Starwood Lifetime Elites Petition Marriott for Better Treatment

One of the aspects of Marriott’s announced new program that seems to annoy Starwood’s most loyal customers the most isn’t even where something is being taken away from them.

Under the new program all current lifetime elites keep their current lifetime status, even though the new program is going to have tougher requirements than the Starwood program did to earn that status.

What’s more, everyone has until December 31, 2018 to earn their lifetime status under current program rules, even though the new program will take effect in August. And the new program will count stay and years of activity from both Starwood and Marriott programs and combined them.

The new program won’t offer a lifetime status level higher than 50 nights, just like the Starwood program didn’t offer a lifetime status level higher than 50 nights. However Marriott’s legacy program offered lifetime 75 night elite status, and those who already achieved that status in the Marriott program, or who achieve it through Marriott-only activity by the end of the year, get to keep it.

This isn’t the sort of case we’ve seen in airline mergers where lifetime elites get less.

  • It’s not like United, where lifetime elites were specifically promised they would continue to get annual confirmed upgrades only to have those upgrades taken away.

  • And it’s not like American where lifetime mid-tier status became second from the bottom status (with the introduction of a new 75,000 mile tier unachieveable through lifetime status) and where lifetime elites got placed at the bottom of the upgrade queue even in their lower tier (because upgrade priority was changed to be based on recent spend).


W New York Times Square

Instead it’s a case where Marriott lifetime elites get something that Starwood customers didn’t have before, but they feel slighted anyway. And I have heard from a number of them who feel angry and hurt.

Yesterday 35 Starwood lifetime elite members petitioned David Flueck, Marriott’s Senior Vice President of Loyalty, to reconsider how the new Marriott program will treat legacy Starwood customers. Together this group represents about 500 years of elite status and 33,000 room nights.

They are gathering through a Facebook group and are arguing that if they’ve stayed as much as a Marriott elite getting lifetime 75 night status, they should get that status too.

These customers remained loyal after hitting 500 nights with Starwood, and they believe that should count for something. Some have stayed over 1000 nights and even over 1600 nights, and have held elite status since the very beginning of the Starwood Preferred Guest program (and presumably some even dating back to precursors Westin Premier or Sheraton Club International.


Wet at the W Austin

Last week there was a rumor that Marriott would be going back on their decision and extending lifetime 75 night elite status to Starwood elites with over 750 nights in the program. I checked at the time and was told that there wasn’t a change in policy on this. However I certainly wish the members well who are looking for greater recognition in the new program (or, as they would argue, merely equal treatment for their loyalty).

Ultimately Marriott’s new 75 night status isn’t much better than 50 night status, and 100 night status with a $20,000 minimum spend requirement is unattainable for many. That makes 50 night status the sweet spot — and you can earn that with lifetime nights or $75,000 spend on a premium co-brand credit card. So to my mind it’s the lack of incremental juice at 75 nights, combined with the ease of 50 night status, that makes it hard for lifetime elites to justify staying on the treadmill.

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. Yeah, I thought LTPP was hardly worth more, but then again, that’s from the perspective of one who got it.

    And I don’t feel the love because I am LT Plat in both programs. But it will all come down to redemptions unless Marriott really does become more like Starwood with respect to upgrades

  2. Gary – do you know how to check how many years of elite status you have at the hotel chains (besides your own personal records)? I have never seen this data point listed on the website (ex. John has had Gold status for X years)

  3. 50 nights to Platinum and Platinum for just having a credit card is going to instantly water down Platinum benefits and treatment from hotels. It should be 75 nights. The hotels will not discern between Platinum and Platinum Premier when it comes to upgrades except for the 5 extra suite nights that I expect will remain difficult to use.

    This is following Hilton. Apparently, Hilton is the Delta, the new thought leader… in lodging. Hilton diluted Diamond to the point that everyone is Diamond and now my Diamond status is met with an “ehhh”. Hilton went dynamic and, despite bloggers inexplicably ignoring it, Marriott’s little high/low nonsense along with their pending evisceration of outsized value on the chart, is right down the Hilton path. Except Hilton didn’t kill their credit cards, whilst Marriott killed the Amex SPG (rip. died 8.1.2018)

  4. No petition for Marriott PLT who stayed over 100 night but didn’t spend $20K for ambassador status yet SPG members will receive it without the $20K requirement for next year.

