In a recent Milepoint thread, Jeff Zidell (VP, Hyatt Gold Passport) announced that they would be discontinuing the Platinum Extras benefit for Platinum members of their Gold Passport program. Now, I’m lucky enough to have been given Diamond status as a match to my SPG Platinum status a few years ago, so I’ve never actually been Platinum in Hyatt’s program. I know, tough problems to have. But, I do have a couple of issues with this change:
1. Timing. It’s the end of the year, so most people have already re-qualified for next year. While Hyatt says 75% of the awards don’t get redeemed, 25% of those are getting redeemed by Platinum members who value the benefit. I think it would have been more reasonable to announce this change mid-year before people were too deep into re-qualification. They also could have announced it when they announced the end of Passport Extras in October. As an alternative, if training and IT were driving the decision to be made now, then maybe some sort of small bonus in recognition of losing the benefit for 2013 would have been appropriate. I don’t consider myself an “entitled elite”. Benefits come and go, but hopefully with a bit more notice than this.
2. Implementation. As I mentioned, I’ve never been Platinum with Hyatt. But, my father has been for the last couple of years and I managed his account for him. He was never actually given a certificate at a property and I didn’t actually realize the program existed until he’d already had a number of stays. Now, my Hyatt Private Line Agent helped me work through it, but it was not the easiest thing to manage, and it sure didn’t seem to be implemented on a consistent basis. So, it doesn’t surprise me 75% of the awards went unredeemed.
As a self-avowed HyattHomerTM, I can’t criticize Hyatt too much for this. It is something of a minor change, and I do believe they will eventually conquer their IT issues and add benefits that continue to engender increased loyalty. I do hope that’s sooner than later, and I hope they give more consideration to existing members when making benefit changes in the future.