I previously wrote about Marriott’s and Priority Club’s fall promotions, and have been impatiently waiting to see what the other major chains had in store.
Starwood’s fall promotion is triple points on stays which include a Thursday or Sunday night (double points on all other stays). The promo runs September 6 through December 18, and registration will become available by the 6th of September.
The fact that there’s a long list of properties where you won’t be eligible to earn the bonus suggests that hotels aren’t looking to incentivize additional heads in beds, they’re pretty full with high rates and don’t feel like they need to spend broadly to fill up. Which also likely explains why Hyatt’s new promotion isn’t nearly as valuable as some were expecting or hoping (including me).
Hyatt has announced their fall promotion and it’s 5000 points every 3 nights (capped at 30,000 points after 18 nights) between September 15 and November 15. Registration will be available September 15 at
Now, I’m glad to see bonus points back of course. This hasn’t been a strong year for promotions and the current 9 Hyatt nights in two weeks are earning me no bonuses whatsoever (other than my 1000 point per stay Diamond amenity). But it’s not what I was hoping for, which of course was a return of some variant of Faster Free Nights, the seemingly annual offer of a free night every two stays with no restrictions (other than relatively short redemption window). It’s the gold standard of hotel promos, the most lucrative in the market every time that it’s offered, and it looks like we won’t see it in 2011. Which is sad, because I’ve heard over and over from the folks at Hyatt Gold Passport that it or something like it would be back. But it’s an expensive promo, and with hotels relatively filling up they likely don’t need to offer it.
Gold Passport is certainly much less rewarding than it was in 2010, with bonuses galore, and not just of the promo variety. They’ve gotten rid of the hotel-specific “G bonuses” (500 to 2000 points per stay at many properties). The stated reason was that the promos weren’t posting automatically and took too much time and effort to manually post, causing member frustration. Fair enough, but they promised a replacement program and we haven’t seen it, many months without bonuses. And frustrated members.
I do still think we’ll see aggressive promos out of Hyatt Gold Passport, and certainly if we see a bit of a hotel downturn, they’ve got the bag of tricks ready to pull out as-needed.
And like Lucky I rather think that any frustrations with Hyatt’s promos are more about how generous they’ve been in the past, rather than about Hyatt being in any way inferior to their competitors. I endorse the following from him in its entirey,
Also, in fairness to Hyatt, they’ve really improved their elite benefits over the past couple of years, and I still think they have among the best loyalty programs, even without lucrative promotions. They pioneered free internet for top tier elites, then added four confirmed suite upgrades per year, and now have guaranteed 4PM late check-out.
It’s still a truly class act loyalty program. So I’m not being an apologist, because trust me, I want to see Faster Free Nights return. And who knows, maybe it will, and they’ll run both promotions at once, which would be awesome.
So I’m still hoping we see some sort of a fun promotion, though I’m not expecting it.
On a related note, with Hyatt’s introduction of guaranteed late check out, I’ve been consistently asked at checkin whether or not I wanted the late checkout benefit. That’s a really great brand standard approach for full service Hyatts (at their lesser brands, elites have to ask for the benefit rather than being asked if they want it). If hotels are required to ask guests if they’d like the late checkout, then there’s little question that the benefit will be honored. In that way they may have even trumped Starwood, which to date has had the best late checkout benefit — almost always honored. At least at the Diamond level, where Hyatt offers 4pm checkout at non-resort locations, just like Starwood. Starwood still offers 4pm late checkout even for Golds whereas Hyatt’s first tier elite members get a lesser late checkout benefit. But by proactively offering it, that’s a huge step forward and kudos to the Gold Passport folks for rolling this out, considering that it was historically a real weak spot in the program. (The weekend of the Frequent Traveler Awards in New York, staying at the Andaz 5th Avenue, they wouldn’t even grant me 2pm… just try that now, Andaz folks!)