    There wasn’t a petition when Marriott PLT’s didn’t get SNA when Marriott/SPG recognized each others status last year.

    No petition when SPG Gold’s received breakfast & lounge access at Marriott Hotels and yet Marriott Golds didn’t at Starwood Hotels.

    Seems like Marriott members are the ones who have been shafted more than once but you don’t see them starting petitions.

  5. Thanks for putting this out Gary.

    I’m SPG LTP 825+ and 2MM+ MR. I have some key hotels with over 20 stays and 30+ nights.
    Given the step-child status of LTP and not LTPP, I contacted SPG Plat and asked if hotels will still have my stay and night history. He said he assumes they will have the history. Then, he should they are working on the integration. I asked him if that means Marriott is merging systems for the hotels so they have the M & SPG history. Again, he said he thinks so.

    My point is that with my reduced LTP status, will a hotel that I have a long revenue history with know my history for future upgrades and requests? Will a newly minted LTPP with no history at the hotel be in priority upgrade group #1? (He couldn’t answer and said to wait-and-see.)

    All LTP are equal. Only some are more equal than others.

  6. Any thoughts about the affiliated status programs? I am LT gold with United and under the old programs it counted for something at Marriott (not much as I recall but still…..)

  7. The whining is incessant on FT. They knew the rules and decided to keep staying at SPG properties past 500 nights w/o a higher LT level. And there was no point requirement in SPG. I know plenty of MR LT Golds who have 750+ nights but don’t have the 2mm. What about them, huh?

  8. Seriously? Anyone knows lifetime programs are subject to change, anyone thinking their benefits are “lifetime” is simply dellusional.

  9. It’s a very odd decision by Marriott . One only has to look at Marriott Insiders to see page after page of games, scams, tricks and strategies to get to 2 million/750 nights. Some of it even involves some nights in hotels. So some of these gamers have been doing this with impunity for years, no backlash or sanction from Marriott. In fact the reverse: they get rewarded for the scams, eg, $100 ‘meetings’ for 10 nights credit and some ( probably a small % of the total members) get lifetime LTPPE ( and they wonder why SPG are p’ed off?). Defies belief and makes a complete mockery of Marriott’s ‘commitment’ to equity.

  10. Awe! Poor SPG peeps! why did they just not join Marriott earlier. Marriott should award those in their own program who maintained the harder 75 night elite status. SPG never offered anyone anything except Platinum anyway. SPG members are not losing anything…so take a hike!!! Less Platinums the better!

  11. BK@Oak! Your are finally getting to use your elite status with a hotel chain that…. wait for it…wait for it…. HAS HOTELS!!!

    Stop whining! Ive always thought SPG sucked and today SPG members are learning Marriott has always had something better.

  12. Yeah the whole Platinum Premier vs Platinum naming issue will create so much confusion for the barely trained check in agent.

  13. @Ryan – you know damn well that “the harder 75 night status” is a fallacy with Marriott.

    My last 9 years of SPG AmEx spend would have earned 250 LT nights *by themselves* under Marriott Visa rules…but I got zero LT nights from it. To also say nothing of rollover nights.

  14. Gary – I disagree with this point you made:

    Under the new program all current lifetime elites keep their current lifetime status, even though the new program is going to have tougher requirements than the Starwood program did to earn that status.

    While 600 nights > 500 nights, with 15 nights per year LT coming from the credit card going forward (which was the case under Marriott, but NOT under Starwood) those LT nights will come much more quickly. Same goes for 1 night per $3K spend, if that continues as well.

    (I get some will say “but what about all those nights earned from booking multiple rooms!!!” In my case, I got about 50 LT nights extra from that out of my 800, but that pales to getting 0 LT nights from my SPG AmEx CC vs. the 250 I would have gotten under Marriott Visa rules)

  15. SPG didn’t even have a lifetime option until 2012. If they want to make a LTPPE status, do it starting in August, allowing everyone to merge their nights/years with both programs.
    1500 nights and 20 years as an elite. Let them meet those criteria.

  16. UA-NYC .. not at all.

    I have stayed over 100 nights per year for the passed 8 years. I earned Platinum Premiere for the last 5. The only time I got bonus nights were rollover ( which I did not need anyway and thought it was dumb) and the 1 elite night on my birthday. I know many who TRAVEL to earn their status. Im sure there are many that don’t.. but WHO CARES!! THEY NEVER TRAVEL!!

