Sometimes Hotels Play Games With Inventory, Here’s How To Call Them On It

A reader reached out to me about the Park Hyatt St. Kitts. The hotel appeared to be selling standard suites for the week between Christmas and New Year’s. As a Globalist (top tier elite) he wanted to book a room and confirm a suite.

However he reported that the hotel responded to Hyatt, when they tried to confirm the suite, that the suites weren’t actually available and that the inventory was a glitch. Despite this ‘glitch’ coming to light, the space remained bookable on Hyatt’s website for several days. He asked how he should proceed?

My suggestion:

  • Look at the cancellation policy of the hotel. Make sure that a booking isn’t non-cancellable. Some resort properties might impose such a penalty on bookings during peak holidays.

  • Assuming a reservation is fully cancellable, book the suite. Then see if they’ll confirm that the reservation will be honored.

  • Make the point that the hotel was willing to take a paid booking for the suite and confirm it as not a glitch, so surely it was a mistake to say that the suite wasn’t available for confirmed upgrade?

That’s exactly the path this reader took. And the hotel went ahead and confirmed his original booking into a beachside suite, as they should have from the start.

World of Hyatt confirmed suite upgrade inventory is not capacity controlled. Each hotel identifies the room category that suite upgrades will book into. And once that category is identified, if a room is available in that category then it’s available for upgrade. Period. Hotels do play games with this, and when they do they should be called out for it.

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. Andaz Maui continues this game, even after you and others have repeatedly called them out. Does Hyatt not penalize the resorts when they play these games?

  2. The hotel should take a paying customer over some self entitled cheapskate that thinks they deserve something for nothing. If anything, the hotel should be up front with them and tell them so….and hang up on them when they start whining and crying about it. Anyone with any sense what so ever would expect a business to take a paying customer over some guy that thinks he is owed an upgrade that they paid nothing for. What’s next there Gary….hack reporter wannabes stay free? it’s not the paying customer’s responsibility to pay more so some self important blowhard can cost the property money.

  3. Hotels play these games because they believe the suites can be sold instead of given away as an upgrade. At high end destinations, the hotels are probably right. What’s Hyatt’s incentive to stop this behavior? They take a cut of the hotel’s revenue. Hyatt is already well above other hotel chains in suite upgrades, so there’s no competitive pressure, either.

    Hyatt should just add a clause in the program terms that suite upgrades are ultimately at the hotel’s discretion.

  4. We get this great advice for no cost. Yet, Gary has to put food on the table. So, Gary markets credit cards. Fair is fair.

    Yet, there are some ungrateful and entitled jerks who are all too happy to get this great advice for free and then complain that Gary markets credit cards.

    Gary, thanks. This thing with the hotels is a war. Keep up the fight.

  5. So I know the average IQ in Reno is equal to the set temperature in my refrigerator, but Joe, what’s your comment got to do with anything?

  6. @ GLN2LW: Reno Joe is simply defending Gary. Lots of commenters give Gary way too much flak for “pimping” credit cards. Perhaps before making such a judgmental comment, how long have you been following this blog?

  7. This is a subpar hotel in a terrible location on the island…
    They are doing him a favour, stay somewhere else.

  8. @Gavin: maybe there is a time to stand up for him, such as when someone complains. I suppose you punished your kids six weeks after the event. Just admit, the comment wasn’t posted to the appropriate blog or right day.

    Regarding today’s blog: But……but……I thought Hyatt could do no wrong. I can hear DCS laughing all the way from here.

  9. Thanks Gavin.

    The uncivil comment proves my point.

    By the way, if the commenter is implying that I live in Reno, Nevada, the commenter should probably know that city is actually a tech hub. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Tesla, you name it have large employee groups there. Your assertion is both wrong and offensive. Don’t be conclusory.

    Are racial and religious insults up next?

    What parents raised you?

  10. @somebody – the only problem with your argument is that the hotel agreed to the terms and the terms specify benefits for top tier (the most valuable customers Hyatt has) customers.

  11. Robert, I agree with you regarding Somebody.

    An additional flaw is this: if an upgrade room is available at check-in, then there’s no paying customer / revenue being displaced.

    Now, let’s say Somebody is right and no one should receive an upgrade room. Along the line of your point, why do the programs list it as a benefit? Why not eliminate all perks and say it’s just a points game?

    But, then, Somebody suggests that no one should get any free (award) stays . . . which then eliminates the points game.

    Somebody seems to have a chip on her/his shoulder . . . or us a property owner. Ha.

  12. @Somebody Else:
    Gary, please stop logging in under your other screen names just to disrespect yourself and create clicks.
    We all know your games. Drinking too much boxed wine lately, eh?

  13. All the more reason to ignore hotel loyalty programs. Most of us don’t have the free time to mess with this aggravation. I avoid Marriott altogether for ethical reasons. Otherwise I book whatever is convenient and use a lot of independent hotels and AirBNB.

  14. Having similar problem with Hyatt Regency Aruba. There are standard suites available for cash but hotel will not book with points at the 40,000 pt standard suite rate. ( none showing for any dates in 2022 for suite w/ points. Any suggestions?

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