A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question regarding Marriott Bonvoy Titanium member suite upgrade benefit that had not been honored.
You can access Marriott’s page for elite benefits here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I have a question: I am currently a Marriott Titanium. I stayed in November at the Marriott in Lyon France where I had book a cash rate for a room. Upon arrival, i noticed that there were several suites available and asked to be upgraded. They were adamant that they had to charge me as I had booked a superior room (one step above the standard) and not a deluxe. Their « free » upgrade was only from superior to deluxe. I argued and finally gave in and paid 50 Euro for the upgrade to a Junior Suite (which was more Junior than Suite…). I emailed Marriott afterwards to understand what the rules really are: as a Titanium, if there is a free standard/basic Suite, can I receive a free upgrade or do I have to pay.
Marriott ignored my email (surprise, surprise…) and just forwarded it to the hotel in Lyon. They emailed me back not answering my question but just stating that they were sorry but the hotel was really booked that weekend so they could not offer the room for free (when I was checking in, there were many suites, not only Junior still available…).
what is the actual Marriott policy about upgrades for Titanium members regarding available Suites? also, I should mention that we were staying only 1 night and checked in after 4 pm.
Here’s the relevant part from the elite benefits page:
Here’s the relevant section of the T&Cs:
Complimentary Enhanced Room Upgrade for Platinum Elite Members. Platinum Elite Members and above receive a complimentary upgrade to the best available room subject to availability for the entire length of stay at the time of check-in.
Complimentary upgrade includes suites, rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities or rooms on Executive Floors. At The Ritz-Carlton, suites are only included for Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite Members and rooms with direct Club access are excluded. Enhanced Room Upgrades are subject to availability and are identified by each Participating Property.
The Complimentary Enhanced Room Upgrade for Platinum Elite Members and above is available at all Participating Brands except at Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Aloft, Element and Vistana properties.
The property here is making up the rules which room types are not eligible to upgrade from. I guess that they try to limit upgrades to only one or two categories that is not per the program T&Cs.
Here’s what you need to do if you have an issue with upgrade:
1. Speak with the Manager on Duty and pull up the program T&Cs.
2. If MoD is not co-operative, summon the General Manager to have a discussion.
3. Remember to leave appropriate feedback on TripAdvisor and any possible after stay survey that you receive. Note the non-compliance
It won’t surprise me if some legacy Marriott hotels are still confused about the Platinum and higher member elite benefits when it comes to suite upgrades. These were not included in the upgrade pool before Marriott bought Starwood and started to integrate programs.
Marriott Bonvoy has written the T&Cs in a very fuzzy way when it comes to some of the benefits, such as the guaranteed 4 PM check out and suite upgrades. Also, there is very little follow up on property compliance after the merger when the level and quality of customer support collapsed.
Unfortunately, you sometimes have to push to get the benefits that you are entitled to.