Almost 6 months have now passed since Marriott rolled SPG into Marriott rewards in August 2018 and although some issues have finally been resolved (most people's lifetime status seems to be showing correctly in their accounts now) other issues still remain.
At some point on Friday afternoon Marriott quietly published a list of its properties that will be seeing the cost of an award night change for bookings made from 5 March 2019 onwards. The fact that the news was put out on a Friday afternoon and that no emails were sent out to let members know about the upcoming changes speaks volumes but, nevertheless, I thought it would be interesting to look into the numbers behind the information we've been given.
Airline and hotel shopping portals can be a very good source of miles and points from everyday spending but the cashback portals can be an equally good tool for saving money....especially when they offer deals as good as these.
Marriott has announced the official opening of the W Dubai - The Palm located on Palm Jumeirah. The new property is being marketed as a "W Escape" which Marriott describes as "W brand’s playful spin on the traditional resort experience".
I'm often saying that airline & hotel shopping portals are a great way to keep your balances ticking over and preventing accounts expiring and, right now, the AAdvantage shopping portal has a great deal available for Marriott bookings.
At the end of November 2018 Marriott announced that, earlier in the month, it had called in security experts after its systems had detected an unauthorised attempt to access one of its databases. The subsequent investigation suggested that there had been a security breach in the Starwood database since 2014 (no, that's not a typo) and that the personal and private details of up to 500 million guests had been compromised.
Since Marriott introduced its new award chart in August it has been possible to book awards at numerous aspirational properties around the world for just 60,000 points per night but, sadly, that's only going to be the pricing for a limited time. The window to book these properties for 60,000 points per night will probably close on 1 January 2019 when Marriott is expected to introduce a Category 8 level into its award chart - a category into which all the aspirational properties will be placed.
Here we go again! What is it with big corporations and their inability to keep our information safe?! We're only just getting over the Cathay Pacific hack and the debacle that was the British Airways hack and now we're being told that Marriott's Starwood database (containing the information of 500 million customers) has been compromised by an "unauthorised party".
Before Marriott Rewards and SPG were merged Marriott didn’t officially offer its elites upgrades to suites. Very occasionally (and usually on short trips) Marriott properties have upgraded me to a suite in the past but, more often than not, the upgrades I’ve received have been to a slightly larger room on a high floor. That’s always been fine for me as I rarely need the space that a suite offers but I know that the lack of suite upgrades has been a bugbear for some. Those crying out for suite upgrades had their wish granted when Marriott updated its elite benefits following the merger of the Marriott Rewards and SPG loyalty programs but, now that the new rules are in place, I’m not sure guests will be getting what they may expect.
Sometimes I think that airlines and hotels have too much time and/or money on their hands and the news last week that Marriott is trialling facial recognition software to help with the check-in process does little to quash that opinion.