Skift Take

Marriott's new pricing structure will help it better control inventory during high and low seasons — but as a result, some travelers may find it harder to find deals on their favorite vacation properties.

Series: Business of Loyalty

Travel Loyalty News

The Skift Business of Loyalty covers the world of hotel, airline, and other consumer loyalty programs in the travel industry. Read more coverage of loyalty here.

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.

Marriott’s CFO Will Be at Skift Global Forum in September. Join Us

Award-pricing changes go into effect at Marriott on Sept. 14.

— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor 

Skift Stories and More Expert Insight

Hospitality Brands Go All-In on the Sleep Movement: Ask travelers the No. 1 thing they want out of a hotel stay, and chances are the answer is a good night’s sleep.

Marriott to Introduce Dynamic Pricing for Bonvoy Award Bookings: Marriott is set to make significant changes to the way that its Bonvoy loyalty members pay for award nights with points.

United Airlines Now Tells Pilots No Drinking for 12 Hours Before Shift Starts: One week after two pilots were arrested in Scotland for failing an alcohol breath test before operating a flight, United Airlines has tightened rules for when pilots must stop drinking before they report to duty, according to a new bulletin.

Cathay Pacific Falls in Line With China as Hong Kong Airport Protests Turn Violent: Cathay Pacific has followed Chinese regulator demands through the saga. Why? It’s a business decision.

Don’t Expect Marriott’s Homesharing Business to Compete With Airbnb Just Yet: Marriott knows two things for certain about its homesharing business launched back in April: The offering is still tiny compared to market rivals, and Marriott Bonvoy, the industry’s largest loyalty offering at 133 million users, will likely be the catalyst for its growth.

Accor’s Love Hotels Deal in Singapore Raises Eyebrows — and Admiration: Accor Hotels caught the Singapore hotel industry by surprise with its latest deal with Global Premium Hotels, which operates Fragrance Hotel, a low-budget brand that has a tinge of sleaze, as many of its properties rent by the hour and are commonly used for sex.

Cathay Pacific CEO Quits Over Hong Kong Protests: Cathay Pacific Airways CEO Rupert Hogg resigned, a week after the carrier was rebuked by China for staff involvement in the anti-Beijing protests rocking Hong Kong.

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Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. He is also a director of product marketing at TripActions. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.

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Tags: bonvoy, loyalty, marriott bonvoy

Photo credit: A Marriott Homes & Villas property in Tulum. Marriott launches dynamic pricing for Bonvoy rewards this September. Marriott International

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