My boyfriend and I have been planning a dream trip to Hawaii for this Thanksgiving for a long time. I am long-time Marriott platinum elite member, and had plenty of points to spend, and we wanted to redeem them at the Starwood St. Regis property in Princeville, Hawaii.
I called customer service back in July to see if it would be okay for me to purchase an Air + Hotel travel package with my Marriott points, and then later redeem it for our stay at the Starwood property. I was told this would be no problem, so I spent 490k points to purchase the Tier 4-5 Ritz Carleton package with 70k airline miles. I was told to call back in August to have the package applied to my St. Regis stay.
I called back yesterday to get my package applied, and received an unpleasant surprise. After speaking to multiple agents, for 2.5 hours, I received several different stories about whether or not I could actually use the package I had purchased for a Starwood stay. Some told me no, it wasn't possible and would never be, and some said it would be possible in the future, they just weren't sure when. I was eventually advised to just cancel the package, and book the stay with points instead. I was assured that if I canceled, I would get back enough points and be able to book my stay.
Today, I went to use my returned points to book the stay, and found that all of the rooms available to book with points are sold out. I am so upset. If I had been given the correct information in July, I could have just booked the stay with points at that time and skipped the travel package. Or, if they had the capability to apply the travel packages like I was promised, I wouldn't be having an issue either.