Members are currently looking at Marriott to see if the Travel Packages redemption will disappear by Wednesday, January 19th as a recent leak of an updated Bonvoy T&C version suggested.
Last week Gary who runs ViewFromTheWing discovered an update in the Marriott Terms & Conditions that the travel packages would be eliminated effective January 19, 2022.
Marriott Travel Packages are a popular product bundle of a 7-night certificate plus a fixed amount of miles to be deposited in the frequent flyer program of your choice.
The version of the unannounced T&C change was visible for a brief period on the Marriott Bonvoy website and has since been scrubbed after Gary wrote about it last week.
This was the leaked / updated version (since taken down):
3.14 Hotel and Air Travel Packages
Effective January 19, 2022, Hotel and Air Travel Packages are no longer available for purchase.
Apparently, after Gary posted about these changes Marriott contacted him saying it was a “mistake” and they would inform the members in a different way about upcoming changes within the next few days. So far it’s been crickets.
This begs the question: Are members about to get Bonvoyed yet again?
Should they decide to suddenly pull the plug on these without giving any notice to members that would be yet another giant middle finger to customers.
These are the current Bonvoy Terms & Conditions as they relate to travel packages:
3.14.a. All Loyalty Program Rules apply to Members redeeming Points toward a hotel and flight “Travel Package.”
3.14.b. When a Member redeems Points to purchase a Travel Package: (1) the hotel award portion includes consecutive nights at the selected hotel on a Free Night Award or PointSavers Award in a standard room; Upgrade Awards cannot be used with Travel Packages; (2) Miles will be automatically transferred into the participating airline frequent flyer program account that matches the name on the Membership Account; and (3) Travel Packages are excluded from airline partner conversion bonus campaigns. More information on the Travel Packages may be obtained here.
3.14.c. Once a Travel Package is processed:
i.airline Miles cannot be transferred back to the Membership Account; and
ii. the hotel award portion of the Travel Package is non-refundable to the Member if cancelled or not used.
Not a word anymore about the disappearance of the redemption option as of January 19th 2022.
We have previously covered Travel Packages here on LoyaltyLobby as they were quite popular up until the point where Marriott hiked up the price and changed the system:
These travel packages have been popular with members who managed to rack up rather high balances with Marriott Rewards and then later Marriott Bonvoy in the past.
They were really lucrative until Marriott increased the price for the packages and now with the seasonality (peak/off-peak) award structure it appears the company wants to close loopholes as with the travel package members are able to circumvent the peak surcharge.
One downside for these redemptions is that the associated stay certificate is valid for a firm 7-Night stay so you really need a destination with plenty of time. Mainly suitable for a vacation rather than random stays. Of course, you can always check out earlier but there won’t be any refund or compensation for that.
There were always persistent rumors that Marriott will do more negative things than just devaluing its award chart by March. Some of these rumors involved travel packages and airline miles transfer rations.
Last week Marriott mistakenly (?) uploaded a new version of their Bonvoy Terms & Conditions that suggests travel packaged would be eliminated as of January 19, 2022. Gary from VFTW caught up on it and Marriott went into a semi-denial mode after which they pulled the updated T&C from the website.
Even though they promised members would be “informed” in the coming days so far nothing has been forthcoming which I find a rather dishonest way of dealing with customers. Some would probably say that this has become the established pattern of Marriott Bonvoy over the years.
As of today, January 17th, Marriott has neither denied nor confirmed that they’re going to pull the plug on travel packages. If you want to make 100% sure to still get in just call them and request one of the packages in the next 48 hours before it might be too late. I don’t like Marriott putting customers in such a position. It would be very easy to just come out and say yes or no. Either way, the stay certificate is good for a year after redemption and can usually be extended by customer care for another year if you request it.