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.
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.
Grand Hyatt San Francisco
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.
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).
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.
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.