In many respects Hyatt Hotels has the most consumer friendly Best Rate Guarantee policy among the major hotel chains with a 20% rate discount on the lower competing rate for approved claims.
Competitive Advantages of Hyatt Hotels Best Rate Guarantee
- Hyatt Hotels handles your Best Rate Guarantee claim immediately over the phone. All other programs require a BRG claim submission online. Hyatt Hotels customer service agents are more likely to find the same rate on the competing Online Travel Agency website in real time over the phone.
- Hyatt Hotels does not require the guest to book the room at a Hyatt.com site prior to submitting a Best Rate Guarantee claim. Starwood Hotels is the only other major chain to allow the guest to file a Best Rate Guarantee claim prior to booking a hotel room on their websites. This is a huge advantage for a Best rate Guarantee claim made on a prepaid, nonrefundable rate.
Despite the ease of submitting a Best Rate Guarantee claim with Hyatt Hotels, in my experience, there just are not that many opportunities to file a BRG claim with Hyatt’s 400 hotels. I do not see Hyatt rate discrepancies with anything like the frequency I see potential BRG claims with other hotel chains.
FlyerTalk has a Hyatt Hotels thread for Best Rate Guarantee discussion including successes and failures in claims.
Some FlyerTalk comments indicate Hyatt is quite specific in the Online Travel Agency websites it will consider for a Best Rate Guarantee. Others think the program is fair and quick in handling legitimate claims.
My one experience with a Hyatt BRG claim in 2010 was a claim denial. The competing website showed a total price $50+ per night less than the Hyatt site for the Hyatt Place Orlando Airport. The European OTA site did not separate the room rate from the tax rate in the final checkout page. Even though the tax rate was stated and the same tax rate as the Hyatt site, the claim was denied due to the room rate and tax rate not being shown individually on separate line items.
Hyatt Hotels Best Rate Guarantee Terms & Conditions
Hyatt guarantees to provide the lowest on-line bookable rate for room reservations at Hyatt Hotels available to the general public on the Internet, subject to the following terms and conditions:
If you find a publicly available and immediately bookable room-only rate on the Internet for a Hyatt Hotel (“Competing Rate”) that is lower than the room rate available for the same reservation on http://www.hyatt.com (i.e., same hotel, same type of room, same number of guests, same dates of stay and same length of stay), then prior to or within 24 hours of booking the reservation on http://www.hyatt.com, please call Hyatt Hotels & Resorts at 1-888-96 HYATT (1-888-964-9288) or 402-593-5445.
Once Hyatt confirms the availability of the Competing Rate on the Internet, subject to room availability at the applicable Hyatt Hotel, Hyatt agrees to match the Competing Rate for the same reservation, plus discount an additional twenty percent (20%) off the room rate for the duration of the stay being so reserved.
This Guarantee does not apply to:
- Opaque or auction sites where the hotel brand and/or the specific hotel is not known until booking is finalized. Examples of these types of sites include but are not limited to, Priceline and Hotwire.
- Web sites that “package” travel, entertainment, hotel and/or food components such as airfare and hotel stay, hotel stay and car rental, hotel stay and restaurant voucher, etc. Examples of package websites include but are not limited to Site 59 and Delta Vacations.
- Packaged rates that include taxes, service charges, meals, coupons, parking, services, or other amenities.
- Qualified discount rates including, but not limited to, Government, AAA or Senior Citizen Discounts.
- Unpublished, negotiated rates with corporations, travel agencies, groups, associations or other rates that are specifically agreed upon by Hyatt and a specified and limited group, and are not publicly available.
- Hyatt Vacation Club properties or any residential or extended stay apartment properties (i.e. The Galleria Residences in Dubai).
This Guarantee applies only to the room rate for the duration of the reservation and does not apply to taxes, gratuities, guest incidental charges, food and beverage charges, resort fees, and any other fees or charges that you may incur during your stay.
If you have already booked a prepaid stay on Hyatt.com, and find a Competing Rate that meets the Guarantee terms and conditions set forth here, then Hyatt will refund the full amount originally charged to your credit card for the rate booked on Hyatt.com and charge the full stay based on the new rate to your credit card.
The last paragraph in the Hyatt T&C about a prepaid stay already booked invokes another rule common to all Best Rate Guarantee programs. Your claim must be filed within 24 hours of booking your stay on a Hyatt website if you subsequently find a lower rate on a competing site. This 24-hour rule after booking applies to every major hotel chain’s Best Rate Guarantee program.
Hyatt and Starwood advantage with Best Rate Guarantee claims
The main value of the Hyatt Hotels and Starwood Hotels Best Rate Guarantee rules is the ability to file a claim without having to book your hotel room first. This condition makes the claim process consumer-friendly in that you can wait for Best Rate Guarantee approval with Hyatt and Starwood before you actually use your credit card to a book a room.
All the other major hotel chains besides Hyatt and Starwood require the hotel room be booked on the hotel chain’s website prior to filing a Best Rate Guarantee. This rule makes it a gamble to book an advanced purchase, prepaid room prior to filing a Best Rate Guarantee claim.
Since many potential Best Rate Guarantee claims will be based on a prepaid rate, the BRG claim process with Hyatt Hotels and Starwood Hotels is more consumer-friendly by allowing a claim submission and approval for the Best Rate Guarantee discount prior to booking the prepaid rate on the hotel chain’s website.
Loyalty Traveler Best Rate Guarantee series – July 2012
Loyalty Traveler original post link: http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2012/07/22/hyatt-best-rate-guarantee-handled-over-phone/
Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.