Here We Go Again: DCS Still Doesn’t Get It

Earlier this week Mike shared his family’s experience staying at Hyatt hotels where his kids are often invited to choose a toy upon check-in. I concur — my wife and I have schlepped home more than our fair share of monkeys, bears, and just about every other animal known to man.

GrandHyattTaipei01015

It has gotten to the point that we’ve even thought about bringing along another bag just for their swag, similar to how Ben needs an extra rollaboard for his ducks and amenity kits.

Lufthansa-Ducks

Mike went on to say that his favorite part of the Hyatt program, as a newly minted Hyatt Diamond, was the confirmed suite upgrades. Note the word confirmed.

While the word might seem benign to you, it tends to raise the ire of our resident Hilton homer, DCS, who quickly showed up in the comments arguing that Hyatt suite upgrades are actually confirmable rather than confirmed.

Now I know, y’all are going to start groaning thinking “please Travis, don’t feed the troll, Just let it go.” But hear me out.

I think I know where DCS is coming from on this

See, he’s an academic, sort of like yours truly. We absolutely love to play semantics when we write papers. We spend hours and hours thinking of how to state our results so that we can never be proven wrong.

Where do we learn this amazing skill? From our graduate advisers, of course! As a case in point, my adviser once put me through over 20 rewrites of the same paper — by the end he was literally replacing the‘s for an‘s, and then a day later, he would tell me to change it back. (Don’t worry CW, I still love ya!) He had a saying of “once you publish a paper, you never get it back,” meaning you have to make it perfect, because once it’s published, there’s no fixing it, and it’ll be associated with you forever.

The reason we are so careful with our wording, of course, is that there’s always a DCS (or three) at rival institutions who go over your paper with a fine-toothed comb looking for points they can argue with you. Sure, they’ll do it under the guise of collegiality and all, but face it — they want to prove you wrong.

And that leads us to DCS and his insistence that the world is wrong in referring to Hyatt suite upgrades as confirmed. He writes:

There is no such thing as a “confirmed” upgrade. It depends on AVAILABILITY, like any other top elite suite upgrade. No availability, no upgrade. Period.

BTW, you were an SPG [r.i.p] guy. Well, they refer to their SNAs as ‘confirmable’ upgrades. How about stopping the deception and calling them what they are — CONFIRMABLE, implying “guaranteed”? This is straight out of the SPG T&C: “”Suite Night Awards” may be redeemed for advance CONFIRMABLE [caps mine for emphasis but word is in original] upgrades for select, premium rooms or standard suites on a per room, per night basis, subject to AVAILABILITY [caps mine as well] and the applicable terms and conditions set forth on http://www.spg.com/50nightsbenefit .”

It is the same thing even for airline upgrade instruments. This how “confirmable” airline upgrade instruments work:

From UA on my recent trip to SIN upgraded with a GPU: “We’re pleased to let you know that your request for an upgrade from Chicago, IL, US (ORD – O’Hare) to Hong Kong, HK, CN (HKG) has been confirmed. If you’ve requested an upgrade for another flight in this reservation, we will notify you separately if it is confirmed.”

Confirmable is what all upgrade instruments are UNTIL confirmed, so it does not matter whether that happens at booking or at check in. AVAILABILITY must be there first.

Confirmable and confirmed are indeed different

I agree with him that upgrades are confirmable until they are confirmed. Let’s take that as truth.

This is in fact how it works on United. As a 1K, I can apply a Global Premium Upgrade, and, with a little luck, the upgrade will go from theoretically confirmable to actually confirmed sometime between the time it was applied and boarding. Until then, it’s just waitlisted. Thus, it is semantically correct to call the upgrade confirmable because in reality, you will almost always go on the purgatorial waitlist first.

American has a similar scheme for their systemwide upgrades. In the hotel world, Starwood does too (as DCS correctly states) — upgrades are pending until five days out at which point they can start to confirm.

But that’s definitely not how it works in Hyatt-land.

