Marriott Hotels are getting rid of travel packages, effective immediately

If you are looking for a place to stay during your trip, you are almost guaranteed to come across a Marriott. After a merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts, it became the largest hotel chain on the planet, with more than 7,600 properties in 134 countries in 2020. Thus, frequent travelers have come to depend on the chain as a vacation option. reliable accommodation when on the road. But following a surprise policy change, Marriott said it won’t be offering anything to its hotel guests in the future. Read on to see what the iconic hotel brand is getting rid of, effective immediately.

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If you’re a Marriott fan, planning your next trip might not go as you expected: the company said it’s getting rid of its hotel and air packages for its customers, Gary Lef from the View From the Wing travel journal was first reported. They also did not announce a replacement for the option, which allowed its Bonvoy rewards members to redeem points for a hotel stay and frequent flier miles that could be used to purchase airline tickets. .

“The popularity of travel packages has steadily declined,” John Wolfvice president of loyalty for Marriott, told The Points Guy news outlet in an official confirmation of the change on Jan. 19. offer travel packages.”

PHILADELPHIA, PA -4 OCT 2018- View of the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, a large business hotel near the Philadelphia Convention Center.
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As well as making travel packages unavailable for the future, the sudden change in policy also means people who may have purchased the option with their points are now pressed for time to use them. According to Wolf, customers who purchased the discontinued package should contact Marriott by February 28, 2022 to redeem the hotel portion of the package. Anyone who does not redeem their stay by then will be refunded points based on peak prices determined by the hotel, reports The Points Guy. However, the frequent flyer mile portion of the package is now fully non-refundable and must be used as such.

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Rear view of tourist in hotel room pulling curtains to see view
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By the company’s admission, Marriott’s travel packages may not have been its most popular offering. Still, experts point out that the move away from bundles could signal that it may soon be harder to get the most out of the rewards program as it once was.

“The use case for these certificates has been limited in recent years, so the actual loss here is minimal,” Leff wrote in the original blog post covering the change. “But these travel packages have played such an important role for so long that eliminating them altogether always seems to be part of the outcome for customers who get outsized value from the program.”

Businesswoman at reception, paying for hotel room.
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This isn’t the only time recently that Marriott has rubbed its customers the wrong way with one of its policies. In October, several Marriott guests took to Twitter to complain about resort fees being added to the cost of their stay. “Pupdate your resort hotel information pages to include in force Establishment fees. Finding out during the booking process is not customer-centric,” one user tweeted on October 18. Another noted, “In May, booked through the app Marriott downtown new york in sept. No Establishment fees. Logged into the app last night to see they have since added a “destination fee” of $125 per stay. For Wifi, I already get Platinum [member]. Wow!”

According to The Wall Street Journalthese service fees, sometimes also called “destination amenity fees”, go anywhere from an additional $9 to $95. This fee is required to book a room online and apparently covers a number of amenities, including high-speed internet access and free bottled water upon check-in. C. Patrick Scholesa lodging analyst at Truist Securities Inc, told the outlet that these fees were originally added at beachfront properties and other resorts to cover additional costs, such as free beach towels , but are now added to hotels in towns and other locations.

In the summer of 2019, the Attorney General for the District of Columbia Karl A. Racine filed a complaint against Marriott International, Inc. on these resort fees. According to the lawsuit, Marriott violates consumer protection laws by only disclosing these fees during the reservation process and not in advance when customers view hotel prices. “Bait and switch advertising and deceptive pricing practices are illegal,” Racine said in a 2019 statement.

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