My household confirmed up at our Marriott resort and it was closed

Editor’s word: Readers and members of our Fb Lounge regularly write to us for assist when issues go flawed with their travels. That is why The Factors Man has requested Michelle Sofa-Friedman to behave as our ombudsman and assist members of the TPG group out when potential.

If you happen to’ve had a state of affairs the place one thing has gone flawed together with your travels or considered one of your bank cards and you aren’t getting a response from the corporate accountable, Michelle can assist you contact the corporate and doubtlessly attain a passable decision. She brings many years of expertise advocating for shoppers to her work with TPG and has already helped readers get hundreds of {dollars}’ price of restitution.

Want her assist? Write to together with your state of affairs and, within the instances the place she may be of assist, we’ll do our greatest to funnel your question to her.

Think about flying into Johannesburg, South Africa, after a two-week safari in Botswana. You’ve had an thrilling however dusty journey, and also you’re wanting ahead to all of the acquainted comforts of a Marriott resort. A sizzling bathe, a tasty dinner, a TV with a number of information and leisure choices, and a smooth mattress are in your close to future.

Or are they?

Johannesburg’s skyline. THEGIFT777/GETTY IMAGES

Once you land, abruptly, you are jolted into a unique actuality. The transit resort that Marriott confirmed for you is totally closed. In truth, airport workers inform you that it has been shuttered for over two years.

That is the terrible state of affairs that confronted Mike S. final month as his household returned from their dream safari. Even worse? When he known as Marriott to ask for emergency help, he was met with a recording alerting him that the resort was closed that gave no additional data.

Now Mike want to know why Marriott despatched his household to a completely closed resort and deserted them there.

TPG needed to know, too, so we pursued his case. Right here’s what we came upon.

Join our day by day publication

Planning an thrilling household journey

Over a yr in the past, as journey restrictions started to ease, Mike and his household made a plan to take an African safari this summer season.

Mike left all of the sophisticated elements of planning this journey to Pure Habitat Adventures. NHA, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, is understood for its experience in planning distinctive African safaris which are conservation-focused. The corporate’s mission assertion, “Conservation by way of Exploration,” appealed to this nature-loving household.

Quickly, the household was confirmed on a Botswana safari scheduled for June of this yr.

However there was one small element left Mike assumed he may simply deal with himself.

The household would have a 27-hour layover in Johannesburg on their return journey from Botswana. They did not plan to spend further time in South Africa, so Mike turned to Marriott to test out there lodges that may be conveniently positioned close to Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo Worldwide Airport (JNB).

“I logged into the Marriott web site and located the Protea Lodge Transit – proper within the Johannesburg airport. It was good as a result of we would not need to clear customs or go away the transit space. I booked two nights so we may keep till our night flight on the second day.”

As a Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite, Mike was happy he may earn factors throughout his keep. He shortly booked two rooms for his household and, inside minutes, acquired a affirmation from Marriott.

‘Your African Journey Awaits’


Mike double-checked all the small print on the Marriott reservation, which introduced, “Your African Journey Awaits.”

Sadly, the kind of African journey ready for them at this Marriott resort wasn’t the nice type — however they would not discover out till almost a yr later.

An disagreeable shock

Quick ahead to the summer season of 2022. The household was eagerly wanting ahead to their African safari.

“Earlier than we left, I reconfirmed all the small print of the journey – together with the Marriott resort on the Johannesburg airport,” Mike defined to me. “In truth, I acquired a reminder about our keep on the Protea Transit Lodge whereas we have been on safari. There was no indication that something was amiss with that property.”

Believing all was so as, the household took off for Africa within the first week of June. Mike says he and his household had an exquisite time on their safari in Botswana.

“The safari was superb!” Mike recalled. “We have been sorry for the journey to finish.”


The household then began their lengthy journey again to California. They flew from Maun, Botswana, to Johannesburg — and that is the place this journey hit a snag.

“We have been drained, and it was a reduction to know that we did not need to go wherever once we landed,” Mike reported. “However once we advised the girl at passport management that we have been staying within the airport’s transit space on the Protea, she gave us an incredulous look and mentioned that the resort had been closed since 2020.”

Surprised, Mike requested the officer what to do. The agent defined that the household would wish to clear customs and discover another place to remain in Johannesburg. She despatched the household by way of customs and wished them effectively.