    Marriott Platinum Premiere line is awesome, great service. SPG customer service is ROCK BOTTOM BAD NO COMMON SENSE! I have had not one good call to SPG customer service.
    Example: Family vacation… brother gets there before me and check in all 4 rooms ( I get credit for 2 at SPG? not sure Marriott is 3 for points). My flight lands at 9pm, theirs at 3pm. I went to the desk when I landed to switch to my credit card. After the stay.. I got ZERO SPG points. WHY!? they never switched my credit card. To this day never say those 8,000 points I would have earned for that expensive stay fore 2 of the rooms. The hotel (Westin Diplomat Resort now a Hilton) even confirmed with SPG customer service that I was there and they accidentally just put my credit card on for incidentals but charged my brothers card for the stay. SPG customer service said the rules are clear that it must be MY Credit card . Asked the hotel if they can refund my brothers card and charge mine instead .. they said no but they gave me 2,000 Star points.
    WTF!!!!

  17. To Ryan:
    “Awe! Poor SPG peeps! why did they just not join Marriott earlier”
    – perhaps, because some of us did not like staying with Marriott. I have about 60 lifetime nights with Marriott but never saw appealing reasons to switch my annual 75+ nights with SPG or 50+ nights with Hilton to Marriott. SPG was a lot of fun especially 5-10 years ago. If you did not experienced SPG back then, you missed a lot in my humble opinion.

    “SPG never offered anyone anything except Platinum anyway. SPG members are not losing anything…so take a hike!!! Less Platinums the better!”
    – and SPG Platinum was different from Marriott Platinum and the new Platinum, Platinum + levels in the new program. Suite upgrades? Personalized treatment? Manageable number of PLT guests?
    Regardless which lifetime status I will be offered in new program only time will tell whether I will stay with Marriott.
    It is up to Marriott whether they will retain lifelong SPG customers. Otherwise they will end up with simply eliminating some competition but not expanding the customer base.
    For now, based on promos I am simply switching my summer stays to Hilton and enjoying what is left of Starwood….

  18. Have 867 nights and 3.4 mm lifetime with Marriott. Some posts say my lifetime plat status will be Plat Elite under the new program, but have also read just Plat. And what does that do for the suite upgrades? I am retired and no longer racking up the nights each year, instead mostly using rewards. Will I get suite upgrades? Will I be plat or plat elite? The info is confusing to me so any clarification from you pros out there would be greatly appreciated.

  19. I’m in the +750 Night SPG group, (+1,000 combined Marriott/SPG nights) and believe I should be grandfathered also. With my SPG LTP and current auto Marriott Platinum match I always get some sort of upgrade at either programs properties. Most often suites without using Suite Upgrade Certs followed by club level room or at least a newly refurbished room at older properties. If I become 2nd tier LTP I fear losing those upgrades due to 2nd tier status, let alone the 25% points bonus. (Suite Upgrade Certs mean nothing to me) Our loyalty should be rewarded the same as our current Marriott LTP road warrior brethren with LTPPE! On another note I wish Mr Flueck would bring back the SPG Elite Thank you Certificates. I loved seeing the smile on an employee’s face when presented to them for service Above and Beyond!

  20. I don’t have a dog in this hunt . That being said , as an objective observer , I think the petitioners have a legitimate argument . However , it becomes the proverbial “slippery slope “ from the Marriott side . There are very valid pleas for reconsideration by elites of all levels .

    The status match , in retrospect , may have been a poor idea. This is especially true in the case of SPG Gold . Marriott gave SPG Gold members Marriott Gold and that gave them lounge access . It can be surmised that the status match was an inducement to get SPG loyalists to try Marriott brands and stay with both programs until integration. Yes , it can be construed as a gift . That being said , according to the way I was raised and the way I act , I don’t give someone a gift and then after a period of time ask for part of it back . Yes Gold is still Gold but let’s be honest , it is a much diluted Gold. It just doesn’t appeal to my ethical standards . Yes , the terms and conditions allow them to do as they please and , as Gary points out , some airlines did similar things. That doesn’t make it right . But morality is apparently gone in loyalty programs . Same holds true for SPG Amex holders – they were given Gold and now will get Silver . It’s not like the New Gold is all that enticing or lucrative but a downgrade to Silver is just a plain and simple slap in the face .

