Marriott chat upgrade success

My wife and I were pretty happy with how quickly we had transitioned our newborn son to sleeping in his own room/crib. As a result, we weren’t prepared for the detrimental effect it would have on our sleep when we recently decided to make a 2-week road trip to visit friends and family — with him sleeping in a pack-and-play in the same room during the trip. After two weeks of sleep deprivation, and the ride home seeming even longer than usual because of it, I was thrilled when Marriott chat came through with a nice room upgrade over the weekend.

When we were a couple of hours from reaching our drive time limit on Friday, I was happy to find the TownePlace Suites Quantico/Stafford had a room for just 10,000 Marriott points (versus the normal room rate of $118 + tax).

A few minutes after booking, I pulled up the Marriott app curious if I could make any special requests via the app. I was hoping for a slightly larger room; while the standard room is a studio, I saw that the hotel also had 1-bedroom suites. I thought that a separate bedroom would enable us to set things up in a way so as not to wake each other up repeatedly and get slightly better sleep.

The app gave me the option to check in and choose my room. I was pretty sure that as a Marriott Gold member, I wouldn’t see a meaningful upgrade over the standard room I’d picked (and Greg has previously written about this topic – See: Marriott Mobile Check In: Does it help or hurt upgrade chances?). However, I also I saw that there was an option to “Chat with us”. I clicked through to start a chat.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect someone to respond — and if they did, I figured I’d be getting a Marriott rep in a call center who would add a note to my reservation at best. To my surprise, I got a pretty quick response affirming that they would be happy to arrange a larger room.

Sweet — within a few minutes, someone confirmed that they could give me a larger room.

Upon arrival, I gave my name at the desk. Niecey, the friendly check-in agent, said that they were expecting me. She informed me that she had upgraded us to a 2-bedroom suite! I didn’t actually ask if she was the agent with whom I had chatted, but I got the impression that she was the person who had responded to the chat. While the hotel itself shows a little wear, the 2-bedroom suite was exactly what we needed. We ended up being able to trade off sleeping in a bedroom alone with the door closed, allowing us to each get some uninterrupted sleep. That was awesome.

Two bedrooms with doors was much better than I expected when I pulled up the Marriott Chat.

We even had plenty of room to eat dinner. TownePlace Suites is an extended-stay brand, so I knew we would have a kitchette, but I didn’t know we would end up using it. We had picked up takeout, not anticipating what turned into a need for an immediate bath for Baby Rey. Having an oven to heat up our food and a roll of paper towels (since I forgot to grab extra napkins) turned the TownePlace Suites into a great decision.

Bottom line

Will Marriott chat get you an awesome upgrade every time? I’m sure it probably won’t. Did it help that I was staying at an extended stay property in a place that isn’t a major tourist destination? I’m sure it did.

On the other hand, I’m equally willing to bet that it gave me a better chance at an upgrade than mobile check-in. I further wonder if chatting in the early afternoon or late evening might give you a better shot at an available discretionary upgrade. For instance, by chatting a couple of hours before I got there, maybe I scored an upgrade that someone else would have taken when they arrived before me. I have no way of knowing that’s true, but it’s probably worth a shot.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Jeff
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Jeff

I’ve gotten upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite at 3 different Residence Inns in the last 6 months as well by using chat. You don’t get what you don’t ask for! Glad to hear you and your family got some extra room too!

Vic
Guest
Vic

Thanks for sharing this nice trick. Requesting upgrade through chat costs nothing.

DCJoe
Guest
DCJoe

Now you see why hotels have less value for families, especially if they don’t have suites with separate rooms. We had to get separate rooms when my daughter was 6 months old. She would wake up just from us slipping into the bed, even though we wouldn’t say a word.

Now with 2 kids we pretty much always go with Airbnb. One bad night in a hotel room after a flight cancellation was enough for us.

Jeff
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Jeff

I’ve been rescued so many times by Towneplace Suites. Having 3 kids under 4, I can totally relate to the benefits of having an extra room with doors you can close and the kitchenette. I don’t even think it can be put into words unless someone has experienced it for themselves. Glad you got the upgrade and were able to enjoy some rest!

MMM
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MMM

If anyone knows a similar avenue for Hyatt, I would appreciate any tips.

Anastasia
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Anastasia

I’ve used chat before to ask a hotel for a welcome gift last minute – it was a special romantic stay, and as we were coming from another hotel I hadn’t had time to deal with this one in detail. So on the way there I chatted and asked if they could provide any sort of romantic welcome amenity, and they came through with chocolate-dipped strawberries and sparkling water!

My last stay at a Kimpton, there was also an option to chat with the concierge. I didn’t ask for much, but they did answer questions I had and it was quite the convenience.

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[…] Gold member, I only recently received my first upgrade to a suite (via Marriott chat — see: Marriott chat upgrade success). Getting 5 guaranteed suite nights will be a big win for people who matched over from SPG Gold or […]

Rich
Guest
Rich

Tried this over the weekend at a Chicago Residence Inn. While we didn’t get an upgrade to a one or two bedroom suite, we were given an executive studio on a higher floor with a good view. I’d suggest at least trying Marriott chat.

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[…] A new SPG app will launch, mirroring the functionality of the Marriott Rewards app, including Mobile Requests. Great. We get more buggy Marriott technology.  The good news is that it should still be possible to beg for upgrades electronically (see this post) […]

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[…] to the hotel via the Marriott app (I was turned onto this way to contact Marriott hotels from a post by Nick on Frequent Miler).  In my message, I asked if there was a fridge in the room because I needed to keep some food […]