Skift Take

Marriott's selection of a Starwood Preferred Guest veteran to run the merged programs did a lot to assure SPG loyalists about where the combined programs are ultimately heading.


When Marriott announced the acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts last year, many in the business travel community wrinkled their noses, concerned about the future of Starwood’s loyalty program. Though Marriott Rewards runs a pretty tight ship, Starwood’s loyalty members are fiercely devoted to Preferred Guest — and many in the program worried about the future of their benefits.

Since the beginning of the merger, Marriott has defended a position that it plans to retain the loyalty of Preferred Guests members — and last week it seemed to follow that path by putting David Flueck, a 13-year Starwood Hotels veteran, in charge of the upcoming, merged program.

Plenty of terrible things can still happen as the joint program takes shape later this year, but in the short term, Marriott seems to be following a path more toward Preferred Guest than Rewards with its new program. And for now, the business travel community seems to be happy.


Excited for the future of loyalty.

@spg | Starwood Preferred Guest

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Andrew Evans, one of the best travel writers of this generation, has a new book called The Black Penguin available for preorder now. Find it on Amazon here.


Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin

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Photo credit: Starwood posted this photo on its Facebook page on September 23, 2016, the day its merger closed with Marriott International. So far so good as far as the integration goes of the two (or three, actually) loyalty programs. Starwood Hotels and Resorts

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