    For my 2 cents , this whole roll out has been a mess . There are myriad questions unanswered . Legitimate concerns and confusion about status mapping , lifetime status , and a whole basket of other issues like peak/off peak /property categories etc.

    Moreover, in my opinion , the process has been schizophrenic.. In one instance , the new program requires top tier to have $20,000 in spend in addition to 100 nights . Yet the new program screams “Go Away” to the $20,000 spender who might only stay enough nights to reach Gold . At least Hyatt and Hilton respect spend . And , yes , that is also where the airlines got it right with invitation only programs for top spenders .

    End of speech – no matter where all this shakes out , I do wish each and every guest , safe and healthy travels !

  21. @Gary, You say all lifetime elites keep their current lifetime elite status. That is false and illustrates why SPG lifetime platinums are getting screwed.

    Under the new program Marriott lifetime golds are promoted to lifetime platinum, which is the same as SPG lifetime platinums. On the other hand, all Marriott lifetime platinums get lifetime platinum premiere status. So no, not all lifetime elites keep their current status. SPG lifetime elites get demoted to second class status.

    After being promised my SPG lifetime platinum top-tier status would be preserved, Marriott pulls this crap? If this demotion goes uncorrected, I’ll take my 100 -125 nights/year with SPG and Marriott elsewhere. Once again though mergers have left consumers with little choice. Hilton is the only other program that I can think of with a similar scale and scope.

  22. john.. I guess the SPG elites cannot do math. Which is why anyone who thinks their 1:5 earn ratio against Marriott made their program awesome! lol

    SPG Platinum – 50 nights per year
    Marriott Gold – 50 nights per year

    Hopefully Marriott weeds out a decent amount of SPGs…Im very happy with my ability to upgrade to a suite at Marriott when they are able to and unlike SPG member I do not feel entitled to everything I did not earn. But then again SPG was a program designed towards millenials so I guess it all makes sense.

  23. @Gary – jumping back in to see if you ever asked Marriott why they chose to ignore base points /spend as a path to top tier status? (Ala Hilton and Hyatt) if not , at least some of us , would love to know the answer !

  24. I guess Marriott folks can;t read. Before the merger no way was Marriott lifetime gold equal to SPG lifetime platinum. Now it is. And there is a new tier higher than lifetime platinum. This is a big time demotion for SPG lifetime platinums that Marriott can’t deny with a straight face. The name remains the same (lifetime platinum) but the status is diminished.

  25. @Ryan to whom my previous comment was directed. I hope Marriott shares your glee over losing the business of so many valuable customers.

  26. @ John
    Indeed. Many SPG hotel owners would be overjoyed at that attitude ( particularly in Asia where SPG has the most loyal following).
    The decision, if that’s what it is, goes way beyond plain dumb, well into moronic territory.

  27. @John – “You say all lifetime elites keep their current lifetime elite status. That is false and illustrates why SPG lifetime platinums are getting screwed.”

    Hogwash. LT SPG Plats w/ below 750 nights are not getting screwed one bit. There’s only one group whining and that’s because someone else is higher on the list.

  28. @Paolo

    “The decision, if that’s what it is, goes way beyond plain dumb, well into moronic territory.”

    Yeah, because McKinsey, Bain, Accenture or whomever consulted Marriott on the revamped program hires only morons…. (sigh)

    Marriott could care less about losing the maybe, couple thousand SPG LT Plats that are whining. They are more concerned on drawing new members and/or millenials into the program. Where are you going to go? IHG or Hilton? LOL.

  29. A core issue is that Starwood properties are more expensive than Marriott ‘s in general. As a result 50 nights of spg is likely worth more that 75 nights at Marriott. Staying at Westin’s W and St Regis is much higher ticket than Marriott courtyard and Fairfield.

    Marriott worked hard to keep spg members happy because the higher margins from the higher end hotels created economic profits which results in a valuation above book value and hence massive goodwill.

    Lose the customers and the goodwill turns into a write off.

    An adjustment of nights by an average revenue factor to set the programs right would have been a smart move on management’s part.

    I’m lifetime plat this year, but will focus my attention on Hyatt. The spg breakfast benefit is so watered down it’s not worth it.