For better or worse, there simply is no ability to waitlist for a suite. I mean, seriously, we’re talking about a company that considers it a good day when the reservation system doesn’t crash for more than 10 minutes. There is either availability, in which case you confirm immediately, or the agent tells you there are no suites available for upgrade at which point you hang up and try again tomorrow.

The key here is the lack of waitlisting. Since Hyatt suite upgrades confirm immediately (or not), there’s no time during which they are “confirmable” but not yet “confirmed.” They go straight from unapplied to confirmed, bypassing the waitlist completely. That means that, unlike United, you’ll never get a random email from Hyatt telling you that your upgrade is now confirmed because you knew it was confirmed (or not) from the moment it was applied (or not).

And that’s why we correctly refer to them as confirmed suite upgrades.

Do I wish they were confirmable and not just confirmed? Of course. If they were confirmable, it would imply that waitlisting was possible which would obviate the need to call back and check every day. But I’m not holding my breath that that will ever happen.

Now remember, we need to cut DCS some slack — as a Hilton Diamond, he doesn’t have suite upgrade instruments at all, so this is naturally going to be confusing. And lest he tell you how many complimentary upgrades he gets after browbeating asking the check-in agent, remember that we can do the same thing at Hyatt. So our four confirmed suite upgrades are superior to theoretical infinite suite upgrades.

Bottom line

Hyatt suite upgrades are confirmed (not confirmable!) because there is no ability to waitlist. They either confirm immediately or they remain unapplied in your account.

Will this lay the issue to rest? Of course not. But, as in the world of academia, I figure we can all cite this post when DCS brings the topic up again. And heck, it might even increase my h-index in the process…

What do you think?

Comments

  1. What does this have to do with toys? And I feel like we’ve entered the twilight zone: trolls feeding trolls. Maybe there’s something of value to someone? Hard to say.

  2. “Hyatt suite upgrades are confirmed (not confirmable!) because there is no ability to waitlist. They either confirm immediately or they remain unapplied in your account.”

    Not really true. There is a waitlist, you just have to monitor it manually — it’s not automatic. This is arguably worse.

  3. This is the funniest post I have read on OMAAT in a while. Props to DCS for being the subject line. Love to have DCS at the next Chicago Seminar or FTU. I love this banter between all the OMAAT writers and DCS, this is what makes OMAAT (the TMZ of Boarding Area) Fun, Fun, Fun!

  4. While I’m a Hyatt loyalist all the way, I disagree here. The upgrades are not confirmed until they’re applied, doesn’t have anything to do with waitlist (though I can understand that POV) It’s not like you receive the upgrades and they’re automatically used/applied.
    I would define upgrades that have the ability to be confirmed as confirmable. Once they are applied, they become confirmed. But they are not “confirmed” before they are applied.

  5. In the interest of accuracy, they are “confirmable” not “confirmed”. The whole airline way of doing things is a non-sequitor.

    Confirmed DSUs would imply Hyatt guaranteed you would be able to use them (regardless of availability), the way the 48 hr reservation guarantee works. Basically they’d force you into a hotel with full suites.

    Confirmable is indeed the right word.

    Of course if you also know DCS from Gary’s blog, you know he doesn’t believe they are “confirmable” either. He simply states Hyatt capacity controls them and deliberately misleads you into forgetting that clearing at time of booking and clearing at check in are two very different things.

    You could also say confirmed at time of booking suites (i.e confirmable immediately) or call them instant upgrade vouchers (subject to availability) but since they are indeed subject to availability of open suites at time of booking, they are confirmable and not confirmed (they become confirmed only after you apply them, which you may not be able to at all)

    I hope that makes sense, what is clear to us may not be clear to newbies and you don’t need a chink in your armour to make them think DCS is right to any degree…because his subsequent argument is going to be there is ZERO difference between Hyatt and Hilton suite upgrades since both are subject to….availability

  6. @Travis — I thought we’d already settled this upgrade business a long time ago!

