Reader Question: Marriott Rewards Gold & Platinum Guaranteed 4PM Late Checkout Not Guaranteed After All?

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a question by email about the guaranteed Marriott Rewards Gold & Platinum 4PM late checkout benefit.

Reader Question Marriott Rewards Gold & Platinum Late Checkout Benefit

Remember that you can always email me, send a message via Facebook or use Twitter and include photos too. We’ll try to cover Reader Questions & Comments here several times a week.

You can access the Marriott Rewards page for elite benefits here.

Here’s the email from the reader:

Your website is always very helpful. I admire you very much.

This is the very first time to email you.

In my recent stay at Ritz Carlton hotels in Japan,  I was told the 4 p.m. late checkout for elite members is based on availability, although I was extended the checkout time without trouble.

I understand that the 4pm late checkout benefit is guaranteed for gold and platinum members. So I asked Marriott Rewards customer service.

The reply clearly says the 4pm is not guaranteed and only the hotel can dicide the actual checkout time.  If so, it is possible the hotel can extend checkout time only for 10minutes, for example. I think if the time itself is not guaranteed, the benefit is meaningless.

I sent email several times, but it is very difficult to ask the detail of the difference of the wording such as “as late as 4pm”, because my English skill is limited as a Japanese.

Here is the reply from the customer service.

In case you might take up this issue, I would appreciate it if you don’t show my name.

“Thank you for writing back to our office.

Gold and Platinum Elite members are eligible for Guaranteed Late Check-out. Gold and Platinum members may request a check-out time as late as 4:00 PM hotel time. The request for late check-out may be made at the time of booking, through the Marriott Mobile app during the check-in process, or at the front desk at check-in or anytime during the stay. Check-out time is confirmed by the hotel at the time of arrival and is guaranteed only for the room you personally occupy if you have multiple rooms during your stay.  However; late check out is not guaranteed until 4:00 pm.  The 4:00 pm check out is based on the hotels availability.  This can only be determined by the hotel its self.

I apologize for any confusion and thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

REMOVED
Internet Correspondence Specialist
Marriott Rewards Guest Services “

Here’s what Marriott’s web page says about this guarantee:

1. What is guaranteed late checkout?

Guaranteed late checkout is an enhanced Elite benefit for Gold and Platinum members, offering late checkout guaranteed as late as 4pm. The benefit can be requested through voice reservations, on the Marriott app via the mobile check-in process, at the front desk during check-in, or on the day of departure. This benefit is guaranteed at all participating Marriott Rewards® hotels, except at resort and convention hotels, where it is based upon availability. Marriott Vacation Club® is excluded.

2. To whom does this benefit apply?

Guaranteed late checkout applies to all Gold and Platinum Elite members.

3. How is the guaranteed late checkout for Gold & Platinum Elite members different from priority late checkout for Silver Elite members?

Guaranteed late checkout offers Gold and Platinum Elite members the benefit of late checkout as late as 4pm and also provides them with the opportunity to request late checkout earlier than the day of departure through voice reservations, the Marriott app or at the front desk during check-in. This benefit is guaranteed at all participating Marriott Rewards hotels, except at resort and convention hotels, where it is based upon availability. Marriott Vacation Club® is excluded. Priority late checkout offers Silver Elite members the benefit of late checkout with no timeframe guaranteed, can only be requested on the morning of departure and is based on availability.

4. How does this impact Silver Elite members and their existing benefit of priority late checkout?

All Silver Elite members retain their existing Elite benefit of priority late checkout based on availability, when the member calls the front desk the morning of departure. It is available at all Marriott brand hotels except Marriott Vacation Club.

5. Can I request guaranteed late checkout prior to my arrival on my Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Mobile app?

Yes, Gold and Platinum members can request guaranteed late checkout prior to arrival when using mobile check-in or at the time of reservation.

Mobile: Gold and Platinum Elite members can use the app to request late checkout during mobile check-in.

Voice reservations: Members have the option to request late checkout during the voice reservation process. These requests will be confirmed at check-in.

6. What brands are participating in guaranteed late checkout for Gold and Platinum Elite members?

This benefit is guaranteed globally at all participating Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton hotels, except at resort and convention hotels, where it is based upon availability. Marriott Vacation Club® is excluded.

7. Is this benefit available outside the U.S.?

Yes, this benefit is available globally.

8. I have more questions. Who should I call?

For assistance with additional questions, please contact us:
Email: MarriottRewards@Marriott.com
Marriott Rewards: 801-468-4000
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards: 866-922-6882

Conclusion

The guaranteed late check out wording on the page featuring the new benefits introduced back in Spring 2016 is very clear. The wording used on these FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) could be better, however. Why someone would need to request a late checkout that is a guaranteed benefit?

Also, the reply from the Internet Correspondence Specialist is not correct. The late checkout is GUARANTEED until 4PM for Gold and Platinum members at all other Marriott Rewards affiliated properties except resorts and convention hotels (read my post about these here) + Marriott Vacation Club properties where it is based on availability. Silver members can request late checkout too, but for them it is not guaranteed at any brands.

Marriott Rewards should also make sure that their employees replying to reader emails/comments have the facts right.

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