On the airport with no place to go

Because the household gathered their baggage, Mike known as the quantity on his Marriott affirmation hoping that this was all a mistake. It wasn’t.

Right here’s what Mike says occurred subsequent:

“I known as the Marriott quantity, and there was a recording that mentioned the resort was closed. We ended up asking for recommendation on the misplaced baggage desk. They advised us concerning the Intercontinental simply outdoors the terminal exit and throughout the road.

“Even within the late afternoon, abruptly discovering your self outdoors the airport abroad with no reservations or plans is upsetting.”

Strolling into the Intercontinental, the displaced and weary vacationers hoped the resort had availability. It did – though the price of one evening on the Intercontinental was double what he had anticipated to pay on the Protea. Nonetheless, Mike fortunately paid it, and the disaster was over.

The group flew residence the following day, and Mike set off on a brand new mission. He needed to search out out why Marriott had booked, confirmed, and reconfirmed his household at a resort that had been closed for over two years — that means it had been closed effectively earlier than he had even made his reserving.

He additionally needed Marriott to reimburse him for the costly, last-minute rooms he was compelled to e-book on the Intercontinental.

However as an alternative of a proof or apology, he acquired a shocking e-mail from Marriott.

‘Inform Us About Your Keep’

Just a few days after Mike despatched his grievance to Marriott, he discovered a message from the corporate ready for him in his e-mail inbox. He assumed it could be a mea culpa from Bonvoy for his terrible expertise. However it wasn’t an apology.

Extremely, it was simply an automated message soliciting a assessment of the household’s keep on the Protea Lodge Transit. The survey made it clear that Marriott wasn’t even conscious the property was closed for enterprise. Oddly, it was signed by the supervisor of the closed resort.


Not surprisingly, Mike wouldn’t suggest this resort to a good friend or enterprise affiliate.

When a follow-up request for a assessment arrived a number of days later with no acknowledgment that anybody at Marriott supposed to answer his grievance, Mike reached out to TPG for assist.

Asking Marriott for a proof

After I acquired Mike’s plea for assist, I shared his amazement at simply what number of errors Marriott made right here.

“Marriott gave me such unhealthy customer support — confirming, reconfirming after which ignoring my emails,” Mike complained. “I simply thought it may be price sharing this with TPG.”

It had price the household almost $400 additional to go to the Intercontinental. Mike hoped that Marriott would reimburse him for that surprising expense.

I reached out to our government contact at Marriott and defined the household’s disagreeable expertise.

80,000 Marriott factors — and an apology

The subsequent day, Mike emailed with the excellent news. Marriott had known as him and delivered the apology he had been hoping for and extra — 80,000 Bonvoy factors. Here is what we heard from Mike in an e-mail:

“Hello, Michelle!

Marriott apologized [over the phone], which was good, and [the corporate representative] defined a number of issues:

  1. Marriott would not know what occurred, however they’re wanting into it and can be sure that there are not any different reservations of their system to the closed Protea Transit resort.
  2. My case was closed by a Marriott customer support agent with no response to me. And my grievance wouldn’t have been addressed if not to your outreach. They’re additionally wanting into why the agent did that.
  3. Marriott credited my account with 80,000 factors to make up for this case.

Thanks once more! I’ve used my 80,000 factors for 2 nights at an Autograph Assortment resort that may have in any other case gone for $500+ per evening. 🙂. Mike S.”

The Protea Transit Lodge on the Johannesburg airport now shows a message on-line that it’s closed. And the Autograph Assortment resort that Mike simply booked? No worries. We have confirmed it’s open for enterprise.

TPG hopes you get pleasure from your keep, Mike!

Guarantee this does not occur to you

Mike had no manner of figuring out that Marriott was repeatedly giving him inaccurate details about his confirmed reservation. His consideration was targeted on the extra sophisticated elements of his household’s dream trip to Africa. Paradoxically, this unique journey hit no snags till the very half he assumed was a no brainer.

Though Mike made a number of errors in his journey planning, there are some classes in his expertise. Here is how to make sure you do not find yourself in a far-off land booked at a completely closed resort.

Backside line

It is not usually that you’re going to examine vacationers being despatched to completely closed lodges, however this isn’t an remoted case. There have been others, so it’s price taking steps to guard your upcoming travels in opposition to comparable hiccups.

If you happen to or somebody you understand had an analogous expertise and the property or model ignored your plea for help, ship your story to I will be completely satisfied to analyze and allow you to, too.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button