Marriott *Actually* Adds Guaranteed 4PM Late Check-Out

On Tuesday I shared the new benefits which Marriott Rewards is adding, including guaranteed late check-out, an experiences marketplace, and an elite concierge service. All three of these benefits are also offered by Starwood Preferred Guest, so it’s fantastic to see Marriott adopting some of the most popular Starwood Preferred Guest benefits… at least on the surface.

Marriott-Benefits

Perhaps the most substantive (and surprising) change was the addition of guaranteed late check-out for Gold and Platinum members. I was so excited when I saw the terms “guaranteed late check-out” and “4PM,” and thought to myself “great, Marriott is adopting Starwood’s late check-out policy.” This offers Gold and Platinum members guaranteed 4PM check-out, except at resorts and conference hotels, where it’s subject to availability.

Well, upon reading the terms more closely, we realized that the benefit wasn’t quite as generous as we had hoped, and wasn’t much of a benefit at all (bolding mine):

The guaranteed late checkout benefit will be available to Gold and Platinum Elite members of both Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards who will enjoy a more seamless travel experience when planning their trip. These members will receive a guaranteed late checkout, which could be as late as 4pm.

In other words, the only thing that was guaranteed was that you’d get late check-out, but there was no guarantee as to how late of a check-out you’d be granted. If a hotel’s check-out time is 11AM, the hotel would be within the terms of the benefit to offer you a 12PM check-out.

SPG members are worried about the merger, and these are the exact reasons so many SPG members are worried. At Starwood guaranteed late check-out is actually a guarantee. Just guaranteeing some sort of late check-out isn’t actually much of a promise.

Well, I’m thrilled to see that Marriott has come around. They’ve reached out to let me know that they’ve updated the terms of the benefit to be in line with Starwood’s:

Guaranteed Late Checkout
Gold and Platinum members may checkout as late as 4pm if they ask. This benefit is guaranteed at all participating Marriott Rewards hotels, except at resort and convention hotels, where it is based upon availability.  Marriott Vacation Club is excluded. Guaranteed late checkout launches globally on May 16.

So Marriott will now be offering guaranteed 4PM check-out globally starting May 16, except at  resorts and convention hotels, where it’s subject to availability.

This is fantastic, as Marriott is introducing a substantive late check-out benefit, unlike the previous version they had.

Bottom line

While the initial verbiage that Marriott used for this benefit was disappointing, I’m thrilled to see this change. The way I see it, guaranteed 4PM late check-out was one of the major perks which really differentiated SPG from Marriott Rewards.

Now if Marriott would just add elite breakfast at resorts and some sort of substantial suite upgrade benefit, I think SPG members wouldn’t be dreading the takeover as much.

Kudos, Marriott!

Comments

  1. Meanwhile, Hyatt has changed its language regarding late checkout for diamonds to exclude times of “extraordinary demand”

  2. Correction: the language about “extraordinary demand” only applies to Hyatt Platinums not Diamonds

  3. This is still a word game on Marriott’s part. The benefit is guaranteed but “as late as 4 pm if they ask” is pretty much open to the interpretation of individual properties. Nothing really changes from the previous version.

  4. Good stuff! They probably wouldn’t have made the change if you and others in a position of influence in the travel game hadn’t said something. Thanks! This merger may prove beneficial to those of us plebians who already frequent Marriott hotels!

  5. “Could be as late as 4pm” and “subject to availability” means if youre somewhere nice or near a major city, good luck.

  6. So it feels like Marriott reacts by pressure. They first came with a BS marketing ploy and since it generate a lot of buzz they changed it. Marriott is “new” to the Travel Blog world since I don’t know any travel blogger that ever wrote about how great Marriott is. Thus, let’s keep putting pressure on them to not kill SPG and its benefits.

  7. I can confirm that Marriott did acutually honor the 4 PM guaranteed checkout. So this is not BS just to try to save face.

  8. But it also says…”This benefit is guaranteed at all participating Marriott Rewards hotels” which could also come to question if the hotel is “participating” in offering that? Or is it across the board minue the mentioned above?

  9. …not in effect until May 16 so don’t pressure the properties yet. If you get it now, it is “based on availability”.

  10. FYI Just checked in to the Courtyard Kapalua and was denied let checkout. They said they don’t do that. I verified they aren’t a resort property. I mentioned the new policy, didn’t budge. Called Marriott reservations and they said its up the the individual hotel, nothing is guaranteed. I said “Just to clarify, effectively nothing has changed then?” She was silent for a second before conceding that that seems to be the case. So… There’s that.