    Anyway, I do get it just fine. Probability must be one’s strong suit for one to see where I am coming with this. There is no such thing as a “confirmed” upgrade. SPG [r.i.p] calls them “confirmable” and that’s what they are….

    I just returned from the annual meeting of the American Society of Neuroradiology in DC (held at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel, where I scored a junior suite upgrade without asking) and have no time to respond now. But I will let everyone who cares about the topic give me rope that I will hang them with later 😉

    In the mean time, would please try to “confirm” one of your FOUR DSUs for any of your upcoming AWARD stays 😉

    G’day!

  7. “Probability must be one’s strong suit for one to see where I am coming with this. There is no such thing as a “confirmed” upgrade. SPG [r.i.p] calls them “confirmable” and that’s what they are….”
    They start out as “confirmable” but they become “confirmed” at the time of application. If you disagree because you think it’s possible/probable that you won’t get said suite once Hyatt “confirms” it, that’d be like saying you can’t get a confirmed airline ticket because they could cancel the flight. Very much overkill. Even SPG language states confirmable then becomes confirmed. Difference being SPG will confirm them up to 5 days in advance whereas Hyatt will confirm them upon application.

    I can see though that describing the four upgrades as “confirmed” is grammatically inappropriate unless they have been applied. But you’re using this conundrum of language to group Hyatt, SPG, and Hilton upgrades into the same category, when clearly Hyatt upgrades stand out from the other two. Maybe a better term for Hyatt upgrades would be “appliable”. Something you can do with Hyatt upgrades that you can’t do with the other two.

  8. I have also felt this churning thing has gotten slow and boring recently. And you confirm it with this article. I guess not much to write about nowadays.

    Now tell us what is the meaning of the word “is” is?

  9. Hmmmm… I’m an academic but my adviser never poured over useless symantec changes unless the message unclear to the point that it would be misinterpreted. Frankly, he just didn’t have that sort of time.

  10. Sounds like a high maintenance cry baby. You need to understand what is really important in this world…not rubber ducky toys.

    Worthless post.

  11. @Jared I hope you meant “semantic” because Symantec is a tech company dealing with security….

    @me yet you spent time to read it and make a comment?

  12. @Dave

    Yes I did. Thanks for correcting. Also just noticed that the comment is missing a “was” between message and unclear. I’m not the most proficient at using this new function, which ties the words together on this phone.

  13. @ DCS – Your beloved Hilton has crusted poop on its toilets. Obviously not in every one of their hotels but out of thirty stays at various chains in the past year, Hilton rooms had more poop on their toilets than anyone should see of another person’s poop in one lifetime. While you may be busy with the confirmed/confirmable debate, I suggest you take a closer look next time you check into your confirmed/confirmable/unconfirmed/unconfirmable Hilton suite. Just some poop for thought.

  14. @chancer: I’m with you here– not on P.O.T specifically, but the condition of rooms in general. Maybe I’m not staying at the right chains: Doubletree, Embassy Suites. Mold, flooding, rust, general out-of-dateness. (In fairness, the flooding happened to my Fiance in Bakersfield, I wasn’t part of that stay) I stayed at a Cat 1 Hyatt Place, and the experience beat five out of 6 Hilton Brand Hotel’s I’ve stayed at (DT San Diego, DT Santa Rosa, ES Monterey, ES Arcadia, Parc 55 San Francisco). Granted I greatly enjoyed my stay at Conrad Rangali Island, but that’s on a different level to begin with.

  15. What a waste of time and column inches. Travis, please leave the posting to Lucky and Tiffany, thanks.

  16. Let me preface by saying that i’m road warrior who spends 200-250+ nights at hotels and have top status in Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and SPG.

    So i was enamored by DCS’ response a while back regarding his stays at Conrad (and Hilton in general) and the amount of points he earned, and was double checking that i’m maximizing my returns. I have hotel receipts from all programs so i can verify that i’m calculating this correctly.

