The Greatest Attempt to Abuse Family Boarding and What Marriott Considers an Elite Breakfast

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Department of Taking Things Literally Families get priority boarding, but this brain surgeon tried to argue his way into priority boarding when he wasn’t traveling with his child. It’s almost hard to believe this happened.

  • Airline algorithms recommending absurd itineraries (HT: Jeff W.)

  • Commercial air travel is incredibly safe. There were fatalities in 2018, while there were none im 2017. Stop dramatizing the increase, and by the way claiming a 900% year-over-year increase when the prior year’s denominator is zero is also bad math.

  • Marriott Rewards only promises a ‘continental’ breakfast to 50+ night elite members. Legacy Marriott resorts with club lounges do not have to make those available to Platinums. And each hotel seems to decide for themselves what continental means. That’s why the program appears to check the box of ‘breakfast’ while disappointing so many elites.

  • Why people are obsessed with the carpet in the Nashville airport

  • Let’s all resolve to be happier when we fly.

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. Surprised that the guy traveling without children didn’t just board for the reason of “needing a little bit of extra time”. I doubt it would be challenged, but stating it’s for children that aren’t there is a bit inane.

  2. Gary, You’re wrong. Marriott properties without lounges or resorts are required under Marriott terms and conditions to provide a “breakfast in the restaurant.” Only properties WITH lounges are required to provide a “continental breakfast.”

  3. Stayed at the Wailea Beach Resort in May 2018, pre-merger, and got no breakfast at all. Motivated us to get cheap papaya, bananas and (expensive but good) banana bread from the farmers markets, and drink all of the free in-room Nespresso I could get and make.

    I’d still go stay there again once I have the points again, because my son loved the activity pool and waterslides.

    But I _am_ looking forward to the apparently excellent full buffet that Plat Premiers get at the Westin Hapuna, in two weeks.

  4. Currently at waikoloa beach marriott and getting full breakfast buffet daily for 2
    Amazing buffet and fantastic property
    Same thing last week at westin kaanapali in maui
    Regarding algorithm, not sure why kayak founder mentions only other sites when kayak is equally flawed on that sense

  5. Gary you are wrong. The terms and conditions expressly say “breakfast in the restaurant.” “Continental breakfast” only appears with respect to properties not having a lounge. If Marriott is claiming this I am deeply disappointed in you for not strictly construing the terms and conditions. What is a guest is Mormon and doesn’t drink coffee or tea and also because of her diet doesn’t eat pastries?

  6. Considering the latest property to be named-and-shamed is managed by Marriott International it really raises questions. Big questions.

    In this case, the division of corporate that develops and, ultimately, manages properties is not following the “customer-facing,” to quote you, terms and conditions the loyalty program has implemented. That’s the problem, ultimately. It’s pretty egregious to see a property managed by Marriott in open violation of the Marriott breakfast benefit.

  7. Will break some electronics and funiture in the room if Wailea still gives that stingy breakfast on my upcoming stay.

  8. Meh. I’m not nuts, but I’m not going to Hilton either. I’m just going to use FHR and Visa Signature / Infinite hotels to get treated decently everywhere.

  9. I’m not elite (other than Hyatt Explorist, but no free breakfast there) and thus plan my own breakfasts accordingly. Bring on the cheapest price for me!

  10. Gary. You are just wrong. Marriott could have said “continental breakfast in the restaurant.” They didn’t. They said “breakfast” wheres every other reference to breakfast at properties with lounges was “continental breakfast.” You need to become a strict constructionist.

  11. @FNT continental breakfast is breakfast. They could have said ‘full’ or ‘English’ breakfast and didn’t.

    Look, I want Marriott to do better and offer more. I don’t consider what they are allowing some hotels to provide to be ‘breakfast’. But it falls within their rules. Better to understand that and know what (little) you’re being promised.

  12. @FNT Delta Diamond you are wrong, sadly! And if you think it is a sham, and it is complain to Marriott.

    I was just at st kitts Marriott and the free continental breakfast in the restaurant was better than the bullshit Wailea Marriott option, but not by much. You got two things from column 1 and two from column 2, so things like muffin, ham and bagel and a $10 upgrade to the buffet.
    I am staying at Wailea in March and my review will reflect their poor treatment of elites.

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