Podcast: World of Hyatt’s decline by a thousand cuts | Coffee Break Ep12 | 5-28-24

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You know we’re fans of Hyatt…but some of their recent behavior has been downright painful! That’s what we’ll discuss in today’s Coffee Break episode.

Watch the full episode below, or listen on your favorite podcast platform. You can click the timestamps below to navigate directly to a specific part of the episode within YouTube.

For a transcript of this episode, click “Watch on Youtube” on the video below, then click the “…more” link in the video description. This will expand full video details. Scrolling down past the timestamps and chapters, you’ll see a “Show Transcript” button. If you’re an Apple Podcast listener, you can touch and hold a podcast episode to reveal an option to view a transcript.

(01:28) – Hyatt introduced Category 8, claiming it would only be for SLH

(03:05) – Introduced peak pricing

(04:26) – As feared, they moved Hyatt properties into that Category 8

(04:43) – Introduced a separate (way more expensive) award chart for all-inclusive properties

(05:35) – Created Homes & Hideaways at poor value…then later moved a number of “Destination Residences” properties to Homes & Hideaways

(07:53) – Ended MGM partnership

(08:34) – Ended SLH partnership

(09:54) – Introduced Mr & Mrs Smith dynamic pricing

Still plenty to love:

(13:03) – Best-in-class top tier status benefits (you know you’ll get breakfast / lounge, free parking on award stays, meaningful upgrades, etc).

(14:17) – Best milestone rewards (confirmable suite upgrades, Guest of Honor awards, valuable free night certificates)

(16:04) – Lots of sharing options: share free nights, upgrade certs, globalist status (via GOH awards), points, etc.

(17:09) – Ability to supplement elite earning with credit card spend

(18:08) – Generally very good value for points for properties that adhere to an award chart

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Music Credit – Beach Walk by Unicorn Heads

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Tom

I think you guys were way too easy on Hyatt here.

SLH was essential to making the overseas footprint palatable. I have 3 trips booked for the next year with *0* Hyatt stays because there simply aren’t any Hyatts in the places I’m visiting.

It doesn’t seem worth the opportunity cost to requalify for Globalist next year, and without Globalist, seeking out Hyatt stays makes even less sense.

Mbh

Globalist may be great (I hustled hard and had it one year) but it’s by far the hardest to achieve. Not worth the trouble, imo, unless you travel for work and travel to hyatt cities.

LarryInNYC

The ongoing corporate challenge makes it much easier (20 butt-in-bed nights) if you have access to a corporate email account, and if you have lots of spend available to you, it’s easy to get that way as well.

CJH

I booked the Wentworth Mansion before it left the Hyatt portfolio. My first and only SLH redemption.

jerry

It’s getting to the point (if not already there) that points and miles schemes will rely exclusively on the naive consumer to collect and redeem at the same rate as earning and redeeming cash would be.

Lee

*The* shoe to drop will be systemwide dynamic pricing. It might not be the next shoe to drop but it will be *the* shoe to drop. The travel industry is moving in this direction. Accept it. Enjoy the current scheme while it lasts but know what you’re going to do when you hear the thud.

Last edited 27 days ago by Lee
DMoney

Was it just me or did you guys switch from talking about devaluation of WoH to talking about what you still love about WoH about halfway through the podcast?

MScott

Yes. That was odd. I wonder if they thought they might be burning some bridges?

DMoney

That’s what I thought too.

Brent

It is to keep perspective. Sort of like the famous Churchill quote about democratic government. If you stop at all the bad without perspective, people overreact.

matthewsf

As a frequent and avid supporter/fan of their All-Inclusive properties (over other brands), the increase in this category is VERY disppointing, especially with their own legacy Ziva/Zilara brands (vs. the former ALG properties). Could the increased popularity and demand (in this type of property category) they saw during/after the pandemic be the root cause for the increase???

LSP

I think that’s the case – the AIs are super popular, which is why Hyatt bought the AI chain (Apple Leisure Group, ALG). The cents/points value at a lot of these AI now (especially the Ziva/Zilaras) is often less than $0.02, which tells me these properties see a disproportionate amount of points bookings compared to similarly (cash) priced properties. In other words, point price/category increases are more directly tied to award redemption demand at these properties than cash prices. This demand makes sense for a lot of reasons (generally AIs are becoming more popular, maybe pulling some demand from cruises, etc). One big reason is that Hyatt combined its legacy customers with ALGs’, driving ALG customer demand for legacy Hyatt properties and adding Hyatt customer demand to ALG’s existing customer demand for ALG properties.
The only AI “deals” seem to be brand new properties, which are initially priced low then increased with the new category changes. Fortunately, Hyatt seems to be regularly opening new AIs.

Brent

And this is not unique to Hyatt. The Iberostar with IHG is horrible redemption value. I think it says something about the psychology of booking an AI. I often find that I can save money and have better meals by not doing an AI, but the appeal for many is cost certainty and no need to worry about consumption/spending while on vacation. When you can get it all “for free,” it feels better, even if the cpp is out of line. In another related thread, think about the mental gymnastics people to for status to get a free breakfast at a hotel or a buffet in an airport lounge. AI pricing reflects the idea that people are often willing to pay more points to make things feel more free.

Jan

you forgot they didn’t change certificate to cover 8 when they made 8

matthewsf

and not expanding 1-4 FNC to 1-5…shrinking pool of hotels that cap at Cat. 4.

UrbanDweller

They did mention this in the CB (timestamp of mention: 2:25-2:55) that the cat 1-7 cert was never increased to cover the properties that fell in this category.

Last edited 27 days ago by UrbanDweller
Jan

totally agree. its getting too much. been globalist for 10 years, not requalifying this year intentionally

jin

same here. not requalifying this year. I normally just have to shift all my travels to hyatt then do one small mattress run per year. not doing it this year.

Lukas

Especially since you can just buy GOH certificates on ebay for cheap.

feefeesd

New data points in discussion groups show Hyatt shutting down dozens of accounts for buying and trading awards over the last few months due to being against their T&C

Lukas

Bummer but even Stevie Wonder saw that one coming.