Marriott extends suspension of brand standards and elite benefits guarantee through September 15, 2020
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect Marriott’s extension of its elite benefits guarantee and brand standards suspension through September 15, 2020
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has upended nearly every element of the travel experience and made it harder for hotels to deliver the experience that guests expect. Properties have been forced to deal with supply chain issues, staffing shortages, and various local and federal health regulations.
As anyone who’s stayed in a hotel recently will tell you, things are far from normal and travelers are noticing the difference.
For more travel tips and news, sign up for our daily newsletter
In order to ease the burden on struggling properties, Marriott announced on its first-quarter earnings call in March that it would be suspending brand standards. Normally hotels (especially upscale, luxury properties) have strict standards set out by Marriott corporate that they have to adhere to or they could be fined or potentially even removed from the brand. These brand standards cover everything from the toiletries in your room to the benefits offered to elite members and much more.
Further Reading: Your ultimate guide to Marriott hotel brands
Loyalty Lobby is reporting that in addition to suspending brand standards, Marriott has also suspended its elite benefits guarantee. While both suspensions were initially set to run through July 5, 2020, Loyalty Lobby has also reported that these suspensions have been extended through September 15, 2020.
The elite benefits guarantee entitles Marriott elite members to a specific amount of compensation (in the form of cash or points) if certain benefits like free breakfast or lounge access aren’t offered. Here’s what John Wolf, Marriott’s VP of Loyalty, had to say about the situation:
“The evolving situation caused by COVID-19 is creating a very challenging business environment, therefore the request for compensation for our Elite Guarantees (Ultimate Reservation Guarantee, Lounge access, Guaranteed Room type and Elite Welcome gift) are currently being waived… “
Together these moves will allow property owners to cut costs and hopefully prevent more hotels from going out of business as the pandemic and associated travel restrictions stretch on. However, this is also a stark reminder that if you’re staying at a luxury hotel in the near future, you might not be getting the full experience. One of the easiest areas for hotels to cut costs, thanks to these changes, is by closing down executive lounges, bars or restaurants when the hotel is at low occupancy.
Hopefully, Marriott’s hundreds of luxury hotels will take it upon themselves to offer their guests some form of alternative, such as room service breakfast if the lounge is closed, but without the elite benefits guarantee they’re under no obligation to do so.
It goes without saying that hotels need to cut costs and adapt in order to survive a prolonged drop in business, and I don’t begrudge them that. However, as a long time Marriott Titanium elite member, I’m not thrilled that the elite benefits guarantee was suspended without any notice to members. Many luxury hotels are charging the same rates they were before the pandemic started, but without corporate brand standards to follow or an elite benefits guarantee, you may end up getting significantly less than you pay for.
Featured image by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees