Now A Marriott Hotel Says Covid-19 Prevents Them From Giving Points To Elite Members

The Marriott Santa Monica property Le Meridien Delfina’s shows on its ‘what to expect’ page under ‘Marriott Bonvoy’ that they aren’t honoring elite breakfast. With a restaurant that’s open I’m not sure how they can do this. But what really strikes me is that their pandemic changes page says they also will not offer a welcome choice of points to elites, either.

Covid-19 has certainly caused a lot of disruption in the world, yet I still struggle to figure out how it would prevent a hotel from awarding points as a welcome amenity to elites?

I reached out to Marriott for an explanation of this metaphysical mystery. Two years into the pandemic research scientists are still learning many new things about the way the virus spreads and the effects it has. But Covid-19’s effect on the intersection of points and elite status is uncharted ground. So I hoped to learn more about the virus.

Marriott, however, tells me “the franchise property will be updating its What to Expect page to be in compliance.”

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. I have a suggestion for Jimmy Fallon’s weekly “Thank You Notes” bit:

    Thank you, Marriott, for your unwillingness to fully enforce all of your Bonvoy terms and conditions across your brands. It made it extremely easy for me to be converted into a Hyatt road warrior.

  2. This property denied me breakfast as a Titanium last August. I ordered it anyway over two mornings, then after checkout called the front desk manager to demand $100 compensation under Marriott’s T&C. I had earlier spoken to this gentleman about room assignments etc. After considerable back-and-forth, a $100 refund was made to my credit card. I offered the hotel the option of adding some 14K points to my Bonvoy account instead of cash, but they chose money. Other hotels prefer to provide points, as much as 20K in one instance.

  3. Waiting a month now for the my points/stay to post from the Camby Hotel in Phoenix an Autograph Collection property.3 follow ups so far fallen on deaf ears.
    They are incompetent despite being a decent property otherwise.
    They also demanded I leave by noon as a lifetime Titanium
    Oh the joys of being loyal (sad)

  4. Geez! It’s one thing to do the deceptive practice. It’s another thing to post that you’re screwing us.

    This year, I have a few trips planned, all on points. Can’t wait to reach a zero balance and be done.

    As a lifetime platinum, I’ve switched to Hyatt. Marriott playing stupid games over breakfast and points. Unreal.

  5. this used to be a great hotel in SPG portfolio. I stayed there quite a long time ago when they operated a lounge open to Elites.

  6. Dear United airlines, please sever your relationship with Marriott and make a deal with Hyatt, the last remaining hotel chain that remotely gives a damn about the customer.

  7. Latest Fauci musings: Customer service spreads the deadly omicron.
    This continues until you vote with your wallet….problem is, a lot of you talk that way but won’t do it. Free agency during this thing has given me the opportunity to try some great independent/boutique hotels that I otherwise never would have considered. Oh!…..and CALL each property DIRECTLY, get someone important on the line and find out EXACTLY what to expect during your stay BEFORE you book…..then depending upon the conversation, let your bullshit detector determine where your money is going. It’s a little more work but its worth it. Going on year number three of this, there is ABSOLUTELY no excuse for any curtailing or outright denial of benefits or service.

  8. Good comments all around, although I’m not sure I agree that “Hyatt is the last remaining hotel chain that remotely gives a damn about the customer”. Hilton (I was Diamond pre-CoVid) has treated me awfully well over the years.

  9. I worked so hard to become a lifetime Starwood Platinum and it seems all for naught. We had it so good back in the day. Not traveling much now. Can’t imagine ever regaining Hyatt Diamond which was and is still the standard. I’m at a point where I would rather just book on points and call the hotel and ask their daily rate for a suite upgrade.

  10. There are many Covid excuses out there for bad service. Hotels, Resteraunts and other places have used this excuse too much. Real Covid prevention standards are one thing, but the article showed the stupidity of Hotels. I like Hotels like Hilton with their Flexible Cancellation rates that come nonrefundable 30 days before your stay. Not very flexible.

  11. This is so “in your face “ that it is somewhat comical . At least this property puts it out there upfront . I wouldn’t be surprised to see other properties follow this lead .

