New Members Booking Through Expedia Still Get Hyatt Place Breakfast – Globalists Will Not

Yesterday Hyatt announced that effective November 1 Hyatt Place breakfast would be restricted to program members who book direct.

Hotel chains are increasingly pushing ‘book direct’ versus booking through online travel agencies like Expedia and Booking.com. It’s not a new push, for years elite status credit has only been available when booking direct. One change with introduction of World of Hyatt last year was that elite status would no longer be recognized for guests who booked through third party websites.


Hyatt Place Breakfast

One way they encourage direct booking is Best Rate Guarantees, though Hyatt’s has become mostly marketing hype rather than real substance. Another is ‘book direct’ rates that are supposed to be lower than those offered on third party sites.

Now Hyatt is leveraging breakfast in the battle with online booking sites.

However they’ve clarified their position on the matter, telling me that they’re,

allowing those who sign up on the spot for World of Hyatt at Hyatt Place hotels, no matter how they book, to get free breakfast during that stay. Moving forward, guests will get free breakfast when they book an eligible rate as a World of Hyatt member.


Hyatt Place Breakfast

This makes a certain amount of sense. They want to convert an online travel agency customer into a Hyatt customer, so using breakfast to sign them up for the program helps do that.

However it creates a bizarre scenario.

  • A non-member booking through an OTA can sign up for World of Hyatt on the spot and get free breakfast

  • A top tier elite member booking through an OTA will not receive breakfast [they are already a World of Hyatt member and not eligible to sign up on property]

A Hyatt spokesperson confirms, “Yes, that is the plan as of now.”

This tells me they’re thinking about their strategy against online booking sites, rather than thinking about their customers. If someone spends 55 nights or more a year (or spends over $20,000) with Hyatt they’re a valuable customer every time they walk through the door.

If a top tier elite books through Expedia because the rate was lower, or because the hotel was sold out on the Hyatt site but still available at GetARoom they’re demonstrating their loyalty. Treating them less well than a first time guest simply makes no sense.

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. Your complaint doesn’t make sense; this is a sign-up bonus for new members. What if they gave 5,000 points as a sign-up bonus to new members on their first stay? Do you think they have to give that one-time bonus to globalists with every stay because it’s available to new members on their first stay?

  2. Can you offer up a kid to WoH as a sacrifice sign-up? If you have a large family, this could get you a few Expedia bookings.

  3. This is like watching a low-speed freeway chase: “Noooo! Not my Hyatt Place breakfast…” Seriously, McDonalds has tastier breakfast options than Hyatt Place.

    I admit that I’m up in arms over Courtyard and AC no longer offering breakfast to Marriott [insert loyalty program name here]’s new situation. But at the end of the day, it’s going to be another sh**ty breakfast option at a hotel that reminds me I should have booked a full-service location.

  4. It’s not actually that unusual that companies offer something to new customers that’s not available to existing customers. Cable and phone companies do it all the time with “introductory” rates. Lots of companies offer a $25 (or whatever) sign-up bonus — Uber, SilverCar, etc — or $20 off your first order (just about everyone). This free-breakfast-one-time-for-giving-up-your-email doesn’t seem so out of line.

  5. First of all the HP breakfast is very weak. Weaker than the competition and that’s not saying much. The situation is better at HH. I’m cheap so I like my free globalist breakfast but I’m hard pressed on weekend stays to set the alarm on the weekend to get down there on time for the HP brekkie.
    In practice it’s going to be a cluster on the weekends. How are they going to keep folks away from the freezer-burnt stale bagels and powdered eggs? Tickets? Employees paid to keep away the 3rd-party booking trash? yea right.

  6. They’ve clearly not understood the problem or they’d have addressed it differently. There is an infinite number of unique email accounts in the world…it’s not hard to book the cheapest rate and then signup with bogus info, right? I’d love to remember how many sleeves of free golf balls I scored in the 1990s at golf tourneys, signing up for credit cards with bogus info… WOH signups on site won’t be quite as easy as that but it won’t be hard…

    Hyatt has been showing, since the rollout of WOH, that they no longer employ thinkers and that they choose to firefight rather than trendset.

  7. If you use an EU address to enroll and be covered as an EU member of the Hyatt program, Hyatt has no choice but to wipe out the member’s enrollment and private information on demand by such member. In other words, such a new member can repeatedly join and cancel and join WOH to get this breakfast. What a great way to encourage “loyalty”, Hyatt. 😉

  8. As a Diamond member and Hyatt Insider for many many years, there was no questioning my loyalty. After the WOH rollout, the Insider community went bananas trying to explain to management how badly they misstepped. Their response was to shut down the Hyatt Insiders Community altogether. Needless to say, I’ve ditched them. No longer loyal in the least. I cherry pick the best Hyatt properties and leave the rest to rot.
    In 2017, my last year as a Globalist, I was finding it next to impossible to book suites on short notice at HP properties that even had suites (short notice is less than a month away, but more than 28 days out). The company’s directive to employees to “surprise and delight” in reality translates to “disappoint and disgust”.

    Not sure loyalty programs in general across the travel industry overall have much of a future. The baby boomers are fed up, and millenniasl don’t shape their behavior primarily by such incentives.
    So Folks, if you want to game the perks (or lack thereof) at these places, have at it; just please perform the occasional reality check to avoid squandering your hard earned mental energy and emotional equilibrium on details like this. In your head there should be a “line in the sand” and when a property crosses it, look away, walk away and treat yourself decently to whatever it is you need to function well while on the road. These businesses are not the boss of you unless you permit it, for they can surely and predictably ruin your perfectly good work day

  9. As a Chase Hyatt credit card member I doubt I will ever reach explorist level. I have the credit card for one reason only and that I receive my free annual night. It usually is good at Hyatt Place which works for me. Would I still get the comp breakfast after November? If not it would not be a deal breaker for me. The breakfast is not all that great. I like the Hyatt product fine and usually use points for free nights since I usually put lots of charges on my Hyatt credit card to rack up high point balances. There is nothing that really makes me be a loyal customer to pay for stays. I am like most people. Look for the best bang for my buck to stay at a decent place, which most of the time isn’t a Hyatt property.

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