Gary Leff posted information from Milepoint.com yesterday on Hyatt changes that apparently sent Hyatt Gold Passport into PR damage control mode. Turns out to be mostly positive changes with new elite benefits, a Park Hyatt promotion and some hotel reward category adjustments.
No need to panic.
Here is a rundown of the information I received from Hyatt regarding the changes. Apparently members will be updated with this information by email beginning today. The list of hotel reward category changes was provided to me by a Hyatt Gold Passport Public Relations manager and is not available yet to view online at Hyatt Gold Passport. I reorganized the data in a spreadsheet to display changes by geographic location and color coded to show 25 hotels going up in award category and 18 hotels going down.
Benefit Change # 1 for Diamond Elites
-Extend Your Stay with Late Checkout to 4pm-
Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members will now be able to enjoy a 4:00pm late checkout rather than a 2:00pm late checkout. Please note that the late checkout is subject to availability at resorts and casino hotels.
Benefit Change # 2 for Diamond Elites
Receive a Nightly Room Refresh – Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members will receive a nightly room refresh to ensure that their stay is as comfortable and luxurious as possible. This includes light housekeeping and bedroom turndown service. This service has previously been offered to Diamond members during their stay, but it is now being communicated as an additional benefit of this membership tier.
Benefit Change # 3 for Diamond Elites
Enjoy a New Welcome Amenity – Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members can now enjoy a new welcome amenity at Hyatt Place and Hyatt Summerfield Suites hotels. Diamond members can now enjoy a complimentary beverage (including alcohol except where prohibited by law) at Hyatt Place and a USD$5 credit at the Guest Market at Hyatt Summerfield Suites hotels, or, members can continue to choose 500 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points as their amenity for stays at either brand.
Reminder of 2011 Hyatt Gold Passport Program Change for Buying Points
Members can now purchase up to 40,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per year for themselves, and they can also now purchase Hyatt Gold Passport points for others. Program participants can purchase Hyatt Gold Passport points by visiting the following link: http://bit.ly/nYBrHe.
New Park Hyatt Gold Passport offer for special rate package:
2,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points at all Park Hyatt hotels when rooms are reserved with offer code PMPGP for stays through September 10, 2011. The special offer includes accommodation, complimentary breakfast for two, and
the choice of a dining or spa credit worth up to USD$150.
Hyatt Gold Passport Reward Category Changes Effective September 1, 2011
Andaz Wall Street in New York and Hotel Victor Miami Beach each go up by 4,000 points per night. Get your reservations in now for the lower 18,000 points rate while these hotels are still category 5.
Personally this affects one of the greatest bargain hotels at Hyatt Place Fremont/Silicon Valley where 5,000 points could save $150 or more midweek. Now the savings will cost 8,000 points.
Some of the changes are for hotels in countries your average tourist has no intention of visiting on vacation so a drop in award category for the Hyatt Regency Bishkek in the Kyrgyz Republic probably doesn’t mean much unless you are U.S. government subcontractor hanging out for a little R&R on your own points.
Hotels in Australia increasing award category is to be expected as the Australian Dollar has run past the US Dollar in value like Secretariat in the 1973 Belmont Stakes.
All in all, not too much to fret over with these changes. You have plenty of advance notice to book the lower category cost for upcoming stays before changes take effect September 1.