Glitch-ridden

Discussion in 'Hyatt | Gold Passport' started by kansaskeith, Jan 28, 2016.  |  Print Topic

  1. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Sounds like a broken record, and I almost didn't post for that reason, but I can't believe how substandard Hyatt's IT systems are.

    Just got off the phone which according to my Apple device was 61 minutes, including one disconnect and callback, to report the latest glitch – a third time – that was preventing me from booking online or via app. The supervisor I got was a little stern with me at first, but I held my ground. In the end she admitted that she could replicate my problem and everything I was telling her was 100% true. Ended up with a workaround, 3000 extra points that I didn't ask for, and a promise to get back to me when the workaround is no longer needed.

    But what gets me is it is one thing after another with these people. Their hotels are basically good, often excellent, but their systems are a disaster. Interesting to me was when we were disconnected and the supervisor called me back this morning, the iPhone was showing it was a lady who had been assigned to me four years ago when I had other frustrating glitches, Mr. Zeidel took pity on me and assigned me a personal contact, and her name was still in my phone associated with that number.

    I had of course boycotted Hyatt for two good years after that, and now that I'm back with them, this time as a Diamond member, it still is one thing after another.

    By and large, Hilton on average may have hotels that are slightly lower in quality than Hyatt's but their systems are very superior, their global footprint far better, and through a technicality, I have another year left as a Diamond with them. Just not sure what I'm going to do now…
     
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  2. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Maybe I've missed it, but what was it that the week the site was down in December + additional downtime in the last few weeks has changed for the end user? There doesn't appear to be any new features added to the website at all.

    I noticed the last account summary has changed and does not have the base points, lifetime points etc anymore.

    I shot Jeff an email about it and he responded immediately:

    "With the recent system change, we had to rewire some stuff on the back end, so that info will return in March.

    Glad that you were paying attention! :)"

    So I guess that's good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  3. tommy777
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    It really is all about what's important to you. I bounce between HHonors Gold and Diamond, currently Diamond, but have never qualified for the status, always through credit card/airline status. Not much difference between the two, but even if Hyatt has their technical challenges, I feel the ROI for being loyal is still much better than HHonors.

    Out of that footprint, 85% are Hampton Inns and HGIs, domestic US there are some nasty Hiltons. We've seen tons of cowboy devaluations in their loyalty program, it's hard to trust them when you see what has happened the last few years.
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    "Good" isn't the term I would use to describe that... or Hyatt IT in general.
     
  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Time to do another debunking...

    The travel/loyalty bloggers' fascination or infatuation with Hyatt Gold Passport has always mystified me. As a loyalty program, HGP is, at best, a work-in-progress; at worst, a joke, as they introduce and pull benefits pêle-mêle without apparent rhyme or reason. Here's just a sampling:
    • My Elite Rate, which was very popular with members, was introduced and then quickly pulled.
    • Costs for suites, which used to be per stay, were changed to be per night -- a 300% devaluation.
    • The period of validity of the 4/yr Diamond suite upgrades (DSUs) was just a few weeks ago limited to their expiration date; no such limitation existed before, as DSUs could be used to upgrade stays beyond their expiration date, as long as the request was made before they expired -- a huge devaluation of this benefit.
    • HGP Diamond status matches have been botched repeatedly, whereas HHonors, which rarely offers matches to their Diamond status, just recently pulled one off smoothly.
    • Of course, there are the chronic IT problems with HGP's website that have been there like forever.
    As for the purported HHonors cataclysmic "devaluation", do you know that Hyatt GP or Marriott Rewards awards currently cost almost exactly the same as HHonors awards after the purported "devaluation" of the latter, and that if one takes into account the points earned from co-branded CCs HHonors awards are actually a bit cheaper? Why is that? Simple. What people who are running around complaining about HHonors "tons of cowboy devaluations" do not seem to realize is that Hilton's so-called devaluation was an overdue move to bring the costs of their awards, which got ridiculously cheap, up to par with their competitors'. I did the math. The "spend per free night", which is a pretty good estimate of the costs of awards, can be compared across loyalty programs. As you can see below, HHonors awards cost almost exactly the same as HGP's or Marriott Rewards'. SPG awards are, by far, the most expensive in the business, but no one talks about their "devaluation". Club Carlson and IHG have the least expensive awards.
    upload_2016-1-30_14-16-21.png

    Lastly, anyone who claims that there is no difference between HH Gold and HH Diamond elite levels cannot be taken seriously because they either do not know much about the HH program or they are not making the most of their Diamond status. You might want to take a closer look at the new and improved HHonors program because they have really stepped up their game...just ask Lucky, the host of One Mile At A Time blog, who is no fan of HHonors.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
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  6. Pizzaman
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    It really is surprising to me that extended downtime didn't result in some visible improvements.
     
