The miles and points blogs lit up on Thursday/Friday with the revelation that a simple tweet from Hyatt inviting elites from other programs to contact them turned into many people having various status levels from other hotels matched to Hyatt Diamond. That was super generous, and perhaps more generous than Hyatt originally intended as they must have received thousands of requests to be matched – even from status levels that never even required you to stay in that hotel!
Will Hyatt’s Generosity With Diamond Status Have An Affect On You?
My Loyalty With Hyatt
I will say this – I am a Hyatt loyalist and will requalify for Diamond status again for next year but it is taking me to do a December 31 stay to get it done. 🙂 I find Hyatt to be an incredible chain and, for me this year, they really went above and beyond – not just on a corporate level but on an individual hotel level as well. Besides, how can I, a marathoner, not like a loyalty program that has for their Senior VP (Jeff Zidell) a 3:24 marathoner?!
With all of that said, will Hyatt’s generosity with their matching to Diamond status have an affect on current Diamond members? Let’s look at a few facts.
Diamond Suite Upgrades
From reading tons of comments and tweets, it is obvious that the single thing that most people were excited about was the Diamond Suite Upgrades. They are very generous upgrades that work for a stay up to 7 nights and are confirmable as early as the time of booking (if space is available) and Diamond members receive 4 per member year.
I have only had one time that I could not get a upgrade at the hotel for the night I needed it. Every other time I have inquired after availablity for stays, it has been possible. Many people are worried that these newly minted Diamond members will be sucking up the availability at the highest regarded Hyatt properties – places like the Park Hyatt Vendome, Park Hyatt Zurich, Park Hyatt Tokyo and the Park Hyatt New York.
But, will everyone be using their upgrades for those properties? No! The reason is that you cannot redeem a suite upgrade on award nights. They can only be redeemed on paid nights or Points+Cash nights. The prices for those properties are quite high (though not higher than the category and location would demand), even for Points+Cash.
All Category 7 properties require 15,000 points and $300 per night for Points+Cash nights – and then you can apply a Diamond Suite Upgrade. If you wanted to make the most if the upgrade, you would likely book for at least 3 nights. That means you are paying $900 to use the upgrade vs paying an extra 45,000 points for an outright award redemption in a basic room at those properties (30,000 points per night).
If you plan on paying for the room outright and then using a Diamond Suite Upgrade, you will also find the prices to be quite high. It is nothing to pay at least $600 per night for many of these high-end hotels. Again, to stay for 3 days and redeem a Diamond suite upgrade, you will be paying at least $1,800 for the 3 nights instead of using 90,000 points for an award stay or using the 2 free nights from the Hyatt credit card.
If you normally redeem your Diamond Suite Upgrades at these properties, I cannot imagine you will have a huge amount of competition now as a result of Hyatt’s generosity. I could be wrong, but if I am, then Hyatt absolutely made the right business decision by offering this match as they will be bringing in tens of thousands of dollars just by allowing people to get these Diamond Suite Upgrades.
Another fabulous benefit of Hyatt Diamond status is the free breakfast at properties without lounges. It is an excellent benefit that works for up to 4 registered guests and I have yet to have a bad breakfast at any Hyatt hotel!
Seriously, are you (as a current Diamond) going to find the dining room overflowing now? Are you going to have to wait an extra 10 minutes for your omelette now? Probably not! If you go to some Hyatt hotels in business districts, you will find the breakfast dining area very busy in the morning now because of the expense accounts for business travelers. Even then, I still get quick service.
Best Room Upgrades
As a Hyatt Diamond member, you also receive a (space available) upgrade to the best room (non-suites) at check-in. This is one area where the great influx of Diamond members may affect the current Diamonds on their stays. Obviously, if there are a lot of Diamond members at a particular Hyatt, there will be several that will be staying in the same room they booked. I could see this being an annoyance, but it will remain to see how much.
But, this will still require these new Hyatt Diamond members to actually stay at Hyatt hotels. I think a fair amount of them are people that will be swayed to stay at Hyatt instead of the other hotels where they already have high elite status. For them, this is likely who Hyatt really intended this match to be for. If they take advantage of their new status, they would have achieved Diamond the next time Hyatt offered a challenge anyway.
So, what do you think? Do you stay at properties that this influx new Hyatt Diamond members will affect you? I personally think that any large affect would be from people who would likely have been tempted to try to gain Hyatt Diamond anyway. Since only 25 stays or 50 nights are needed for Diamond status, many business travelers could knock off Diamond status within a couple of months anyway. The leisure traveler that jumped in on this for the Diamond Suite Upgrades will be the biggest “threat” to your earned Diamond status but the chances of them using them at the same properties you use them at are yet to be known.
Do you think this will have an affect on your earned Hyatt Diamond status and your normal benefits? If you are a new Diamond member, what are you planning to do with your status?