    I did some sample calculations using very fair/low point values (meaning i actually value Hyatt @ 1.4cpp, Hilton @ 0.4cpp, IHG @ 0.5cpp, Marriott @ ) and did sample calculations across the major hotel programs, and found that Hyatt comes out on top by a fair margin – fueled mainly by welcome bonus of 500-1000 points ($7-$14 return). On a sample $180 hotel night as a Hyatt Diamond, you will get 1170 Hyatt points + 500/1000 welcome amenity = ~ $25 in return.

    Even with current promo of double points, Hilton is barely keeping up with Hyatt (1 night stay). On a 4 nights stay when compared to Hyatt (which applies more often for us business travelers), you earn ~$15 less with Hilton, and ~$40 more with double bonus. However, with Hyatt’s current promotion 25 nights/75,000 points, this isn’t even close. On a 4 nights $720 sample stay ($180/night), Hyatt is returning a whopping ~$245 which is 33% in return!

    Now, you say not all of us are business travelers so that don’t apply to all of us. Well, at even just 5 nights you will get 5000 points in return, so 1000 points/night ~$14 in value. Multiply that by 4 = $48, which is still $8 more than Hilton’s promotion ($48-$40). And you get that 5000 points the day automatically after you complete 5 nights.

    On top of that, i’ve never stayed at a “bad” Hyatt hotel, all Hyatt Place/House/Regency/Whatever i’ve been to are decent enough – same thing can’t be said for the other hotel programs. I’m already done with Hyatt’s 25 nights promotion for this quarter and i just opened a 2nd Hyatt account to build more points.

    Now, we can also talk about quick promos like IHG (i got 50000 points last quarter for 5 nights stay) or Marriott (2 stays = 1 night last quarter), but those are targeted or unsustainable (nothing after 2 stays for Marriott). Anyway, in summary – just maximize what the best bonus is available to you. But on a fair playing field, Hyatt comes out on top.

  17. I apologize for those typos, didn’t proof read my comment. Marriott @ 0.7cpp and SPG @ 2cpp.

  18. @Jared Your adviser may not have “..poured over useless symantec changes” but I’ll wager he pored over a few. 😉

  19. @Kliff: Awesome. I’m not a business traveler, and in fact the only way I can get top tier anything is mattress running…. and you are absolutely right that Hyatt is the best return. Bam!

  20. Well, that was useless and pointless. Serves me right, though, for clicking the link thinking it might be an interesting, useful read.

  21. Bring Lucky back! These other contributors lack interest. A full post just to troll a troll? Really?

  22. Ah nice, I enjoy Travis’ posts and was wondering when we’ll see him again. I might have missed some of the previous weeks but thought I haven’t seen any for awhile.

    I think the above should have been 2 posts. It starts with talking about toys for kids so I thought it might be a good post comparing the child friendly policies (a.k.a. toy giving policies) of the various brands. But unfortunately it then morphed into a different post. Still an enjoyable read but unfortunately I don’t really agree with the use of semantics.

    So just to get it of my chest with no intention to further discuss as it is trivial, I’ll use an example.
    At the time of booking (d), the booking is a booking for a normal room. A upgrade is possible but needs to be requested (so it is still confirmable but not yet confirmed)
    Then, if I call the upgrade desk 3 days later at d + 3, and then request an upgrade, it is still confirmable. Only when the agent confirms (!) that it is confirmed, it then changes to confirmed. If the agent cannot confirm, it is still confirmable.
    I then have to call back on d + 4, d + 5, d + 6, d + 7 etc until my stay. At any of these points, the booking remains confirmable until the agent confirms that it is confirmed.

    In my view the discussion relates to the time of booking so d. As at time d, you make the choice between which chain, hotel or room you want, the room upgrade is not yet confirmed but dependent on an event (request to upgrade), it is confirmable.

    The reason for my comment, I’m studying and needed a break from the boredom of financial mathematics, so just ignore.

