Marriott elites: Don’t be surprised if emails to your Ambassador go unanswered
Marriott Bonvoy promises its top-tier Ambassador Elite members access to a personal point-of-contact to handle anything, from reservations to off-the-wall requests. However, with hotel demand at a record low, the service was temporarily suspended last March. Although it was assumed that the service would return when travel picked up again, its future began to look bleak when Marriott laid off a number of its dedicated agents in August.
Well, we now know what’s next for Ambassador service.
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Is Marriott eliminating Ambassador service?
First things first: the dedicated ambassador service isn’t being eliminated. However, it will no longer be as personalized.
In an email sent to Ambassador Elites, Marriott stated that personal ambassador email addresses will no longer be monitored and that members should contact the global Ambassador Elite support team via a general email address or phone number instead. Members will still receive priority service, but it won’t always be from the same agent.
A spokesperson for Marriott confirmed this change to TPG:
We remain committed to the Ambassador program’s continued long-term success and to providing the elevated, attentive service our Ambassador Elites have earned delivered by our global, dedicated Ambassador Team. This experienced team is well equipped to assist with any questions, concerns or issues members may have.
Ambassadors help top-tier elites coordinate all their travel, including notifying hotels of arrival and departure time and any preferences or special events that are being celebrated. Additionally, they can help sort out problems, such as points not posting correctly to your account.
Although Marriott says that members should still expect “elevated, attentive service,” naturally, without a dedicated agent to develop a one-on-one relationship with, service will be less personal. For instance, welcome amenities might no longer proactively be customized based on your tastes and you may not receive personalized welcome notes. That said, some members who have been utilizing the Ambassador service over the last few months have noted that the global support team is as responsive, if not more so, than the dedicated agents they had before.
Ambassador Elite service is usually earned after 100 elite-qualifying nights and $20,000 worth of qualifying spend in a calendar year, though the spend threshold has been reduced to $14,000 this year. If the Ambassador program does indeed become less valuable, this may de-incentivize Titanium elites from chasing Ambassador status, since the only other added bonus is the Your24 benefit, which allows you to choose your check-in and check-out time.
This news follows a series of changes to the Marriott Bonvoy program in recent months. For instance, Marriott extended elite status until Feb, 1, 2022, paused the expiration of points until Aug. 1, 2021, extended free-night certificates originally set to expire in 2020 through Aug. 1, 2021 and extended the expiration of Suite Night Awards through Dec. 31, 2021. It also reinstated elite benefit guarantees following a 10-month hiatus. Marriott says that it plans to reveal more program updates to add value for members throughout the year.
Featured image courtesy of the Praia Del Rey Marriott.
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