For the first time I’m frustrated with Hyatt…

I switched some of my hotel business to Hyatt in early March, and in those two short months I’ve made over 20 stays at Hyatt properties thanks to the insane promotions they have. Overall I couldn’t have been happier. I’ve earned nearly ten free nights I can use anywhere in the world and around 65,000 points, which is nearly enough for four more free nights at top Hyatt hotels.

Simply put, I just couldn’t find even the smallest thing to complain about with them until now.

So I’m heading to New York this coming week with my family, and initially we were going to spend the first night at the Andaz Wall Street (on an ANDAZ5 revenue stay), and spend the other two nights at the InterContinental Barclay. Well, due to the busy schedule we’ll have in New York, I was going to just do the Andaz for the whole stay and cancel the InterContinental (not to mention save 80,000 Priority Club points).

Well, for some reason Hyatt doesn’t let you book “Big Welcome Back” nights within a week or your desired stay date, so I had to call. Before doing that, though, I checked hyatt.com to see if a standard room was available at the Andaz on the dates I needed. When using points there are no capacity controls, meaning if there’s a standard room available, you can use points for it. And up until now, when using promotional free nights, the same lack of capacity controls applied.

But when I called reservations, they told me that I couldn’t redeem one of my free night certificates, but I could redeem points. There’s no way I’m spending 18,000 points per night on an Andaz.

So it seems Hyatt finally has made promotional award night inventory different than points inventory. Can’t say I blame ’em, but doesn’t mean I won’t rant about it. 😉

I’m hoping that the free night availability opens up closer to departure.

Anyone else run into the same issue?

Comments

  1. I don’t think this is an inventory issue. I think it is a ‘too close to travel date’ issue…i don’t think the situation will change as the date gets closer. This issue has been the same with similar FFN promos… at least the last one. It’s clearly stated in the T&C that one can’t book within a week.

  2. From the Big Welcome Back Promotional T&C:

    “FREE NIGHT AWARD RESTRICTIONS: Please allow ten (10) days after each of your second Eligible Stays for Free Night Award(s) to be posted to your Hyatt Gold Passport account (allow 2-3 weeks for awards from stays outside the U.S.). Free Night Award(s) must be posted to your account prior to redemption.

    Reservations for Free Night Award(s) redemption are subject to availability and must be made in advance by visiting the My Promotional Awards page within goldpassport.com, or by calling 1-800-228-3360 or your nearest Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Centre. Free Night Award(s) can only be redeemed for stays between April 1, 2010 and August 31, 2010 and are not transferable. Free Night Award(s) are valid for standard room accommodations only and do not include incidental expenses, gratuities, service charges or other hotel-specific charges. Free Night Award(s) are valid for single or double occupancy. Additional guests are subject to additional hotel charges. Stays at hotels outside the U.S. may be subject to government approvals, regulations, restrictions and taxes. Other restrictions may apply.”

    http://goldpassport.hyatt.com/gp/en/offers/welcome-back-offer-tc.jsp?wt=pop_up

    The T&C state reservations must be made in advance, however, I see nothing there in the T&C stating free nights must be booked one week in advance.

  3. @ Tom @ Gene — I don’t believe that’s correct. I made my reservation for the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach only a couple of days in advance, and when I called to make this reservation, the Grand Hyatt New York was available for the dates I needed…

  4. I haven’t had a time issue but did have a problem booking the Hyatt Sierra Lodge Vacation property even though rooms are not sold out. The rep’s didn’t know why it wasn’t open for award booking but said that vacation properties had “different” rules although I haven’t found those. I was able to get one award night (a Fri) and currently have one paid night booked for Sat.

  5. I tried to redeem a FFN at Andaz Fifth Ave. for Aug 1st (its opening day), the representative first told me I can’t use free nights, but points. I asked him to check again (I didn’t believe there were two different inventories), and it worked the second time!

  6. I think the problem is the rep was trying to book 2 nights all at once – these BWB nights can only be booked one at a time – ask them to book the first night and then the 2nd night – it should work.

  7. Get in touch with your personal line agent or try @HyattConcierge. @HyattConcierge is extremely helpful and very responsive to questions and concerns.

  8. Peter is correct on this one – in an unrelated issue, a couple months ago I was snowed-in after what should have been a quick visit to Tahoe City – I was able to book a room at the Hyatt Lake Tahoe for 1 night using a free night award with about a 1-hour lead time. Circumstances and my charming personality may have played a role as I was fairly desperate when I called, but it was still another example of Hyatt’s great service.

  9. Hyatt’s computer systems are about as good as Hilton’s award chart. This “book one night at a time” issue is probably due to that… Once you know the “work around” for each issue you encounter it becomes merely annoying rather than completely frustrating, and given all the good things Hyatt gives me, its well worth the annoyance

  10. I’ve encountered the same problem with the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Multiple Res/GP/Web agents have told me BWB nights are capacity controlled. I am not Diamond however…

  11. I would just follow the old adage, when you can’t get what you want with one agent, try again with a new one. I have actually had the most success using the non diamond agents late at night, but thats just me.

    Good luck.

  12. Just wanted to provide a quick update. Well, everything worked out in the end. I called back and they told me again that it wasn’t available. I called back and was told the same thing. I called back and was told the same thing again. Then for the 5th agent, before he could even check BWB availability, he said he would swap the points for the BWB night, and five minutes later it was reflected online.

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