Everything You Need to Know About the New Elite My Hyatt Concierge Benefit Starting Soon

Starting March 1 My Hyatt Concierge is a new top tier benefit at Hyatt, and precious little has been written about it. I spoke to Hyatt Senior Vice President Jeff Zidell to learn more.

There’s been much electronic ink spilled on Hyatt’s changes to its program that go into effect March 1. Here are the full details.

Overall I take Hyatt to be doubling down on its most frequent guests.

  • It’s harder to earn top tier status: 60 nights instead of 50, and you won’t be able to earn any of those nights with credit card spend (although requalifying in 2018 and beyond will take just 55 nights).
  • But that top tier status will bring upgrades that include suites based on availability, the ability to earn more than just 4 confirmed suite upgrades, and also to use those confirmed upgrades on award nights.

While I think that Hyatt’s changes won’t make them competitive for the infrequent guest or even the frequent guest below 60 nights — a mid-tier guest at Hilton and Marriott gets lounge access or breakfast on most stays, Hyatt’s upper mid-tier will give just 4 club lounge upgrades per year — I think that the benefits for top tier members have likely been undersold.

There’s one clear reason for this: Hyatt hasn’t really promoted My Hyatt Concierge, and it may be the biggest new benefit of ‘Globalist’ status.

my hyatt concierge grand hyatt san francisco
Grand Hyatt San Francisco

Starwood offers an ‘Ambassador’ at 100 nights, and Marriott is testing a similar program. Hyatt offers their version at ‘just’ 60 nights.

I spoke with Hyatt’s Jeff Zidell about the My Hyatt Concierge program, and he explained “the idea is to have best Hyatt experience possible.” An assigned Hyatt Concierge will assist with all things related to the stay experience such as transfers from the airport, arrival, room requests, food and beverage, and spa.

Jeff says “we’ve talked about purpose as company being to care for people so they can be their best. So we need to get to know you.” Having one dedicated point of contact that can learn preferences and help provide a seamless experience is their way to care for a guest beyond ‘just’ providing (transactional) service.

How Does the My Hyatt Concierge Program Work?

Hyatt began testing My Hyatt Concierge two and a half years ago.

They developed a program where guests with a concierge have one person to go to for all things Hyatt. That person will reach out with details of promotions, get to know preferences. For instance I like copious amounts of bottled water, and coffee with real creamer.. but I never drink bottles of Canvas wine left in the room. (Concierges can apparently do a lot of things to make your stay special, but getting you a room with a desk at the Hyatt Herald Square probably isn’t one of them.)

They’ll handle room reservations for you, of course you can still make those yourself online. But if you want someone to handle confirmed suite upgrades, or book a credit card free night or one of the new free nights upon qualifying for Explorist or Globalist status, it can be easier to do it with a person. And easier still just to shoot off an email. No more dealing with misinformed agents who think that confirmed suites are capacity controlled on cash and points award nights.

I’ve even heard from members that were part of the My Hyatt Concierge test who’ve received chocolates or snack baskets at the holidays.

my hyatt concierge grand hyatt kuala lumpur
Sky Check-in Lobby at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur

Not every relationship between member and concierge is a “home run” in Jeff Zidell’s words, but the new program will give Hyatt more flexibility to move concierges around and match the best fits to meet a member’s needs. During the test there were only 4 people working the My Hyatt Concierge program. The test was predominantly with US-based members, and the team worked out of Omaha. With the roll-out, the program will be global, growing to 15-20 people and working out of other contact centers and not only in English.

How Will Globalists Get a My Hyatt Concierge?

Unless you’ve already stayed 60 nights or earned 100,000 based points or have lifetime elite status you won’t get assigned a Concierge on March 1. (Customers that were part of the test stay in the program.)

This is a new benefit in 2017, and it’s offered when someone hits Globalist this year. For most members they won’t be assigned a Concierge until later in the year — after they’ve qualified for 2018 status.

Upon earning top tier status, they’ll receive a welcome notification, and then within 48 hours they’ll be contacted by their assigned concierge (the protocol is to reach out by email and phone).

grand hyatt tampa pool
Pool at the Grand Hyatt Tampa

What Happens to the Private Line Program?

I’ve been a member of Hyatt’s Private Line program since around 2010, back when any Diamond member could be added to it if they knew to ask. (You could simply ping Hyatt’s social media representative on an online forum and they’d get you added.)

I believe they closed that option about 5 years ago. Fortunately they didn’t kick out those that were already in it.

I’ve appreciated having one person I could email for reservations requests like confirming suite upgrades, making reservations with complex rates, or following up with a hotel on missing points or to correct a bill.

