READER QUESTIONS: Marriott Rewards, Airline Frequent Flier Programs, IHG Member Exclusive Rate & Qualifying Stay, Delta’s Medallion Program & Downgrade On AA Award Ticket?


Here are five reader questions from the past week (so many good questions coming in!) that I have decided to reply to publicly. You can always email me, leave a note or private message on Facebook, or Tweet me with your questions.

Reader Questions May 10

Note that I can shorten the emails and edit them for clarity. I always remove the personal information of both the reader and front line employees. If there are managers involved, I may leave their names intact, however.

Khristina’s Question About Marriott Rewards

1 – Missed a reward offering with Marriott – can I do anything about it?

2 – I was told that because I stay at a Towne Place Suites that I don’t get as many points as I would if I was staying at a “real” Marriott property. Is this true?

Hotel or airline loyalty programs don’t usually allow registering after the promotion is over. Better keep an eye of future promotions

Marriott limited service properties don’t offer the full 10 points per USD charged but rather 5. Also, the Platinum amenity at these properties is lower.

READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Using Corporate Rate Not Entitled To, Consecutive Nights For Accor Promotions, Getting More Qualifying Marriott Rewards Nights Towards Lifetime Status, Hilton HHonors Gold Fast Track Back To Back & Converting Delta SkyMiles To Marriott Rewards Points?

Andre’s Question About Airline Frequent Flier Programs


When I fly one airline company – ex. Lufthansa, but request my points to be credited in TAP, or vice versa, or Flying TAM but crediting AA……..the points I earn on that program (TAP and AA in this case) also qualify for upgrade in Elite Level?


What is the best way for me to know if I fly one company if I ask my points to be credited in another partner (like examples above) what will be the amount credited? How to know if will be more or less for example?

If I fly turkish is it worth it to credit my TAP program or my Lufthansa program?

Usually what I notice is that when I do that, the miles are less then if crediting on the program of the company you are actually flying with. Is this always like that?

Generally, flights taken with fellow alliance member are elite qualifying. You must check the fare class and its eligibility of the frequent flier program that you would like to credit the flight to.

The same applies for your second question. You first must check the fare class and then see the amount of miles various programs would credit.

Here’s the big difference between the Star Alliance and Oneworld:

Oneworld Alliance usually credits based on the MARKETING carrier and Star Alliance based on the OPERATING one. You might be on British Airways flight that is sold on AA’s flight numbers. On Oneworld this would mean that the AA’s fare class would dictate the number of miles earned.

It is more complicated with Star Alliance. In case of code share flights, you would need to know the mapping fare class of the operating carrier. If you are booked on U class on Lufthansa’s codeshare on UA flights, it doesn’t mean that the underlying UA fare class would be the same

Cathy’s Question About IHG’s Member Exclusive Rate & Qualifying Stay

I got confused by IHG eliagble stay again, I’ve stayed for a weekend, book through the official website for the rate name as “IHG® Rewards Club Member Exclusive with Breakfast”, and turn out it’s a non qualifying stay. And they claimed that is because it’s a deeply discount, but that price is even more that the regular price.

The response that you received from IHG is utter nonsense. Sometimes it pays to call and escalate to the supervisor. I had one issue and called the IHG last week. I had to escalate to the supervisor that made an “exception”. Didn’t want to argue with her, as I got the stay fixed. There was no need for “exception”, however.

So, my advise is that you call IHG and ask them to fix the stay. Don’t hesitate to escalate the issue to the supervisor if required.

READ MORE; READER QUESTIONS: Where To Credit JetBlue Flights, Le Club Accorhotels To Airline Miles Autoconversion, Delta Compensation Issue & Expensive Flights, How To Find Accor & Hilton Hotels With Club Lounges, Getting 80 BA Tier Points By 28th, Finnair & Qatar Separate Tickets And Marriott Mobile Check-In

Question About Delta’s Medallion Program

I decided to back delta and fly with them. Although I have flown 17 segments in the last two months, I feel like any kind of medallion status is lost for me. Even if I continue my flying, it seems I’ll only be silver by year end. I never seem to be targeted for medallion promotions as I live in Minneapolis and fly out of there often. Even my miles don’t seem to buy anything as the tickets I try to book are astoundingly expensive as I have to pay a big fee. Feels kind of pointless.

Should I cut my losses and go to American? I fly mostly domestic and I’m wondering if I should cancel my delta Amex and get a different card that gives me American miles and just wait for a promotion on American.

As you are based in Minneapolis, Delta is most likely the most convenient airline for your trips originating from the city.

There is nothing wrong with the Delta’s in-flight product (compared to United or Delta), but the miles in general are less valuable. Due to the First Class Monetization, you really need to be Platinum or preferably Diamond members to reap any significant benefits.

American’s program for international business and first class award travel is far superior compared to Delta’s and United’s is better too. Delta is member of SkyTeam that is third tier alliance behind Oneworld (AA) and Star Alliance (UA).

I don’t think that there is an easy answer to your question. It really depends if you are willing to go out of your way to fly other airline over more convenient Delta flights out of your base.

Jay’s Question On Downgrade On AA’s Award Ticket

Lifetime AA Gold member here. I was on a pair of US flights from BUR-PHX-JFK back on April 1. This was a miles ticket and as a result I was in First for both legs. Or so I thought.

There was an equipment change (from CRJ 700 to CRJ 200) for the BUR-PHX flight. I no longer had a First seat since the new equipment is one class.

Not a big deal at all, short flight…but when I asked American for specific compensation (10,000 miles based on the entire leg being 25,000) for the equipment change, well, they basically gave me a whole bunch of BS doublespeak. (It’s below).

I’m pissed. I even re-forwarded the note back to them and asked for someone to look into it again…and I was completely ignored. (That’s at the very bottom).

If this is how they treat a Lifetime Gold customer… What would be your next step?

American Airlines certainly owes you few thousand miles for the inconvenience. Their customer service has never been good and usually spills out arrogant replies such as the one you received.

You should open a complaint with the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection unit. You can do it online here.

READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Hilton MVP Rate Requirements, Dishonored Fairfield Inn Reservation, Air Canada Flight Delays & Cancellations, Instant Le Club Accorhotels Sign Up & Candlewood Reservation Issue


Keep the emails and messages coming. I will have these READER QUESTION pieces at least once a week (sometimes more often) and try to cover issues that would help LoyaltyLobby readers.