  23. As usual Travis this post gets a grade rating of a D. Put that on your acedemic report.

  24. Please don’t give this lead resident of the Mt. Rushmore of mega-douches any more airtime than he already gets

  25. @UA-NYC – I assume you are referring to DCS?

    BTW…I could sound ignorant, but does the acronym DCS have any relevance to do with Hilton’s loyalty program or anything?

  26. @Samantha – yes…he makes grand pronouncements that lack grounding in the real-world…not surprising for someone in academia.

  27. This is hilarious on so many levels. This guy is really yanking your chain. Everyone with any travel experience understands the reality of this situation and semantics mean nothing. He stated in previous response that he paid over $400 per night . If you aren’t getting upgraded to a suite at that price point you are doing something wrong.

  28. Here we go…

    The four “confirmed” DSUs have to be put in perspective before their purported “superiority” can be claimed.

    If one tells me that each of the 4 DSUs can be confirmed every time they are requested, that would be a significant advantage, but they would still have drawbacks (e.g., the recently gutted expiration date; not being good on PURE award stays). Except that the 4 DSUs are not automatically “confirmed” when requested because they depend on AVAILABILITY and, yes, they are capacity controlled like any other top elite upgrade (airline or hotel). That is where the probabilities become important. I have cleared better than 90% of my Diamond Complimentary Suite Upgrades (DCSUs) since 2012 when they became a written HH Diamond perk, which means that 9 times out of 10, I can hope to clear an upgrade at check in. With such a high clearance rate, I no longer bother with whether or not I should book a suite outright. I am counting on getting into one…for free… when I check in!

    On the hand, one can have a “confirmed” DSU and try to confirm (if that sounds weird it’s because it is) it at booking and fail [glad that @Travis appreciates the difference between “confirmed” and “confirmable”). So, the question is: when you set out to confirm a DSU at booking, what is your BATTING AVERAGE, i.e., what is the probability that you’ll confirm one at booking? What’s more is that a DSU must be confirmed at booking. If you fail, then what do you do?

    Lastly, consider the total number of upgrades were are talking about here. In 2014, I cleared 12 of 12 (100%) suite upgrades (8 more than a HGP Diamond can “confirm” DSUs per year). In 2015, I cleared 13/15 DCSUs, 9 more than I would’ve “confirmed” if I’d depended on DSUs. This year so far I have cleared suite upgrades at Hilton Prague Old Town, Hilton Frankfurt City Center, Conrad Hong Kong, failing only at Hilton Singapore. Just the sheer number of DCSUs I can clear already dwarfs what can be done with DSUs. Then you need to consider that when I travel and book PURE AWARD stays for 3-4 weeks at the end of the year, I keep clearing DCSUs because they are UNLIMITED and good on any eligible stay, including such PURE AWARD stays. Try that trick with a DSU…

    This is a “numbers game” so that it is utterly silly to keep touting or claiming the “superiority” of HGP DSUs. They have never made me want to status match to become a HGP Diamond and forgo the great advantages of DCSUs, which are my top perk among all the hotel loyalty perks!

    G’day.

  29. “the Mt. Rushmore of mega-douches”

    This moron claims to be a moderator at FlyerTalk and I believe him. It is the one discussion board where such puerile name-calling is a feature and not a bug. Might be a good idea if you just stayed there…

  30. @Kliff — The math is trivial. A number of bloggers, including @View From the Wing and @Travel Codex have done the math, and so have I, and pretty much everyone found the same thing (I provided the links many times):
    Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott programs are about the same in terms of SPEND PER FREE NIGHT, which is the closest thing to an “objective” measure of the cost of awards. SPG [r.i.p] was by far the most expensive program so they have gone belly up, maybe as a result an all-around bad model. IHG and Club Carlson are cheap, no matter how you cut it.

  31. I can’t believe I’m responding to this, but —

    “So, the question is: when you set out to confirm a DSU at booking, what is your BATTING AVERAGE, i.e., what is the probability that you’ll confirm one at booking?”