  12. Marriott franchisees are running wild with no decorum when it comes to their “charters” the sad thing is Marriott is toothless lacking of &^%&% to stand up to them. Sad as they are continuing the downward spiral of the name Marriott and all that it once and I repeat once stood for. I challenge the Marriott Lurker come on and respond. Frankly highly doubt they will. So goes my loyalty since inception of the program and my 4310 room nights down the toilet.

  13. Gary,

    I am sure you know that most properties are not updating their benefits and amenities on their web pages during COVID, due to staffing shortages.

    Where is the quote from the hotel that says they are denying breakfast OR points due to COVID? I saw your screenshot, and your headline, “Now A Marriott Hotel Says Covid-19 Prevents Them From Giving Points To Elite Members.” But where is the information that backs up your story?

    Thank you for sharing.

  14. @David Small – your defense of the hotel is that their ‘What To Expect’ page which is designed to provide updated information during Covid doesn’t show accurate information because of Covid?

  15. Gary,

    My comment was a question for you. Do you have any other information or quotes that substantiate the hotel denying Bonvoy elite breakfast or points? Or is your article based on the hotel’s “what to expect” information from their hotel page? It is commonly know, and admitted by the hotels and Marriott, that the Fact Sheet page (no longer to be found), and the “what to expect,” are often not updated. That is the bane of many travelers when trying to better understand whether a club lounge is open, not open, or “barely open.”

    Do I think the pages should be updated? Absolutely. It benefits the hotel and the guest to have accurate information and expectations.

    But if you have follow-up information in which the hotel admitted they were not awarding points due to COVID, that would be very helpful to the reader.

  16. If this issue matters to you, you are still in the hotel loyalty program game. And, if you are still in the hotel loyalty program game, you deserve what you get.

    RF, exactly.

  17. @TexasTJ I was HH diamond at one point. Loved it. But later on as a Gold I got walked at a Portland Airport property and got no help whatsoever. When I asked if that meant I had to sleep in my car the lady just shrugged and went back to playing on her cellphone. Had to fend for myself at 9 pm at night and finally found another hotel on my own. Haven’t forgotten that abysmal Hilton experience. But I suppose everyone has had a similar experience with any hotel chain.

  18. God, I miss Starwood! There’s not one thing Marriott has done that make travel easier or more special. As a Lifetime Plat, I receive fewer upgrades, less perks and now they’re removing bathtubs from the Sheratons. At this point, I’m beyond anger and just shake my head.

  19. Gary,

    Maybe I should have been more clear. Apologies. Sure, sometimes front desk staff mess up and do not properly offer Bonvoy benefits.

    You stated the hotel denied the benefits (specifically, points) because of COVID.

    Do you have the quotes and attributions from your guests and the hotel, both, substantiating this?

  20. Crazy Covid excuse nonsense….. and it keeps continuing….Vote with your Vote for better people in Congress vs what we have now.. regs,mandates,restrictions that enable companies like Marriott to use and abuse them…

  21. Way to go Marriott Bonvoy
    Go after this property for non compliance
    If you can’t follow Bonvoy then leave the program

  22. There will eventually be a text book detailing the sad, rapid decline of the Marriott organization. Maybe something like “When Marriott Bonvoyed Itself…”

  23. Thank Marriott now that I just made Lifetime Plat. I’m sure Marriott will soon become more aligned with AA (ExecPlat with LT Gold) now that they both could care less about their most loyal clients

  24. I stayed at this hotel a few years ago – the shower didn’t work, which I only discovered when I was getting ready to leave for the airport. They did throw me some Starpoints at checkout, at least.

  25. From a customer service perspective, it is comforting to learn that the Marriott Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica has published a warning in their disclosures that guests will be ripped-off or Bonvoyed when they stay at this location. This property is not offering an elite breakfast, lounge access, or a welcome gift. For truth in advertising, I think the Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica should add to their “what to expect” page an additional notification that “elite guests are not valued clients, and you will be Bonvoyed.”

  26. I have lifetime Titanium and will stay with any other brand than Marriott. They literally are not even making an effort anymore, so I won’t either. I know no brand is perfect, but it seems anything goes. If the hotel is caught, they get their hand slapped and are free to try again.

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