Let me start by saying that I LOVE Hyatt. LOVE Hyatt so much that I’m typing this post from the Hyatt Dulles earning my 25th stay to renew Hyatt Dimond Status for 2015. So much that I planned not only Family Travel for Real Life but Family Travel for Real Life 2 around Hyatt House locations. So much that I just bought a $2000 Hyatt Gift Certificate for 10% off.
So it pains me to point out a fail, but it’s a big one: their Best Rate Guarantee system is so convoluted and restrictive that it defies logic. Sadly, I think that may be on purpose.
Let’s review how it’s supposed to work, per Hyatt’s Website: We stand behind our guarantee. If you find a lower, qualifying rate published on another site, we’ll not only match it, we’ll discount it by 20% for your entire stay.
Unfortunately, there’s a word in there that negates the entire guarantee: qualifying. Turns out that Hyatt has made the criteria for a “qualifying” rate absolutely ridiculous: The site must not “require membership” to qualify for a best rate guarantee.
Ok, that doesn’t sound bad at face value: if you have to pay for access to a rate, it’s not fair to ask Hyatt to match it. Ditto if the method of purchase is not apples to apples, IE Hotwire with its “hidden” rates or a Priceline bid.
However, per Hyatt’s own BRG team, “Membership” is defined as “a website (that) requires you to have an account with them to make a reservation, which means that you have no choice on whether you have a membership, free or not.” What does that mean? If a site makes you create a login to store your credit card information, invalid. If a site invites you to join a mailing list, invalid! Pretty much every site that does not offer anonymous checkout doesn’t qualify for the BRG.
How does this work in practice? I’ll show you. I’m going to Da Nang, Vietnam in July and saw a daily refundable rate on hyatt.com of $210 a night for a twin room, or $1470 before taxes for a week:
Using Hotels Combined I quickly saw that $1470 was WAY too much for the room. Using the same dates I see a whopping 22 rates that are not non-refundable for the same room or better! The rates go as low as $651. Picking one that looked good, I sent in the following BRG:
Rejected. Otel apparently requires a sign-in for their mailing list, even though it is free. Tried again with another site. Rejected. A 3rd? Well, it’s been 3 days…(and this is after involving the twitter team). At this point I’m looking for another hotel (or will book 3rd party), diamond status or no.
Have you had ANY success getting a BRG with Hyatt? Please share in the comments.
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