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  7. tommy777
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    I'm not a blogger, I'm just a guy who stays at hotels 150 nights a year. I'm not a Hyatt fanboy, it ain't even my #1 program, but let me debunk your debunk.

    -- We all knew going in that the My Elite Rate was a temporary promo for a set period of time, it says so right in the T&Cs

    1. My Elite Rate is valid for Platinum and Diamond members.

    2. Non-transferrable.

    3. For stays from January 7, 2014 through December 31, 2014.

    4. 20% off the Hyatt Daily Rate for single or double occupancy.

    4. Extra guests subject to additional charges.

    5. Limited number of rooms allocated to this promotion.

    -- We all know the suite upgrade gravy train was going to end, that's what happens when an offer is way to rich. It's pretty normal to see devaluations when occupancy is high and times are good.

    -- Hyatt made a bad move by doing the same as HHonors and give top tier status to everyone and their mother, I totally agree that was a bad idea, but it has never happened before and it'll never happen again.

    Why did HHonors pull it off better? Bigger staff and organization?. But it's the first time a match like that has been offered for Hyatt Diamond. All other times you have to take a challenge contrary to HHonors who is handing it out like candy all the time. Like I stated, I have never, ever earned HHonors status. I've either gotten Gold or Diamond for free via United or American status or via a credit card.

    Yes, Hyatt IT sucks. Coincidentally, the entire Hyatt site is down when I'm writing this post. It seriously blows

    I have to call them to redeem suite upgrades, but that's pretty much it for me, so it's not like it's that inconvenient.

    Before I move on, lets just get the earnings per dollar spelled out for those who are not aware

    HHonors Diamond earns 20 points per dollar spent if you chose to earn only HHonors points.
    A Hyatt Diamond earns 6.5 points per dollar spent.

    --

    Now lets talk about HHonors.

    First of all, I'm speaking for myself and my experiences.

    Let's talk about upgrades. I had about 10 Hilton stays last year, about 15 the year before, all as Diamond. Not a single upgrade to a suite, which is fine, I wasn't expecting it because it's not a benefit for Diamonds. And I'm not having a discussion at check in or fishing for an upgrade. That ain't me.

    For those important stays on vacation with the wife, upgrades are important to me.

    You can get that suite confirmed with HHonors, but it'll cost you -- Skypesos style

    A regular room redemption at the good ol' Diplomat which is now a Curio, costs 50.000 HHonors points for a standard room, the worst in the house. For dates I'm going in October to the area, the hotel is 349 per night, which makes it actually a good redemption

    If I wanted to be in one of the desirable corner suites we've all been in many times, it's a 168.840 HHonors points. That same suite is for sale for 504 USD, so the upcharge for this particular redemption is 118.840 points extra for the 155 USD price difference to be in a suite.

    Ouch

    Lets look at Paris, the town I use most of my Hyatt in. Hilton Paris Opera (rated at #317 of the best hotels in Paris vs. Park Hyatt Vendome at 27)

    A regular room goes for 80.000 points per night, which again is pretty good for the 402 Euros they want for that room. If you want to get in to a suite, it'll cost you 313.728 points for the extra 397 Euros a suite costs. And we are talking per night here.

    Double ouch.

    In Paris, I can redeem the PH Vendome, a hotel that creeps up to 1000 Euros for a standard room in the summer, for 30,000 points. If I want to be in a 1800 Euro suite, it'll cost me 48.000 points. And have the wonderful 50 Euro per person room service breakfast for up to 4 people in that suite for absolutely free.

    I also have the option of paying 300 USD + 15K points and use a confirmed upgrade for that same suite.

    In conclusion, redeeming your way in to a suite with HHonors can cost you 7 digits. It will at least cost you 3 times of what a standard room with a view of the dumpster costs you, in my two examples even more. Hyatt's top category will cost you 30K points per night while a suite will cost you 48K.

    Lets talk about aspirational properties to use your points at. I need help, I don't know any, sorry. Yes, if you venture outside the United States, you'll find some decent hotels, but nothing that screams WOW, I wanna go there.

    How Hyatt really shines.

    -- 4PM guaranteed late check out, HHonors, not defined and subject to availability and must be requested.

    -- Breakfast. Full breakfast for up to 4 people at any property, welcome amenity or points in addition. HHonors: Varies from brand to brand. Some hotels give breakfast OR points. Some give continental breakfast, some no breakfast at all.

    Long post, don't have time to post more now, but these are my initial thoughts
     
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  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    You're right. It is a long post but most of it is inaccurate and easily debunked.

    I will just make a few quick points and leave it at that because this can go on forever.

