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We’ve just had some huge news out of Hyatt that should make a lot of people very happy indeed – the introduction of peak and off-peak pricing in the World of Hyatt program is being pushed back to 2021 and all but 5 Hyatt properties will now be remaining in their current World of Hyatt categories.
Here’s everything that Hyatt has just announced:
Change & Cancellation Fees Are Being Waived
4 days ago Hyatt announced that it would be offering guests with prepaid reservations 10,000 points if they felt the need to cancel to those non-cancelable reservations.
Today, on the back of announcements from IHG, Hilton, and Marriott, Hyatt has improved on that policy. Here’s what Hyatt’s cancellation policy looks like now:
- All existing reservations made before 13 March 2020 that are for arrivals between 14 March and 30 April 2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before a guest’s scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations.
- All reservations made between 13 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 for any future arrival date can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before a guest’s scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations.
- Guests with Advance Purchase Rate non-refundable reservations made with Hyatt on or before 8 March 2020 and for travel through June 2020 may still opt at least 24 hours before their stay to receive 10,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points compensation in lieu of both their stay and the offer above.
World Of Hyatt Points Expiration Suspended
Under normal circumstances, World of Hyatt points don’t expire unless an account remains inactive for 24 consecutive months but Hyatt has just announced that it is pausing the expiration of all points scheduled to expire between now and 31 May 2020.
Hyatt hasn’t said what will happen to the points that would have expired between now and 31 May 2020 once 1 June comes around (presumably they’ll expire immediately) so, to be on the safe side, anyone finding themselves in this situation should do what they can to get some activity in their accounts as soon as they can…no matter how small.
Award Chart Changes Postponed
In what is by far the biggest piece of news out if Hyatt today, the hotelier has confirmed that it will be postponing the introduction of Off-peak and Peak point redemption (originally planned for March 22, 2020) until 2021 and this will mean that award bookings will continue to be at standard rates for the rest of 2020.
No new date has been set for the introduction of off-peak and peak pricing.
In addition to the above, Hyatt has decided to postpone its hotel award category changes (originally planned for 22 March 2020 and announced earlier this year) until 2021, with the exception of five hotels that will go ahead with their planned award category changes on 22 March 2020.
Those hotels and their new category assignments are:
- Park Hyatt Mallorca: Moving from Category 6 to Category 5
- Hyatt Centric Park City: Moving from Category 6 to Category 7
- Park Hyatt Shenzen: Moving from Category 4 to Category 5
- Alila Yangshuo: Moving from Category 4 to Category 5
- Park Hyatt Ningbo: Moving from Category 3 to Category 4
Any free night award and Points + Cash redemptions booked at these hotels on or after Sunday, 22 March at 8:00 am CDT will follow the new Award Chart. World of Hyatt members who have existing award bookings for a night after 22 March that moves to a lower award category will receive an automatic one-time refund on the point difference. Once changes go into effect on Sunday, 22 March at 8:00 am CDT, any adjustments made to existing reservations will follow the terms of the new Award Chart.
Hyatt has brought its cancellation policy and points expiration policy broadly in line with what IHG, Hilton, and Marriott are offering and that’s pretty much what I expected Hyatt to do as soon as the bigger chains started waiving all cancelation penalties…but I never expected Hyatt to delay the award chart devaluations.
For most people that’s probably going to be the best miles and points news this week because, as with all devaluations, this one wasn’t anything to look forward to. Sure, it wasn’t going to be a terrible or disastrous devaluation but it was going to be a devaluation nonetheless and now we all have at least another 9 months in which to enjoy the current award chart without having to worry about peak and off-peak pricing.
This is all more good news for World of Hyatt members and another example of Hyatt doing things slightly differently to the other big hotel chains – it’s what makes Hyatt stand out and it’s what makes Hyatt loyalists believe that the chain may actually care about how they feel.
Can anyone else feel the Starwood influence in all of this?