Made a reservation online for an Oceanview suite at the SpringHill Suites Navarre Beach then remembered that as Lifetime Titanium Elite members we received Suite Upgrades each year. Called Marriott reservations who suggested I cancel my current reservation (which they did ). They then rebooked this with an Island view (translated parking lot view) for $1000 less. Reservations rep said that there would be a high likelihood of being able to use the Suite Upgrades to obtain the original room we booked. They did mention that the Suite Upgrade confirmation process would begin 5 days before arrival.
Beginning 4 days before our trip we received an email stating that an upgrade was not currently available but "they were still working on it". I checked the Marriott reservations website multiple times over the next few days and the original oceanview room we had booked was still listed as available for the dates of our trip. When I called the general manager at the SpringHill Suites Navarre Beach I was told that the Suite Upgrades were out of their control as they were all handled by Marriott central reservations. When I called central reservations I was told the upgrades were decided by the local property. As others have stated, each pointed the finger at the other as the party responsible for making the upgrade. On yet another call I was told the Suite Upgrades were all done by a "computer program" and it was beyond their Marriott reservations control. However, I was told by a representative that she was almost certain we would get the upgrade requested or else we would have already received a denial notice. Each day, I continued to check online with the upgraded Oceanview suite still available for our travel dates. Then on the morning before our vacation was to begin, we received a notice that our upgrade had been denied leaving us with the "Island View" room that had been booked for us by reservations weeks earlier. The Oceanview suite was no longer available to reserve,when I checked online. My wife and I were so frustrated with this whole process, that we canceled our entire trip. Fortunately, we will be able to reschedule our flights with American Airlines without a change fee.
It seems obvious that we were only going to get the Suite Upgrade if the room was still available the day before arrival and Marriott was "waiting" to see if they could rent this to someone else at full price before upgrading our reservation. I understand this as they are a business and need to make a profit. What I don't understand is about this BS about them "working" on a Suite Upgrade beginning 5 days before arrival when it is clear they are not. Meanwhile, they string their loyal customers along for the ride. Why not just state the Suite Upgrade will be used only if the room is still available 1 day before arrival instead?
We have been very loyal Marriott members for many years. We have a Marriott Rewards Visa card and have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars with each year. This has left very bitter taste in our mouths with Marriott and we've had enough of incidents like this as well as similar experiences in the past to say enough is enough. Why claim benefits based on customer loyalty when the benefits aren’t real. We plan to stop using our Marriott card and using our other credit cards instead that either give cash back or at least real rewards for their customers.
Marriott Status: Titanium
Lifetime Status: Lifetime Titanium
Hotel: SpringHill Suites Navarre Beach
Location: Navarre, FL, USA