Hyatt recently announced three policy changes that implicate breakfast, upgrades, and early check-in. What is Hyatt trying to achieve with this mid-year tinkering?
1. Breakfast only for World of Hyatt members who book directly with Hyatt
Hyatt trialed removing complimentary breakfast at select Hyatt Place hotels earlier this year. I can only imagine that change proved a flop, because free breakfast quietly returned only weeks later. Now Hyatt is taking another stab, by keeping breakfast free for all…but on two conditions. This breakfast benefit will only be applied to guests who book directly through Hyatt booking channels (online or telephone). Furthermore, it will only be applicable to World of Hyatt Members (though presumably you can join on the spot to receive free breakfast).
First, I’m not sure how Hyatt can practically control that. Won’t stationing employees at the restaurant end up eating up the money saved by charging some for breakfast? Second, why should my stay booked through Chase (a close Hyatt partner) be penalized? This does not strike me as a prudent change.
Hyatt Place hotels will also be refreshed, but that’s lipstick on a pig.
2. Confirmed early check-in at Hyatt Place
Starting in 2019, Both Explorist and Globalist members will be entitled to space-available 9am check-in at Hyatt Place properties. While it is nice to be able to confirm this in advance, early check-ins are generally already offered if you ask nice and there is space available. In fact, this courtesy is often extended to those without status.
3. Extended expiration date for Globalist suite upgrades
When Gold Passport transitioned into World of Hyatt, a new suite upgrade policy kicked in for Globalists. Suite upgrades were deposited immediately upon qualifying or re-qualifying for Globalist status and were valid for one year from date of issue. This created a disincentive to cross the Globalist finish line if suites were needed later in the year. For example, if you re-qualifed in June 1, 2017 for Globalist status, you’d receive four upgrade awards. If you wanted to book a family trip for June 2, 2018 and use one of your upgrade, these suite upgrades would not work. To remedy this, now all suite upgrades will expire at the end of the next member year (February 28th).
This is a “no brainer” policy change that Hyatt should have made months ago.
I’m not impressed. I’m simply not impressed. The breakfast benefit will be limited to those who book directly with Hyatt, early check-in is already available at most Hyatt hotels, and the suite upgrade expiration policy change was merely correcting a blatant problem, not adding a new benefit.
With Hyatt’s limited footprint, it must invest more in its loyalty program or it will continue to see valuable customers abandon it.