The Dilemma of Marriott Status: Why You’re Not Special As A Platinum Anymore [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Tough to say you’re special as a Marriott Platinum when there are 15 titaniums and 6 ambassadors probably not getting upgrades, either. “Early check-in & late check-out and Upgrades are based on Elite status & availability” the sign says. (It’s a resort, so late check-out isn’t guaranteed.)

  • Southwest Airlines: “My plane ride from Nashville to Houston… it’s giving Spirit vibes.”

  • Trick to saving money on dining at Fontainebleau Las Vegas:

  • The reason Delta is squatting gates in Austin is because the airport is getting a new concourse and 20 more gates… but not until the 2030s. Until then, Delta wants first rights to fly from the airport and to block other carriers from expanding, as American pulls back there.

  • Brussels police shut down National Conservatism Conference Seems like Belgian authorities custom-wrote the most effective fundraising pitch possible for the group.

    The National Conservatism Conference was set to welcome Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán and U.K. politician Nigel Farage over the next two days, but law enforcement arrived two hours into the event at the Claridge venue, near the European Quarter, to inform organizers that the event would be terminated…””due to possibility of public disorder.”

    …“It’s really something out of a tinpot dictatorship,” Frank Füredi, one of the organizers from right-wing think tank MCC, which is co-sponsoring the event, told POLITICO. “They’re trying to use a technical reason to make a political point. They told the owner that if it doesn’t get shut down they’re gonna cut the electricity.”

  • Hilton doubles meeting planner points-earning

  • May she rest in peace.

  • Televangelist says he convinced an American Airlines captain to have aircraft door re-opened for him in Dallas so he wouldn’t miss his flight.

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. I wonder what Marriott resort has 21 titaniums and ambassadors on a weeknight a couple weeks after Easter and the peak of spring break? It must be a convention or meeting because that number seems very high. Before Bonvoy merged with legacy Starwood in 2018, the JW Marriott Essex House in New York City used to get 75 platinums a night. I remember staying at the Renaissance in Toledo about two years into the pandemic. October 2022. On a Sunday night, typically the slowest night of the week for hotels, there were six titaniums and one ambassador just on my floor, based on the housekeeping list the housekeeper had on her cart. I honestly don’t know how anyone in Bonvoy isn’t a titanium given the credit card, the double elite nights, etc. Anyone who frequents Marriott 25 nights a year and is only gold or platinum is doing something wrong.

  2. So , Brussels is pulling the plug on a conservative Brit conference ., after the Brits saved Belgium twice ? Are they going out of the conference business … or is it censorship ?

  3. Hilarious that the lady posting about the Marriott posting the nightly breakdown of guests with status thinks that it’s a good thing for engendering loyalty and interest in the program….and to top it all off she presents herself as some kind of loyalty marketing wiz on her linkedin. The reality, as you point out, is anything short of ambassador isn’t going to get much/anything, and it’s probably still dicey for the ambassador status folks. These resorts are also supremely skilled at watering down the breakfast benefit to the point of being negligible.

  4. Funny the timing of the headline regarding Platinum status. I just used up the last of my Bonvoy points checking into a Marriott property in Seville, Spain. I decided I’m done with Marriott, Lifetime Platinum seems worth less and less. When I checked in, I asked about an upgrade and was told, “I’m sorry, we have no rooms available.” When I asked for a late check out, I was told, “We might be able to do one hour more.” When I asked if I receive anything for being a Platinum member I was told, “You receive 20% off of your be breakfast.”

    I appreciate Marriott reminding me why I no longer want to earn Bonvoy points or stays.

  5. Marriott status is so diluted that you really need Hyatt as a back up for any sized conference, it’s actually pretty easy to get Hyatt Globalist as well mind you…

  6. @Lars totally agree, it may make you feel like something bigger, as she wrote, but not in a good way. It’s basically the hotel equivalent of flying these days and seeing 50 people on the upgrade list. You realize that status isn’t important when everyone has it and makes you question why you are even working to maintain it.

