Nearly a month ago, rumors started swirling that Hyatt Gold Passport had limited the validity of Diamond Suite Upgrades. People who tried to redeem one of their current Diamond Suite Upgrades for a stay after April 29, 2016 (when they would normally expire) were told that some kind of manual override was required to process the request and that no exceptions would be available once new upgrades were issued in 2017.
This was unfortunate news because some people don’t have the best luck using all of their upgrades. In the past Hyatt has always allowed people to at least redeem the upgrades they already have for future travel — as long as they are redeemed before the expiration date. This change may have been linked to the IT shutdown in December, during which no new awards could be redeemed.
Today Hyatt confirmed the rumored changes with this announcement:
Suite awards issued on or after March 1, 2016, must be redeemed for reservations with a checkout date prior to the expiration date of the award. Suite awards not redeemed prior to the expiration date of the award will be forfeited.
What’s not changing?
Suite awards issued prior to March 1, 2016, must be redeemed by making a reservation no later than the last day of February 2016 for future reservations. In the event one of these Suite awards is redeemed for stay dates beyond the expiration date and the reservation is cancelled after the last day of February 2016, the Suite award will be forfeited.
Again, nothing is really changing with regards to how current upgrades can be redeemed. This only affects the new upgrades that will be deposited in members’ accounts on March 1 forward. Restricting their dates of validity isn’t that bad, although it remains to be seen what happens in 2017. What happens if a customer wants to upgrade a spring break vacation? Upgrades issued in 2016 won’t be valid, and new upgrades for 2017 won’t be issued until March 1. The whole point of Diamond Suite Upgrades is to be able to confirm a suite at the time of booking — not days before arrival.
The other disappointing change — which is not new — is that Hyatt has gradually been adding more and more limits on the number of properties where these upgrades can be applied. I remember when it was just a small handful and typically included hotels where they didn’t even have suites so it was a non-issue. Now some of the best upgrade redemptions are no longer available.
Diamond Suite Upgrades are not permitted at the following hotels: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Park Hyatt Sydney, Andaz Tokyo, Hyatt Regency Kyoto, Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, Hyatt Regency Tulsa, Hyatt Regency Wichita, Hyatt Paris Madeleine, Hyatt Herald Square, Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, Hyatt Manila City of Dreams, Hyatt Santa Barbara, Hyatt Residence Club resorts, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels Hyatt Residence Club properties or M life resorts.
Furthermore, no suite upgrades of any kind, even using points, are permitted at these hotels: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort, Park Hyatt Sydney, Andaz Tokyo, Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, Hyatt Regency Tulsa, Hyatt Regency Wichita, Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, Hyatt Manila City of Dreams, Hyatt Santa Barbara, Hyatt Residence Club resorts, Hyatt Place hotels and M life resorts.
Some properties, like the Andaz Tokyo and Park Hyatt Sydney, are certainly still worth visiting with or without an upgrade. Others, like the Park Hyatt Maldives, just aren’t compelling. I don’t want to spend a day traveling with two connections and an hour long boat transfer just to find myself sitting in a room with a garden view.