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Buying Vacation Packages Now...

Mila78

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Hi everyone. This is my very first post. I am an owner at Surf Watch. Over the year that I have been an owner, I have collected a good number of points. With the new changes in the rewards system, am I able to buy a vacation certificate now at the current point rates and then wait until next year to use it or will it be downgraded in some way?

Also, how exactly do the vacation certificates work? You buy a certain category/# of airline points and then you can use it at any hotel at that category? How long do you have to use it? Does it expire?

Thanks so much in advance!

Mila
 

lll1929

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All vacation packages purchased before 1/15/09 will expire prior to 1/1/2010. Usually, the vacation packages expire 1 year after you purchase the package. In the past, we have been able to extend the expiration by one year, but I am not sure if that will be the same in packages purchased starting 1/15/09.
 

KathyPet

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You pretty much need to know two things:
1. What hotel you want to use since the # of points you need depends upon the hotel category
2. How many FF miles you need or want to get you where you want to go. For example it may cost 60,000 FF points on United to get to a certain place for two people in coach vs 90,000 for that same flight in business class. If you have some United mileage already in a FF account with them you may need less ff miles from Marriott since you already have some miles.
It takes quite a lot of research on your part to have all your ducks in a row before you can even order the reward package. Does the hotel you want have availability for rewards points on the dates you want to go? Does the airline or airlines that fly there have any FF seats available on your departure and return dates? How many airline miles do you need to get those seats?
If you order a reward package now you have one year from the date you order it to use the hotel reward. The FF miles are just deposited in your account with the airlines so there is no time limit on those except what the airlines impose.
 

LAX Mom

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Mila-

Vacation packages (hotel travel certificates) can only be extended and used after Jan. 14, 2010 by trading a 7 night certificate for a 5 night certificate. So if you wait to use it in 2010, you'll lose 2 nights.

The miles are deposited into your account immmediately (within a few days). You need to tell Marriott which airline and give them your frequent flyer account number. Once deposited these cannot be changed to another airline.

So once you decide where you would like to travel, figure out the best airline to get you there. You can check with the airlines for award availablity before you have Marriott deposit the miles.

The certificate can be used for 1 year from the date you have it issued, for 7 nights at any hotel in that category that has "standard award" availablity. So I would recommend checking on the options in your destination and even making a reservation before you order the package. Just make sure you get 7 nights at "standard availablity"

You can make a points reservation now (for the hotel), but wait and have the certificate issued in early 2009. That way you'll have longer to actually use it.

Good luck, planning these trips is lots of fun!
Welcome to TUG!
 

Mila78

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Thanks so much for the responses, I think I understand it a little better now.

Just to confirm: the point values for the packages change January 2009 correct?
 

Carlsbadguy

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Does anyone know if you order the category 7 travel package befoe Jan 15 can you use it to make a reservations at one of the new Category 8 hotels after Jan 15.

I am pretty sure if you make the reservation before January 15 it would be valid?.

Also on a side note- anyone been to any of the MArriott hotels in London, which would you recommend.
Thanks
 

LAX Mom

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Does anyone know if you order the category 7 travel package befoe Jan 15 can you use it to make a reservations at one of the new Category 8 hotels after Jan 15.

I am pretty sure if you make the reservation before January 15 it would be valid?.

Also on a side note- anyone been to any of the MArriott hotels in London, which would you recommend.
Thanks
howard-
The only way to use a category 7 cert for a category 8 hotel is if you make the reservation before Jan. 15. If it's a cate. 7 when you make the reservation, you should be okay to use a certificate in 2009.

On flyertalk there are several threads about London hotels. I'd do a search there on the Marriott board and read some of the pros & cons. If it's your first visit to London, many recommend County Hall.
 

jtdillian

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LAX Mom

Sounds like you are going to be O.K with Marriott's changes! Especially with this quote "Good luck, planning these trips is lots of fun!" All things have to go up but I think we all know the Marriott program is still pretty great!:cheer:


QUOTE=LAX Mom;614891]Mila-

Vacation packages (hotel travel certificates) can only be extended and used after Jan. 14, 2010 by trading a 7 night certificate for a 5 night certificate. So if you wait to use it in 2010, you'll lose 2 nights.

The miles are deposited into your account immmediately (within a few days). You need to tell Marriott which airline and give them your frequent flyer account number. Once deposited these cannot be changed to another airline.

So once you decide where you would like to travel, figure out the best airline to get you there. You can check with the airlines for award availablity before you have Marriott deposit the miles.

The certificate can be used for 1 year from the date you have it issued, for 7 nights at any hotel in that category that has "standard award" availablity. So I would recommend checking on the options in your destination and even making a reservation before you order the package. Just make sure you get 7 nights at "standard availablity"

You can make a points reservation now (for the hotel), but wait and have the certificate issued in early 2009. That way you'll have longer to actually use it.

Good luck, planning these trips is lots of fun!
Welcome to TUG![/QUOTE]
 
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