    But plat is nice for Asian hotels if a big price differential exists at a point in time such as Hyatt vs Plaza Athenee.

    Just vote your $$$ and make companies accountable to give you a quality product and reward for loyalty.

    Don’t over pay for status that is of marginal value. A bagel and coffee is usually much better at a cafe than the hotel cafeteria.

    Cheers

  30. @BB
    Re consultants. That would certainly explain moronic decisions. Plenty of precedents in that list.

  31. There will be some equalizer announced that retains loyalty from both sides, I’m confident of it.

    Both SPG and MR legacy LTP were difficult to earn for different reasons. SPG required 10 years of platinum status and 500 nights, most of which were true in-bed room nights. MR required 750 nights, some of which was a bit easier to attain through credit card, etc., but also required 2MM points accrued. Neither was an easy feat, and both demonstrated loyalty that should be celebrated, and sought to retain.

    An example of a true equalizer would have been to announce that both sides’ LTP are eligible for new LTPP if they had. 1. 750 nights between programs (a MR requirement, and only fair given the 2-3 years of encouraged cross-company stays after the merger was announced), 2. 10 years of platinum across programs (an SPG requirement, same reason), and 3. 2MM points equalized across programs (with SPG historical points multiplied by three and then added to MR points).

    But because Marriott already announced to the MR LTP that they will be grandfathered as LTPP, they understandably cannot (and should not) retract, so that leaves an unfortunately more complicated and cumbersome decision making process as to how they should proceed.

    As I’ve said before, and I’m no company insider, but I just don’t believe there are that many SPG LTP when compared with MR LTP, and I believe it’s a prudent business decision to grandfather them as LTPP. Both programs’ LTP were hard to earn for different reasons. I’d personally far rather see what will only be the most minor of increases in upgrade competition and make things right on both sides by allowing all historical LTPs to receive LTPP.

    Not grandfathering SPG LTP to LTPP could also conceivably create an exodus of high spend customers, because SPG LTP have already been told they will receive LTP in the new program. Without LTPP, unless they stay 75 nights each year to earn PP, there’s nothing encouraging them to remain loyal to Marriott other than habit.

    I think that most in both the SPG and MR camps truly want our Marriott to be the best combined company that it can be, and will remain loyal if treated fairly. As I’ve said before, I believe Marriott will do the right thing, and I believe that the right thing, given the totality of current variables, is to grandfather the LTP from both sides, everyone accept that minor mistakes were made, everyone forgive those mistakes, and let’s all move on.

  32. I was worried that Marriott would not recognize SPG Lifetime Platinum members at all. Many SPG Platinum Lifetime member are no longer traveling as in years past. I am happy they kept our status.

  33. @Ryan – you keep equating SPG Plat w/Marriott Gold. A credit card will get you 5 nights towards SPG Plat. A credit card can get you 15 right away, and pretty easily 25-30 nights of the way towards Marriott Gold. Get real. And that doesn’t even touch rollover nights.

    You complain about one incident and extrapolate…boo hoo. I’ve done 800+ nights and found SPG consistently goes above and beyond.

  34. Love watching the SPG loyalists complain and whine. Just sitting back with my popcorn and watching. Keep it up guys. Eventually you’ll get tired. I said that a year ago, but you’re still whining. Huh.

  35. I’m sorry they screwed this up for everyone, but the only certain answer is to stop chasing status and just pay for the room & benefits you want.

    For sheer value for $ , paying $200 to IHG each year gets a really good suite of benefits that are assured. They are contractual.
    I don’t think I’ve paid for a night in 3 years except the 2 for 1 weekend deal that comes with Ambassador . Even with points devaluation, buying when cash/ points were on sale makes the most expensive hotel about $235 after getting both the Ambassador and credit card points rebate.
    Of course, I’m, on my own dime so this doesn’t exactly help those whose employers pay.

    However, I’ll trade places with any of you : I’ll give you $1 mill for every 10 years of age you’ll exchange with me !*

    *Offer not valid for those older than me

  36. May all grandfathered LTPPs enjoy their Suite Night Awards at Crackyard by Marriott. Now including free breakfast. Woo hoo!
    And with Marriott’s massive expansion of Crackyards, you’ll have more options for redemptions at categories 5-8.

    Sad to see you loose your longe access at Ms resorts. Must hurt to pay all those resort fees too.

