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Historically, the Hyatt program was very good about disclosing upcoming loyalty program changes and giving members sufficient advance notice of the changes so that could plan accordingly. When I got an email from their corporate communications department yesterday morning about upcoming award chart changes, I was thankful for the notice so I could put a post together for you guys, but I assumed that direct communication would also be going out to World of Hyatt members as it typically does. Presumably, not all Hyatt members read miles and points blogs, though clearly, they should. It was historically common for Hyatt to give notice of changes to sites like this but also create a post in the Hyatt forum on Flyertalk, email members of upcoming changes, and I believe even place a notice of upcoming changes on their website.
I searched my own personal inbox for a notice of previous Hyatt award chart changes to make sure I wasn’t revising history in my mind, and sure enough, an email announcing changes in 2016 was still there. In 2016, not only was I notified of upcoming changes as a Hyatt member, but there were over three weeks from the date of the email and when the changes would go into effect.
This time around there was no direct notice to World of Hyatt members I am aware of, and there were less than 48 hours from the notice to sites like this to the implementation of the new award rates which go into effect tonight just after midnight. On the surface that is bad, and even under the surface it probably isn’t great, but I am willing to keep things in perspective since the list of changes was so short with only eight properties going up in category and one coming down. The notice I shared above from 2016 involved over 100 hotels going up or down in category.
I’m glad that Hyatt still gave a head’s up to a number of bloggers in the miles and points space so we can be sure and let you guys know to lock in award reservations at properties like the Hyatt Place Long Island City – New York ASAP, but I agree with Loyalty Traveler that while the changes aren’t that bad on the whole, the larger story may be the lack of direct notice to members from Hyatt.
I have some questions into Hyatt about the lack of direct notice of these changes and whether that was a one-off decision since the list was so short or a change in strategy for how award chart changes are handled going forward. That said, perhaps nobody really cares about this anyway as only 12 people have posted on Flyertalk about the changes, and when folks are really riled up over there, threads can easily get hundreds of comments about a topic within a day or two.
Update: Hyatt did confirm to me that the reason they didn’t communicate directly with members was due to the short list of changes, not a permanent change in strategy. I would still personally prefer more notice rather than less, but I’m glad this wasn’t a true shift in strategy. Also of note is that as of 10AM Central on 12/13/17, you can still book these properties at their old award rates, so hop to it if you didn’t get around to it yesterday.
Either way, you have just a few hours left to book the eight Hyatt properties listed below at current award rates before they cost more tomorrow. I made a couple of award bookings for 2018 at the new Hyatt Place Long Island City for just 8,000 points per night, which is far below what other NYC area Hyatts cost. Sure it is a quick subway ride away from Manhattan, but at 8,000 points a night today vs. the 20,000 – 30,000 points per night that other NYC area Hyatt properties want, I’ll take it.
Here are the Hyatt properties increasing in award rate effective 12/13/17:
- Hyatt Place Orlando Airport 1 to 2
- Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Mary 1 to 2
- Hyatt Place St. Paul 1 to 2
- Hyatt Place Shenzhen, Dongmen 1 to 2
- Hyatt Place Augusta 2 to 3
- Hyatt Place Santa Cruz 2 to 4
- Highlands Inn, a Hyatt Hotel 6 to 7
- Hyatt Place Long Island/New York City 2 to 3
Hyatt properties decreasing in award rate effective 12/13/17:
- The Confidante Hotel – Miami 6 to 4
Did you lock any Hyatt properties in at the current award rates before the clock strikes midnight (Central) tonight? Did the apparent lack of direct notice of the changes bother you, or do you think it is okay given the small list of changes?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.