    If a standard suite is available, 100%. If a standard suite is not available, massage the dates a bit, and see if availability changes. You can check all of this prior to booking the base room, so it’s really not that complicated.

  32. Bwahahahahahahahaha! Awesome! I might have missed that completely. Yes. 100% average when a standard suite is available.

    On top of that, I’ve been given plenty of suite upgrades non-DSU related. For instance, recently checked into Hyatt Regency SFO Embarcadero, and was comped an upgrade to their best suite (I think they were otherwise sold out). PH Aviara Carlsbad, Andaz San Diego, HR Monterey, HR Miami. The only time I ever asked for a suite upgrade was at the HR Sacramento, and got it. The only time I ever asked for a suite upgrade at Hilton was Parc 55, and they were sold out. Had I received a “confirmable” “appliable” “confirmed” “whatever you want to call it-Hyatt style upgrade”, I could have been in a suite, since one was available at time of booking. I’m not 100% for upgrades at Hyatt, but at least I can count on being in one prior to departing if needed.

  33. * Not 100% for non-DSU related upgrades.

    But three years in a row I’ve gone to a Premier property, Grand Hyatt Kauai, and knew with 100% certainty I’d have a suite waiting for me prior to the trip starting. Can’t say that about Hilton.

  34. @UA-NYC – I am an academic and my graduate students and I have developed combustion technology that is in fact within the jet engines of every single GE gas turbine powering the aircraft that you and probably most here fly on. Sure I don’t get financial remuneration from that technology every time an airline chooses that engine, but hey – not all of us can be grounded in the real world to solely make money. Some of us actually have to work to make improvements to the current state of the art and knowledge so that “grounded people” like you can fly one day.

    Ironic that you can comment on someone being a “mega-douche”

  35. @Kent – read a few more of DCS’ posts and you will understand why he is universally despised on all the BA boards. Nothing worse than someone who is dogmatic as well as incorrect.

  36. @UA-NYC – Regardless of this person’s reputation, it does not give you the right to insult others based on the actions of one or even a few people that you may have met from a certain profession, practice, etc. I think that’s what enraged Kent and I understand his frustration with all of the people claiming that they are “academics” as if all academics behave identically.

  37. Apologies as my statement was really just directed at a single academic 😉 who makes wholly false, uneducated statements about industry related happenings

  38. @Tiffany sez: “I can’t believe I’m responding to this, but —”

    Then: “If a standard suite is available, 100%.”

    Yup. The Identity Principle: A=A! 100% availability == 100% confirmed. Except that the identity does not hold for any top elite upgrade (hotel or airline). Definitely not for DSUs, which is why one looks at the odds. It is a crap shoot.

    So, you probably should not have responded because you just made my point. AVAILABILITY is the name of the game. It determines whether or not a suite can be referred to as ‘confirmed’, at booking or at check in…

    G’day!

  39. The one academic whose statements this moron refers to as “false”, uneducated”, etc, is a full professor of physics (in Radiology) with appointment at the medical schools of two Ivy League universities in Manhattan (it should be obvious what they are), with specialization in biomedical magnetic resonance neuroimaging and modeling of infinitely more complex systems than loyalty systems — a mere hobby.

    I thought I would provide some perspective for anyone who wonders how an over-the-top and unhinged FlyerTalk “moderator” can sound like…

    G’day!

  40. @ DCS: thank you for responding to my comment. I’m sure other bloggers have done the math, i believe i read it on travelisfree.com too. My point being – Hyatt gives you the most points if you are a top-tier memeber, and blow every other program out of the ballpark with its current promotion, even if you are only staying 5 nights and earning 5000 bonus points.

    You have a great batting average with your Hilton Diamond membership. Same thing cannot be said for the others – I’m batting 0 of 9 stays this year (with 95% hotel stays paid in cash) on my inaugural Hilton Diamond status, this also includes international and resort properties. So to me, having a way to confirm suites, although somewhat “capacity controlled”, is priceless.