Sending off a single email is fantastic, though the quality of agents has varied. Sometimes I’d wind up with a new agent as my existing one moved on in the company or elsewhere, and the person I was assigned to wasn’t super helpful.

The goal with My Hyatt Concierge is a more structured program than the Private Line program which only had several hundred Hyatt members in it. Jeff says the My Hyatt Concierge program will have “better leadership and vision and infrastructure and expectations.”

The Private Line program will be ending after about a year. As customers migrate to My Hyatt Concierge “it may be your private line rep assigned to you if they moved to the My Hyatt Concierge program or may be someone new that’s assigned.” Some of the Private Line representatives will come over to My Hyatt Concierge, though not all will.

Customers with Private Line agents who do not qualify with 60 nights for My Hyatt Concierge will ultimately lose their Private Line rep when the program sunsets.

park hyatt siem reap
Bedroom at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap

Hyatt believes that customers will overall be happier with the My Hyatt Concierge program than with Private Line.

Private line offered service but limited hours (each private line agent had certain hours during their shift where they were on the private line number, and My Hyatt Concierge will have broader availability during their shift).

Hyatt expects to have more resources available to learn preferences and customize stays, along with occasional surprise and delight elements (“to do all the things that make the travel experience brighter and easier”), in the new program.

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 »

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Comments

  1. “… top tier status will bring upgrades that include suites based on availability,”

    The “based on availability” language will give Hyatt huge leverage to play games with this benefit!

  2. Gary- If you complete 25 stays by end of this month, do we get 4 DSU certificates and another 4 after March 1st and possibly another 4 if we hit 60 nights in 2017?

    I think I may have misread of one your previous articles but wanted your thoughts.

    Thanks!

  3. I’ve been on the edge of Hyatt Diamond for about 6 years. some years hitting Diamond easily, some years only making Platinum. I have been part of the test program and they haven’t taken it away in the years they I’m only a platinum. Hopefully that will continue.

  4. @Sam – you should get 4 that expire February 28 when you qualify. Then on March 1 you would get 4 expiring February 28, 2018. And then when you hit 60 nights you’d get 4 expiring 12 months into the future.

  5. Hyatt gold passport member since the 80s. Diamond for years. But, with downgrade of Hyatt program, Hyatt will run off a lot of Diamond members including me. I previously would go out of my way to stay at a Hyatt. But no more. In couple of months we have stayed at the Kimberly in New York (recommend); the Warwick Melrose in Dallas (recommend); Hiltons, Marriotts; a Westin. Those would have been Hyatt stays. No more unless the hotel is convenient and priced competitively. Hyatt made a business decision to abandon most Diamonds, so we had to make a business decision too.

  6. i am curious to know how hyatt is faring compared to this time last year. i for one will not be working to re-qualify for the top tier at hyatt this year. i will no longer pay $20 to $30 more or drive 30 miles or more just to stay at a hyatt.
    this globalist program thing is the dumbest farce, especially when marriott is matching spg’s 25 stay platinum.

  7. @David very much like Ambassador, although less promoting “we’ll figure out experiences outside the hotel” and presumably smaller so hopefully they’re able to deliver more consistency. But Ambassador at 60 nights [albeit no credits on award stays, credit cards, or for 2nd/3rd rooms] vs 100 nights.

  8. Gary, you state that “Unless you’ve already stayed 60 nights or earned 100,000 based points or have lifetime elite status you won’t get assigned a Concierge on March 1.”

    My understanding has been that those who complete 25 stays before the end of February would automatically gain Globalist status in March. Is concierge the only Globalist benefit that 25 stays before end of February does not gain?

  9. As a soon-to-be downgraded “Discoverist” next month in 2017 – I hope Jeff Zidell soon “discovers” that – as ‘Steven K’ noted above – I will no longer travel OUT OF MY WAY to “just stay” in a Hyatt (A true sign of customer loyalty). For example, I spend nearly two months of the year working in various cities in Germany however the new Globalistic ‘World of Hyatt’ has only FIVE hotels in a country of 80m million people. Frankly, the new loyalty program should be rebranded as the “World of Hyatt Place”. 2016: Hyatt Platinum. 2017: Hyatt who cares…

  10. Are 15-20 people enough to cover all the Globalists?

    FWIW, I generally have had good experiences with Diamond Line representatives and, given lack of hold times, calling them is very painless.

  11. “The “based on availability” language will give Hyatt huge leverage to play games with this benefit!”

    Point to an elite suite upgrade that’s not “based on availability” and you would’ve discovered the secret passage to ‘Atlantis’! 😉

  12. @Gary sez: “No more detail with misinformed agents who think that confirmed suites are capacity controlled on cash and points award nights.”

