Hyatt has announced a new set of benefits, and it’s pretty big news .. but there are some open questions.
- No more blackout dates on award redemptions, a la Starwood and Hilton. (Are you listening Starwood? Your unique selling proposition has been eroded by the competition…) This makes Gold Passport points much more valuable.
- All elite members (Platinum and Diamond) will receive free internet.
- Diamonds get a club level upgrade with every stay, or guaranteed full breakfast and 2500 points.
- Diamonds will also receive (4) annual suite upgrades (previously Diamonds were mailed a single suite upgrade certificate that required paying a higher rate in most cases.). These will be electronic rather than paper certificates and are valid on stays of seven nights or less; and exclude the top-tier named suites (“Premier, Presidential and Diplomatic Suites”). It is an open question as to additional requirements — confirmed at booking vs checkin (USA Today says yes to confirmed, but I’m waiting to see), rates required to confirm, etc. Developing…
Hyatt is promoting the changes with a free nights giveaway, register at thebigwelcome.com.
This is big news for the program as a whole, and for Diamond members in particular who should now expect a stronger guarantee of a club room and more frequent access to suites.
The Hyatt suite benefit could be better or worse than Starwood’s — Starwood offers their top-tier elites upgrades to best available room at checkin, including standard suites. But it’s catch as catch can, some hotels have plenty of suites and Platinums can expect one while others are much more diffiuclt in this regard. If the Hyatt benefit is confirmed while Starwood’s is at checkin, score one for Hyatt even though it’s only four times a year.
Meanwhile, Intercontinental Royal Ambassador status still offers suites although I’m seeing more and more junior suites rather than the spectacular named suites of the past. Marriott and Hilton are behing the curve here…
Here’s the Flyertalk discussion thread for those wishing to follow the changes.
(Hat tip to Carol.)