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The World of Hyatt has made several positive changes in 2018 with award stays counting towards status and extended expiration dates for many Category 1-4 and 1-7 awards. I’d say things have been generally heading in the right direction with this program over the past few months, but there is a development that is making me a little nervous. It’s not full-blown-points-panic-syndrome at this juncture, but it is at least an uneasy feeling.
For the second time in the last seven weeks, Hyatt has made award pricing changes to a few of their properties with very minimal notice and without any direct notice to their members. Both times the number of properties changing was small and there weren’t any properties on the list that were likely to make a huge splash due to being extremely popular or aspirational in nature. However, while they told me it was not a change in strategy in managing award chart changes last time…it has now happened again.
This time we only got a few hours of notice before the changes take place at 9PM Central tonight, January 31, 2018. At that time the following properties will be increasing in category:
- Hyatt Place Knoxville Downtown from a Category 1 to a Category 2
- Hyatt House Washington DC The Wharf from a Category 2 to a Category 3
After 9PM tonight these properties will price in the higher award categories. In the email Hyatt sent to me they said that “these changes affect two new hotels” and “as you know, we routinely evaluate hotels added to our award chart”. They are seemingly pointing to the fact that the hotels are newer as the reason for the spur-of-the-moment re-valuation, but I’m still not convinced that more frequent and unannounced award chart changes are a good move. If they do want to evaluate the category a new Hyatt, I’d suggest moving the Park Hyatt St. Kitts from a 7 to a 6. I liked the hotel (and more to come soon), but the rates and experience do not currently warrant a Category 7 category, so I’d be okay with that unannounced change down the award chart.
For those curious, the Hyatt Place Knoxville Downtown opened in early January 2018 and the Hyatt House Washington DC The Wharf opened in October 2017. Two data points do not a trend make, but I’m not a fan of moving hotels up the category chart on virtually no notice whether they are newer properties or not.
If you want to lock in either the Hyatt Place Knoxville Downtown or the Hyatt House Washington DC The Wharf you need to do it before 9PM Central tonight or be ready to spend more points.