More Marriott Hotel + Air Package Updates: No Upgrading or Downgrading, Penalties for Cancellation, & More

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More Marriott Hotel + Air Package Updates: No Upgrading or Downgrading, Penalties for Cancellation, & More

Joseph HostetlerMore Marriott Hotel + Air Package Updates: No Upgrading or Downgrading, Penalties for Cancellation, & MoreMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Hey, Million Mile Secrets, pipe down with all the Marriott Hotel + Air Package updates!

The distinguished Starwood Lurker, a historically reliable (for the most part) user on FlyerTalk, has released more information about what awaits us in the coming days leading into the Marriott Starwood merger.  Notably, you can NOT upgrade or downgrade your Marriott Hotel + Air Package after August 18, 2018.  No matter when you bought it.

There are a few other updates you should know, too.

Less Than 2 Days Until the Big Merger!  Here’s Some More Information to Help you Make the Best Decision With Your Marriott Hotel + Air Package

Upgrade or Downgrade Your Marriott Hotel + Air Package Before August 18, 2018

Thanks to Starwood Lurker for leaking details of what will happen with Marriott Hotel + Air Packages in a couple of days.  If this information is accurate, here’s what to expect.

1.   Receive an Extension If Your Travel Package Expires Between August 18 and September 18, 2018

If you bought your Marriott Hotel + Air Package ~11 months ago, and it’s set to expire between August 18 and September 18, 2018, you can ask to receive an extension.  Marriott is doing this because you can NOT make reservations during that month.

2.   Cancel Your Package for Reduced Amount of Points

If you’d rather cancel your Hotel + Air Package, you can receive a reduced amount of Marriott points as compensation.  We don’t know exactly how reduced, but rest assured you’re losing value with this route.

3.   No Upgrades or Downgrades After August 18, 2018

No matter when you purchased your Hotel + Air Package, you will NOT be able to upgrade or downgrade after August 18, 2018.

The update also reaffirms a few things we already knew.

For example, you won’t be able to modify your current travel package between August 18 and September 18, 2018.  You CAN cancel it, but you won’t be able to re-book until after September 18, 2018.  So if you want to use it for a Starwood hotel, you’ll need to wait until after September 18.

Or, you can wait until after August 18 to redeem your Marriott points for a travel package, and you can book Starwood hotels under the new program immediately!  That’s a good tip.

If You Want to Use a Travel Package to Book Starwood Hotels, Wait Until August 18, 2018, to Buy It!

Marriott also warns folks of some technical difficulties through August 19, 2018.  They say you could “experience disruptions” with:

  • Contacting member support
  • Making a new reservation
  • Managing existing reservations
  • Accessing your account
  • Using the Marriott app
  • Using your points

These glitches will NOT affect any reservations you’ve already made.

Bottom Line

Starwood Lurker has offered a few more details about how the Marriott-Starwood merger will affect Marriott Hotel + Air Packages.  Here’s what we now know:

  • Certificates that expire during the blackout period between August 18 and September 18, 2018, can be extended upon request
  • If you cancel your Hotel + Air Package, you’ll receive a reduced amount of points
  • You can NOT upgrade or downgrade your package, regardless of when you bought it
  • If you buy a travel package after August 18, 2018, you can use it immediately to book Starwood hotels (you wont’ be subject to the blackout month)

Let us know how this affects your upcoming package plans!  You have less than 2 days to make a decision!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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there is so much drama around these packages… i ended up doing the following: i redeemed 12 travel packages for cat 1-5 and had 1.2M miles deposited with AS, 120k with AA and 132k with UA. then today i redeposited the points for the 7 night certificates for a total of 540k points (you get just 45k back for 7 nights) which i then used to redeem another two travel packages with 240k miles to AS.

for the past week, i’ve been wondering what to do. holding on to the certificates and see what happens to them after aug 18 or redeposit right away like i ended up doing. realistically, i don’t think marriott is going to be super generous with outstanding certificates. the new program’s travel packages are clearly the worst change in the entire program; they only have added value in very few cases.

i think the best we could probably expect is for marriott to value the partial 7 night, cat 1-5 certificates at 90k points. the comparable new package is 330k points for 100k miles and 7 nights. the 100k points cost 240k under the new miles-only redemption rules and the 90k difference could fairly be considered the value of the (discounted) hotel nights. if they do that, i could have ended up with 450k additional miles by holding on to my certificates and redepositing them in september then converting them to miles at the 2.4:1 ratio instead of the 315k miles that i now get under that scenario.

i am just not confident that they will actually end up doing that. another likely scenario is that they will just tell us the 7 nights are worth 45k like they were under the old program, so if you don’t use the certificates (and i unfortunately have no way of using 12 7-night certificates over the next 12 months) that’s all they will give you back. under the new program rules, those 540k points would then only be worth 225k miles, which is significantly less than what i got now.

i decided to go with the devil i know…lol 🙂 i have 2 7-night certificates left now – let’s see what happens next!

Tom from Seattle

I have two packages which I’ve booked for a hotel which will drop in price by 5,000 points per night. I assumed that Marriott will refund the 30,000 points per package once the new rates go into effect.

This “no downgrade” language has me concerned though. Can you provide any clarity? Thanks

I have a category 6 Marriott Cert attached to the Phuket Merlin (Marriott), a hotel that will end up being a CAT 5, I want to switch to the Le Meridian Phuket (SPG), a hotel that will also end up being a CAT 5, any idea when or how to go about this?

We are thinking about going to one of the Hawaiian Marriotts and we have a standard 7-night certificate. To what level should I upgrade in the next 24 hours in the hope that this will work with Category 8? It’s a lot of points to risk, but it’s also a lot of points to lose and we’ve had really no use for <Category 5, which will only get worse. Any constructive advice will be very appreciated. Thanks!