    This year and next, we’ll be seeing Sheratons flip to AC (all crap) Hotels; goodbye lounges.

  37. If they want to let Starwood LTP get LTPP for 500 nights, they should let Marriott folks move nights into either program to be fair as well. For example I have 438 Marriott nights and 83 Starwood nights. At the moment I am getting much less than a Starwood LTP, because I get no LTP status at the moment, but I’ve stayed as much as some who seem to want LTPP which seems a bit ridiculous. And most of my stays were in San Francisco at $300+ rates so I’m not buying the all Marriott elites stayed at the Fairfield Inn logic. If they give in to these Starwood LTP folks without being fair they can kiss my next 500 nights goodbye.

  38. I was actually sympathetic to the SPG LT Plat Elites who had 750 nights plus in their request to be treated the same as MR LT Platinum Elites becoming LT Platinum Preferred members — now, I am not so sure.

    With the sole exception of the SPG LT Plat member who is retired and who is happy that Marriott is keeping his LT Plat status, I never have read so much whining as regards any change in a program. Inevitably, many of those who have been whining have been attacking the program and its administrators who were the victors in purchasing control of their lamented program.

    Actually, I don’t think that SPG Plat Elites have many viable choices other than remaining with the merged program even if they feel like second class citizens. Mid-level SPG Golds of whatever strip should migrate to Hilton as they will still get a breakfast benefit, but Plats really will not find any other program rewarding them for their loyalty as much as the new Marriott program does, and that goes double for those high night SPG Plats who will still retain some vestiges of the old SPG program.

    At this point, if I were a Marriott Rewards executive with oversight of the combined program, I would let the entitled SPG LT Elites stew and simply act on their threats — I doubt that they will find their being rewarded by other programs.

    Then, I would re-visit the numbers concerning spend at SPG hotels and the combined entity to see if there really was a drop-off in whatever metrics one was attempting to retain.

    If so, then Marriott could always offer the LT SPG derived Plat elites the LT Platinum Premier status if they had 750 or more night as of 12/31/18, and if not, then it was much ado about nothing.

  39. Appreciate your position Nick, but consider that both Marriott and Starwood indicated at many points during the merger process that Lifetime status in both programs would be respected. There was about 2-3 years to earn Lifetime on one side or the other once the merger was announced, with the reasonable expectation that status on one side or the other would survive the merge.

    Both programs’ LTP were difficult to earn for different reasons. SPG required 10 years of platinum status and 500 true nights. Marriott required 750 nights and 2MM points, but no years requirement. At no point was it hinted that one side would be elevated above the other. It did, however, appear quite likely that earning status on one side or the other prior to merger completion was a worthwhile objective.

    I looked back in my inbox to check for references in Starwood/Marriott email announcements, and here’s what I came up with.

    4/8/16 Email – “How do we protect the value of your currency and status, whether your Starpoints balance, lifetime status or membership level?”

    9/23/16 Email – “You’ll continue to enjoy your SPG Lifetime status, and if you’ve already earned Marriott Rewards Lifetime status, you’ll keep that too…”

    4/16/18 Email – “LIFETIME ELITE STATUS. As an SPG Lifetime elite member, you’ll keep your status — for life.”

    We’ll see how things shake out, and there are a number of valid positions being argued at this moment. It’s an interesting debate, I’ve learned a ton, and have been inspired to become more active in the frequent traveler community.

    I do not believe, however, that there is very much advocacy for the notion of a MR or SPG account without Lifetime status on either side being eligible for a merge into LTPP.

  40. Hadley, please give your SPG LTP cousins a chance to make their case, and I hope you’ll reconsider your original position to support our cause. We’re all one Marriott family now, and I hope that a few negative posts online haven’t put you off permanently. These days, I stay 75-125 nights a year at hotels. What may come across as “whining” might perhaps be reconsidered through the lens of impassioned advocacy for something that is truly important to us. When one spends 1/3 of the year in beds at one hotel chain, any material changes could easily result in a noticeable reduction in lifestyle and benefits. I believe that very few of us would care enough to devote our time and effort to the aim of reciprocity if it were merely a trivial matter, or a concern about “status” or “prestige” or any of the other nonsense that has been hyperbolically offered up. Quite simply, this is real life, and who among us would not do all they can to prevent their current quality of life from being threatened?

