Uncomfortable claiming "entitlement" to plat/diamond check in

Discussion in 'Hyatt | Gold Passport' started by jfhscott, Sep 19, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Was checking into Hyatt Arlington (Rosslyn) on Friday.

    Like other Hyatts, they had a small sign identifying where the platinum/diamond check in was. Numerous people were lined up to check in, and I wasn't entirely comfortable being DYKWIA asserting my status.

    The whole set up just does not make me comfortable doing so. The sign is small enough that non-elites might not see it, concluding that an elite is cutting in line, there are no stantions to identify the existence of different lines, etc. It is as if, in effect, there is no elite check in at all.

    Hyatt, of course, need not provide elite check in, and I can wait just like anyone else. But when they do offer it, I wish they could set things up to increase comfort in using it. It may expose me as a terribly small person, but I ended up feeling like I was "deprived" of an "entitlement" - not a feeling Hyatt should cultivate in its best customers. To that end, I'd end up feeling better if elite check in stations did not exist at all.

    Or am I too sensitive?
     
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  2. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    I don't think you're being too sensitive. You don't see Y passengers in the J/F lines when checking in at the airport and even if they are they're usually directed to the proper area. You earned that status and that benefit comes with it. They should be the ones making sure its enforced, not you. It's supposed to be a benefit that makes checking in more comfortable, not less.
     
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  3. thrashsoundly
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    thrashsoundly Silver Member

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    I stayed at the same property in August and saw a similar situation, only in my case there was only one clerk working the desk at the time. I opted to wait in line, and it was thankfully a short wait. The clerk was very nice and complimentary of my platinum status.

    I didn't feel put out at all by the situation. If a second clerk had been there, I probably would have gone up to the priority check-in area.
     
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  4. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    I will acknowledge that one thing that made my experience on Friday a bit more frustrating was that each party which checked in before me, knowing a meaningful line was behind them, used the check in clerk as a concierge, quizzing the check in clerk about where things were, the weather prediction, etc. It just made the experience that much more painful.
     
  5. peteropny
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    peteropny Milepoint Guide

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    I agree with your assessment of the Plat / Diamond "check-in" line totally. Hyatt needs to increase the size of the sign as well as create some sort of roped off area to indicate this. And more importantly actually staff that line first (of course if there isn't anyone in the elite line the agent can help the "regular" guests). I don't mind if the line is only 2-3 people deep and they aren't asking every question under the sun to the agent but I get a bit annoyed if the line is more than say 5 people long and the "elite" line isn't staffed. This is from a long term Diamond (8+ years) who knows what procedures should be followed. FWIW, this situation has been discussed both here on milepoint and on Flyertalk at some point in the past.

    I hate to do this but it has been suggested that "you" hold your Plat / Diamond card visibly and the agent working the "regular" line if they are perceptive at all will call you up ahead of the "regular" guests - of course "you'll" probably get nasty looks.

    I really hope that Hyatt will correct this especially since its really a no (or at least very low one-time) cost issue that could really improve their elite experience.
     
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  6. wombat18
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    wombat18 Silver Member

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    Admittedly this isn't always possible at smaller properties, but this can be avoided by having the desk separate.

    That is, you put the concierge at a table in the foyer and you have a physically separate 'elite' check-in. Sometimes this is defacto at properties that get lots of airline staff ... they just walk up to the side of the main check-in desk, get noticed by hotel staff, and are helped immediately.
     
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  7. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    And elite checkin at such airport hotels is particularly important. Unlike non-airport properties, which have a generally continuous stream of arrivals, airport hotels, which have airport shuttles, are more prone to encounter overload every 15 minutes when a shuttle arrives. I've personally encountered this at the Hyatt BOS, where elite checkin signage is not remotely apparent. I've never felt comfortable going to the head of the line, explaining to bug-eyed guests that I'm a diamond, so they will have to wait.

    On balance, I think it would be better not to have the benefit at all than to claim it exists but make it difficult to enjoy.

    There was, however, a situation when I attended a conference and saw a close colleague checking in. I approached the check in desk, literally pushing him aside, announcing that I'm diamond and he will just have to wait for me. My colleague knew very well that I was joking, but the reaction on the check in staffs' faces was just precious. My colleague and I did explain the situation, all laughed, and I likely got flagged as a DYKWIA.
     