  11. And late checkout guaranteed for hold elite is really annoying when you are a platinum elite trying to checkin at the normal 2pm checkin time with children and told the room is not available for another 3 hours. (Singapore I’m looking at you)

  12. For what it’s worth: Courtyard by Marriott in New Orleans would give me only a 2pm late checkout. Specifically asked for 4pm but was denied.

  13. I’m a platinum and the Springhill Suites McAllen, TX said they would give me a 1pm checkout. When I talked about the 4pm checkout, she literally laughed. They had never heard of anything called 4pm ever. So yeah, it’s not launched globally… 🙁

  14. Marriott Customer care response to me: “Late check-outs are based on availability and the hotels do everything to accommodate the requests. They are not guaranteed till 4pm, the length of how late of a check out is based on availability which continually change” – so nothing has changed. This is not like Hyatt or Starwood.

  15. Just requested a 4pm check out at a Courtyard property in Maryland, the from desk said to call early the day of departure to see if they can accommodate, when. I mentioned the platinum benefit they said well we can give you an extra hour 12pm instead of 11am. Then the desk person said don’t tell anyone we are doing this for you. Si this policy is a joke at least with IC Ambassador there is no issue and I always get a 4pm check out.

  16. @lucky – can you withdraw this post since they did NOT “actually” add 4pm checkout? I have had 10 different stays since this launched, not ONCE did I get 4pm. The closest was a 1:30pm.

  17. This is one of the reasons Marriott just lost a shit ton of employees. Marriott is way too focused on bringing people in than keeping employees.

  18. In five qualifying stays since the May 16 policy change, I’ve only gotten 4 PM check out twice when I asked. At other properties, I was either denied entirely or was offered between 30 minutes and two hours later than normal check-out time.

    When I contacted Marriott Customer Care, I was advised that “4 PM” is not guaranteed, only “something later than normal hotel check-out time,” and that the 30 minutes I was offered at the hotel in question was technically within the guaranteed late check-out promise.

    Additionally, Marriott has not updated their web site with the language suggested in this blog.

    So, yeah, it’s just marketing BS and not a real benefit.

  19. Just talked to Marriott again today. Here is what the “supervisor” in customer service said about this benefit.

    1) It’s for Marriott and Ritz Carlton properties, but not Autograph or other hotels. Not available in Resorts or convention hotels (as stated). I’m guessing that she meant to include courtyard and other lower tier properties in with the “marriott” hotels.
    2) The only thing guaranteed is that you will get a late checkout. That is, a checkout time later than whatever the standard checkout time is for that property. So if the standard checkout is 11:00AM and they give you until 11:15, then they have met their obligation for all hotels with this benefit.
    3) What’s new this year is that the hotel “CAN” extend you to 4:00PM without charging you for an additional day…but this is NOT guaranteed. It’s at the digression of the property.
    4) They say that you “can” request this when you make the reservation, but it will only be honored if they have availability. No word on how full or empty the property has to be for this to be honored. My guess is that they will push you off until you check-in, as the hotel can book up close to that date…I’ve never tried asking for 4:00Pm specifically when i make the reservation, but I will try that next time.
    5) they say that you can use the mobile app to make this request, but i don’t see any spot on the app to do that.

    In my experience, the 2:00PM is pretty much honored everywhere, but the 4:00PM is really hit or miss with mostly misses. I’ve asked the customer service folks to clarify this benefit on their website, but I doubt that it will change. I’ve also suggested that they do more training…again, not holding my breath.

  20. Yeah I have tried several times for the 4pm checkout while doing a plat challenge with Marriott (gold now), they typically only give you 1 hour. Once, with some real fuss and talking to the GM who luckily was onsite, I got the 4 pm checkout. They are also SUPER stingy with the breakfast benefit, if you read the fine print many properties eg. Courtyard are EXCLUDED, even for platinums! This is sub par compared to Hyatt or legacy SPG status. I have decided due to the lack of uniformity, for what matters to me (guaranteed late checkout and breakfast) makes this challenge not worth it.

  21. Most probably because now it states: “benefit of late checkout as late as 4pm” so 4 pm is not set in stone could be 12, 1, 2, 3.

  22. Residence in. In Kingston NY, just denied late 3PM check out to me (Platinum) and told me that it is based on availability only. And despite having more than 3 empty rooms (I checked to see if I could book 3 rooms for tonight and there were multiple room types available even) tonight they could only offer me an additional hour for check out. I even showed him the policy and he refused.

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