Hyatt’s Gold Passport hotel loyalty program introduced major program changes for its members today. So far my initial analysis indicates the changes are true enhancements for members.
Major Hyatt Gold Passport changes effective April 2, 2009 – Hyatt Gold Passport link to changes
1. No blackout dates for free rooms using points. You can redeem points worldwide for any standard room available.
Blackout dates were often a problem with Hyatt Gold Passport points redemptions. Additional points were required. It is unclear to me if the no blackout policy for award rooms affects the availability of hotel awards at a 60% points premium for Platinum and Diamond member awards when award inventory is unavailable. Is it now moot with no blackouts?
2. Complimentary internet access for elite members at Hyatt full-service hotels. I have actually stayed at Hyatt Place hotels over Hyatt Regency for the privilege of free internet access. This is a welcome change.
3. Published room upgrades for Platinum members include upgrade to the best available rooms within the category booked. Think higher floors, better views, quieter locations.
4. Diamond members will receive upgrades to best rooms available including Regency Club and Grand Club rooms. The official terms state this benefit excludes suites. There is an opt-out option for the hotel during periods of high demand. In lieu of Regency Club access, the member may be offered restaurant full-breakfast certificates and 2,500 Gold Passport points. Regency Club access is nice, but 2,500 points seems a fair compensation.
5. Diamond members receive four confirmed suite upgrade e-certificates per year for stays up to 7 nights. This benefit is huge and potentially worth thousands of dollars in room upgrades.
The Big Welcome Promotion – Hyatt Big Welcome link
Hyatt Gold Passport is launching these changes with a global promotion entitled “The Big Welcome”
The Big Welcome has big rewards for lucky and talented Gold Passport members. Hyatt is giving away free room nights every day between April 2 and May 13. Simply complete a Hyatt survey providing detailed information on your hotel loyalty program membership and hotel stay pattern for the past six months.
Essay writers can also enter a 250 word essay contest for the chance to win 365 Hyatt free room nights and 1,000,000 frequent flyer miles. This Grand Prize winner is a judged entry and will be awarded in June 2009. The taxable value is nearly $150,000.
Loyalty Traveler will provide a detailed analysis of The Big Welcome promotion in the coming days.
Hyatt Highlands Inn, Carmel, California