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Every loyalty brand is handling this crisis differently. At the end of March, Hilton set a great precedent allowing cancellations, extending status, free nights, and as of this morning…Hyatt has followed suit by emailing members an update. I was just on an Instagram Live with Spencer Howard from Straight to the Points and someone asked us about their upcoming Park Hyatt Paris booking. They had booked an advanced purchase rate and the question was when should they cancel. We both agreed to wait as long as possible because odds are things will get more lenient than not. And they have. Let’s take a look.
Waived Change and Cancellation Fees through June 30th, 2020
The biggest thing to note with these policies are they apply to bookings made directly with Hyatt or the Hyatt app. If you used a third party like Travelocity or Booking, etc – you may have different restrictions. Hyatt has also increased their footprint via SLH and the acquisition of luxury brands like Destination Hotels and Alila, but decreased value by cutting Points + Cash and introducing Category 8 hotel pricing.
Booked for travel up to June 30th
This would help out our Park Hyatt Friends since they had a prepaid booking…which now is cancellable.
All existing reservations (booked April 1 or before) for arrivals through June 30, 2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations.
Booked for travel after June 30th, 2020
This also includes future travel reservations.
With some very limited exceptions noted below, reservations booked between April 2, 2020 and June 30, 2020 – for any future arrival date – can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations. The only exceptions are reservations booked after April 1, 2020 at Destination Residences and Special Events Rate reservations booked after April 1, 2020. The cancellation policies for a Special Event Rate will be noted in the rate’s Rate Rules section when booking.
World of Hyatt changes
In addition to the delay of peak award pricing…World of Hyatt has the following changes
Points expiration pause
We are suspending the forfeiture of points through December 31, 2020. As a reminder, our general policy is that points do not expire, but they will be forfeited if a member’s account is inactive for 24 months.
Free Nights, Club upgrades, and Suite Upgrades are extended
All unused Free Night, Suite Upgrade or Club Lounge Access awards with expiration dates between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 will be extended to December 31, 2021. This includes existing awards and awards that may be earned throughout this year with a 2020 expiration date. The award extension will be generated by World of Hyatt – members do not need to take action. Awards that expired between March 1 and March 31, 2020 will be replaced with new awards on April 20, 2020. All other qualifying, unused awards will be updated by the 20th day of the month in which the award would have originally expired.
Elite Status Extended
Status and benefits will be extended for all existing elite members without having to re-qualify. This means that whatever your status was as of March 31, 2020 – whether Discoverist, Explorist or Globalist – it will be automatically updated to reflect a February 28, 2022 expiration date. All elite tier extensions should be reflected in members’ accounts no later than April 15, 2020.
Hyatt remains one of my favorite hotel programs and continues to offer great value on redemptions. I wouldn’t say I’m a future travel pessimist, but I’m not overly optimistic about how eager people will be to crowd into places. I just wonder how many programs are going to waive cancellations fees and extend status, but also potentially roll back programs to make them more attractive and status easier to attain. Kudos to Hyatt and keep an eye on your status to make sure it has been extended until 2022.
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