Hyatt to Offer Free Wi-Fi; Discontinue My Elite Rate; New Gold Passport Promotion; Hotel Category Changes

ood news and bad news have been imparted in recent announcements from Hyatt Hotels Corporation — but let us start with the good news: free Wi-Fi access to the Internet will be offered to all guests at all hotel and resort properties worldwide effective as of February of 2015 — regardless of how the reservation was booked — according to Jeff Zidell, who is vice president at Hyatt Hotels Corporation in charge of the Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program.

Platinum and Diamond elite level members of the Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program will get a complimentary upgrade to premium Wi-Fi service where available. You will be able to access free Wi-Fi on an unlimited number of mobile devices in guest rooms and social spaces.

There is something which Jeff Zidell said on both Milepoint and FlyerTalk which resonated with me: “Internet connectivity is an integral part of daily life and essential for today’s traveler. Our guests should not have to remember which brands or locations offer it for free and which do not.”

That is exactly how I feel, Jeff. Thank you.

Last week, a press release from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide announced that effective as of February 2, 2015, access to the Internet at standard speeds when you are a guest at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide properties is complimentary to you if you simply do one thing as a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program: book your reservations through the many digital channels of Starwood for stays at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide properties.

The announcement from Hyatt Hotels Corporation is similar — except that you can reserve your hotel room through any booking channel. Take that, Starwood.

This policy posted on October 30, 2014 announced that free access to the Internet via Wi-Fi will be available as a standard benefit at greater than 3,800 hotel properties worldwide to all 47 million members of Marriott Rewards who book reservations through the official booking channels offered by Marriott International, Incorporated as of January 15, 2015.

We have yet to hear from representatives of Hilton Worldwide as to its policy on Wi-Fi access for guests. Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond VIP elite level status members have received complimentary Internet access at Hilton family properties worldwide since September 1, 2010 — with no action on their part deemed necessary.

In addition to complimentary Wi-Fi access for guests, the new year will also bring a new promotion from the Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program. “Be sure to register beginning January 12, 2015 to learn what your exclusive offer is so you can earn thousands of bonus points on stays through April 30, 2015”, said Jeff Zidell. “Check your inbox in January for more details.” No further details have been imparted at this time.

Points + Cash and My Elite Rate

Of the two new programs launched this year — Points + Cash and My Elite Rate — Points + Cash has been very successful and is expected to be enhanced even further. Unfortunately, My Elite Rate — a rate which was offered to elite level status members of the Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program at a discount — will not be launched on a permanent basis — nor will it will not be available in 2015. I saved money on this rate this year; so that news is disappointing to me.

Hotel Property Category Changes

Effective as of January 22, 2015, 48 hotel properties will move to a lower category; and 22 hotel properties will move to a higher category on the Hyatt Gold Passport award chart. Existing reservations for stays subsequent to January 21, 2015 will receive a refund for the point difference if the hotel property moved to a lower category.

Every year, an audit of amount of Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points that are assigned to each property is performed. The point category of a hotel property may be adjusted based on the current market conditions. Where possible, efforts are made to minimize these changes.

Here is the complete list of the changes — as well as frequently asked questions:

Hotel properties shifting to a higher category

Hotel Current
Category
New
Category
Hyatt House Raleigh North Hills 1 2
Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center 1 2
Hyatt Place Denver-South/Park Meadows 1 2
Hyatt Place Nashville Airport 1 2
Hyatt Place Pensacola Airport 1 2
Hyatt Regency Dongguan 1 2
Hyatt Regency Greenville 1 2
Excalibur 2 3
Hyatt House Miami Airport 2 3
Hyatt Place Dewey Beach 2 3
Hyatt Place Long Island/East End 2 3
Hyatt Place Portland – Old Port 2 3
Hyatt Regency Santa Clara 2 3
Hyatt Regency Toronto 2 3
Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo 3 4
Grand Hyatt Taipei 3 4
Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar 4 5
Grand Hyatt Macau 4 5
Park Hyatt Seoul 4 5
Andaz Amsterdam, Prinsengracht 5 6
Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee 5 6
Park Hyatt Maldives, Hadahaa 6 7

