Hyatt Gold Passport’s Jeff Zidell Takes the #IceBucketChallenge: Clues About the Future of the Program? And Mommy Points Gets Wet!

Milepoint’s tommy777, Tommy Danielsen, passed on my challenge to him over to Jeff Zidell of Hyatt Gold Passport.

And Jeff came through.

Jeff challenges Suzanne Rubin of American Airlines, David Oppenheim at United, and Lance Evans at MGM.

Can I read the tea leaves a bit here?

David Oppenheim, who manages United’s partnerships (including credit card co-brands), used to work at Boston Consulting Group where he did work for Jeff and Hyatt. Lance Evans makes sense, since Hyatt and MGM are partners.

But… Suzanne…

Have Hyatt and American been spending more time together lately?

  • Delta and Starwood are linked up now
  • United and Marrott have a tie-in as well.
  • That leaves American among the major airlines.

There’s not much reason for them to partner with IHG Rewards, since there’s no meaningful elite benefits to speak of to offer through the partnership.

Hilton makes the most sense for an American tie-in, among the chains that are left they have a global footprint while Hyatt is much smaller. Still, a Hilton-American partnership hasn’t happened. Hilton gives away their status like nothing as it is. And Hilton does still partner with Delta selectively, including occasional promotions that help in earning status miles with Skymiles through hotel stays.

Hyatt’s foot print seems too small, at about 500 hotels, for the world’s largest airline.

Still, it would be a really strong get for Jeff to put together a deal with American… where he did used to work…

Of course, it could just be that Tommy already challenged Jeff Foland and the person Jeff likely knows best there is David Oppenheim, there isn’t technically a Skymiles head at the moment (there’s a team approach on an interim basis), and that leaves Jeff’s counterpart at American.

Sometimes, too, an #icebucketchallenge is just an #icebucketchallenge. And there’s no use reading the ice cubes.

But there is use in watching, as Mommy Points gets wet. And so does Pizza in Motion.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @HansGolden Suzanne Rubin had just taken over the AAdvantage program when the oneworld MegaDO occurred. Hyatt was a co-sponsor of that one. Jeff was not on the charter, Hyatt was represented by Todd Tomlin who now runs Hyatt’s gift card incentive program (in fact, I sat with Suzanne and Boeing’s rep on the flight).

  2. At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly I have to say I will never douse myself with a bucket of ice water, then demand that you do. I don’t want to encourage more of this sort of thing. Eating spiders will be next, then coloring your ears green for a week. I tell you it’s setting a bad precedent.

  3. Gary, It was a sleazeball title since you, once again, made a disparaging remark against women.

    “Mommy Points Gets Wet!” WTF is this shit?

    You could have used a proper, with class, title. I’ll write one for you: “And Mommy Points, a BoardingArea Icon, takes the Ice Bucket Challenge too!”

    See? No need to make any sexual references.

    Did you at any point in time mention a man getting “wet” in your titles? No….It’s all respectful. “blah blah blah takes the #IceBucketChallenge.”

    Guess what, Gary. MP is one of your colleagues. An equal. She deserves the respect that she’s earned.

    So. How low class of you. Badly Done!

  4. @Manners101 — a few hours after posting this, I sent Mommy Points a note.

    “…after I had my post with Jeff Zidell’s video ready to post, I saw yours and wanted to add a link to it at the end. Almost as an afterthought, I tacked it onto the post title.

    Not thinking that it could sound, well, inappropriate. And now that it’s been pointed out to me, well, I’m really blushing…

    ..Apologies, truly…”

    This was genuinely inadvertent< i didn't realize it would be read that way. She laughed pretty hard.

  5. If you were truly apologetic, you’d have changed the title. Then explained what happened to MP. And then laughed about it.

    *sigh*

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