Hyatt Diamond Suite Upgrade Expiration Policy Changing

One of the most valuable perks of being a Hyatt Diamond member is that you receive four confirmed suite upgrades per year. Each can be used to confirm a suite upgrade at the time of booking for a stay of up to seven nights.

Park-Hyatt-Vienna - 14
Park Suite at the Park Hyatt Vienna

That’s a huge perk, since there aren’t any capacity controls and it’s not based on availability at the time of check-in, like some other programs’ suite upgrades.

Historically Hyatt Diamond suite upgrades have been issued on March 1, and are valid through the end of February of the following year.

In other words, my account currently has one of the four Diamond suite upgrades remaining, which is valid through February 28, 2016. Then on March 1, 2016, I’ll be issued another four Diamond suite upgrades valid through February 28, 2017 (since I’ve requalified for status).

Hyatt-Diamond-Suite-Upgrade

Historically Hyatt Diamond suite upgrades could be applied for a stay after the expiration date of the upgrade, assuming the upgrade could be confirmed. In other words, on February 1 you could confirm a suite for a June stay, even if the upgrade expires on February 28.

Unfortunately it looks like Hyatt will be changing suite upgrade expiration. Hyatt Diamond suite upgrades will soon only be valid for stays through the expiration date.

For this year, Hyatt is still letting you apply suite upgrades for stays after the expiration date. However, remember the Hyatt system update which happened last week? Apparently that changes how Diamond upgrades can be applied.

Park-Hyatt-Abu-Dhabi
Park Terrace Suite at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi

Via hailstorm on FlyerTalk, Hyatt told him the following on Twitter:

We have a new system which was preventing us from using the current awards past the expiration date. I have adjusted this reservation and new email confirmation has been sent to you.

While previously it was easy for a reservations agent to apply a suite upgrade to a stay after the expiration date, it seems that the new system changed that, and now an “exception” is required in order to do that.

Member hailstorm followed up to ask about how upgrades for stays past the expiration date will work in the future, and was told the following:

In the future, this will be true. However, because terms and conditions for diamond members could not be updated in time, for 2016 you will be able to use 2015 DSU’s in 2016. Internally there is a process we have to go through to issue the award. The same rules apply, that if you cancel the future reservation after 2/29/2016, you will loose the 2015 DSU award.

So there you have it. It looks like Hyatt will indeed be making this change. Starting next year it seems like Hyatt Diamond suite upgrades can no longer be redeemed for stays after the expiration date.

Park-Hyatt-Dubai-26
Park Suite at the Park Hyatt Dubai

Bottom line

I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Hyatt to change the expiration policy of Diamond suite upgrades. If they do go that direction, however, I hope they also change when they issue Diamond suite upgrades. They should begin issuing them as soon as you requalify for Diamond status (with validity through the same expiration date), rather than always issuing them on March 1.

If you can’t use them past their expiration date and they’re always only issued on March 1, it will be virtually impossible to plan travel in advance using Diamond suite upgrades for stays in March, April, etc.

What’s most interesting here is that apparently Hyatt’s new system is designed to not allow this to easily happen. Something tells me Hyatt’s new system will also allow them to issue Diamond status without Diamond suite upgrades (as everyone who was matched to Diamond recently knows, all Diamonds automatically received four upgrades upon having their status upgraded). As far as I know this hasn’t been by design, but rather has been due to a system limitation. My money is on that changing soon as well, whereby matched Diamonds don’t get suite upgrades immediately.

What do you make of Hyatt potentially changing their Diamond suite upgrade expiration policy?

Comments

  1. @ Ben — So, do you anticipate that recently-matched-to-Diamond members will not automatically receive 4 DSUs come March 1, 2016?

  2. For a moment I was hoping to learn about one of the Lucky’s “tricks”. Damn! It was yet just another BS posts…

  3. And, we can anticipate that since no one can plan stays ahead, they’ll be flooded with DSU requests on March 1 for the following year. That sounds like a winning customer service plan.

  4. Clearly there is an exception process in place if this was set up in the new upgrade because I literally had a DSU moved for a stay in May and there was no mention of this limitation during the request. It was just done. I think use by the expiration date is fair as long as like you mentioned, they issue new vouchers at the moment you requalify. I just hope this is not the one change they needed to shut down their site for 4 days for. There has to be more behind this 4 day shutdown. I just had a reservation go haywire and they admitted they had problems with their award bookings, after shutting down for 4 days.

  5. Well, at least doing this now our expectations will not be high as we evaluate the value of Hyatt Diamond status.

  6. My heart sank when I read this. I love going to Europe in the April – May timeframe . And I do plan 11 months in advance to get the airlines tickets for a family of 3. Now I won’t be able to verify I can use my dsu much ahead of time.

