A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us an email about Suite Night Award (SNA) issue that he was having at legacy Starwood property.
You can access The Gwen’s web page here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
So I’ve been hanging up and trying again attempting to get someone to actually use apply my suite night award for an upcoming stay at the Gwen Chicago all freaking night. Two days in and they have every suite in the upgrade criteria available but aren’t confirming it. Agents that called the hotel told me that the hotel doesn’t confirm suite night awards till the night before.
So everything about the confirmation starting at 5 days out is complete non-sense. All these are effectively doing at this point is “maybe” getting processed before the check-in upgrades.
I can search 12/7-12/09 right not and see the Junior Suite, Superior Suite, and Deluxe suite (all exact matches to the room types listed in the SNA selection) available right now. SNA have always been sort of hit or miss but I at least could used to depend on them applying them if I got in the five day window and called in on it.
I keep asking them to explain the difference between a SNA and just my regular Platinum Premium benefits at this point then. If I get all the way till the day of and they have the rooms still available and don’t apply them I’ll follow up with you. Definitely not going to select these ever again though. They used to be at least honored at hotels outside the USA but I think they’ve crossed the line to truely useless now. Have these things always been this bad and I just failed to notice or am I not mistaken that they are being treated like nothing now?
Continuing downward spiral with SPG and Marriott to complete garbage. This merger was going decently well but has descended into complete hell ever since August. I’m getting in my 750 nights this year so I hit lifetime Platinum Premier during the window and then exploring my options.
These were problematic already under the Starwood and I am sure that the never ending IT issues that Marriott has been experiencing after August 18th hasn’t made applying them by the member or property any easier. Also, Starwood was pretty good at enforcing that hotels were in compliance with the program rules while Marriott never was and less so at the moment.
The reader has a point here. If the hotels are not confirming using SNAs in advance, why have these SNAs at all? SPG always claimed that the SNA “inventory” was subset what was shown on their website and upgrades “automatically” processed by the system. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if these are now processed manually by hotels when they remember or have time to do it.
I believe that Marriott/SPG don’t reimburse hotels for SNA usage so they only confirm when they are 99% certain that the suite would go unsold or if they need to bump up people from base level rooms.
I know that there are readers who are very satisfied with these SNA’s but I am not one of them. When they were first launched by SPG, I had 20 or so expire unused before you could choose between number of gift options (subsequently I always chose something else).
This year I chose the free night award for both 50 and 75 nights gifts (hit the 50 nights with SPG before August 18th when this was still an option).
Most of my SPG and Marriott stays are short and upgrade percentage is good. You do have to keep in mind that most of my them are outside of North America and Europe where upgrades are more problematic.