Hyatt finished with me last night. Not publicly but via a third party, asking their friend to tell me that they no longer liked me. A bit like a five year old in the playground at school. ‘You’re too poor’ my Mummy says, ‘I don’t like you anymore’.
I still remember some years ago when the first of the Andaz brand came to LA, Hyatt announced great enhancements to their programme. Free Breakfast, Free WiFi and four confirmed suite upgrades for Diamonds. They led the world in valuing their guests – others followed, perhaps reluctantly, but they had to get on the merry-go-round or lose customers. Fast forward to yesterday.
Unpicking this, what happened yesterday was that a blogger leaked changes to the Hyatt Gold Passport programme, sounding its death knell. It rises from the ashes, harder and less friendly if you are not a road warrior staying with them sixty night a year. For everyone else, even people who used to be their best guests, the programme took away benefits. No more access to the Regency or Grand Club as a Hyatt Diamond, now you’ll only be in there 4 times per year, how great will the cheese taste then? Oh, and your suite upgrades, they are history too.
If you look at the little schematic below you might understand why I’m so miffed with it all:
At one million Lifetime points Hyatt used to award Diamond for Life. I looked forward to my retirement visiting Hyatt hotels and enjoying a decent stay. Whilst current DfL’s are to be grandfathered in to the new top tier, the leak hasn’t specified what the criteria for the new Lifetime programme will be. That’s right just 96,404 points away from lifetime and it’s gone!
Of course I can use my stack of points to get in to the Grand Club’s in the chain, at 4,000 per night or use 6,000 for a suite, but I liked the odd evening snack or morning breakfast. I suspect too many Hyatt Gold Passport members did too and that’s what’s happening here.
The herd is being thinned – make no mistake.
I’ve already reached out to Hyatt to express my disappointment and they say they are listening. We shall see.
The leak seems to have been confirmed by Hyatt executives at Gold Passport; people I have a lot of time for in truth. It is move to make road warriors their best customers – all very well in the US and some parts of Asia. But in Europe the number of Hyatt properties is minimal and with no credit card either, we Europeans will be the big losers to Hyatt.
So, what next? Ironically, I just made about 15 reservations for Hyatt in 2017 so those will have to be evaluated. My Platinum Amex gets me Starwood Gold/Marriott Gold and BA gives me Hilton Diamond so that might be where I have to go now.
I’m still in shock, but I’ll keep you posted on what I decide, for if you, like me, are a Diamond now who won’t make 60 nights in year – we have to start looking for a new home. Life sucks.