    You seem to think it is okay for HGP to pull benefits because they were not expected to last. That makes my point that HGP is, at best, a work-in-progress on a race to the bottom. I gave but a very short list of what they have done that has already gutted the program.

    It is simply not true that HHonors initiated the latest round of status matching. HGP jumped on it first without thinking to try to catch SPG elites they knew would be disgruntled by Marriott's acquisition of SPG, and botched it by offering Diamond status, complete with DSUs and other perks, to elites from other programs, who could be as low as HH Gold, with rules that were unclear and confusing, and got swamped before they realized what a bone-headed idea it was. Bloggers, most HGP fanboys, derided the move. HHonors, on the other hand, did a rare status match to their Diamond afterwards, and did it smoothly to the raves of bloggers, most no Hilton fans. A quick search of the travel blogosphere would establish my version of the facts to be correct.

    Hilton Diamond suite upgrades: They are admittedly complimentary and dependent on availability but this (i.e., dependence on availability) is true of all top-tier suite upgrades. However, HH suite upgrades are unlimited, good on any eligible stay, including pure points-only award stays, which is YUGE. Perhaps by design, properties do not generally offer HH Diamond suite upgrades proactively, especially to their non-frequent elite guests, but that is probably a plus for guys like me who are not shy about requesting upgrades when they are not offered because it means high availability. How successful have I been at clearing HH Diamond suite upgrades? I have batted better than 90% since they were introduced in 2012, clearing 12 of 12 (100%) in 2014 and, as I will soon report, 13 of 15 in 2015 with 54% not even in Asia, which is how some tried to justify my outstanding clearance rate. Moreover, to clear 12 suite upgrades per year is to clear 8 more than a HGP Diamond can clear with their 4 so-called "confirmed" DSUs before they have to pay out of pocket or use points to see the inside of a suite again. In short, I do not pay cash for or use points to redeem suite upgrades and nor should any HH Diamond who knows how to play the game.

    With respect to HH corner suites costing a lot, what do you expect!!! Those rates are not something that you will find on any Hilton award chart. Therefore, what such rates mean is that a property is free to ask whatever it wants. For exorbitantly-priced standard rooms, on the other hand, it means that a property has no such rooms that it wishes to release for award booking, so it has categorized all available standard rooms, if there are even any available, as “premium” rooms — a frequent business decision that hotel chains make, which is no different than another program (e.g., Hyatt) showing no standard rooms available for booking with points, while showing those same rooms to be available for booking with hard cash. The only difference is that, at least with Hilton folks with loads of points still have the option to redeem points for the room, whereas with the other programs, you must use cash to get the room.

    With respect to the overall cost of standard awards, which are what all program charts list, it is clear that you did not understand the graphic of "spend per free night" I posted above. Although in "raw" points, HH awards require a bundle, you know that a HH Diamond earns 3.1 times (20/6.5; your numbers, which are correct) as many HH points a pop as a HGP Diamond earns HGP points. A top (category 10) Hilton award costs 95K points, whereas a top (category 7) Hyatt award costs 30K points. That is a ratio of 95K/30K = ~3, which is exactly the same as the relative earn ratios between the two programs. In other words, when adjusted for the relative earn rates (i.e. converting HGP points to HH points) a PH Paris-Vendome award stay costs exactly the same (30K * 3.1 = 93K HH points/night) as a top category HH hotel like Conrad Koh Samui (95K/night), where I just spent 5 nights over this past Xmas holiday.

    Speaking of which, another great benefit that HGP does not offer its elites but SPG and HH do is the "5th night free" perk, which allowed me to stay at Conrad Koh Samui for 5 nights for the cost of just 4 nights and saving 95K points along the way!

    Lastly, the fact that HGP guarantees a 4pm late checkout is not that important to me because while HH does not "guarantee" late checkout, it is a benefit that even "blue members" (i.e. no status) can get upon request. In many years of being a HH Diamond, I have never been denied a late checkout request, including one for a 6pm checkout at Hilton Buenos Aires three times in as a many years because my UA flights out of there departed at 9 pm and it made no sense for me to go to the airport much earlier.

    For breakfast, HGP wins because they allow it to up to four members of a party vs. 2 for Hilton. However, for the quality of breakfast, it varies by location and for someone like me who travels primarily in Asia, where every breakfast is nothing short of a royal feast -- served even at Waldorf Astorias where it is not supposed to be a perk -- I believe that HH is highly competitive with respect to this perk. In fact, most bloggers cite the fact that HH offers breakfast even to their Golds as the reason why HH Diamond is not materially different from HH Gold. They are wrong, of course, because there is much, much more to the HH Diamond status for those of us who know the rules and how to take advantage of them.