Hotel properties shifting to a lower category

Hotel Current
Category
New
Category
Hyatt House Colorado Springs 2 1
Hyatt on Main, Green Bay 2 1
Hyatt Place Albuquerque Airport 2 1
Hyatt Place Baton Rouge/I-10 2 1
Hyatt Place Ft. Myers 2 1
Hyatt Place Germantown 2 1
Hyatt Place Greensboro 2 1
Hyatt Place Greenville/Haywood 2 1
Hyatt Place Memphis/Primacy Parkway 2 1
Hyatt Place North Charleston 2 1
Hyatt Place Orlando Airport 2 1
Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Mary 2 1
Hyatt Place Roanoke Airport/Valley View Mall 2 1
Hyatt Place Salt Lake City Airport 2 1
Hyatt Bangalore 3 2
Hyatt House Charlotte/Center City 3 2
Hyatt House Cypress/Anaheim 3 2
Hyatt Place Charlotte Downtown 3 2
Hyatt Place Orlando/Convention Center 3 2
Hyatt Place Orlando/Universal 3 2
Hyatt Place Saratoga/Malta 3 2
Hyatt Regency Chennai 3 2
Hyatt Regency Chongqing 3 2
Hyatt Regency Gurgaon 3 2
Hyatt Regency Jinan 3 2
Hyatt Regency Montreal 3 2
Hyatt Regency Osaka 3 2
Park Hyatt Chennai 3 2
Grand Hyatt Shenyang 4 2
Grand Hyatt San Antonio 4 3
Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi 4 3
Hyatt Regency Bethesda 4 3
Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam 4 3
Hyatt Regency Delhi 4 3
Hyatt Regency Louisville 4 3
Hyatt Regency Mexico City 4 3
Hyatt Regency Orlando Intl Airport 4 3
Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six 4 3
Hyatt Regency San Antonio 4 3
Hyatt Regency Savannah 4 3
Grand Hyatt Washington 5 4
Hyatt French Quarter 5 4
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa 5 4
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress 5 4
Hyatt Regency La Jolla 5 4
MGM Grand 5 4
Mandalay Bay 6 5
Park Hyatt Washington 6 5

The current point redemption values for each free night award category are as follows: 

Category 1 = 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points
Category 2 = 8,000 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points
Category 3 = 12,000 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points
Category 4 = 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points
Category 5 = 20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points
Category 6 = 25,000 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points
Category 7 = 30,000 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points

All free night award redemptions booked before 12:01 in the morning Central Standard Time on January 22, 2015 will follow the current award chart. For example, if you book an award night prior to 12:01 am, January 22, 2015 for a stay that occurs on January 22, 2015 or after, the current award chart will apply. Any free night award redemptions booked at 12:01 am, January 22, 2015 or after will follow the new award chart.

All Hyatt Credit Card Anniversary Award Night redemptions booked before 12:01 in the morning Central Standard Time on January 22, 2015 will follow the current award chart. For example, if you book an anniversary night prior to 12:01 in the morning Central Standard Time on January 22, 2015 for a stay which occurs on January 22, 2015 or after, the current award chart will apply. Any Anniversary Award Night redemption booked at 12:01 in the morning Central Standard Time on January 22, 2015 or after will follow the new award chart. Hyatt credit card members may continue to redeem Anniversary Award Nights for Category 1 through 4 hotel properties only.

Redemptions for Hotels Moving to a Higher Category Any free night award booked at a hotel property prior to 12:01 in the morning Central Standard Time on January 22, 2015 which is shifting to a higher category on January 22, 2015 and requires more points will not be affected. Reservations will remain in place at the original point level. For example, a free night award booked at a Category 1 hotel property for 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points before 12:01 in the morning Central Standard Time on January 22, 2015 that is moving to a Category 2 hotel property for 8,000 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points on January 22, 2015 will remain at 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points.

Redemptions for Hotels Moving to a Lower Category Any Free Night Award booked at a property, prior to 12:01 am CST, January 22, 2015, that is shifting to a lower category on January 22, 2015 and requires fewer points will receive an adjustment. Hyatt Gold Passport customer service will proactively deposit the point difference into a member’s account. For example, a member with a Free Night Award booked before 12:01 in the morning Central Standard Time on January 22, 2015 for a Category 2 hotel for 8,000 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points that is moving to a Category 1 hotel for 5,000 points on January 22, 2015 will receive 3,000 Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points returned to his/her account. Points will be deposited into a member’s account after January 22, 2015.

Any modifications made to these reservations on or after 12:01 in the morning Central Standard Time on January 22, 2015 will follow the terms of the new award chart. Any modifications to Hyatt Credit Card Anniversary Award Night reservations that cause an award reissue cannot be redeemed for hotel properties which moved from a Category 1 through 4 to Category 5 through 7 as of 12:01 in the morning Central Standard Time on January 22, 2015.

Bed Type Guarantee Policy Change

Changing effective as of January 1, 2015 is the existing bed type guarantee policy, which is currently applicable to elite status level members only; and members are awarded 5,000 bonus Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program points if the reserved bed type is not available upon check-in. Less than 0.1 percent of elite members did not receive their confirmed bed type — so in the future you will be guaranteed that upon check-in, all guests will receive the bed type confirmed; and there will no longer be any bonus points associated with non-compliance.

Summary

Although I am disappointed about My Elite Rate being discontinued, these changes are reasonable with many of them being positive.

3 thoughts on “Hyatt to Offer Free Wi-Fi; Discontinue My Elite Rate; New Gold Passport Promotion; Hotel Category Changes”

  1. Enjoy FIne Food says:

    Thank you. Clear, complete, and useful.

  2. ptahcha says:

    I’m probably one of the few people who have invoked the bed type guarantee. In one case, the hotel gave me the points. In another instance, they upgraded me to the presidential suite (from a standard room) just to avoid handing out the points.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I think I would have the points rather than the presidential suite, ptahcha — especially if traveling alone.

      I really never knew what to do with a whole suite all by myself — and no, I am not a party person…

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