I’m involved with. Stockholder groups have failed to respond too.
    I can only agree with some of the other comments – ie. take your business elsewhere or mount a class action. Clearly the former is much easier!
    For anyone interested the following link will take you to one of my own articles which attempts to expose some of Marriott’s current antics
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/marriott-moments-47-virus-alert-marvid-21-john-shepherd/

  12. Marriott is right-TP interest was waning. Because they gutted them. This used to be the only redemption I used points for. However, the last round of TP changes, made them very unattractive.

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