Converting that certificate to a new one was a massive hassle, but in the end I booked a week at the S. Regis Bal Harbour for this January. I also booked several other reservations in January using points at the S. Regis Bal Harbour while it was still a category 7 bargain.
In the meantime, while calling to cancel one of the point stays, a Marriott rep cancelled the travel package stay. As there were no points rooms left, they couldn’t rebook it either. The hotel did have the same category room for sale, but while under SPG there were no capacity controls, Marriott #Bonvoyed that and allows hotels to limit rooms available for points. The hotel refused to allow the reservation to be reinstated and Marriott said there was nothing they could do.
OK, I figured. I’ll just refund the travel certificate as I wasn’t going to be able to use it by March. The original travel packages had the following refund values:
- Category 1-5: 45K
- Category 6: 75K
- Category 7: 105K
- Category 8: 135K
- Category 9: 165K
- Tier 1-3: 195K
- Tier 4-5: 315K
As it was an old tier 4-5 certificate that converted into a new category 7 certificate, it should have had a 315K point refund value.
I called to do that, but the rep said they saw nothing about a 315K refund value and the only option they had was a 5K refund value. Additionally the certificate couldn’t be extended as it was extended when it was converted from the old certificate to the new certificate.
I HUCA’d the Titanium elite line a few more times and got the same response.
I tried my luck on Twitter, but also hit a brick wall after being told lies:
I also tried reaching out the Marriott Lurker team on Flyertalk, but that didn’t help either:
So, I took things to the top and wrote an email to Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson. I’ve done that in the past with various corporations by trying out email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. In short, I expressed my displeasure over the whole situation and asked how this was acting in accordance with the golden rule?
I received an email back from Mr. Sorenson’s office asking for a conversation. The representative said that she looked over all of my correspondence and was sorry to say that I had been misinformed by everyone.
While it’s true that the new travel packages only allow for a 5K point refund if you don’t use the hotel portion, if you purchased the old travel packages they could be converted back to the old packages and refunded for the original amount, in my case 315K.
She also agreed that as they cancelled the wrong reservation and as I wouldn’t be able to rebook that hotel as it was not a category 8, she would convert my category 7 certificate into a category 8 certificate at no cost and would wait to do so until it expires in March so that I’ll have more time to use it.
It took a lot of time and effort, but that was a happy ending for me!
Have you used the hotel portion of your old travel package or have you tried to get a refund? Share your experience in the comments!