    I confirmed Grand Hyatt Melbourne for a 3 night stay and Flagship Grand Hyatt Hong Kong during Christmas – New Years (very busy season) on C&P stays already. This ensures that i can fly into those cities knowing that i already secured the suites 6 MONTHS ahead of time, and can plan accordingly (inviting friends to my suites). Park Hyatt Vienna gave me a suite without using DSU – so it is also possible depending on properties.

    On a side note, i have pretty good luck confirming that unreliable SPG suite upgrades so far this year (i’d say 6 out of 7) – W SF and Taipei even gave me their Extreme WOW suite on $160-$200 stays.

    Given that I have top status with most chains, I’m loyal to value, not to hotel chain. $160 for a Extreme WOW suite? That’s value. $270 for the smallest room i’ve ever stayed in (and led to an angry gf) and refused to upgrade – even saying they already upgrade me for night to a view room when there is no view, that’s my experience with Hilton. I feel like a number when I check into Hilton Hotels and a royalty when I check into Hyatt. You are entitled to your opinions, and i’ll continue to stay at Hyatt and SPG properties. SPG being that it has more properties that have the “WOW” factor.

  41. @Kliff — Points currencies are different among programs and cannot be compared without appropriate conversion. As HHonors Diamond, I get a minimum of 32HH points/$ in the absence of any promo. That is the absolute minimum that I get per paid stay. HHonors points are known for how easy they are to earn. For a couple of years now, HHonors has really stepped up their game with respect to promos, offering both “global” or quarterly promos and targeted promos for which not a single property was allowed to opt out. By contrast, until their latest quarterly promo, HGP had not offered a promo since last September. Therefore, I am not exactly sure what is your basis for claiming that Hyatt offers the most points.

    As for all else in your post about how well one does within a given loyalty program, that really depends on how well one can plays the game. I have studied the HH program and have come up with a game plan that now allows me to maximize pretty much everything that the program offers, from earning the maximum number of points possible to clearing as many complimentary suite upgrades as possible…

  42. BTW — I am not into “WOW” properties at all. The locations and not the hotel amenities are what I am interested in when I travel. I need a lot of room while on the road, hence my focus on suites, which also tend to have the best accommodations that most properties offer. If there is a Conrad or a Waldorf Astoria or a Hilton or an Embassy Suites or a DoubleTree, I am happy. I do not care much for the Mom & Pop properties like Home2, HGI, etc…

  43. @DCS – However, why is this getting under your skin so much? When you put yourself out there in the world of blogging, your words are no more yours. They are open to interpretation and scrutiny just as the peer review process or a piece of art. There is no need to provide such detailed credentials in response to someone doubting your mathematics and experiences. They are your personal experiences and frankly cannot be diminished by anyone else because they are your “personal experiences.” You belong to a minority that has undertaken a profession to serve out of humility to further man-kind (although I admit there is a certain feeling of superiority amongst my colleagues and perhaps me who are also professors). However, remember foremost that as a professor, you must be humble and impervious to criticism.

    – just thoughts from another full professor at an esteemed university renowned for propulsion and combustion. It’s just not worth defending something on these blogs (with a readership of a few million – miniscule compared to scientific journals and such) and responding to every single comment is just worsening your case.

  44. Kent, great points, and ones which someone should take heed of. DCS doesn’t understand that “book smart” in your field of specialization doesn’t necessarily mean you comprehend things like M&A activity. Case in point? His repeated both false and incredibly ignorant statements that “SPG went belly up, due to a flawed business model, taken down by it’s own loyalty credit card”, to say nothing of his repeated twisting of “confirmed” and the like. That shows a true lack of actual knowledge that would put even Trump to shame.

  45. @Kent — I do not mind a fight. I tangle with travel blog hosts all the time. That is my claim to “fame” here and elsewhere.

