As we were discussing on Episode 17 of the Podcast – we had one last chance to book Marriott properties for 60,000 points/nt before top properties go up to 85,000+/nt on March 5th, 2019. I booked one provisional stay but came across an annoyance along the way: The dreaded Marriott Bonvoy Extra Person Fee.

A number of things were conspiring against making one last redemption at these 60,000 rates:

  • Marriott only allows booking 50 weeks ahead of time
  • My Demand Schedule for the next 50 weeks is mostly spoken for
  • The optimal length of stay is 5 nights since the 5th night is free on an award booking
  • A lot of warm/resort destinations are sold out at peak times like Christmas to New Year’s

That said, I was able to identify one target that might suit my needs.

The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale

Strangely for a hotel with the words “Suites” in the name – all rooms at this property evidently aren’t suites.

For 60,000 points/nt I was able to book a room with 2 double beds. The room accommodates 4 people. With the 5th night free it should be 240,000 points, or 48,000 points/nt. Not a bad redemption at a time when the hotel was going for ~$900/nt.

When I went to check out I wasn’t surprised to see a $200 resort fee. However, I was surprised to see a $500 Extra Person Fee.

marriott bonvoy extra person fee

Marriott Bonvoy Extra Person Fee

Our boys will be 14 and 12 at the time of stay so my first thought was to reduce the number of children in the room to just 1. That merely knocked the Extra Person Fee down to $250.

I thought perhaps the issue was that the kids were too old to be considered children so I reduced their ages to 2 and 4 years old. The Marriott website still wanted to charge me a $500 Extra Person Fee.

What’s going on here? I had a look around and found this post on The Points Guy.

Summarizing, it says this has been going on for some time. That although Marriott’s policy is that children under 12 years old should be complimentary in standard bedding. Yet, the site wrongly charges the Extra Person Fee.

An Award-Only Fee

I went back and checked whether the price of a Cash booking changed when I added 2 children. It did not. The price was exactly the same whether 2 or 4 people were in the room.

So this is a fee that gets tacked on only when redeeming an award. I look at it as being charged a fee to use the 2nd bed in the room – but only if I’m using my Marriott points.

Relief for Elites? No

Somehow in their bungling and twiddling with elite status categories I’ve managed to get Titanium status.

Whereas at Hyatt this provides relief of things like resort and parking fees when staying on an award, no such relief is granted to Marriott elites.

That’s some reward for a guest who spent 75 nights [theoretically] in their hotels to earn Titanium status.

Bottom Line

I booked the stay for just 2 adults, but I’m left wondering if they’ll want to charge me an Extra Person Fee for the kids at the time of stay.

I can’t imagine they would have the nerve, but you never know.

This strikes me as a money grab, that’s especially ill-conceived since it goes directly for people who are redeeming Marriott’s loyalty currency for a stay.

Marriott is dying a slow death to me as a loyalty hotel. By devaluing the earning on their co-branded SPG cards, inflating their award chart, and pulling stunts like an Extra Person Fee on award redemptions they’ve decreased the chances I’ll stay at their properties or interact with their award scheme.

Bonvoy-age Marriott!

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3 thoughts on “Bonvoyed: Extra Person Fee

  1. Just call the hotel and ask if they actually charge the fee at the end of the stay. I had the same issue with a 7-day travel cert at a place that wanted to charge me an “extra person fee” for a 6 yr old in the same room. I called the hotel and they said they don’t ever charge that fee, but that the Marriott site does this. So maybe it’s the same for the property you’ll be staying at.
    Related, how annoying are Marriott resort fees on Award stays?!? I can’t wait to redeems all my remaining points with Marriott and end my loyalty. The program has been disemboweled and it sucks for leisure travelers like me. I’m focusing on Hilton and Hyatt now, when it’s most convenient for me. And when they’re not convenient, booking.com, FHR, or hotels.com works fine.

  2. I wonder if you left your wife and kids in the car during check in what the odds are that your kids would get noticed later on? I can’t imagine housekeepers care (and certainly not if you left a tip every day). Probably depends on the size of the hotel.

  3. Just ran into this while trying to book an award stay at JW Maldives. They want $275 a night for my 14 year old. The room type clearly states occupancy of 3, 2 adults and 1 child. I wrote the hotel and they confirmed saying that 14 is an adult. So will the hotel no allow 14 year olds to check into hotels unaccompanied because they consider 14 an adult. I would understand a fee if they provided breakfast or was an all inclusive resort, but nothing extra is provided. The room has an existing sofa bed that is called out in the description of the room.
    This is really getting to be ridiculous. Resort fees, destination fees, green fees, etc, etc. Normally I would bypass this fee by not even putting my child on this reservation, issue is hotel requires a sea plane transfer which will make things very difficult when I arrive with 3 people. So before I even step foot on this property I am at roughly $5,000 in transfer costs and fees on a reward stay!

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