Existing Marriott Travel Package Awards: Unavailable for a Month, Uncertain After That

Marriott is launching a new program August 18th which will be the same for all of Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards.

Accessing frequent guest accounts, and even making reservations, is expected to be offline most of that day. In addition Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards accounts may be unavailable during overnight hours between now and the 18th. These overnight outages shouldn’t affect Starwood accounts.

Once the new program is in place we’ll finally get to see the terms and conditions. And hopefully we’ll learn soon enough what’s happening with Marriott travel packages.

One of the best values in the current Marriott Rewards program has long been ‘travel packages’ where you combine a 7 night hotel redemption with a transfer to airline miles. Those specify redemptions at current category levels.

Marriott’s new redemption categories don’t correspond to the levels these certificates were issued for.

Last month Marriott’s Senior Vice President of Global Loyalty David Flueck told me they weren’t ready to announce how existing travel packages — redemptions made in the current program before the big August 18 devaluation but where certificates haven’t yet been used for a hotel stay — will work.

I asked David Flueck why and he explained that they’re still “finalizing the tech solution, and depending on the tech solution it impacts how these certificates end up converting.” He says “we’re pretty close on that.” He knows that these packages “are really beloved by our members” and takes their value seriously. They’re just not ready to make an announcement until the tech is ready because if they run into issues, the solution might be change.

Today Marriott shares that old travel package certificates unattached to a reservation will go dark August 18 – September 18. You won’t be able to modify existing travel package reservations or make new travel package reservations using pre-August 18th redemptions for a one month period. So if you want to use one, do it quickly or you’ll have to wait.

Since the Marriott rep added, “Let me know if you have any questions” I naturally asked what current travel package certificates would be valid for starting September 18th. However since they still haven’t shared this, I suspect they are still not ready to announce and we’ll just have to wait.

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 cat 6 old cert attached to a current cat 6 hotel I.e at 30k a night. This hotel would go down to a 25k a night property at the new Cat 4. Will I get my overpaid 30k pts back? Or I should unattach the current cert and wait till after Sept 18 to rebook? Stay occurs in last week of Oct so the black out month should not affect me much as long as I keep the reservation.
    Could you get a clarification from Marriot? Much thanks.

  2. Gary —

    Although not a travel package, could you ask him whether Megabonus Free Night and Credit Card Free Night certificates issued before 8/1/18 — under the old Marriott Rewards program — will also face a similar suspension/moratorium for a month, or will they be converted relatively soon after the change over and be available for mapping and attaching to new reservations post 8/18/18?

    As others have said with respect to Travel Packages, they likely would need extensions with respect to their end use date and if Marriott is planning a like program blackout for these other above-noted “floater” certificates, then they, too, would presumably receive a later extension date, as well.

    Many thanks,

    Hadley

  3. I purchased three 5 night Category 8 travel packages with 130,000 miles going into my United Airlines reward program for each in July of this year. Now when I want to use them for my Paris, France trip in May they tell me they downgraded my Category 8 to a category 5 hotel even though I bought these before the merger and new program and paid the points for a category 8 and my certificates are good for one year from the July 2018 date. No one knows anything at the rewards desk even though I have talked to 3 supervisors and they hung up on me even though I left my number to recall me since thy were going to talk to someone else. When you buy another company or merge you inherit their liabilities so I have to pay a lawyer. If anyone else has had this problem contact me and see if we can get a class action law suit and the lawyers then will not charge us. They did not change the categories for the hotels. The class 7 that I wanted to get in Paris with the category 8 points I bought is still a category 7, but now I have been downgraded to a only a category 5 award not the category 8 I paid for and have a year to use. How can they get by with this?

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