Wednesday, February 11, 2015

New Hyatt benefits: United Club passes (and more)

Hyatt recently sent an email describing new benefits for members with elite status in Hyatt's Gold Passport loyalty program.

As a reminder, Hyatt Gold Passport has three levels:

  • Gold (general member)
  • Platinum (5 stays or 15 nights annually)
  • Diamond (25 stays or 50 nights annually)
Source:  Hyatt

None of the benefits is monumental, but they're all useful and generous (considering Hyatt doesn't have to provide any of them to remain competitive).

2 United Club passes (Diamond)
United Clubs are nothing fancy - within the US, they're generally crowded and don't offer anything particularly tasty in the way of food (unless you really like trail mix and baby carrots). But if you've got a long layover, it's a good place to camp with power outlets. Or when you're flying through O'Hare or Denver when the snow hits the fan, you can go to the United Club to get rebooked rather than standing in line.

In any case, Diamond members will receive two one-time passes for the United Club per year.


United Club, San Francisco (Terminal 3)


This is an unusual benefit given that United has a partnership with Marriott in which United's elite frequent flyers get matched to Marriott status. Could that partnership be ending?


"Guest of Honor" Program (Diamond)
When the "Guest of Honor" program goes into effect on March 1, Diamond guests booking award reservations for someone else will pass on their elite benefits for that reservation. Those benefits include:

  • Room upgrade (to non-suite room);
  • Guaranteed bed type;
  • Late checkout (4pm);
  • Free breakfast;
  • Access to the Regency Club / Grand Club (where available);
  • Free high-speed internet;
  • Welcome gift (food / beverage or 1,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points).

Premium internet (Platinum, Diamond)
A few years ago, I drove across the country to go to law school. My biggest pet peeve was that the nicer hotels charged for internet access when the Best Westerns of the world gave it away for free. I get it - it's a huge revenue generator (especially when the guest just passes the cost on to their employer or client).

So kudos to Hyatt for dropping the charge on internet access for all guests regardless of elite status. Beginning on March 1, Platinum and Diamond members get complimentary high-speed internet access (other guests can get this for a charge).


Conclusion
As airline programs seem to regress in their benefits, I'm grateful that Hyatt seems happy to reward its elite members with additional benefits.

But I would gladly trade all of these new benefits if Hyatt reinstituted its My Elite Rate program (which ended in December 2014). Under My Elite Rate, Platinum and Diamond members could book rooms for a 20% discount off the rack rate, but only on Hyatt.com. This way, Hyatt wouldn't have to pay consolidators such as Expedia and Hotels.com for referral fees. With My Elite Rate, Hyatt's rates were usually the lowest among its competitors, theoretically leading to additional bookings.

Still, I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Thanks, Hyatt!

(hat-tip to Mommy Points and loyal reader Bert for letting me know about this).


Update
I got the United Club passes in the mail on March 3.






2 comments:

  1. Definitely agree about My Elite Rate, I would love it if they brought that back.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hyatt has been really easy to use as a loyal member and I like their room product. I hope I can qualify for Diamond this year!!!

    ReplyDelete