    I wanted to be "brief" but I clearly failed!:eek:;)

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
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  9. tommy777
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    Negative changes to loyalty programs are inevitable, the only change of benefit you are mentioning is the DSU change. It ain't much of a deal for me because I'll have 4 more to pick from when the others expire. Everything else you mentioned is not a pull of benefits.

    Who cares other than people trying to get a free ride and didn't get in on the offer on time? I had both statuses already and it will have no impact on the dynamics of the membership. At the end of the day, this is the only one time Hyatt has given away status. If this upsets you, you should be furious that HHonors continues to give Diamond the tens of thousands of Executive Platinums without them even soliciting for the status.

    In the world of hotel loyalty, I've found that it's extremely valuable to have benefits (like the 4PM guaranteed check out) in writing. Properties behave very differently, face it many make stuff up and training is often a challenge.

    I was looking through the Hilton Diamond suite benefits and I was trying to find the suite upgrade benefits

    Here's what I can find:

    -- Waldorf Astoria collection:
    • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
    Conrad
    • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
    Did I miss something? I've read your "strategy" and I highly doubt it works for anyone.

    In fact, I tried it at the last three Hilton properties for kicks. In Copenhagen (A property I stay at 4 times a year) I was told that they only upgrade to Club rooms and made me aware that they've upgraded me to one one their larger Plus rooms every time I've stayed there. Sorry, no suites for Diamonds.

    The second hotel was the Helsinki airport property she looked at me funny and said, sorry. But she was nice enough to upgrade me to a corner room with a sauna.

    The last one was at the dump by SFO. The guy said they had a big conference and all suites were taken.

    So there you have it. When it comes to suites, Hyatt is not any different, they also don't have a policy that states that members are eligible for suite upgrades without an instrument

    My preferred program SPG on the other hand, does. And out of my 35 stays in the last year, I've had over 80% of my stays in a suite -- unsolicited.

    These include:

    -- A 1800 CHF lakeview junior suite at the President Wilson in Geneva
    -- A Luxury suite at the King George in Athens
    -- A 1200 Euro Macassar suite at the Prince De Galles in Paris
    -- 5 times in the same suite at the Sheraton Amsterdam
    -- A ton of upgrades domestically, including the Mac Daddy at the Seattle Sheraton

    All without any front desk employee Jedi mind tricks. There are however hotels who ignore the policy and don't upgrade higher than Club. Depending on the mood and length of stay, I pull up availability on the SPG app and use it as leverage. And I can because the program has a policy in writing. And it works, usually.

    When it comes to complimentary suite upgrades, I don't count on them, nor should anyone else. There are tons of things that can keep you out of those suites:

    -- Most properties save the suites for their best customer of the property. Amsterdam Sheraton is a great example. I'm there every other month and they take really good care of me. If you randomly pop in, count on a number of suites being filled by loyal customers of that particular property

    -- Doing a lot of events, a very common thing is to offer suites as a part of the deal. A typical conference contract includes at least 10 suite upgrades. At the next upcoming event, we could only get 5 suites as all the others are taken by a wedding.

    So on those one nights middle of the week stays, your upgrade chances improve, but on those longer stays at desirable properties, not so much.


    About the Diplomat: I was using that property as an example because many knows it. I have stayed there maybe 10 times and always gotten an upgrade to that corner suite, all of which were award stays. I checked the policy now by actually calling the hotel. Don't expect to end up in one on an award stay as Diamond.

    Sure, if you're talking about standard awards, it's all math.

    I was talking about me personally and what's important to me.

    When I redeem my points, it's usually do it for a well deserved break at an aspirational property. You won't see me redeeming at a Hampton Inn, HGI or a Hyatt Place. I want to be in a big room or preferably a suite and I don't want to be left at the mercy of a check in agent.

    And I expect my loyalty program has some sort of reward that takes care of that in advance.

    Hyatt only has 7 properties in the highest properties, but a ton of desirable ones in Cat 6, like the Hyatt Highlands which gives you a bilevel ocean view suite when you redeem for it.

    A standard room costs 25K points, a suite costs 40K. When you look at the cost difference, it's proportionate.

    In my two Hilton examples a standard room redemption was

    50K points for a 350 dollar standard room. For a suite that costs 150 dollars more per night, the upcharge was 118K points or a total of 168K, so more than triple the costs.

    Hyatt upcharge is not even double -- and it's fixed. If a suite in the category is available, you'll get it, no blocking, no if available.

    Sure, at upcharges at 3-10 times the points of a standard award, a suite is available through HHonors, but that's just so outrageous it shouldn't even be discussed.

    On paid stays, Hyatt has even better options with four free DSU and only 6K per night, which is a great value.

