One Sheraton Hotel Discontinues SPG Platinum Lounge Access For Non-Guests

The Sheraton Frankfurt Airport is one of the better airport hotels out there, at least for those staying in their club wing. While the rooms in their standard wing aren’t noteworthy, the hotel has nice club rooms, and a very nice club lounge, especially for an airport Sheraton.

On top of that, the hotel has had an exceptionally generous policy that set it apart from other hotels, which I’ve written about in the past. Specifically, the hotel has allowed SPG Platinum members to use the lounge even when not staying at the hotel. In other words, if you have a layover at the airport you could elect to use the Sheraton lounge, given that it’s connected to the terminal.

It goes without saying that this wasn’t a published benefit, but rather this was purely a generous perk at the hotel’s discretion. To me this is the true appreciation of loyalty. If someone is a loyal guest, you appreciate them not just when they’re giving you money directly, but even at times when they’re not. I wish we’d see more loyalty programs reward members in such a way (of course in this case it’s an individual hotel rewarding members, rather than the program as such).

It’s similar to the “open door” policy British Airways had for their lounges back in the day, where BA Gold Card Holders could use the lounge even when flying on other airlines (go figure that like everything else at the airline, that has been cut).

Well, unfortunately it looks like this is no longer a perk. YHBU reports that the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport now requires Platinum members to actually stay at the hotel to use the club lounge.

We certainly can’t blame them for making a change that puts them in line with virtually all other Sheratons. I’m not sure if this change is being made because too many people were taking advantage of it (I doubt it), because a few people were abusing it (this seems more likely), because it wasn’t being used enough to the point that it wasn’t worth having the policy (also unlikely), or because some penny pincher felt better about themselves for having instituted this change (very possible).

I still like the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport, and like I said, we can’t really fault them for changing a policy that puts them in line with every other hotel (though it’s one less thing that sets them apart).

Comments

  1. I didn’t realize this policy existed (I read OMAAT every day, so I must have forgotten after I read your initial 2016 post), but I usually stay at the Sheraton and as *G have access to the LH Senator lounges, among others, if it is only a layover. The only time this would have been relevant to me was the one time I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn when it was significantly cheaper, so I can understand why the Sheraton might not want to give me the benefit of lounge access in that case. In fact, knowledge of the policy might have caused me to stay fewer times at the Sheraton, as the lounge is something I value. So it seems fair to me.

  2. Does SPG pay a fee to properties when guest access their lounge? If not, I can see why they would change this policy to only paid guest.

  3. Do you have to make a snide comment about British Airways every few posts? It’s getting pretty old now.

  4. Him, looks like a generous policy was abused, as lucky indicated as likely – but I can attest to almost any hotel in the Marriott, Hilton and Sheraton brands extending hospitality to lobby guests identifying as loyalty members. When traveling overseas I have popped into all of these. An era, identifying my loyalty program level (top tier, for 2 of them lifetime, of course) – and requesting a basic amenity such as WiFi, business center, bottled water or general “help I’m out of my element/native land” assistance – i’ve Never been told no. Front line associates with hospitality training will only say no if a policy was generated to do so.

  5. @CP
    Agree 100%. This benefit is counter productive – will make less guests stay at the hotel, and has the potential to inconvenience guests who are staying.
    I agree with Michael though. If someone walked in and asked if they could use the lounge to do some work and freshen up, I’d say they are more than likely to get in, unless the lounge was unusually busy.

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