It’s Official: Changes To Hyatt Diamond Suite Upgrades

It’s not often I put “Hyatt Gold Passport” and “customer unfriendly change” in the same sentence, but this will be one of those instances. In December I hinted at Hyatt changing their expiration policy on Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards going forward. And it looks like that has now been confirmed.

How Hyatt Diamond Suite Upgrades work

Each year, Hyatt Diamond members receive four confirmed suite upgrades, each of which can be used to confirm a suite upgrade at the time of booking for a stay of up to seven nights. I consider it to be the single best benefit of being a Diamond member, since it allows you to confirm a suite at the time of booking for the stays which matter most to you. After all, I don’t really care about a suite on a one night stay at an airport hotel, but rather care more when I’m taking a special trip.

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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.

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.

What’s changing with Hyatt Diamond suite upgrades

In December Hyatt Gold Passport made some updates to their system, which has given them the technology to make a rather negative change. What we suspected last December is now official.

Hyatt has reached out to share the following details:

Diamond members enjoy many exclusive privileges including suite upgrades at the time of reservation four times annually on eligible paid nights. On March 1, 2016, Diamond members will receive four new Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards, and we want to provide clarity on an upcoming modification to the redemption period.

What’s Changing? Suite awards issued on or after March 1, 2016 must be redeemed for reservations with a checkout date prior to the expiration date of the award. Suite awards not redeemed prior to the expiration date of the award will be forfeited.

What’s not changing? Suite awards issued prior to March 1, 2016, must be redeemed by making a reservation no later than the last day of February 2016 for future reservations. In the event one of these Suite awards is redeemed for stay dates beyond the expiration date and the reservation is cancelled after the last day of February 2016, the Suite award will be forfeited.

These changes will be reflected on our website and within our Terms and Conditions on February 1, 2016.

This means that as of next year, Hyatt Diamond suite upgrades will only be valid for stays through the expiration date, rather than them letting you book through the expiration date, even if the stay is for a subsequent date.

That’s totally fair, I don’t have a problem with the policy change as such. What I take issue with is that Hyatt only deposits the Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards on March 1 of each year. This means you won’t really be able to use a Diamond Suite Upgrade Award in advance for stays in March, April, etc.

If Hyatt is going to have this policy, they should begin issuing Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards when members requalify, rather than on March 1. That would solve the problem, and would be the same as what American Airlines and Starwood Preferred Guest do with their upgrades — they’re issued once you requalify, and then valid through the standard expiration date.

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Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

Bottom line

I’m fine with Hyatt requiring that suite upgrades be for stays by the expiration date, and not just bookings by the expiration date. But to combine that with only issuing the suite upgrades on March 1 is what I take issue with, since it creates a period where these upgrades are unusable. That’s illogical, unless Hyatt has a very specific reason they don’t want people upgrading in March.

What do you make of this change to Hyatt’s Diamond suite upgrade expiration? Would you feel better if the upgrades were issued when you requalified rather than on March 1?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. Another change–I got an SPG status match to Hyatt Diamond after the December system shutdown, and did not receive any DSUs with the status match. I guess we’ll see if I get any on March 1, but I would assume challenges and such don’t come with DSUs going forward.

  2. Seems very customer-unfriendly — people have complained already about not being able to use up all four DSUs and now this will make things even worse.

    Getting DSUs immediately upon requalification would definitely be a step in the the right direction but do they have an ability to set individual expiration dates for each DSU?

  3. I suspect it is a glitch that they did not realize. Perhaps they expected people who were ongoing DSU customers to confirm in March and you will use the next year’s credit instead of this year’s. If you are an ongoing DSU customer, that glitch would only affect you the first year of the new system since you would be changing the year that the credit is being used for March/April. But the next year you would then have your old credit to be used in that year. It feels like a gyp if you were “banking” a credit or two to use them specifically in March but will have the same number of credits per year regardless. Unless I am reading that wrong. Hyatt did not specifically state you cannot confirm a suite upgrade in March right?

