I received an email from Hyatt yesterday morning announcing that they would be ending their experimental “My Elite” rates in 2015. These are discounted rates that you can still book right now, available only to Platinum and Diamond members of Gold Passport. In my experience they were typically 10-20% off the best flexible rate, bringing them down to the same price or less than some pre-paid rates but without the same restrictions.
I can’t say I’m very surprised. This program seemed a little too good to be true as nearly anyone can qualify for Platinum status without much effort. Offering discounted, flexible rates probably spurred additional reservations. I’ve argued that this is why Alaska Airlines provides their elite members a generous change policy — they’re going to get your money one way or another. But Hyatt hasn’t been taking your money up front and returning it as a credit. My guess (and I can’t claim to know more than guesses) is that My Elite Rates also led to some difficulty predicting occupancy. I know I’m guilty of more than a few speculative bookings that were ultimately cancelled.
My Elite Rates were also unusually difficult to book. At least for a time you had to make sure (1) you were logged into your account and (2) you didn’t include any other discount code or offer in your search query. This second point often meant I had to search twice in order to compare all the rates for which I was eligible. And because the My Elite Rate only showed on the property detail page, this could be a pain in cities with several Hyatt hotels.
Whatever they were looking for, they didn’t find it. What is interesting is that the email I received suggested some new concepts launching in the first quarter of next year. Good or bad, I like new stuff. 😉 Right now I can tell you my biggest wish is that we can search for Points + Cash awards online.