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Hyatt (along with most other travel-related companies) has made some recent changes to help provide flexibility to travelers. These are all the right moves to help consumers make the right decisions for themselves regarding their travel plans. I received an email highlighting the updates around the Hyatt change and cancellation policy and the World of Hyatt loyalty program.

Hyatt Waiving Change & Cancellation Fees

  • Existing reservations for upcoming travel between March 14 and April 30, 2020:
    • All existing reservations made before March 13, 2020, that are for arrivals between March 14 and April 30, 2020, can be changed or canceled at no charge up to 24 hours before scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate
  • New reservations for any future travel:
    • Any reservation made between March 13, 2020, and April 30, 2020 – for any future arrival date – can be changed or canceled at no charge up to 24 hours before scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate
  • Existing Advance Purchase Rate non-refundable reservations for travel through June 2020:
    • Special exceptions are in place for all Advance Purchase Rate non-refundable reservations made directly with Hyatt on or before March 8, 2020, for arrivals before June 30, 2020. Guests with fully prepaid reservations who have decided not to travel 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 (if eligible). World of Hyatt points may be used toward future travel at 900+ hotels across 17 brands globally.

 Flexing the World of Hyatt loyalty program

  • Suspending Points Forfeiture:
    • Hyatt is suspending the forfeiture of points through May 31, 2020. As a reminder, their general policy is that points do not expire, but they will be forfeited if a member’s account is inactive for 24 consecutive months.
  • Postponing Award Chart Changes:
    • Hyatt is postponing the introduction of Off-peak and Peak point redemption (originally planned for March 22, 2020) until 2021. This means that free-night redemptions will continue to be at standard rates for the rest of this year. Before the launch of Off-peak and Peak point redemptions for stay dates in 2021 and beyond, Hyatt is going to give members advance notice. Additionally, Hyatt is postponing the annual hotel award category changes (originally planned for March 22, 2020) until 2021, with the exception of five hotels still shifting award categories on March 22, 2020. Those hotels and their new category assignments include:
Hotel  Current Free Night Award Category New Free Night Award Category
Park Hyatt Mallorca 6 5
Hyatt Centric Park City 6 7
Park Hyatt Shenzhen 4 5
Alila Yangshuo 4 5
Park Hyatt Ningbo 3 4

Any free night award and Points + Cash redemption booked at these hotels on or after Sunday, March 22 at 8:00 am CDT will follow the new Award Chart. Members who have existing award bookings for a night after Sunday, March 22 that moves to a lower award category will receive an automatic one-time refund on the point difference. Points will be refunded in members’ accounts starting on Monday, March 23. Once changes go into effect on Sunday, March 22 at 8:00 am CDT, any adjustments made to existing reservations will follow the terms of the new Award Chart.

  • Evaluating Elite Tier Qualification & Benefit Extension:
    • In February, World of Hyatt extended elite tier status and award expiration dates for qualifying members residing in Asia Pacific. Check out the World of Hyatt COVID-19 FAQs for details.  Hyatt has said it is simply too early to suggest revised elite tier qualifications and award expiration beyond members in Asia Pacific. However, they have said they “know that adjustments will need to be made, and we are committed to communicating these updates as we can.”

We are seeing many companies adjusting policies to make things easier for consumers and it is definitely the right thing to do.  Dan recently canceled two trips and had success in getting refunds or credits for most of his bookings at the time of his post.  I would expect companies to continue to adjust policies as long as the uncertainty continues.

Will these new Hyatt changes help you? What are your thoughts on them? Let us know in the comments! 

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