I’ve been writing a lot about World of Hyatt lately, in anticipation of the big launch that occurred yesterday. As a longtime Diamond member, I’m concerned about the value proposition of the new program in light of the various devaluations.
Obviously the newly raised qualification levels are problematic for many of us given Hyatt’s small footprint, but I’m also concerned about the diluted breakfast benefits and the swap of welcome amenity points for tier-based free night awards with a short expiry.
But on the flip side, I’m super excited about the prospect of
I travel often with my family, and the extra space makes a huge difference. I’ve been skeptical, however, of how well this would be executed. In short, will we be proactively upgraded to suites, or will we have to fight for them?
I was eager to find out so I booked a room at a Hyatt Regency last night to see for myself how the Globalist benefits are being delivered. Tiffany did likewise, so we now have two very early World of Hyatt Globalist experiences to share.
A little background
I deliberately chose this particular Hyatt Regency because I’ve stayed at it many times and never received a single complimentary upgrade to a suite — trust me, I’ve tried my sweet-talking routine many times, and am always summarily rebuffed. Which is fine, of course, since the old Gold Passport program didn’t promise Diamonds anything in terms of free upgrades to suites.
The point is, I wanted a property where getting a complimentary suite upgrade would be a clear sign of success for the World of Hyatt program. And ending up in one of their Deluxe rooms — as I have many times before — would similarly be a failure.
From past experience, I know that Diamond Suite Upgrades at this hotel book into what they call a Hospitality suite. So shortly before I arrived, I called World of Hyatt to verify that a Hospitality suite was available. They assured me that it was. I then asked if I could us e a suite upgrade award on one, which they also said would be possible.
Then just to be sure, I confirmed with the representative that if I could use a suite upgrade to confirm a Hospitality suite, then I should also receive a complimentary upgrade to one when I checked in. He agreed, with the caveat that it would still need to be available, which made sense. But since I was about 15 minutes away at that point, I was confident it would be.
Checking in for the first time as a Hyatt Globalist
I walked in and headed to the reception desk.
I was wondering if there would be anything celebrating the launch of the new program. As far as I could tell, the only mention of World of Hyatt was this sign on the counter, which apparently replaces — hopefully temporarily — the classy Gold Passport Diamond / Platinum ones.
Anyway, the conversation then went like this.
“Welcome, sir, are you checking in?”
“Yes I am.”
“I just need your ID and a credit card. OK, I see that we have you in a Deluxe King tonight. Will that be OK?”
“Uh, I had thought that under the World of Hyatt program [pointing to sign], we’d get complimentary upgrades to standard suites.”
“OK, we can do that. I can get you in a King Studio Suite.”
“Well, I actually talked to World of Hyatt earlier today, and they said that Globalists would be eligible for the Hospitality suite here.”
“The hospitality suite doesn’t have a bed in it.”
“Hmmm, why would World of Hyatt have told me that my suite upgrade could be used on that then? That seems odd.”
“Well, we just have to put the adjoining bedroom with it. Would you like that?”
“Sure, that sounds good.”
“OK, I’m just going to have to move some things around. Give me a moment.”
And a few minutes later, I had my keys to one of the Hospitality suites, my first complimentary suite upgrade as a Hyatt Globalist.
Other Globalist benefits
She also informed me that I could help myself to a bottle of water in the room, which is another new Globalist benefit. I don’t care too much about it, but kudos to her for remembering it.
On the other hand, she didn’t proactively offer 4 PM checkout, but that was hit or miss before anyway. So no big deal, and I certainly didn’t need it. She did, however, remind me to have breakfast, which would be included. Sadly, I’d be leaving before it started.
And finally, there was no mention of a welcome amenity. Because those are long gone.
I’m not sure how to feel about this experience. On one hand, it’s pretty obvious that if I hadn’t been informed about the Globalist benefits, I wasn’t going to get upgrade. But on the other, I did get the upgrade to the exact suite that the Globalist phone agent assured me I was eligible for. I guess that’s why I said I “got” my first suite upgrade….
I realize a lot of folks abhor the idea of negotiating for an upgrade at the front desk, and I’m certainly not saying I like it. Sadly I expect that’s what is going to happen fairly often under the new World of Hyatt program though, so it kind of is what it is. But if you do your research, know what you are entitled to, and politely insist upon it, there’s a decent chance you’ll get it.
And honestly, given the insane qualification levels that Hyatt has imposed on Globalists, I personally won’t feel bashful about pushing for a suite. This is really the only significant benefit for Globalists under the new program in my opinion, so if I’m going to increase my loyalty to the brand — and I’m still deciding on that — I’m going to want to receive the published benefits. I think that’s only fair.
A second data point
Tiffany also checked into a Hyatt on her first day as a Globalist. It seems that her experience was a little smoother than mine, as the hotel had a stack of brochures advertising the new World of Hyatt program, and the associates were all familiar with Globalist benefits.
In addition to explaining the new perks, the check-in agent proactively offered a suite upgrade, then went on to explain that the available suite had not yet been renovated, and that a Club room with a view might be more enjoyable. Tiffany agreed and took the view over the suite.
Either way, I’ll declare this a success.
We’re now one day into the new World of Hyatt program and it’s going about like I expected, which is to say it’s a mixed bag.
In my case, the complimentary suite upgrade wasn’t proactively offered at all so it’s pretty clear that if I hadn’t been persuasive, I wasn’t going to get it. I’m going to grade this experience as a “C”, mostly because it was exactly what I expected. But in the end, I did get the exact suite that the Globalist line said I should, so in a pass/fail world, I think we have to call this a success. I mean, I did get a suite, right?
Tiffany’s experience on the other hand was much better, and by the sounds of it, would warrant an “A.”
I don’t want to draw too much of a conclusion from this. It’s just two experiences from two hotels on the first day of the program. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing about all of your experiences from the early days of World of Hyatt.
Have you received any complimentary suite upgrades?