Hyatt has an interesting program called “eStandby Upgrades.” Immediately after making a reservation, you’ll be prompted to click on a link that takes you to a new page with a variety of upgrade options. Things like discounted parking and breakfast, a room with a view, a suite, or a late checkout are all examples.
The idea is that Hyatt quotes a price for these different upgrades, and you’ll be confirmed subject to availability at check-in. In theory you could always ask for an upgrade once you arrive, but the hotel would probably quote a higher price. If the upgrade you’ve requested is not available, then no charge is made. You have until 24 hours before check-in to make any changes to your eStandby requests.
I don’t normally use this feature because I have Diamond status with Hyatt’s Gold Passport program. It’s rare that I get the same room type I originally booked. It’s not always the Presidential Suite (on my first stay as a Diamond guest, no less!) but often it’s at least a nice room with a view. And besides, some of the options like breakfast, club access, or a late checkout are already included in my elite benefits.
The first time I used an eStandby option, it was before I had Diamond status, and the benefit included breakfast for two and parking for about the cost of parking alone. That was a pretty sweet deal. Be on the lookout for things like this if you don’t already get breakfast with your rate or benefits.
More recently I’ve noticed some properties using this feature to provide upgrades for elites. I recently made reservations at the Hyatt Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia and the Hyatt Regency Boston, and both suggested I click through to see my eStandby options starting “as low as $0.”
What do you get for $0? An upgrade to a room with a preferred view! Not the most amazing thing, but it’s nice to see that you’ve been offered something up front. And since it’s completely flexible, just like a refundable rate, you could always cancel and rebook a room with a view if you really want to be sure.
When I actually arrived at the Hyatt Penn’s Landing, I was further upgraded to a corner room on the top floor. So I don’t think you’re locking yourself in. In my case I moved from a basic room (as booked) to any river view room (on standby) to a top floor corner river view (at check-in).
Is this really something to get excited about? Probably not. It’s still standby, meaning you won’t get the upgrade until availability is confirmed at check-in. Most hotels already move you up. I got moved up even further than the eStandby Upgrade indicated. I certainly don’t think it’s worth it to select one of the options like “high floor” if you’re an elite since I almost always get one of the top two floors as a Diamond without asking. I guess it’s just the thought that counts, or maybe it’s a clever marketing ploy to get elites to look at their choices. 😛
Has anyone with Platinum status seen similar “free” offers? Platinum status is much easier to obtain, including just by having a Hyatt Visa credit card. If this is one more benefit of Platinum status, it only strengthens my recommendation of that card. If you don’t have any status, still check out your eStandby offers the next time you book through Hyatt.com. My screenshot doesn’t show it, but they can include almost anything a property wants to offer, including upgrades to various suites at pretty reasonable rates.