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Hotel megabrand Marriott is introducing peak and off-peak pricing to its award charts this September, which will dramatically affect the way in which its Bonvoy members spend points. Announced last week, the new pricing slides award night prices up and down as a function of current hotel demand — so that August reservation in Maui may cost 15 percent more and the December booking in Grand Forks 15 percent less.
Marriott follows countless industry peers in moving to more of a dynamically based pricing system for its awards. Delta broke ground in this field two years back by allowing its award-seat prices to float with demand and seasonality. As loyalty programs look to optimize revenue and get smarter about award seats and nights, demand pricing has turned into a useful tool.
Still, it’s easy for some travelers to see the downside of these changes. While off-peak nights and fares are, of course, the upside of these changes, one of the best benefits of loyalty programs has always been scoring that low-cost award seat or night when rack rates are off the charts. These changes help negate that value.
Award-pricing changes go into effect at Marriott on Sept. 14.
— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor
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Grant Martin [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. He is also a director of product marketing at TripActions. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.