  7. Marriot status is typically worthless these days. I think its like 1 in 8 stays where I actually get the benefits promised. Its been many years since I’ve had my room upgraded at check-in, and the upgrade certificates are increasingly difficult to use. I am not even getting free breakfast anymore, as happened on a recent Aloft stay. And anyone who has been to a lounge recently has seen the massive downgrade in what is offered there. The only exception for me in recent memory was the JW Marriott in Dallas, that was a nice hotel still delivering on promised benefits.

  8. You have a Marriott personal card and a Marriott business card. That’s 30 nights. No wonder there are so many Titanium members plus you get 5 nights added for getting to 50. If you have double night promotions, you need 18 nights for Titanium. Not hard.

  9. I think they upgrade FHR guests ahead of elites. Go with FHR to actually get promised benefits, while earning more valuable Amex points at 5x

  10. Marriott Platinum is nothing special (especially since anyone with the right Amex card can have it). It is comparable to Hilton Gold since at least 1 tier above it (in case of Marriott 2). I’m lifetime Titanium and frankly don’t expect upgrades or any special treatment. If it happens great I certainly appreciate it but if you expect something that isn’t guaranteed you are always going to be disappointed and that is no way to go through life. For a Platinum to think they deserve something is such a joke.

    No hotel guarantees anything except Hyatt Globalist which is much harder to earn and has a much smaller footprint (and most of them are Hyatt House or Hyatt Place which are nothing special). I’m lifetime elite on all 3 major airlines, lifetime Marriott Titanium plus Hilton Diamond (and 2nd from top on 5 or 6 other programs including IHG and Hyatt). I expect nothing except the room I ordered, that it is clean and the staff is efficient (I don’t even care if they are friendly or not). Those with outsized expectations keep whining about the service, threaten to never stay/fly with xxxxxx again or just get a life and move along. I frankly don’t care what you do.

  11. @Mets Fan in NC

    “You have a Marriott personal card and a Marriott business card. That’s 30 nights. No wonder there are so many Titanium members plus you get 5 nights added for getting to 50. If you have double night promotions, you need 18 nights for Titanium. Not hard.”

    This is what I said. Basically, anyone who spends 20-ish nights in a Marriott hotel should be a titanium if they’re American and have a good enough credit history to get the credit cards.

    Marriott needs to take away lounge access/breakfast and upgrades from platinum. Give platinums four lounge access or breakfast credit certificates per year and four upgrades.

    Give titanium lounge access but limit upgrades to non-suites.

    Differentiate ambassador by giving it a restaurant breakfast and upgrades including suites.

    It’s crazy there are basically no tangible differences between platinum and ambassador.

  12. Most are not aware of yet another way to get Platinum or Titanium status with Marriott.

    If you have Vistana (ex-Westin) or Marriott time share interests (weeks, points, whatever), depending upon the number and location of those interests, you now get Platinum or Titanium status as part of the deal. And no, you aren’t treated any better than the other seemingly limitless number of Platinum and Titanium members either.

  13. Marriott does not own or most likely even manage most of their hotels as Gary has noted multiple times but yet this “expectation “ continues

    Reality check: Marriott status or even their vaunted Ambassadors cannot really offer anything above what a regular travel agent can offer you

    Best bet: befriend the staff at any hotels you regularly stay at and then you will probably see something of value offered to you

  14. I agree with the above comments that Marriott has done such an effective job at making elite status worth vastly less that that status simply doesn’t mean much anymore. Got a problem as a Titanium because the hotel isn’t following the rules? Too bad, corporate will do nothing about it. Bonvoyed is a thing for a reason.

  15. @Kevin L I don’t mean to defend Marriott, they underwhelm me all the time, but if you stayed at the “Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza” in Seville it’s a Design Hotel, and Marriott is pretty clear that elite members aren’t entitled to breakfast or a late checkout at Design Hotel properties. So the fact they offered a discount and an extra hour meant they were going above and beyond what they’re required to provide.

    Seville is actually a pretty good market for Marriott. I know if I was staying there, I’d avoid the Design property because I too like breakfast and a late checkout.

  16. Would be great if Bonvoy adjusted the $10 welcome gift to inflation. It seems stuck at $10 for the last decade.

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