  7. How they implement this is going to be critical. If we get DSUs on March 1st it’s going to be extremely annoying and make them hard to use for the second quarter of each year, enough to convince me to abandon my change to Hyatt Diamond and just stick with Starwood maybe. The suite awards confirming in advance and usable far in advance was a major draw for me (that offset their very limited footprint). Now I’ll have to think about it again. Drat.

  8. It’s the same with the lufthansa e-vouchers for upgrading.
    They are only valid before the experiation date.
    Smart from a business sense but requires a bit of juggling for us travellers.

  9. To clarify: For my unused DSUs from 2015, will I be able to use them for Hyatt stays after March 1, 2016 as long as I book the stays and apply the SUs prior to that date? Thanks.

  10. Bummer….I may not have pushed forward with extra nights this year if I knew I had to us them by Feb 2017. I have 2016 already covered for my key stays.

  11. Same question as @john as I’m a little confused as to when Hyatt will cut off using our 2015 upgrades for future stays….. End of 2015 or March 1?

  12. “…it’s not based on availability at the time of check-in, like some other programs’ suite upgrades.”

    LOL. It is nevertheless still based on availability, which means it is a “confirmable” and not a “confirmed” suite upgrade. I suspect that most who have struggled to confirm one of these at booking knows the difference.

    Bottom line: the most restricted and restrictive top elite suite upgrade benefit in the business will become even more so…

    …speaking of top elite suite upgrade benefit, I am writing this from my unsolicited and absolutely stupendous FULL suite upgrade at the brand new Waldorf Astoria Beijing, where I was even assigned a “personal concierge” to oversee to my every need for the stay…. a 3-night AWARD stay! Including my suite upgrade on an 3-night AWARD stay at Hilton Shanghai just a few days before, that makes it 13 of 15 suite upgrades cleared this year — i.e. 9 more suite grades than HGP Diamonds can “confirm” a year before they have to start paying out of pocket to see the inside of a suite again. The great drawback of having the “confirmability” of suite upgrades enshrined in the T&C is that it gives individual properties an easy way of out approving HGP Diamonds’ requests for complimentary suite upgrades and that’s a real bummer…

  13. @DCS there’s no ‘free’ way to ensure an upgrade at Hilton, being upgraded to a suite is pure ‘luck’ and up to the person at the counter, they are not obligated to do so, which is what makes the DSU great.. and I don’t think finishing the DSUs means you don’t get an upgrade

  14. Uh oh, I have 4 DSUs burning a hole in my GP account and mostly one and two night paid/C+P stays planned for next year. Guess I should get cracking planning some one night suite stays…

  15. @Jay — LOL. I must have been extremely “lucky” to have cleared 13 of 15 suite upgrades this year, and 12 of 12 last year!

    More to the point is that the name of game is availability. That’s true of ALL elite suite upgrades, including HGP DSUs…at booking or at check in, the only thing that matters is that there be availability and clearly HH Diamonds suite upgrades are plenty available in order for me to clear as many as I have. “Luck” has little to do with it, or, to put it another way, “luck” has as much to do with my upgrades clearing as it does with your DSUs.

    Cheers from the highly aspirational Conrad Koh Samui, where I just checked in an ocean view villa for a 5-night award stay, and learned that the villas here all have the same size. Levels depend on where they are located and was told I could be “upgraded” to another level in a couple of days, but i declined — it would be like requesting a suite upgrade at an all-suites property like the Embassy Suites! An “upgrade” from the villa I got would be just a bit better, if at all. I’ll stay put where I am and have already fully unpacked and made myself comfortable

    G’day!

  16. The manual process has nothing to do with the expiration date as I just applied one for the end of the month and they had to manually complete it.

  17. So the terms are clear that if you cancel after expiration, you lose the DSU. Anyone have experience with just a date change? I imagine it’s not allowed since they would get tons of these, but curious if a nice CSR can let it happen or if the system blocks it. DSU’s don’t seem to have an actual place in the reservation system since they seem to only be noted in the comments, so I would think they could rebook the suite if the property confirms availability.

  18. Hey Lucky, dumb question regarding DSUs. I have to book through Hyatt directly, right? I’m guessing wouldn’t be able to book through my work travel agent (which has allowed me to add my hotel loyalty numbers) and then call Hyatt to upgrade. Thoughts?

  19. @ GeoffB — Do stays booked through your corporate travel agent usually accrue points/status? If so, that should be fine for applying a DSU. I’ve certainly applied one when booking through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. It just can’t be a consolidator-style travel agent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *