2022 Is The Perfect Opportunity For Hyatt To Impove Its Concierge Program

Hyatt’s dedicated concierge program is much easier to qualify for than Marriott’s. Yet there will likely be far fewer members qualifying for a concierge in 2022. That’s the perfect time to amp up the service in ways it was originally envisioned, and the current Hyatt leadership is well-positioned to drive this.

Marriott’s Ambassador Program Is On The Decline

Starwood first introduced the Ambassador program, a dedicated agent to assist with 100-night guest needs, nine years ago. The program continued when Starwood was acquired by Marriott, however:

  • It’s been made harder to earn, with top tier status not just requiring 100 nights but also $20,000 in spend ($14,000 this year)

  • It’s been watered down after mass layoffs of Ambassador agents. Ambassador members no longer get a dedicated… ambassador. They get access to ‘the Ambassador team’ instead.

Marriott has surveyed customers on how to fix the mess they’ve made of the Ambassador program.

Hyatt Is Well-Positioned To Overtake Marriott With A Top Tier Program

2022 represents a great opportunity for Hyatt to improve its own version of the program. And they’re well-positioned to do this since World of Hyatt head Amy Weinberg used to have oversight in her portfolio of… Starwood’s Ambassador program.

Hyatt has actually had a dedicated concierge program since long before Starwood introduced their formal Ambassador benefit. I was a member of the Private Line program since about 2010, back when any Diamond member could ask to join if they knew about it. This became the My Hyatt Concierge program.

Members who stay 60 nights are assigned a dedicated agent they can contact to handle all things related to Hyatt, such as:

  • billing
  • missing points
  • reservations (which can be complex, like piecing together free night certificates and paid rates in a single booking)
  • confirmed suite upgrades
  • communicating requests to a property

This benefit is not tied to Globalist status. One can be a Globalist from a match or by reaching just 30 nights this year instead of 60 and not have access to a concierge.

There will likely be plenty of Globalists in 2022, but far fewer members with a concierge. And that creates an opportunity for a reboot. Each agent will have fewer customers to work with. They should have more time for training and workshops and more time to spend on each member assigned to them.

Opportunity To Improve

The program was supposed to involve concierges getting to know member preferences and helping insure those are met on each stay. That hasn’t been my experience. I like sending off an email with my very specific reservations need (the rate I want booked, over what dates, using what kind of upgrade) but unlike at Starwood when I was an Ambassador,

  • I don’t get recommendations for other rates to consider (like applying a ‘SPG50’ discount on a suite promotion rate)
  • I’ve never gotten gifts or amenities from my concierge (though I’ve seen reports from some members who have)

Part of the challenge with customized amenities is that the World of Hyatt program eliminated check-in amenities for top elites in the first place. A food and beverage option at check-in is no longer a benefit. I never much liked the Canvas wine they used to leave in my room anyway, but a good concierge would know that and arrange for something else (even extra bottled water).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Comments

  1. Improvement is definitely needed. My “concierge” was so in the habit of telling me “no, no hotel would ever do that,” in a laughing tone, on requests that I regularly had fulfilled when I asked myself, that I just gave up and would call the globalist phone line instead.

  2. My “concierge” was so in the habit of telling me “no, no hotel would ever do that,” in a laughing tone, on requests that I regularly had fulfilled when I asked myself, that I just gave up and would call the globalist phone line instead.

    -Graham

    Thanks for confirming my often-expressed view that the Ambassador or Concierge program is totally useless. I believe it was designed to make attention-needy folks of the type that patronized SPG feel important. As a Hilton Diamond, I’ve almost invariably gotten any issue taken care of effectively with just a call to HH Diamond Desk.

  3. Are you talking about 60 actual nights? Or 60 nights taking into consideration bonus nights, double nights etc?
    I’m past 60 this year but have actually stayed fewer than 60 actual nights.

  4. Disappointing is my experience too, even something as simple as moving a full week award reservation by a day. Just checks for a new reservation and told me no availability (for the week) even though it was available that extra day.

    I had to ask her to call the hotel (no availability for the week wasn’t relevant) because I already had 6 of the 7 days.

    I did almost get a gift once. It required adult signature, sent priority mail, but I was away on a 2 week vacation -all at Hyatt’s.

    Not an outlier example.

  5. Same experience as the above. I had a horrible concierge Quita Lewis, who I actually asked for them to change which they did then inexplicably she was my concierge again a few months later. Finally, she got “promoted” and I have a new one now who is very slow to respond.

    Overall, a stupid program.

    The twitter @hyattconcierge is actually much more effective and available to anyone.

  6. I think a huge improvement to the My Hyatt Concierge program would be setting parameters and overseeing it to help keep the program as consistent as it could possibly be. While I feel incredibly grateful that the concierge assigned to me is hands down amazing, I know there are many Globalists who don’t even receive responses to emails. Other than the confirmed suite upgrades, its my favorite Hyatt benefit and a big reason I will continue to push to requalify each year.

  7. @OMAR

    “The twitter @hyattconcierge is actually much more effective and available to anyone”

    AMEN. They should just improve that area instead! I’ve noticed a slight degradation these last couple of weeks. Usually I get an answer no less than 2-5 minutes it has now gone to sometimes overnight. Anybody got the same issue lately?

  8. I have a great concierge. When he’s working he’ll usually answer me within 5 minutes. I don’t recall ever getting any favors or gifts from him but he handles my requests promptly and efficiently.

  9. My concierge experiences have been outstanding, both with my personal concierge and with others when she was away. Nonetheless there’s room for improvement in any program. The thing is, with Hilton and Marriott working so fervently to make things worse for customers, Hyatt comes out smelling like a rose by comparison. That being the case, is it realistic to expect them to up their game when the competition moves in the opposite direction?

  10. @JimC Same here. My concierge is always responsive and helpful. I think she can occasionally bend the rules a little bit, bit I’ve never received gifts or anything like that. Overall I’m satisfied with the program.

  11. My Hyatt concierge, Karen, has always been very helpful and super efficient. And I echo Christian’s comment above that others who assist when my personal concierge is away have also been outstanding.

  12. Lifetime Globalist after 10 years(non-consecutive) and 1000 eligible(paid and award) nights would be the best change that WoH could make.

  13. I agree with Globo.

    Separately, my concierge (JZ) has been fantastic in the few times I sent her requests. I’m quite happy.

  14. @KL808

    I’ve noticed the same thing – much slower response time from the Twitter account lately. They’re still excellent at getting done what is needed, though.

    I’ve found my concierge helpful in only a couple circumstances – the biggest one being getting refunds for incorrect charges and also for getting points to post properly. Otherwise not particularly helpful with reservations or requests.

  15. @JoeShmo – Not many people can claim that Jay Z is taking care of their travel plans. That would make for an awesome anecdote.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.