May122010

Nor1 “e-standby upgrade” Can Save Money on Hotel Rate

Nor1 is the Silicon Valley company that “upgrades your life” through software used by several hotel chains for providing web services to upsell rooms after guests have made a hotel booking purchase. I have come across several of these internet Nor1 “e-standby upgrade” options lately with Hyatt Hotel bookings.

The Hyatt e-standby upgrade offers are usually less than the cost asked by the Hyatt website for the same room at the time of booking. The amount of savings is variable depending on the room type desired. The Nor1 e-standby upgrade options are presented immediately after booking a room and are designed to get incremental revenue from the guest by offering an up-sell at a rate lower than what was just available the minute before you actually booked the room.

My consumer tip for guests is to book a lower category room than you actually want and see if e-standby upgrade offers accompany your booking. This can be a cheaper way to book a preferred view room or a even a suite. Just be sure you book a rate that can be changed since the “e-standby upgrade” offers are not revealed until after you confirm a booking with a credit card. If you don’t get the upgrade offers with your booking, then you can simply cancel and book the room you really desire.

Examples of e-standby upgrade offers are shown below for Hyatt Regency Valencia and Hyatt Regency Long Beach. Hotels with Carlson Hotels (Radisson), Hilton, Kimpton, Hyatt and many other hotels use the Nor1 e-standby upgrade system.

Hyatt Valencia e-standby upgrade offers

Hyatt Regency Valencia, California – Here is an example of the rate differential with Nor1 upgrades.

Paid rate = $109.65 King Bed Standard Room (AAA rate)

Nor1 e-standby upgrade offers:

  1. View King, 364 sq. ft. (Hyatt Gold Passport upgrade at no cost)
  2. Terrace King, 364 sq. ft. (Hyatt Gold Passport upgrade at no cost)
  3. Junior Suite, 470 sq. Ft. (e-standby upgrade for $29) (Adjusted Nightly Rate = $138.65)
  4. Panorama Suite, 800 sq. ft. (e-standby upgrade for $109) (Adjusted Nightly Rate = $218.65)

Lowest available rate for these rooms at time of booking

  • View King $144
  • Terrace King $149 ($126.65 AAA)
  • Junior Suite $179 (Hyatt Daily Rate, no AAA rate listed)          
  • Panorama Suite $227 (Awaken Package)

 

Hyatt Regency Long Beach, California – Here is an example of the rate differential with Hyatt’s “e-standby upgrades” at this hotel.

Paid rate = $179.10 King Bed Standard Room (AAA rate)

Hyatt Gold Passport and e-standby upgrade offers:

  1. Harbor View King, 320 sq. ft. (e-standby upgrade for $11) (Adjusted Nightly Rate = $190.10)
  2. Panoramic View King, 320 sq. ft. (e-standby upgrade for $15) (Adjusted Nightly Rate = $194.10)
  3. Business Plan King, 320 sq. ft. (e-standby upgrade for $19) (Adjusted Nightly Rate = $198.10)
  4. Regency Club King, 320 sq. ft. (complimentary Hyatt Gold Passport upgrade = $179.10)  

Lowest available rate for these rooms at time of booking

  • Harbor View King $192.60 AAA
  • Panoramic View King (this room category is not shown in regular rate search)
  • Business Plan King, $206.10 AAA
  • Regency Club King, $215.10 AAA

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members receive complimentary access to the Regency Club lounge. The Regency Club level might be a great deal for non-elite members if it were the same price. I have the feeling that the software is a little more sophisticated to extract the maximum amount of money from users, but I have little evidence to support this theory.

I should make some bookings (no cancellation penalties of course) using my wife’s account to see how the rate differentials compare for an e-standby upgrade to Regency Club vs. lowest available rate for Regency Club. Better yet would be data from some readers who are not Diamond elite sharing with loyalty travelers rates they find with e-standby upgrade rates compared to the other available rates. Is e-standby upgrade a way to a cheaper Regency Club access level?

Loyalty traveler can be the database for Nor1 rates comparable to what the Biddingfortravel.com site does for Priceline bids.

I have used the e-standby upgrade option before and received a better room with a huge balcony for a $15 premium at the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency. I think I saved $20 to $30 on the cost of a balcony room. On several previous stays at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara I never received a balcony room as a Hyatt Diamond member. Perhaps my average paid rate around $83 per night may be why I haven’t done so well on the upgrade front.

Of course, I have Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member complimentary suite upgrades, but those four precious confirmed upgrades are more valuable saved for other locations with more desirable views than a computer industry business park. The beautiful mountains dotted with coast redwoods to the west of the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara are just a bit too far at about 15 to 20 miles away to distract the guest from the flatlands of southern San Francisco Bay where Silicon Valley meets the sea (actually named “Santa Clara Valley” geographically).

Large balcony room at Hyatt Regency Santa Clara looking north

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. But… but… aren’t those NOR1 standby upgrade requests exactly that, standby upgrades? In other words, you might get upgraded for a price if the higher category room is available at checkin, but otherwise not… so if you really want the higher category room, you’re gambling?

    Or did I misunderstand? (I have only ever accepted the free standby offers based on my elite status; I generally don’t consider it worthwhile getting a bigger balcony to look out over Silicon Valley (which I do from my office all day long anyway) 🙂

  2. I did not get how to check those NOR1 rates…
    How would I actually DO this?

    Ham

  3. @Ham – You have to actually book a room and immediately after booking the room the e-standby upgrade options appear. You can select the room upgrade options you desire and at check-in you find out if you receive the upgrade.

    I have had the Nor1 upgrade options on all my Hyatt Regency bookings this year.

    @Oliver – It is gambling, but with good odds. The idea is to get additional revenue for the hotel so guests opting for Nor1 upgrades should have a good chance of receiving the upgrade, unless others actually book these rooms.

    The logical consequence is fewer free upgrades for elites. Only the hotel knows if upgrades being sold through e-standby upgrades are keeping upgrades from Hyatt Gold Passport elites (or other elites in other chains).

  4. Are there any upgrades for the park hyatt in toronto for a double 2 adults and 2 children for may 29 for one night. Please email me at cfountain@att.net.

    Thank You,
    Carol Fountain

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