  4. I’m finding another issue that you didn’t mention. I booked a DSU for a stay after the February 2016 expiration date, and it did not deduct a DSU from my available DSU total. While at first that seems like a glitch in my favor, I suspect that come March 1, I might find that I only get 3 out of the 4 new DSUs, with 1 already having been booked.
    i.e. I wonder if by booking now for a post-Feb booking, I am actually using up 1 of my new DSUs that haven’t even arrived in my account yet.

  5. @Yehuda – I believe that is the gist of my comment. You won’t “lose” the ability to book in March, April, etc. but instead of banking this year’s DSUs for post-year travel, you will in effect “borrow” future credits for that travel.

  6. @Craig – re-reading your comment now, I believe that, yes, we’re saying the same thing. I guess we’ll see on March 1 whether we start with 4 DSUs or less.

  7. In my short time as diamond, I came across situations where DSUs on paid rates weren’t available but were available on C&P reservations. So hat make me think your comment abou no capacity controls is incorrect. Did you mean no blackout dates?

  8. I hope they have a lot of people working on March 1…I can’t imagine the number of calls they will receive all at once with people trying to use their certificates for the year!

  9. More importantly for the non-diamond customers, they have ended the practice of allowing an extension of 30 days to the Chase Anniversary night certificate. They made this no notice change in December this year and now they refuse to extend any certificates. I booked a trip this spring expecting to be able to extend the certificate 30 days and now it will go to waste. I also passed up opportunities to use the certificate earlier this year.

    For those of us who do two player mode with a partner, you could book four nights on one trip with the Chase certificates if you timed it right. Now this option is gone.

  10. What utter b.s! DSUs suddenly do not depend on availability and are not capacity controlled??? It seems that the more this already hghly restricted perk is gutted the more bloggers want to make up things to justify their calling the best in the business The DSU has never been what bloggers claim it to be. Just ask folks who have consistently had a hard time using theirs every year due to lack of availability (one such person just posted at VFTW)…

  11. Hi Lucky,

    I’ve checked my Hyatt online account today and it looks like someone in their IT dept. has messed up – http://imgur.com/YV2Tm20
    Have a look at this screenshots and T&Cs – is everything looks ok to you?
    I should have one DSU redeemed next year and 3 unused ones, but the pic tells me a different story.

    Cheers,
    BK

  12. I have 4 DSUs I haven’t used already!

    I tried to use one for an upcoming trip to Mexico, but it didn’t work. I had booked a points+cash reservation, but didn’t have enough points in my account at the time (but knew I would before the trip). I asked to apply a DSU at the time of booking, the person I spoke with said they did. I called back a few months later to confirm that there was a DSU for that reservation. Confirmed by the Hyatt rep I spoke with. Called back again to confirm (since the trip is coming up), and the rep said that there was no DSU confirmed and that they can’t confirm DSUs until the points have been taken out of your account. And now there are no suites available! Wish someone had told me that so I could have transferred the points earlier!

    Somewhat annoying since most of my other upcoming trips are 1 night stays. Guess I will have some really nice 1 night stays….

  13. I had to cancel a Suite Upgrade in early January. The Hyatt phone agent said it would not show up online on my account but the agents could see it, so to not worry. I lose my Diamond status Feb 28. 🙁 Tonite I booked a 5-night P&C stay at Miami Hyatt Regency Downtown for September 2016 and asked to use my Suite Upgrade. Seamless. No questions asked. So this verifies that the existing suite upgrades issued prior to 2016 are extendable beyond their expiration date if the room is booked prior to their expiration. Sweet!

  14. I sent them my Hilton Diamond and Marriott for Platinum proof, received middle tier. Sad to say probably wont be at a Hyatt this year.

  15. I had to cancel a paid suite upgrade stay, but the DSU didn’t come back into my account. When I called them, they said once a DSU is applied to a reservation it doesn’t come back into the account even if the reservation is canceled. Seems irrational, but the agent was adamant. Just wondering if the agent was off or that’s their (customer-unfriendly) policy …

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