PHOTO: Scott Laird discusses the perks of Starwood Preferred Guest and other hotel loyalty programs. (Photo via Flickr/Mighty Travels)
Starwood Hotels & Resorts' popular Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program faces an uncertain future following the company's recent merger with Marriott International.
In the latest episode of TravelPulse Radio, co-hosts Tim Wood and Barry Kaufman chat with former hotelier, TravelPulse contributer and Gold status SPG member Scott Laird to discuss the current state of SPG and Marriott Rewards following this year's historic acquisition.
"I think they've made a great first step in making sure that they're offering reciprocal benefits across all of their properties," said Laird. "They're starting to add benefits that add collective value to both of their programs and that's very encouraging."
Laird also broke down the concept of mattress running and detailed how to succeed at racking up the most reward points in the shortest amount of time.
While Laird isn't picky when it comes to hotel stays, he believes that an earned free night should be just that, free.
"I tend to avoid any property that charges a resort fee because I don't agree with the concept," said Laird, who's next trip will take him to the newly-opened Sheraton Bay Point Resort in Panama City Beach, Florida.
You can listen to the entire interview with Laird (starting at the 54:00 mark) and Episode 5 of TravelPulse Radio in its entirety below.