  41. >>> loungeabuser says:

    I’m sorry they screwed this up for everyone, but the only certain answer is to stop chasing status and just pay for the room & benefits you want. <<<

    In a thread full of the most pedantic, juvenile BS I have read in a long time, and a few good comments, you really put it in perspective.

    In the airline forums, where this kind of status whining is way, way more common, eventually someone will come in with the saying: "If you want to sit in the front of the plane, then pay to sit in the front of the plane."

    That applies here. LTPP is not some secret society. It is a bunch of benefits that anyone can pay for. You want breakfast? Then buy breakfast. You want a suite? Then reserve a suite. This petition is not about benefits. It is about people who are accustomed to being the top dog, and are now scared that the 75 night dogs will replace the 50 night dogs at the front of the check in counter. Folks, step away from the computer and stop stressing.

    l'm reminded of the Frasier episode "Door Jam":

    https://youtu.be/3CNmrUMS5FQ

    Although a bit off topic, since free breakfast has been mentioned, I'll add that IMHO free breakfast is the most worthless benefit at a hotel. The breakfasts are uniformly mediocre, with inconvenient hours, big crowds and few healthy options. I get it, when traveling on vacation with a family it is a huge money saver. However, when traveling solo (I wracked up 300 hotel nights last year), I am just as happy to do what I did today: stay in my room, make a bowl of oatmeal or grits, and eat on my schedule, not the hotel's.

  42. @jrothenb…

    You said: “Quite simply, this is real life, and who among us would not do all they can to prevent their current quality of life from being threatened?”

    Are you for real? You want to talk about “real life” and “quality of life” I suggest you put all your effort and energy in making the world a better place instead of advocating for a “title” from a loyalty program. Sheesh!

  43. As a SPG guest with over the 1,000 nights at Starwood and almost 600 nights at Marriott (1,600 nights overall), I think that being treated like a second class citizen while many rewards members with half that many total nights (750) from Marriott receive higher status. Without changes, I will spend down my 3 million plus Marriott equivalent points and for my 100 plus paid cash nights a year visit other properties with Marriott receiving only a handful of those paid nights.

  44. @iv
    Good one… really shows what the world is becoming too, everyone just feels so entitled. If humanity would just invest this much energy that they are putting into this into something that will make the world a better place for all you can even get a better title from your loved one than just some hotel card stating you are super duper lifetime Platinum – which lifetime of the program does not really mean lifetime because if the company for whatever reasons cease to exist, the lifetime status is still not lifetime.

  45. @ Mike
    It has nothing to do with entitlement and nor does it say anything about the state of the world. This is a consumer issue in which people feel they have been short-changed; they are complaining about it in exactly the same way they would with any other merchant, services provider, utility, government. There is nothing in it more deep and meaningful than that, although it might appear so, possibly because some people have spent 5 years of their lives sleeping in the merchant’s beds….and there is a genuine affection for the company , making the slight all the more bizarre.

  46. @ Paolo

    Oh it has everything to do with entitlement and it definitely says volumes about the state of the world when you have people complaining about not being granted status! Yes status! If that doesn’t scream entitlement I don’t know what does!

    Listen to yourselves… “real life” – “quality of life” – “deep” – meaningful” – “genuine affection” If I didn’t know any better I would have thought I was reading marketing material for Scientology!

    Get a grip! Marriott is the one that bought Starwood not the other way around. This is business and if you are equatng the above mentioned adjectives to a business other than your own then you need to get a life because you are too invested.

    Reminds me of all the Starbucks folks complaining of not getting top status and number of stars when Starbuks changed their program! Yes, it says lots about the sad state of the world.

  47. @iv
    Nonsensical. Status is only relevant as an indicator of earnings and benefits, the rest is all spin and hype ( although I do concede that some people form an attachment to the service provider, and good luck to them for doing so…it’s not a bad thing).
    As for valuing status, I could care less. At checkin : “Thank you for being a platinum member”; it’s nice, polite, probably good marketing. For me I wouldn’t care if they said “ thank you for being a miserable old punt”, so long as I get my side of the contract. Some people feel differently and I respect that but it’s simply risible to suggest that a contractual relationship, even one couched in fruity marketing-speak, somehow impacts the state of the world. Ludicrous nonsense.

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