The Marriott Starwood Merge
There have been some rages since August 18th, 2018, the official day of the Marriott and Starwood merge. The newest one is hackers have downloaded the 500 Million members data from Marriott’s database. The most annoying issue I had since the merge, it was impossible to use my travel package certificate to book Starwood hotels. You can only book properties under the Marriott/Ritz-Carlton brands.
Things have gradually changed
Today, I wanted to convert my old legacy certs into the new certificates, so I can hopefully book any hotels online without needing to call in. During the call, I inquired if any Starwood properties are bookable using the certs. Then I was able to redeem a 7-night certificate to book a Westin hotel. I was also told that you could use the cert to book Sheraton and Four points properties as well. Though the rumour has indicated that they would finish integration by December 11th, it seems you can take advantage of the fact that Westin and Sheraton are bookable NOW!
The best method to redeem your 7-night certificate
If you were like me, who mistakenly merged your Marriott Rewards account to your Starwood account, though not many differences in many aspects and everything shall be combined by Jan 1st of 2019, it is really painful to redeem your Marriott 7 night travel package, because you may need to get transferred by multiple agents from Starwood side and then to Marriott side. Then it may involve various HUCAs (Hang up and call again) to locate a capable agent.
Case 1: If you are a Marriott member;
1. Can you see a list of my free certificates? If yes proceeds to next, if no, HUCA
2. Would you be able to book an SPG property for me? If yes process to 3; if not, HUCA
3. I want to book XXX hotel on this date. You may need to use both your booking system to book: a. Use the system to book the hotel using points, and use your second system to attach the certificate.
Case 2: If you are an SPG member: Same as above, and you need to inform the agent that you want to use your Marriott 7 night certificate from a travel package. Then the agent will transfer you to a Marriott agent. If the SPG agent is unable to get you to the right person, then you need to HUCA. Everything else shall be the same as above. Also, it might help Marriott agents to locate your floating certificates by providing the serial number of your certs. It seems the agents cannot view your account from a user perspective.
Here you have it, booking SPG properties with travel package 7-night certificate, I highly suggest you take advantage of this development. At this time, you still need to call in to use your certificates.
Also published on Medium.