    The rules? I'm just going to post the rules from the HHonors website and leave it at that.

    Waldorf Astoria - No breakfast benefit

    • Choice of two among the following: 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay; one in-room movie1 per stay; or a spa, golf or restaurant discount, as designated by the property
    Conrad

    • A complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay
    HGI

    • 750 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary Hot Cooked-to-Order Breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay
    HGV - No breakfast

    • 2,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay
    Hiltons

    Not even posted, but if provided in club, that's it. If not, continental breakfast, but overseas sometimes full breakfast.

    That some properties in Asia are more generous than what the program rules state, is hardly a good argument for choosing a program as you will find that same feast at any Hyatt in Asia as well and you have a written policy that guarantees that
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  10. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Well, this thread certainly has eaten up space far more than I would have imagined. Heck, if Hyatt's I T computers had to deal with all these bits and bytes, they'd probably crash. Ha ha. But then again maybe that's why they keep crashing :)

    As for the Hilton-Hyatt comparison, which I basically just threw in at the end of my post, that clearly has riled up some people. I will respond to only one of the points I saw in the discussion above: that about whether there is much of a difference between Hilton gold and diamond. For me personally, I didn't used to think there was, but in recent years I have changed my mind, particularly after overseas staying where I as a diamond was really treated like royalty.

    Back to my original post at the top of this thread where I had just gotten off the phone after more than an hour with them, long and short was the woman agreed to report it to IT and to get back to me by Tuesday. She said she had a specific name in IT who she could contact. Not totally unexpectedly, I heard nothing back from her. So I called today, Wednesday, 20 more minutes, and long and short of it was the woman had reported it to IT twice -- and IT didn't even give her the courtesy of a response once. Not even to their own people! So, my problem still unresolved. The technology setup at that corporation is just nuts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
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  11. tommy777
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    It's frustrating, I know. The good thing about Hyatt is that we have @Hyatt Gold Passport Concierge , hopefully they can help you out

    Haven't been on the site for a while, but decided to make a strong comeback. There ain't a better way to start than a good exchange with one of our highest respected members @NYCUA1K ;)
     
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  12. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Okay, this matter finally got 90% solved, so I don't have to send the missive I was composing to J. Zidell and to @Hyatt Gold Passport Concierge as well. Whew! Glad I don't need to do that.

    Got Anna, a very nice supervisor, by far the most helpful I've had there, when I called back late this afternoon. She fixed the main issue as we were talking, no need to go to I.T., we tested it and I can now book online again! Whee! But seriously, why couldn't the woman I spoke for 61 minutes with last week have done the same thing? Ugh.

    Turns out the issue WAS DEFINITELY RELATED TO THE SYSTEM "UPGRADE" IN DECEMBER. If anyone is curious, apparently after the "upgrade," quote marks intentional, the Hyatt system was rejecting Chase Credit Card points where the name didn't match exactly, so I.T. went back and changed the Gold Passport registration names to match. My GP name had been KEITH MURRAY since the 1980s, but they changed it to G KEITH MURRAY to match the Chase legal name. (I got all my Chase points before the December "upgrade" without hassle!) That's fine, but somehow when they changed the name they put two spaces between the G and the KEITH, so the Hyatt website populated that into the reservation, and then all bookings were rejected because two spaces are an invalid name. Approximately 140 minutes of phone chatter involving several reps, and a days and days later, Anna just took a space out. Matter solved. Even gave me 3,000 more bonus points. And, more importantly, I can book now. Jeeze!
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
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  13. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    I said "90% solved" in the above reply to Tommy because there is one remaining glitch affecting the Mobile App, having nothing to do with my Chase bank name, Hyatt admits it, and I thought I would list it here in case it affects anybody else.

    Here's the bug: For at least some users, the "salutation" (Mr., Mrs, Dr., Miss, whatever) doesn't come up on the mobile app. There is a drop-down menu to choose a Salutation, but it doesn't drop down! Fine, I say, I don't care about the Mr., I'll just book the res anyway. Sorry, says the app, have to have a salutation, but the drop-down won't drop down. So can't book. Anna, above post, changed my name on their records to include the salutation, but told me the next version of the app will apparently enable the drop-down. Meantime, is it any wonder why the Apple App Store lists the Hyatt app as one-and-one-half stars out of five? :-(
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
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  14. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I do not wish to write a dissertation here on matters that I have argued rather successfully against reputable bloggers like Lucky and Gary Leff, but here we go with more debunking:
    That claim is patently false. Hyatt is the program that gave away their top Diamond status for a long stretch, until they famously ended it when they belatedly got in on the wide open secret that it was being abused by folks who status matched simply to get the 4 DSUs that came with it, never intending to requalify. Hilton has rarely matched to their Diamond status. Just ask Gary Leff! Giving status to people (ExPlats) who pay a lot money (high-value spenders) as part of a joint venture is quite common and may even be profitable, so I am not addressing that at all. I am addressing the giving away of top-tier elite status and the farm with it to people who could just provide evidence that they were elite (mid-level too) with another program and had stayed just one night with it, as Hyatt did recently with their Diamond status. It was a totally bone-headed idea and symptomatic of the fact that HGP program managers have no clue about what they are doing. It is why HGP is a work-in-progress or outright a joke.
    • Re: HHonors complimentary HH Diamond suite upgrades vs. HGP DSUs or SPG suite award nights.
    When looking for a feature or benefit of a loyalty program it is usually a good idea to look in the program's terms and conditions, where you would have found this about the HH Diamond suite upgrade benefit:

