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

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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!

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

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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