As I wrote about on Saturday, Hyatt’s Diamond Suite Upgrades are expiring today, Monday, February 29, 2016. The good news is that they can be redeemed for stays on subsequent dates, as their expiration has historically been based on when you redeem them and not when you actually stay.
This is the last time where this will be possible, because Hyatt Diamond Suite Upgrades issued starting tomorrow will only be valid for stays through their expiration date. Apparently Hyatt has been wanting to make this change for a while, but their computers wouldn’t support such a change.
It finally became possible when Gold Passport had some downtime in December for system maintenance. During this downtime, Hyatt made some back-end IT changes they’ve been hoping to make for a long time.
Among these was Hyatt changing the expiration policy for suite upgrades, which they apparently wanted to do previously, but couldn’t due to IT limitations. With these changes, newly issued suite upgrades will only be valid for stays through the expiration date.
However, if you’re in the process of trying to redeem your Hyatt Diamond Suite Upgrades, you may notice something strange, which several people have contacted me about the past couple of days.
When you log into your Hyatt Diamond account you’ll see your Suite Upgrade Awards listed under the “My Awards” section, with the February 2016 expiration date:
However, if you go to apply your Suite Upgrade Awards to reservations and then check your account again, you’ll notice that these are applied differently than in the past. Your balance of upgrades expiring today shouldn’t change, but rather you’ll see a new section which shows upgrades expiring in 2017, and any upgrades for future stays should be deducted from that balance.
In other words, what’s basically happening is that when you apply one of your upgrades expiring today, agents are issuing new ones expiring in February 2017, and then applying them to the reservation.
This is likely due to the system changes which occurred in December, where the system doesn’t allow upgrades to be applied past their expiration date anymore, so their workaround is to credit your account with new ones which expire next year.
What we don’t know is what happens in practice if you cancel reservations with these Suite Night Awards. Historically if you apply upgrades for a stay after their expiration and then cancel the reservation, the upgrade expires. However, since upgrades are being applied by issuing ones expiring next year, there’s a chance they might be reusable. Only time will tell.
The IT updates Hyatt made in December are making the process of applying Diamond Suite Night Awards a bit different than in the past. The changes are preventing agents from applying these upgrades past their expiration date, so instead agents seem to be issuing new upgrades expiring next year, and then applying them to reservations.
It’s anyone’s guess if these upgrades can be reapplied in the event of canceling a reservation. Regardless, expect your Gold Passport account to look a bit strange if applying upgrades for future reservations.
If you have expiring Diamond Suite Upgrades which you weren’t planning on using, I’d recommend making a speculative booking which is refundable, and then seeing if those upgrades go back into your February 2017 balance if you cancel at a later date. Worst case scenario, you’re no worse off than you would have been otherwise.
What has been your experience with applying Hyatt Diamond Suite Upgrades past their expiration?