My Video Conversation With Jeff Zidell Breaks a New Gold Passport Feature Coming Soon

Earlier today I hosted a ‘blab‘ with Hyatt Gold Passport’s Jeff Zidell.

I didn’t know what a blab was, heard it described as like ‘twitter meets vine’ or some such. If you’ve ever seen or done a Google Hangout, it’s a video chat with multiple participants but you have running commentary on the side like twitter. Up to four people at a time can participate live with audio and video that everyone else in the chat can see, while anyone can watch and comment.

The neat thing is that anyone can start a blab, or drop in on one, and there are conversations going on all the time for a variety of interests.

One tidbit that Jeff dropped during our conversation was that cash and points awards should become searchable on Hyatt’s website either sometime during the four quarter of 2015 or first quarter of 2016. That’s actually a big deal for me. I don’t like having to call to make a reservation, but I especially dislike having to call only to find out what I want isn’t available!

I have to hand it specifically to Pizza in Motion who asked the question about cash and points!

You can check out the video conversation here:

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, 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 »



  1. Good convo. I want to see Hyatt adopt free bottled water as part of their brand standard. I think that’s one of the areas they lack compared to SPG.

  2. Maybe Hyatt should ensure that their properties stop playing games with award bookings (e.g., only selling “packages” and having no standard rooms available when they are selling them or putting all award stays in remote rundown buildings). Get back to the basics of the program. Until then I’m done with Hyatt.

  3. @John funny, I seem to recall about 3 or 4 years ago they were testing that I should ask what ever became of the test because it didn’t roll out chain wide (though it’s something I get at a few of the hotels I frequent because THEY do it, and most club lounges make it possible to stock up)

  4. @A – what hotel(s) do you currently see offering standard rooms only as part of packages and thus not offering awards? We saw that for instance at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco but that’s been fixed. Give me some specific examples with enough detail to replicate and I’m happy to work on it.

  5. Gary missed an opportunity to ask real questions such as many Hyatts blocking awards and the rip off resort fees.

  6. I’ve been trying to make a points reservation at the Grand Hyatt ICN on 11/28. I’ve been told they close the tower with standard rooms on the Saturday night, so there are no rooms available on points. I’d love to see if you can get any traction with Hyatt executives on getting the hotel to do what makes sense.

  7. Have you EVER found a pure points award available on the Hyatt website, but when you called to book it as points + cash, those same nights were UNavailable as points + cash? I haven’t.

  8. Gary, you are so funny and a great host. Ed is so handsome! Can you tell him I want to marry him!

  9. @ Presley
    Yes you can use Hyatt Gift cards on the revenue portion of C& P bookings
    Hyatt Gold Passport Ambassador @ Flyertalk

  10. @Joseph N., yes, I’ve seen this. I can’t recall specifics offhand but I definitely had this issue with various Hyatt ski resorts in early 2016; I could get points availability but not P&C. Multiple hotels, several dates, etc.; not a one-off thing.

  11. Andaz Maui is one example of no C&P, ever. They were available when resort first opened, but I’ve checked several times over the past year, and into the future as far as their booking window is open, and nothing available. Plenty of points availability, but no C&P.

  12. @Kijo – I’ve written about how hotels choose to release cash and points inventory, which is something they aren’t required to do. While not generous of the hotel, cash and points is purely optional for them.

  13. Hyatt doesn’t seem to have any points availability for Hotels in Boston. It’s very disappointing. I was considering getting a Hyatt card, but after this experience I don’t think so.

  14. @Presley

    Used the Hyatt certs from for the cash portion of P+C rate at many properties in the US. Also use them to pay incidentals when strictly staying on points with no problem.

  15. Hi Gary,
    Didn’t see it mentioned in the Blab but any idea when/if Diamond Challenge will be making a comeback?
    Thanks in advance.

  16. Hyatt hotels in the San Francisco area have virtually no availability. No matter how far out I look to book.

  17. @Gary – I don’t like calling, either, but at least they have the BEST IVR I’ve ever used!! I can almost always communicate all of the details of my stay to the IVR before I even get to an agent. Then I just have to let them know I’m looking for cash and points availability for the stay. 🙂 Generally, a 3-4 min phone call if you know your GP number.

Comments are closed.