    What I just do not care much for are the puerile name-calling and schoolyard taunts that this individual engages in almost constantly. Not just here, but also at Gary Leff’s blog. I suspect that is why you felt compelled to say something about it.

    My academic credentials I provided here are hardly detailed [you told us more about yours!]; they’d be even more impressive if I did… really (e.g., I trained at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, #1 in the country. See?). It is simply that it is quite ludicrous for this FlyerTalk “moderator” to keep referring to my comments as “uneducated” considering what I do for a living, and I even doubt that is how any of the bloggers I tangle with constantly, who l know a lot more than this “FlyerTalk “moderator”, would characterize my comments.

    To be blunt: I do not mind tough reasoned arguments. It is stupid ones, like this FlyerTalk “moderator”‘s, I do not care much for.

    I will not dignify this digression further by dwelling on it.

    G’day.

  46. @Kent: “responding to every single comment is just worsening your case.”

    I seldom do. I like to tangle with the blog hosts, who know what they are talking about, and not with their readers.

    I went for weeks without addressing this… guy …but he got even worse. He got progressively exasperated the more I ignored him, and then began following me around relentlessly, repeating the same things over and over, betraying a clear OCD psychopathology.

    I will ignore him again until he goes over board and someone decides to toss him out of here for being too personal with words like “douche bag”.

  47. Given that every base level suite is available for booking at some point in time, you could argue that there is a 100% chance of being able to book a suite in advance… if you plan far enough in advance. But given there are a select few hotels that sell out their suites super quick (I don’t know about to-the-minute quick, but maybe within a day) And a very-select-few hotels that have strong restrictions (Andaz Maui is the only one I know of) .. I’d give it a 98% chance. Meanwhile, what are the odds of securing a DCS upgrade in advance at Hilton? 1%? 0?
    If the whole “which is better Hyatt upgrades or Hilton upgrades” argument is based solely on probability, then for four stays, Hyatt will win every time. As for any stays beyond that, you’re no longer comparing Hyatt DSU directly with Hilton DCSU, you’re just comparing how many comp suite upgrades you can score as a Diamond with Hyatt vs Diamond with Hilton, that’s where “crap shoot” applies. You can’t argue “I couldn’t get a suite at Hyatt when I checked in during locally hosted superbowl, but I could get one at a Hilton in Omaha early December, so Hilton upgrades must be better.”
    A realistic equation for comparison in regards to Hyatt DSU vs Hilton DSCU would be to compare a few couples of similar category, similar location, similar date hotel stays, (with similar amount of suites) then look at the odds of a suite being available at time of check in vs being available within a year from time of booking. I’m gonna venture that your odds will be a LOT better a year out.

    Oh, but it’s not in T&C of Hyatt to give upgrades beyond the 4? Well, luckily as a Diamond, I haven’t needed it to be in T&C. Outside of my 4 DSUs, I’ve gotten suite upgrades ~80% of the time anyways. (And either I didn’t request or lack of availability for the remaining ~20%)

  48. It is quite interesting that one can repeatedly puff out their chest and talk about their education and training, and yet still repeatedly make intellectually dishonest statements about programs they clearly have jealously of (SPG, Hyatt, etc.), as well as factually incorrect statements about industry goings-on. Plain for all to see.

    Who said I was a FT Moderator? LOL. G’Day!!!

  49. As someone with no loyalty anywhere I can’t believe anyone, no matter how smart they like to believe themselves as being, can ever think that Hilton’s upgrades at check-in are the equivalent of DSU. It is like saying getting stand by upgrades at the gate are the same as GSU.

  50. Since we’re getting all nitpicky here, there’s no such thing as unlimited upgrades. They’re restricted in some way. If you’re only allowed to upgrade a room that you’re occupying then it maxes out at 365 a year. Otherwise your limit would still be the number of rooms in the Hilton inventory that you could upgrade into. While huge, it’s still finite, and a completely useless point that I’ve made.

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