Mass Layoffs Of Marriott Ambassadors Agents Who Take Care Of Chain’s Best Customers

A significant number of Marriott Ambassador agents have been notified that their positions are being eliminated, generally effective October 1. This isn’t the first round of layoffs for Ambassador agents. The hotel chain shed customer service agents who work with top guests back in March, effectively eliminating the ‘dedicated agent assignment’ for customers who stay 100 nights and spend $20,000 each year with Marriott. Since spring Ambassador-level members of the Marriott Bonvoy have been assisted by the Ambassador team broadly.

Here are just a few of the notes in my LinkedIn feed.

Aside from Marriott’s secret Cobalt status Ambassador is the highest elite tier. In addition to standard suite upgrades and breakfast benefits (and even watered-down 24 hour check-in privileges) members are promised a dedicated Ambassador to take care of all of their needs with Marriott.

Prior to the pandemic dedicated agents already were servicing as many as 300 of these top customers.
Marriott still advertises a “personal point of contact” for Ambassador Elite members, though they will no longer be providing their top guests with these trained Ambassadors.

I’ve corresponded with Marriott but they have not yet offered a statement. I will update if they provide one. It’s worth noting that Hyatt still offers dedicated concierge agents and requires only 60 nights (with no minimum spend) to have one.

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, 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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  1. Loyalty in exchange for future benefits is a fools game. Companies largely don’t care about yesterday only today and tomorrow. Take whatever rewards you have and use them. Lifetime status and anything else is usually downgraded and worth less and less.

    Marriott is a joke and ranks there with AA as some of the worst of large travel companies.

  2. Much like the airlines who in no way can require as many PQDs or the equivalent next year as they were shooting for this year – will be a total joke if Marriott doesn’t cut the $20K mandatory spend by a hefty amount in 2021.

    Even then, still not worth it given meager upside over Titanium.

  3. Wow. I got a very different point from this which is that some people who are passionate about their jobs have lost their jobs. I just have misread it since the prior comments are from people who are passionate.:.about themselves.

  4. Last year I had a pretty even split, around 100 nights each for Hilton, Hyatt & Marriott. If there’s any positive of the pandemic, it’s shown who really cares about my business.

    2020 count…

    Hyatt 122 paid nights.
    Hilton 56.
    Marriott 3.

    That doesn’t factor in the rollovers, CC nights or the Marriott 55 gifted nights.

    My point? There’s only one hotel chain that treats me right in good times and bad. I’ll drive the extra mile, pay the extra dollar, whatever to stay with a chain that shows me some love. That’s 100% Hyatt right now. Won’t forget that anytime soon.

  5. Typical Marriott, screw service for your best customers. Even in the ’09 recession (when hotels were getting financially clobbered), SPG kept their Platinum Concierges, and kept my business.

  6. I have been with SPG/Marriott as an ambassador member for 15 years now, even when the program was invite only. And Marriott doesn’t care, couldn’t even care less. I just canceled 150+ nights for the next 12 months with Marriott and moved them to Hilton.
    Marriott is the worst out there, making false promises and delivering absolutely nothing.

  7. They will use COVID as the justification for diminishing benefits at all levels of the program…for years, if not decades, to come.
    I feel sorry for those who’ve lost their jobs, and hope they find more rewarding careers with better companies.
    Marriott really stuffed up Ambassador, virtually from day 1 of the merged entity.

  8. Two years after the combined loyalty programs launched, Marriott still can’t even deliver a consistent breakfast benefit not even for its Ambassador elites.

  9. Sadly this is just the beginning of changes to these programs and the way we travel. Surely the other “flags” will follow Marriott. The PPP Program and enhanced unemployment benefits did what they were suppose to do, now we have to get moving on whatever the economy will look like going forward as taxpayers we can not continue to fund these massive programs they artificially prop up our economy, of course politics plays a huge role in this. I think there are a lot of us that sense 2021 will look ugly, the elections will be over for better or worse, and the real job of getting this country and the world back in working order hits us in the face.

    The other issue for us is what will the effect of the billions of dollars of points AMEX purchased have on these programs.

  10. Amazingly short-sighted on Marriott’s part.
    Would be nice IF it were part of a longer-term strategy?

  11. 1) I suspect all of the ambassador service is being outsourced. Since March most of my calls have been answered in Singapore and China. Much cheaper than paying an American to answer the phone call.

    2) I have always said 100 nights and $20,000 is 50 nights too low. The $20,000 threshold also penalizes customers in Asia and other markets where nightly rates are cheap. I think 150 nights and $20,000 or at least 100 actual nights without bonus nights would significantly thin the ranks. Before coronavirus, some of the ambassador agents had 150-200 customers assigned to them.

    3) Marriott needs to improve tangible benefits for an ambassador service, including a better and 100% consistent breakfast benefit. Before coronavirus it was amazing to see the number of properties cheating ambassadors and titaniums by claiming a bagel and coffee was breakfast.

    I say all this as someone in 2020 with $26,000 in spend and 246 paid nights plus 20 award-redemption nights.

  12. Loyalty programs change all the time. Marriott is not unique to this. Most people naturally want the most for their money…they want a clean room, all the upgrades they can get, points, meals, amenities, all the channels they can watch, someone to clean up after them all day and all night while they make a mess of the place and a few towels as “souvenirs” for 100 bucks a night…Sorry folks, if you are expecting all that for 100 bucks, you are living in la la land. Marriott doesn’t provide those amenities and services, the owner of the hotel does…and if his/her bread isn’t being buttered, yours certainly will not be. People are more loyal to a bottle of booze than they are to the hotel they stay at. If you want to have a clean hotel stay, a Bob Evans all you can eat breakfast, and a LA Fitness experience for the puny amount you pay, guess again…the amenities and services will match what you are willing to pay for. Breakfast programs, fitness centers and swimming pools have to go. The industry needed a reset for a long time…thankfully it has finally come.

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