    Complimentary room upgrades for Gold and Diamond HHonors members may include the next-best available room from the room type booked.

    Upgrades may also be rooms with desirable views, corner rooms, rooms on high floors, rooms with special amenities, or rooms on Executive Floors, as identified by each property. Room upgrades, for Diamond members only, may also include suites.

    So, did you miss something? Yes, you missed something by light-years, just as you missed the HH Diamond suite upgrades T&C, because the proof is clearly in the pudding. The reason you doubt that my strategy to get suite upgrades works for anyone is that you do not believe your own lying eyes. The evidence could not be stronger than showing pictures of the insides of all 12 of 12 suites I was upgraded into in 2014, and stay tuned for the 2015 edition of the same. I will leave it at that and just urge your to go to the comments section at the One Mile at a Time (OMAAT) blog for lots of views on the topic in a post titled "4 Free Upgrades Are Better Than Unlimited Suites, Really" [the whole post is in response to my claim about the advantages of HH Diamond-style suite upgrades, so that you'll easily figure out what's my moniker there and see my comments]
    Also, Lucky, the host of OMAAT, who felt about the HHonors program the way you seem to, but maybe even more negatively, just got the HH Diamond status through their recent status match. He just did a post to report his experience after two stays at Hilton properties as a HH Diamond. This was his bottom line for that post:
    He's come a long way and I am sure that you will too, once you get rid of your many misconceptions about HHonors and learn how to take full advantage of your HH Diamond status...;)

    As for the cost of suites, like I said, I do not pay and won't pay (cash or points) to get into a suite. Period. I am just too successful at getting them for free!
    • Re: Program rule and no breakfast at W=A
    As a highly franchised hotel chain, unlike Hyatt who owns the majority of their hotels, Hilton gives individual properties a great deal of latitude in interpreting the HHonors T&C. That could be good or bad, but I've seen only the positive side of that flexibility. I just stayed at Waldorf Astoria Beijing, Dec 21-24, 2015. At check-in, I got a welcome packet that listed my benefits, one of which was free (full) breakfast for two. Further, I have stayed twice at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund and also got free (full) breakfast. At both WAs, and as is common in this part of the world, every breakfast was nothing short of a royal feast. I suspect that the "no free breakfast at WA" rule was inserted in the T&C to please stingy properties in the US, but properties in other locations (e.g., Asia) ignore that rule because it would make them less competitive when every other hotel, large, small or obscure, offers free breakfast! It is why I had said in my prior post that breakfast quality varies by location, but whether or not it is offered also varies by location, with the US being the pits. I find little to complain about having that kind of flexibility in the T&C. It seems like a Good Thing because it can be exploited for one's benefit, as I have been exploiting the T&C for suite upgrades.

    That you could not find the hotel benefits for the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand speaks volumes about why you have so many misconceptions about HHonors and have quite clearly, to me, not taken full advantage of your HH Diamond status. You do not know much about the program. Information about the HHonors program is conveniently available to me on my desktop version of the HHonors app (click on image to enlarge):

    upload_2016-2-5_8-14-59.png

    See how nicely that is organized? On the left you have a program feature, in the middle it lists the options available for that feature, on the right it provides information on the selected option. So, I selected Hotel benefits on the left; in the middle it listed all the Hilton brands; then clicking on any brand as I clicked on Hilton, gives the associated hotel benefits on the right. Note that it also provides the T&C for free room upgrades for each brand, which you could not find!

