As we have said before, we will continue to invest in benefits that enhance the Hyatt experience for the majority of our members and eliminate benefits that are not valued or not utilized. Our Platinum Extras program falls into the latter category, and so, we have decided to discontinue it as of December 31, 2012.
After a thorough evaluation, we concluded that Platinum Extras did not provide a significant enhancement to the Hyatt experience; in fact, more than 75% of the awards earned by Platinum members were never redeemed. Therefore, it simply makes sense for us to focus our time, attention and resources on improving the program in new and innovative ways rather than administering a benefit that members don’t value.
Platinum members will still earn Platinum Extras Awards through the end of 2012 and will have 90 days to redeem these awards.
I hate to see benefits go of course, especially when they entail occasional upgrades and bonus points (one Platinum extra came with qualification and then additional ones would come every third stay).
But if three-quarters aren’t being redeemed I get why this isn’t considered effective bang-for-buck. I just want to see Gold Passport take the savings from this program and redeploy the funds to member benefits elsewhere. Soon.
Hyatt recently eliminated Passport Escape awards — an award I really liked, and used myself earlier in the year — because apparently only about 100 people a year redeemed them. My guess is that members didn’t even know about them or understand their value, but maintaining a program that’s little used is costly and doesn’t provide much bang for buck. There’s agent training, hotel training, keeping IT systems up to date to name just a few issues.
So it seems like Hyatt is cleaning house to reduce experience that doesn’t drive loyalty or member satisfaction. I wonder what we’ll see on the innovation side soon to offset.
What does surprise me though is that Hyatt isn’t making all of their adjustments at once. Usually when you take something away you want to offer something new at the same time. Perhaps the thinking is these benefits are sufficiently little-used that no one will fuss anyway. Although it was announced on a Friday afternoon, the traditional time for releasing bad news!