Last week we first learned about World of Hyatt, which will replace Gold Passport as Hyatt’s loyalty program as of March 1, 2017. All members will be transferred over to the new program and given status based on their 2016 stay activity with Gold Passport. Personally I’m conflicted about the new program, and there are things I both love and hate.
Regardless of how you feel about the program as such, Tokyo Hyatt Fan brings up an interesting point about how Hyatt seems to be violating the terms & conditions of the Gold Passport program with how they’re making these changes. Specifically, the Gold Passport terms & conditions state that Hyatt can end the Gold Passport program, but only if they provide written notice to members at least six months in advance:
3. The Hyatt Gold Passport program may continue until such time as Hyatt Gold Passport at its sole discretion elects to designate a program termination date. Hyatt Gold Passport has the right to end the Hyatt Gold Passport program by providing written notice to then Active Members six (6) months in advance.
The new World of Hyatt program was first revealed on October 27, 2016, at which point they announced that the program would remain in effect through February 28. After that it would “transition to a new program,” World of Hyatt.
So even if we are to assume that a press release counts as “written notice to members” (which is questionable), this means that they could only introduce the program as of April 27, 2017, at the earliest, at least per their terms.
Tokyo Hyatt Fan suggests emailing Hyatt or contacting the Better Business Bureau or taking this to small claims court in Delaware for any loss of benefits. Personally I think that’s silly, because current Diamond members who don’t plan on requalifying next year have something to gain with the new program being introduced sooner.
Once the new program is introduced, all top tier Globalist members will receive a free night at any Hyatt hotel in the world. Furthermore, Globalist members will begin receiving unlimited complimentary suite upgrades. If you know you won’t be able to requalify for Globalist, you should be happy about getting the status sooner rather than later.
Still, it’s a bit surprising to see that Hyatt is violating their own terms with the introduction of the World of Hyatt program…
I’m (obviously) not a lawyer, so perhaps I’m missing something. To some degree this is perhaps all semantics. They’re able to change program benefits without any sort of advance notice, so it’s not that we’re entitled to any particular benefits for six months. Rather it seems that it’s just discontinuation of the program as such that they need to provide six months notice of.
If they said “we’re changing the name of Gold Passport” while also changing the benefits, no advance notice would be required. However, they’re going out of their way to advertise that they’re “transitioning to a new program,” so…
To our lawyer-type readers, what say you?