    That is a clear misunderstanding of what “capacity control” means. No or absence of “capacity control” means that if a suite is available for booking with cash, it is also available for upgrading to with a CONFIRMABLE suite upgrade award or instrument (DSU), which is absolutely not the case and that’s why there has been so much confusion about this; not to mention countless complaints by folks who could not use their DSUs when suites were clearly available for booking with cash! DSUs are more like airline “saver awards” than “standard awards” 😉

    In short, the point is not even subtle: it is the AVAILABILITY of suites for upgrades that’s “capacity-controlled” and not whether or not DSUs can be used on C+P award stays. For most practical purposes C+P award stays, including for earning stay/night credit or redeeming DSUs, are considered “eligible stays. However, before a DSU can be used on ANY “eligible rate”, including C+P, suites must first be available [at booking]. That’s were “capacity control” comes in. Suites are prioritized to be bookable first for revenue stays and then those that are left over can be released for DSUs. A Hyatt official did confirmed that much, as reported on this very site.

    G’day!

  13. “”Zidell said: “the idea is to have best Hyatt experience possible.” An assigned Hyatt Concierge will assist with all things related to the stay experience such as transfers from the airport, arrival, room requests, food and beverage, and spa.”

    “Best experience possible” is relative. The way it sounds to me is that a ‘concierge’ would take away all the stuff that makes it fun to earn miles and points and to redeem them for personal travel!

    Because it is too large to offer a perk like ‘personal concierge’ to every Diamond member with, say 75 nights, Hilton Honors has had a limited version of personal concierge for some time at their top luxury hotel brand: Waldorf Astoria. When I booked a stay at the iconic Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria last November, I was offered the option to be contacted by a personal concierge who’d been assigned to assist me with “transfers from the airport, arrival, room request, food and beverage, and spa”. I did not bother. Nor did I bother for my two stays at WA Shanghai. I do not recall if WA Beijing, which was brand new when I stayed there in 2015, even offered me concierge service, but I would have declined. Here’s why: arranging my own year-end escapades(tm), one flight at a time, one hotel at a time, one airport transfer at a time, is one of the great joys that I look forward to every year. Why would “outsource” that to a concierge? I get to BKK and need to go from there to Muang Pattaya. How the heck do I get there? Uber, taxi-meter, hitchhike? In Shanghai, do I take the MagLev train at 300+ km/h or a taxi from PVG int’l airport to the city? Those are the types of considerations and decisions that make “do-it-yourself” travel arrangements fun and invaluable, not only for oneself but also for sharing with other “regular” travelers. You get the sense that I do not think much of the ‘concierge’ perk. The rarefied air in a limo arranged by a ‘concierge’ would not have given me the sense of adventure or freedom or the “high” that I got when riding in a beat up cab from BKK to Pattaya — the old Toyota’s engine even overheated and we had pull into a gas station to cool it off before continuing! That’s living!

    A ‘concierge’ would be perfect for folks who travel almost exclusively for business and are always in a hurry and would benefit to have someone else arrange their “transfers from the airport, arrival, room requests, food and beverage, and spa”, and I suspect that it’s those types of travelers that WOH! is being designed to attract as their top elites. For those on leisure travel, which is what the “game” is largely about for most of us, a ‘concierge’ is anathema.

  14. I fear this will actually be a downgrade. This is my fourth year as Diamond and I’ve had nothing but excellent experiences on the Diamond line. They answer right away after you press “1”, and they get things done quickly and capably. Most CSRs on the Diamond line are naturals.

    Basically, I think my fear here is it’s not broken, and there’s nothing to fix. I hope Hyatt exceeds my expectations here.

  15. @Bri – Anyone with Diamond status before March 1 becomes a Globalist. But entering the year as a Globalist doesn’t get you a Concierge. You won’t receive one until you’ve hit 60 nights or 100k base points in 2017 [or unless you have/earn lifetime status or are grandfathered into a concierge from the test].

  16. I’d think that most people who stay 60 to 100+ nights a year in hotels don’t have a huge need for a concierge to figure out stuff like airport transfers, restaurant reservations etc., or have their own assistant who knows their travel habits and work needs better than any concierge, or can use a credit card concierge. I didn’t go out of the way to requalify for Ambassador this year for some of these reasons and other reasons mentioned in the post. The Your24 benefit, bonus Starpoint, and additional Uber benefit that SPG grants at 75 nights are arguably more valuable.

  17. @Gary- Thanks. I just wanted to let you know that I just hit Diamond Status by completing stays in January and February. I did receive 4 DSU’s that expire on 02/28/17. It looks like that was indeed the case as you suggested. Hopefully I receive 4 more after transitioning to Globalist. Thanks

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