    Bottom line: Neither you nor the bloggers who prefer smaller programs like HGP or SPG (R.I.P) because of the bogus and unsubstantiated notion that "such small programs must provide superior elite benefits to be competitive among the giants", really seem to know enough about the HHonors program to be making bold pronouncements about how subpar it is compared to HGP or SPG. Supporting my view is that outside of the highly opinionated world of travel blogosphere, where blogs are often nothing more than commissioned brand advocates, surveys of consumer satisfaction by reputable firms, like the prestigious JD Power & Associates, almost invariably rank HHonors higher than both HGP and SPG, with the latter consistently placing dead last or next to last (no wonder it went belly up:p). In 2015, the JD Power award for highest hotel program satisfaction went ..... roll the drums!.... to:

    upload_2016-2-5_8-35-14.png

    ...a tie, and below are the complete rankings (click image to enlarge):
    upload_2016-2-5_8-37-41.png
    So, it is time for you to come out into the real world, because it seems that the kool-aid served up by travel bloggers, who are incomprehensibly infatuated with HGP (and also SPG, but R.I.P) is toxic and has affected your perception and judgement! ;)

    G'day!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    LOL. I have not been coming to the site as often as when it was MP either, so I appreciate the comment and turn it around with tongue firmly in cheek like I suspect yours was.:D

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  16. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This is funny. I just noticed in the JD Power & Associates table in my second long post above, which lists the ratings and rating factors for all the hotel loyalty programs, that Hyatt GP did not even get a score for the "customer service" rating factor! It just got a "." or missing data point. Was it really so bad they could not score it?
     
  17. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    A challenge vs. giving away status is a big difference. HHonors has a challenge for both Gold and Diamond, they've had that for years, just as Hyatt has. To GIVE away something is completely different. I have never seen Hyatt done that before at the Diamond level, but they have had a challenge that has come and gone over the years. HHonors on the other hand is giving away Diamond and Gold to many.

    Silly me, I thought that HHonors would put this under the benefits on their website under Diamond http://hhonors3.hilton.com/en/explore/benefits/index.html

    The way I read it, is that they are not excluding suites, but the upgrade one room category above what you have booked: "may include the next-best available room from the room type booked."

    So if you want to get in to a suite, you have to book the category right below a suite, that's pretty much the most optimistic/best way you can read the "benefit".

    It's also at the hotels discretion what they upgrade you to, so counting on an upgrade is not something I'd recommend doing. Like I said, I've followed your story and have started to follow your "strategy", so have many others. It seems like you're the only one that's getting upgraded. I also find it really alarming that Hilton always has suites available at their properties. I guess the clientele who tends to buy suites are staying at other hotels ;)

    You're also talking about Asia here. My last trip last year, I stayed at 4 Ritz Carltons and 1 Marriott property, I got upgraded to a suite as a RC Plat at 3 of the properties, one of them I got upgraded to a 1200 dollar pool villa at the RC Bali. So Asia is a lot more generous than the rest of the world, sure, even at RC/Marriott

    Your response is worthy of a politician, it still doesn't address that HHonors does not offer suite redemptions that aren't outrageous or a reasonable way to confirm an upgrade to a suite.

    Compared to Hyatt Gold Passport, confirmed upgrades, redemptions for suites there's no contest -- Except for you personally of course.

    First off, it wasn't just about WA, there are extensive restrictions on breakfast in the HHonors program. Again, Asia vs. the rest of the world is different. There is no flexibility in the T&Cs when they tell you there's no breakfast. If a property wants to impose that rule, it's their full right to do so. Hyatt has a crystal clear benefit: Full breakfast for four at any property that doesn't have a club

    I think I have a pretty good overview of what the benefits are, they were exactly as I stated, it was just that the HHonors website didn't separate out Hilton brand properties, they lumped them together with Conrad. This is the page I used for reference

    http://hhonors3.hilton.com/en/explore/benefits/index.html

    It show exactly the benefit I stated for Hilton:

    • A complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay
    In reality, this means access to the club for Diamonds, when available, if not, complimentary CONTINENTAL breakfast in the restaurant.

    At the end of the day, I think you need to get in better touch with reality here. The fact, on paper, speaks louder than cloudy talk about royal feasts available at some properties.

    You do realize that the total of Waldorf Astoria are less than 30 and only two of them are in Asia? A quick search online confirms they are the only two that gives Diamonds full breakfast, so if you don't like traveling in China, you're SOL. In fact, the inconsistency can be viewed here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilt...t-hilton-family-properties-master-thread.html

    I can report back that both the Park Hyatts in Beijing and in Shanghai are also royal feasts free for up to four Diamond members. And that goes for every single one of the around 50 Park Hyatts out there.

    Again, I'm not a travel blogger. I'm just a guy who stays about 150 nights a year at hotels, but in addition to doing that, I work with loyalty every day and try to keep a good overview of what's going on. And I stay with everyone, not just Hyatt and SPG, so contrary to many bloggers/maximizers, I have experience from how top tiers are treated across the board.

    I also work with Gary extensively and we disagree on many things, but I wonder how you can claim he's paid by Hyatt in any shape or form? That he gets commission for the Hyatt credit card? News flash, he gets the same from the HHonors credit card as well.

