My SPG Platinum Ambassador Downgrade

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SPG extended the Ambassador service to Platinum members that had more than 100 nights within a calendar year starting in 2012 and made the program official. Due to good promotions that SPG had in 2011, I had more than 100 nights with them during that year. You can read my take about this program from 2012, when it was introduced here.

spg-ambassador-downgrade

In 2012, the SPG promos quite frankly were inferior and I didn’t even have 50 nights with them, but had more than the minimum number of stays required to qualify for Platinum and, thus, received the above email yesterday.

And, quite frankly, I could care less. I think that this “Ambassador” program likely worked better, when they had very small number of guests that belonged to it and those guests very “high rollers” considering the money they spent at SPG properties. Once the program was made official and you could also qualify based on the number of nights, it doubled/tripled/quadrupled the number of Ambassador managed guests overnight.

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Also, it didn’t help that SPG had some puff pieces on magazines like Businessweek about the program that didn’t have any reality what was actually happening on the property level. If you are very lucky, you may have a special request like having a mouthwash in your room/suite fulfilled half of the time.

Typical Ambassador likely handles 100 or so guests and those each spend 100+ nights yearly at SPG properties. If the average stay is 3 nights, the Ambassador needs to manage more than 3000 reservations yearly. Considering the holiday and time off, you may have 200 workdays per year. That is around 20 reservations per day that doesn’t even take into account all the other communication that the Ambassador need to have with the member etc. There is no way that any non-superhuman could properly handle all of them.

Also, Ambassadors are supposed to communicate with hotel only by email and you know how long that can take (if someone actually happens to read the emails at property level).

On the positive side, I used the service to fix one less than satisfactory stay and got quite a few points by pushing the property via the Ambassador. I also had couple of paper vouchers for complimentary nights from partner program that were not bookable online. I had the Ambassador to do the booking for me.

Conclusion

This Ambassador service is more hype than actual delivery of services. It is good to have if you need to file a complaint or something similar.

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