It’s time to vote in the Freddie awards, but I’m changing my vote after a decade


I don’t know about you, but my Facebook feed is full of ads from Hyatt trying to persuade me to vote for them in the forthcoming Freddie Awards. In any year except this, I would be right there. Going back as far as I can remember – including the days when the ballots were paper, filled in by hand and posted back to the USA, I have voted. For all of that period I have voted Hyatt. In the days when Hyatt had easy ways to collect points – the long gone G bonuses, I voted for them. When they launched the best range of elite benefits of any chain – free Wi-Fi, free breakfast and suite upgrades – I voted for them enthusiastically.

That’s all gone now. 2015 must have been the worst year for the relationship between its Gold Passport members and the company that I can remember.

These are just a few of the mis-steps which have led me to reconsider my loyalty:

A status match Twitter campaign that swamped hotels with new Diamond members and their suite upgrade certificates, squeezing out existing Diamond members. Hyatt ran a Twitter campaign last autumn, which it seems created 10,000 more Diamond Gold Passport members. Each of these got 4 Diamond Suite Upgrades right away and then will get 4 more on Monday. This has reduced suite availability dramatically at the properties I wanted to use my DSUs.

The Web site. Well after a three day outage the web site has now removed the chance to see your stay data for 5 years – it’s down to one year now. I don’t use it every often, but sometimes that data was useful. When statements used to have lists of stays and came in the post it was easy, now we are all dependent on their internet based replacements. It’s a shame to see this reduction in accessible information.

The Web site 2. To give a little back to Hyatt – the ability to book Cash+Points stays on the web is good news.

The lack of Promotions. What more is there is say – no autumn, nor winter promo. Seems like Hyatt has done away with any chance of earning bonus points. Free night promos went away a good while ago, but bonus point promos are an industry norm, except at Hyatt it appears.

Hotels playing games with award availability. There are so many reports on the web about hotels simply not making any of their rooms available for rewards or upgrades there must be something going on. Suite upgrades can only be applied to base level suites – in some desirable hotels these are the least desirable rooms! Other hotels have rebranded rooms as suites in order to offer a ‘suite’ that means that they can still sell their real suites for cash.

Taking Lifetime Status off statements. Most Gold Passport members received statements last week. Many will not notice that Hyatt has quietly dropped data about how close they are to one million points and Lifetime Diamond Status. This information isn’t available on the web site either, unlike Starwood and Marriott, and now you have to call to get it.

Making suite upgrades be used by their expiry date. Hyatt used to let you book your Diamond Suite Upgrade by their expiry date, even if the stay was after this date. That’s gone now and  I have one going to  expire for the first time ever.

So all in all, it’s been a bad year in the relationship between my favourite hotel chain and this particular traveller.

Agree or disagree you can vote here.



  1. You raise some valid concerns, but given the quality of their properties (I just spent three nights at their incomparable Zanzibar resort in a huge suite) and their comparatively low redemption rates, I don’t see how I could choose another program over them. I got amazing value from Club Carlson prior to their elimination of the second night free benefit on the (US) co-branded cards, but that is no longer, so HGP has no competition out there at this point IMO.

  2. The 2015 DSUs dont expire as long as you apply them by 2/29…even if your stay is after that date. It’s the new ones that you receive on March 1 (and in subsequent years) that will expire at the end of February the following year.

  3. You realize the Freddie awards are meaningless, influence no one when it comes to travel choices, and are important only within the companies’ marketing departments and to show management that their FFPs and related marketing are “working”. In other words, it’s a self-licking ice cream cone, as they say.

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