    That doesn't change the fact that his opinion is well balanced and on point.

    You have a really hard sell here. Your ability to talk yourself in to a suite 15 times a year is hardly a benefit. The breakfast benefit is not debatable, "but the WA in Beijing gave me breakfast" is hardly a benefit, it's a nice surprise, but not a benefit.

    HHonors has a weaker benefit than Hyatt, period

    Redemption to standard rooms is on par, but not better. From your example earlier: That it takes less nights than any other program to earn for a free night at a Club Carlson property, does that mean that Club Carlson has the best loyalty program ? Hardly. It just means that Club Carlson (and also Hilton) has a T O N more dumpy/cheaper properties available for cheaper redemption. Which is great if you just want a bed to sleep in. But value for your points is so much more as my examples show.

    If you want to redeem your vacation at anywhere else than a Hampton, HGI or whatever and want to get confirmed in to something that's not facing a dumpster on your vacation, there are no redemption abilities that aren't outrageous and great value for luxury -- with a full breakfast for the entire family.

    We haven't even talked about desirable properties to redeem at. Conrad and WA are Hiltons two luxury brands and I've stayed at Conrads who most definitely don't belong in the luxury category, but if we ignore that, the number of Conrad/AW properties combined is about the same as Park Hyatts out there!

    You're referencing JD powers that do ratings from everything from toasters to cars, surveys some chains pay for, others don't.

    We also know the Freddie Awards pretty well, the awards for exactly what we are debating: Loyalty programs. I've been running it with Gary for Randy for the last 5 years. Over 10 million votes last year. Let's just say that HHonors didn't do so well.

    At the end of the day, we just have to agree to disagree on this one. I've got a Hilton stay coming up in a few weeks. I'll let you know if I get upgraded or not ;)
     
  18. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    We have written two "dissertations" on our respective and differing views on the HHonors and HGP loyalty programs in particular and on hotel loyalty in general, which I am sure any knowledgeable and dispassionate observer would score in my favor because your shaky command of the facts leads you to make demonstrably and patently false statements and jump to wrong conclusions that I am through debunking since it is beginning to feel like "Groundhog Day." I will not agree to disagree with you because you are simply wrong since it is clear to me that you do not know enough about HHonors or HGP or even about the hotel programs in general to be making the claims that you made initially that drew me into this protracted discussion. What we have debated here is not a matter of opinion because the facts are out there [you just get them wrong or do not get them at all], but even if it were a matter of opinion, opinions can be wrong and most of yours on this topic are simply wrong.

    For example, to compare the self-administered Freddie Awards "surveys" with the scientific surveys by the internationally and academically acclaimed firm of McGraw Hill Financial, JD Power and Associates, is just simply out there! So, I am done here.

    G'day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
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  19. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    I just made a couple of bookings where Hilton was the only option/most convenient and noticed the cost to upgrade is now prominently displayed. (might have been for a while, but haven't noticed it, but because of this discussion I was looking for it)

    Hotel: Hilton Luxor in Egypt. This property requires 30.000 points to redeem a standard room. An upgrade to a larger room with a view will run you 58K points IN ADDITION to the 30K or in addition to the cash you pay

    Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 10.04.13 AM.png

    The price difference between a standard room and a Plus room?. 30 dollars.

    Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 10.05.31 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 10.05.40 AM.png


    Hotel: Chicago Airport Hilton, This property requires 40.000 points to redeem a standard room. To get a view of the runway, it'll cost you 56.279 points IN ADDITION to the 40K or whatever cash you're paying

    Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 10.08.58 AM.png

    The price difference? 25 dollars.

    Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 10.34.28 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 10.34.14 AM.png

    The conclusion: Someone is actually stupid enough to redeem these "upgrades", not to suites, but to rooms with a view. The last idiot has not yet been born, like my Dad used to say ;)
     
  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Where are the moderators to keep people focussed on the topic of a thread?!
     
  21. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Duh, you just noticed that the upgrades offered are NOT for a suite! They are for "premium rooms", so you just made the point I have been trying to make all along, which was that I would not waste points to try to secure an "upgrade" because all those "upgrades" to "premium rooms" that HH asks huge amounts of points for are the ones that I am almost invariably offered when I check in as HH Diamond! I always politely decline and then say that I was instead hoping to get a complimentary suite and more than 90% of the time since 2012, I have gotten a suite instead.
     
  22. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The beauty of this site is precisely because it is not "moderated". Got a beef? Then point it out to the site managers and maybe they'll take care of it. Folks should be free to bifurcate or trifurcate as they wish if they have folks whom they engage without creating an existential crisis
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016

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