Travel Related

Really SPG? Even you are now doing FCM like Delta? Selling suite upgrades that should be free for Platinum members? #SPGlife?

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


spge fcm learning from delta

Few things upset Delta flyers more that FCM (First Class Monetization). Most of us work very hard to maintain our elite status with Delta and for them to offer 1st class seats for sale at cheap prices is NOT what we want to see. This is really NOT the way to reward loyalty and have us keep wanting to flying Delta year after year. Free upgrades really do matter to us.

Now look what Sheraton recently offered me in a “welcome” e-mail from the general manager of the property at AMS airport that I visited on my way back from Sweden last week.

Welcome Starwood Preferred Guest® Platinum member. As a Starwood Preferred Guest® Platinum member we are pleased to offer you these exclusive local offers to make your stay more enjoyable:

Upgrade to a Suite Room for €100 per night and receive 2000 bonus Starpoints®:
More space than you can dream of…
Separate bed and living room
The best views over Amsterdam Airport
Breakfast included
Complimentary Wifi in the Club Lounge
Access to our Club Lounge where complementary snacks & drinks await you

Should you wish to enhance your stay with these offers, please complete the form on the right. This offer is only available online so be sure to book your benefit today.

Well! That is just great. I mean smashing (no, not really, not even a little bit)! Let’s think about what they are trying to sell me for 100 EUROs vs. what I should already get free as an SPG Platinum elite member.

  • An upgrade to best available room at check-in — including a Standard Suite.

So I should, as a top SPG elite, already be offered an upgrade including to a suite, and they want to sell me one. Thanks a lot! I guess I can now see why at so many SPG hotels this year all suites are sold out at check-in. 😉

  • Your choice of welcome gift upon arrival — choose from bonus Starpoints, continental breakfast or local amenity.

So I already get breakfast as a choice as a Platinum and you want to tell me if I spend €100 more I get breakfast. Uh, thanks?

  • Complimentary in-room, premium Internet access.

Wait, I already get high speed web access either as a Platinum and / or as an SPG / Delta Crossover Rewards member. Are you telling me that my internet access only works in my room unless I get this package so I can have wifi in the club? Really? Humm…. I think not.

  • Complimentary health-club, Club-level and Executive-level access.

So I already, again as a Platinum, should have club level access. But you want to sell me access to a club I already have access to? Gosh, I am just not sure how to feel about this offer now!

When I boil all this down what I guess I am seeing with this offer is just 2,000 bonus SPG points and a guaranteed larger room (or maybe, according to the wording, an amazingly whizz-bang fantastic room of my dreams). No thanks for just about any amount of money. Just like Delta, I would rather NOT have an upgrade than pay for what I should, due to my loyalty, get for no extra charge!

Now I have to tell you, I did have just about a perfect stay once again at the hotel. I did get a Platinum free upgrade and I will be happy to stay again at the AMS Sheraton, but I am still fuming that SPG is going the way of Delta with FCM with their welcome emails. Shameful? I think so. What do you think? – René

.
PS – Don’t forget about the 60,000 point limited time Delta AMEX offer!
.

Gold Delta SkyMiles®
Credit Card from American Express®
Click HERE for more info

 

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

11 Comments

  1. Hi Rene I booked a room using 7000 spy points and said I’m a DL PM and my accts R linked. I asked for an upgrade. I was give. A link to PAY $30.00 to get an upgrade !,!!!!!
    Not nice. Your thoughts plz

    • @Nina – You get some perks as a Crossover Rewards member but suite upgrades are not expected but better rooms yes. If they only want to charge you $30 for a suite that is a deal. And also would make me MAD per the post! 😉

  2. Stayed at a Hilton hotel in Hawaii and requested an upgrade to a suite at check-in. The hotel said NO because they “reserved the right to sell the suites”. I’m a diamond member with Hilton. Sometimes paying for an upgrade works much better than a useless elite status.

    Only money can get a GUARANTEED upgrade. Not elite status.

  3. This is exactly what Hilton has been doing for years. Obviously they don’t want to keep customers. This and the points devaluation is exactly why I’ve gone from 125 nights in Hiltons a few years ago to probably 25 this year – not to mention the several hundred employee rooms I book each year. I’m done with Hilton, and have moved most of it to Marriott. But I was looking for a 3rd option and SPG will NOT be that 3rd option.

  4. The purpose of these loyalty programs is to attract and retain customers. Most marketeers monetize the cost of each customer as more expensive than what they give away. My guess is that in these days of short-term objectives, marketing groups are measured and remunerated more on their attraction numbers than on their retention numbers. Maybe they figure loyal customers are too lazy to change. Wrong!

    One reason, I think, is that they do not understand their product. I mean, who stays at an airport hotel? Those arriving late in the day and leaving early the next morning for somewhere else. And at AMS, I suspect most are headed overseas. Besides convenience to the departure area, who really wants huge rooms, a view of the runways, and a breakfast that will make you look and feel like the elephant-swallowing boa in the Little Prince. Time for the gym? The AMS Sheraton (and even more so the Hilton) will give you a great early morning walk to your gate.

    I agree with Rene that these pay-for “upgrades” often imply that the customer is as stupid as the marketing suit that dreamed them up (and probably got paid $250K for the effort).

  5. Santastico Reply

    Did you follow up with SPG customer service about the email you received? Just checking if that came from SPG or from the hotel. Some hotels are not managed by SPG and may decide to send those.

    As for Hilton, I only stay in their properties if I have no other option. They should be the perfect partner for Delta since they share the same values and attitude.

  6. I thought something was fishy when Starwood introduced Suite Night Awards a couple of years ago for Platinums who stay 50 nights. A suite upgrade was a basic Platinum benefit. I used to get upgrades to full suites regularly. Now I feel like the chances of getting a full suite without a Suite Night Award are less than 50/50. And when I’ve used hard-earned Suite Night Awards, many times (if I get the award confirmed at all) they give me a junior suite. Grrr. SPG75 has been valuable for picking check in times and earning 6 starpoints/dollar with the SPG Amex.

  7. The company (DL, Sheraton, etc.) expects loyalty from the client but it is becoming increasing rare to receive loyalty FROM the company.

  8. Don in ATL Reply

    The name of the game is changing EVERYWHERE. I had dinner last night with a couple who has to make two trips to NYC from ATL in the next few months. They have NO status with DL. When they booked their tickets, the price for RT coach ATL LGA was $300, RT FC was $450. They grabbed the FC tickets for both trips. DL would much rather sell FC tickets than give them away as upgrades to DM or PM’s. In the old days, FC was at least double, mostly 3 times what coach was. It’s a whole new ball game, and I’m going to have to re evaluate whether to keep flying when I don’t need to, just to keep up my status, or simply to fall in status, and buy FC tickets when I need to.

  9. FNT Delta Diamond Reply

    I don’t blame them for trying to make a buck, or, in this case, a euro or two off me. That’s their job as a business. What irks me is when management doesn’t provide or recognize benefits that are either provided for or typically afforded to top-level elite guests.

  10. “An upgrade to best available room at check-in — including a Standard Suite” — which is to say, that if you wait until check-in, it is possible that another Platinum will have checked in before you and absconded with the suite that might have otherwise been yours! If the suite is important to you, you shouldn’t think twice about paying for it.

Write A Comment

BoardingArea