I came home from a travel this past Thursday to a package that I had never expected.
I have to admit, it surprised the heck out of me to see a box from SPG.
You see, I’ve been a Marriott Platinum member for nearly 10 years, and a Hyatt Globalist (and before that Hyatt Diamond) for the past 5 or 6 years. Not a lot for some of the long timers, but, still a decently long time. With the Marriott Merger, I received SPG Platinum as a match, and have enjoyed a few stays at their resorts (like the Westin Playa Conchal, where I’ve enjoyed my third stay this past September).
So, when I opened this box, I was rather surprised and quite appreciative:
Quite simply – I felt like a kid opening a present at Christmas, especially considering it was a complete surprise and I had no idea what to expect!
It got me thinking about loyalty. Largely, the airline and hotel loyalty programs have moved much more transactional. American went to revenue based earning, much like the other airlines. Hyatt’s new(ish?) World of Hyatt did something similar with requiring a certain amount of base points as one of the ways for qualifying. Granted, not as bad as the Elite, Premier, or Medallion Qualifying Dollars requirements of the airlines.
As I look at the Marriott-SPG Merger, and all of the rumors we’re seeing. Ed asked the question a month and a half ago: Is Marriott Breaking SPG? I hope not. Despite being a Marriott Rewards Platinum for a decade, I haven’t seen the level of attention that SPG or Hyatt give to their elites. I had a couple glimpses of that over the past few months though when calling Marriott. We know that the programs will move to a single IT system or platform next year — of course IT is hard — but I think the bigger concern I have is the people. That’s the thing that separated American Airlines’ twitter team from the other airlines. That’s the thing that makes Hyatt Concierge and SPGAssist stand out among the crowd.
I won’t go on with the navel gazing – we know the future holds so many uncertainties. So I’ll just finish with this:
Thank you SPG!