Marriott Bonvoy Makes Platinum And Higher Member Upgrades More Challenging

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Marriott Bonvoy Gold members have been eligible for complimentary room upgrades, excluding suites, and Platinum and higher for select suites available at the time of checking in for the duration of their stay.

Marriott Bonvoy has today changed the rules of upgrading Gold and Platinum and higher tier members, and you could infer that these changes are for the worse.

You can access Marriott here.

READ MORE: Marriott Bonvoy Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

Here’s the previous text:

iv. Complimentary Enhanced Room Upgrade for Gold Elite Members. This benefit is based on room availability at check-in and is limited to a Member’s personal guestroom at no additional charge. Suite upgrades are excluded for Gold Elite Members. Enhanced rooms may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors. At The Ritz-Carlton, rooms with direct Club access are excluded. Upgrades are subject to availability and identified by each Participating Property. The Complimentary Enhanced Room Upgrade for Gold Elite Members is available at all Participating Brands except Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Aloft, Element and Vistana properties.

i. Bonus Points vary by Elite membership level and are calculated based on base Points earned during a stay. Available to Elite Members at all Participating Brands except as otherwise noted in Section 1.2.a.

ii. 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.

Here’s the updated text:

iv. Complimentary Enhanced Room Upgrade for Gold Elite Members. This benefit is subject to availability on the day of arrival and is limited to a Member’s personal guestroom at no additional charge. Enhanced rooms may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors. At The Ritz-Carlton, rooms with direct Club access are excluded. Upgrades are subject to availability and identified by each Participating Property. The Complimentary Enhanced Room Upgrade for Gold Elite Members is available at all Participating Brands except Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Aloft, Element and Vistana properties.

i. Bonus Points vary by Elite membership level and are calculated based on base Points earned during a stay. Available to Elite Members at all Participating Brands except as otherwise noted in Section 1.2.a.

ii. 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 on the day of arrival, for the entire length of stay. 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 upgrades are no longer based on availability based on when you are checking in but rather on the day of arrival.

A hotel can claim that they plan to sell the suites and upgraded rooms later that day, and hence they are not available for elite members.

Good hotels process elite member upgrades during the overnight shift, after which you can usually see your new room/suite type online or on the app. Only disorganized properties and those who don’t want to take care of their top tier members leave this for the check-in.

Conclusion

I have not had much trouble with my upgrades with Marriott-affiliated hotels, but I tend not to stay at select-service hotels or those in the United States or Canada flooded with the elites.

This new T&Cs change allows properties to deny even more upgrades because they are no longer based on what is available at the time of arrival but during the arrival day, whatever that might mean.

Poorly run and hotels hostile to elite members have already long claimed that the inventory sold doesn’t reflect what is available when it comes to upgrades, and rooms and suites are held at 10 PM for selling later in the day. Yeah. Right.

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