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This is a post that originally ran a few weeks ago and which has been updated with some key information from Hyatt.
Hyatt originally planned to introduce peak and off-peak pricing back in March 2020 but the pandemic got in the way of those plans and the devaluation was postponed. In fact, the crisis brought about by the pandemic has lasted for so long that there has been more than one postponement. Now, however, the postponements are over and Hyatt has officially set the date from when standard room bookings for stays from March 2022 may cost up to 25% more.
The last time that Hyatt announced that the move to peak, standard, and off-peak pricing was being postponed (in June) we were told that the changes would come into effect in “mid-October” and Hyatt has kept quiet on the matter ever since (at least, officially).
Today, however, that silence has been broken and Hyatt has confirmed that bookings starting on Tuesday, 26 October 2021 at 10:00 am CT, for stays from 1 March 2022, will price up at off-peak, standard, or peak rates.
Hyatt is moving to seasonal pricing
This is what we know about the upcoming changes to the World of Hyatt award chart:
- Hyatt will offer three levels of award pricing for each World of Hyatt category: Peak, standard, and off-peak prices
- Points + Cash awards will also offer peak, standard, and off-peak prices
- The changes will be introduced on Tuesday, 26 October 2021 at 10:00 am CT
- The new pricing will affect stays from 1 March 2022 onwards
- Award bookings made before the changes come into effect for stays post 1 March 2022, will follow the current award chart if the cost of that stay increases (i.e. the stay dates get categorized as “peak season”).
- World of Hyatt members who have existing award bookings for stays after 1 March 2022 that change to off-peak pricing will receive an automatic one-time refund of the point difference.
- Once the new seasons are introduced, any adjustments made to existing reservations for stays on or after 1 March 2022 will follow the terms of the new award chart.
- Going forward, redemption rates for award bookings will be announced as soon as nights are available for reservations (usually 13 months in advance) and will not change once they are set. A new online calendar will also be available to assist in planning.
- Hyatt is not changing its hotel categories (they will remain 1-8) and select SLH properties will continue to be the only participants in the World of Hyatt program that occupy the Category 8 space.
For reference, this is what the new award charts are expected to look like:
Regency/Grand Club Rooms
While it’s clearly bad news that Hyatt has felt the need to go down the route of peak and off-peak pricing, a little solace can be taken from the fact that the hotelier has confirmed that the new seasons will be set in advance (as soon as nights are available for reservations) and will not change once posted.
Put simply, once Hyatt decides which nights of the upcoming year will be in which seasons, they’ll be set in stone (for the year). If nothing else, that should make planning trips pretty straightforward and World of Hyatt members saving up points for a trip won’t have to worry that the cost of a stay they’re planning will increase before they have had a chance to ear/buy the points that they need.
Book now for 1 March 2022 onwards
If your only Hyatt-related award booking plans are for stays that will be taken before 1 March 2022 you have nothing to worry about. If, like me, however, you’re planning to use points to book Hyatt stays that will take place on or after 1 March 2022, now is the time to make your booking(s) as you have nothing to lose and everything to gain:
- By booking now, you lock in the current rates and are protected from any price increases brought about by the new seasonal pricing.
- Should the cost of your stay drop following the introduction of seasonal pricing, Hyatt will refund you the difference.
- Should your plans change completely and you decide that you don’t want to go ahead with the stay that you’ve booked, you can cancel free of charge (and get all your points back) as long as you don’t cancel too close to your check-in date (most Hyatt properties allow you to cancel award bookings for free up to 24 hours before check-in).
In case anyone is wondering, I’ve been taking my own advice 🙂
While a number of my planned Hyatt stays will not be impacted by the introduction of seasonal pricing (because they’ll be taking place before March 2022), some of the stays that I’d like to make will fall in May, July, and August of next year so I’ve spent the past couple of weeks making sure that I’ve locked in the current pricing.
The one fly in the ointment has been that I’ve had to convert some of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points into World of Hyatt points earlier than I would have liked to in order to be able to afford all the bookings that I’ve wanted to make, but if that’s what it takes to save me from potentially having to pay quite a few thousand points more for each stay, so be it.
We now have official confirmation that the World of Hyatt award chart will be changed to include peak season and off-peak season pricing on Tuesday, 26 October 2021 at 10:00 am CT. The changes will only affect stays made from 1 March 2022 so if you have no plans for an award stay after that date, there’s nothing for you to do. If, however, you’re planning one or more Hyatt stays for March 2022 onwards, you have just days left in which to lock in the current prices.