Our Continued Efforts: We Will Travel Again
It’s been three weeks since I last communicated with you about the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on our business. Sadly, since that time, we’ve all borne witness to how this insidious virus is impacting our families, our communities and our very way of life. What we’re facing is daunting, but I am heartened by the moments of triumph in everyday acts of courage, humanity and love. Although these are trying times for us all, I remain optimistic that our world will thrive once again.
Today, I want to let you know how we’re focused on supporting the communities where our associates live and work. I also want to provide you with an update on our room cancellation policy and Marriott Bonvoy status and points expiration dates.
In the Community
Marriott understands that the pulse of the world beats as one to overcome COVID-19 and its devastating impact around the globe. As we all watch the news unfold about this unprecedented event, it’s clear that there is a need to assist and bolster healthcare workers and community caregivers who are on the frontlines working to contain this disease. To that end, we have established the following programs to aid in the urgent fight against the pandemic.
With support from our credit card partners, American Express and JPMorgan Chase, Marriott has committed to provide $10 million worth of hotel stays for healthcare professionals leading the fight against COVID-19 in the United States. The initiative, called Rooms for Responders, will provide free rooms in some of the areas most impacted including New York City, New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C. and Newark, N.J. To implement this initiative, we collaborated with the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Nurses Association to match doctors and nurses with free accommodations at participating hotels.
In a separate effort for frontline healthcare workers, we have joined with a number of our hotel owners and franchisee partners to launch the Community Caregiver Program. This initiative, available in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, provides significantly discounted rates for first responders and healthcare professionals who want to book rooms at hotels in close proximity to the hospitals where they’re working. The rate is available on Marriott.com at nearly 2,500 hotels.
With both initiatives, our goal is simple – we want to support the frontline heroes who are selflessly supporting us.
Given the unprecedented disruption to the travel industry, a number of our hotels have, unfortunately, had to close temporarily. Even as the hotels were shutting their doors, associates from New Delhi, India to Santos, Brazil, have found multiple ways to support the communities in which the hotels are located. The Riviera Marriott Hotel La Porte de Monaco and AC Hotel Nice, for example, donated all of their unused produce and food products to a local children’s charity, which provides housing and other services for endangered children. Many of our properties have contributed by providing food, pre-packed and cooked meals to crisis relief efforts and much-needed supplies like cleaning products, masks, gloves, anti-microbial wipes, sanitizers and shower caps for medical and other frontline workers. And in a beautiful sign of solidarity among us all, many of our teams have illuminated their hotel windows with symbols of love and messages of hope.
For Our Customers
We remain committed to ensuring our customers experience flexibility during these challenging times, so we have further extended our cancellation policy and I wanted to give you an update on those changes.
For guests with existing reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, we will allow full changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival, as long as the change or cancellation is made by June 30, 2020. Please note that any changes to existing reservations will be subject to availability and any rate differences.
For guests making new reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates, between March 13 and June 30, 2020, we will allow the reservation to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival date.
Please continue to visit our website for the most up-to-date information.
For Our Marriott Bonvoy Members
I also want to take a moment to address our Marriott Bonvoy members. Like many of you, frequent travel is a way of life for me and most of the Marriott team. It is the way we connect, get inspired and evolve our business every day. While it is the right thing to do, it’s been hard not to be able to travel. We know that when you get back in the air and on the road, your points and status will be important to you.
Status Extension: We want you to be able to enjoy the status that you earned in 2019. With that in mind, the status you earned in 2019 will be extended to February 2022.
Points Expiration: To provide you ample time to redeem points, the expiration of points will be paused until February 2021. At that time, your points will only expire if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months.
As the days unfold, we will continue to monitor and evolve our program requirements as necessary.
We’ve heard from many of you asking how you can help. Through Marriott Bonvoy’s Giving Platform, you can donate your Marriott Bonvoy points to relief organizations that are active in COVID-19 responses around the world and that Marriott is also supporting, including the American Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNICEF and World Central Kitchen.
Thank you for being a member of our loyalty program or simply for staying with us – we consider you a part of the extended Marriott family. We will travel again, and we can’t wait to welcome you back.
Until that day comes, stay well.
Arne M. Sorenson
President and Chief Executive Officer
One thing that is missing for this letter to customers, was an apology for the recent data breach that has left millions of customers open to fraud and loss.