In many ways Hyatt has been a model for how to treat its members during the pandemic. They were first to offer something to members cancelling travel back in March, and today they have the best cancellation policy of any major hotel chain making it easy to make bookings despite the uncertainty in the world. (But still do watch out for individual hotels and dates where rules vary.)
World of Hyatt extended current elite status so that members who qualified last year are able to use the benefits that they earned through 2021. However there’s a hole in Hyatt’s approach: confirmed suite upgrades and free nights for those members – set to expire February 2021 – were not extended. Put another way, certificates expiring in 2020 got extended to the end of 2021, long past when benefits expiring in 2021 will expire.
Many members are starting to plan travel again. Hyatt’s members are looking at where they’ll be able to go in the future, hopefully as the world opens up again. There aren’t a lot of places in the world that Americans can travel today due to restrictions in place in most countries.
I’ve heard from readers who are frustrated. I’ve been writing about airline awards that are available next spring and summer, suggesting it’s worth planning travel again that far out, that there seems a good chance health conditions and regulations may allow it. But what they’re finding is that they cannot use their free nights and confirmed suite benefits – that even though they’ll still have status in 2021, benefits expire before the stays they’re trying to book.
Oddly Hyatt extended suite upgrades that expired unused from the prior cycle but didn’t do anything for elite members unable to use their confirmed upgrade benefit this year due to the pandemic. And since April when they made this decision the expected length of world disruption has only grown. Even Marriott extended their Suite Night Awards!
There’s now a report of a category 1-7 free night, earned upon achieving 60 nights and Globalist status, that’s been extended to December 31, 2021. However it’s the only such report I’ve seen.
A Hyatt spokesperson, though, offers
We continue to evaluate the validity period for all awards to determine any extensions and will share further details in the coming weeks as soon as we have more to share.
So in ‘the coming weeks’ we should hear more – which is good news, because if no action was being taken we wouldn’t likely be hearing more.