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  8. RedM3Pilot
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    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

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  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Yes, that "benefit" is for the most part useless if not annoying. Recently when I was in a hurry at the GH Taipei and there were four or five people in the regular line with one agent, a few hovering around behind the counter doing whatever and no one staffing the Elite "line" I just walked up to the sign and put my paperwork on the counter. One of the hovering agents looked at me, asking "checking in?" and seemed to be pointing to the line. I asked "are you not doing Diamond checkin here?", and the reply was "oh, oh... you can go up to the 16th floor (*) and check in at the club"

    (*) or whatever floor the club was.
     
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  10. sealiz
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    sealiz Silver Member

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    Interesting topic. I have never thought about waiting or about a particular line. Figure that I'm never in that much of a hurry.
     
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  11. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    The failure here is with the hotel and the desk clerk who should have back up to staff the elite check-in line, and the relieve him or her with the overload. I find too often there are seldom enough check in staff on duty or in reserve to handle these peak arrival times, or to provide the dedicated check-in service elite status demands. However, imagine the arrival of 160 Diamonds within a half hour...as occurred during the MegaDo in Montreal and Denver. Montreal handled this aside from the regular check-in area and basically had the key packs ready and available in alphabetical order at a desk staffed by several agents. They were just handed out, no paperwork required. Denver had all regular desk positions staffed to handle the arriving hordes but did regular check-in paperwork and key/room issue.
     
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  12. FriendlySkies
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    FriendlySkies Gold Member

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    The only Hyatt that I've found with a true Diamond/Plat lane is the HR SFO. They've got stanchions setup, as well as a large sign. Very convenient when they've got 100+ people to check-in for a convention.
     
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  13. kw335
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    kw335 Silver Member

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    HR Chicago and HR Montreal also have similar setups, if I remember correctly
     
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  14. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I find the clear delineation/enforcement of these preferred lines to be the exception, not the rule, at chain hotels.
     
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  15. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I've done a lot of stays there and don't think have enough counter space to work with to really have a dedicated elite check-in line that could be visible to anyone entering the lobby. Maybe I've been lucky in that I've never had more than one person in front of me when two counter positions are staffed (which they typically are when I check in or check out). They do get me checked in or checked out pretty quickly once I'm at the counter. I just get in line and wait my turn. This is one of my favorite DC area properties as they have always accommodated a late morning check-in for me.
     
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  16. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    It is a small desk, and anything big enough to serve to identify an elite line would likely be visually obtrusive.

    In all seriousness, they should just remove the elite check-in sign altogether. Then folks would not feel that they were denied an elite benefit at all.

    Or even better, they should add features to their automated checkin terminals. The reason I did not use it was that whenever I do, I have to go to the desk to arrange for diamond amenities and breakfast certificates. Why they cannot incorporate this into the check in terminal I do not know, but Hyatt is known for having IT which is as lousy as its customer service is excellent. But as Oprah says, thats for another show.
     
  17. cennas
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    cennas Gold Member

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    In my experience, most of the time the "Elite" line isn't staffed or is staffed but serving non-Elite customers. I usually just queue in whichever line that is shortest.
     
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  18. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Another experience, another datapoint. Recently checked into the Hyatt Washington on Capitol Hill. Check inline was long, and no one was remotely at the station with the miniscule plat/diam chek in sign. I went to that unmanned station, getting glares from the queue. Someone showed up and was helpful with checkin.

    I do wish that if Hyatt wants to provide this benefit, they would find a gracious way to allow me to feel comfortable capitalizing on it.
     
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  19. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    I've seen some Intercontinentals do this fairly well with a small desk next to the check-in desk so it looks more like you are meeting with a special Concierge rather than getting in the check-in line
     
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  20. paladin87
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    paladin87 Silver Member

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    I am not sure I understand...the discomfort is based on actually having to step into the seperate line, thereby indicating that you are plat/diamond and are acting like you are entitled to a special benefit?
     
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  21. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    I think it's the concern over the DYKWIA/"Yes, I'm going to the head of the line." image.. ;)
     
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  22. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Its more the second, but as I experienced above, it wouldbe more that in most cases, (exceptions noted upstring) the elite check in sign is so small that guests with minimal experience that my "cutting" the line reflects poor grooming rather than my trying to enjoy a benefit Hyatt has chosen to confer to the elites.

    I'll be at the Hyatt Harborside (BOS airport hotel) soon. This is one location which is paticularly problematic as it is an airport hotel subject to temporary surges in arrivals whenever the airport shuttle arrives. (I've also noted this phenomenon at Hyatt Dulles). Anyway, I'll report back with my experience.
     
  23. FriendlySkies
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    FriendlySkies Gold Member

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    Used the Diamond desk at the HR Maui yesterday. Regular line was fairly long (10+ people), but I didn't think twice before going to Jeff at the Diamond desk... I understand your reasoning, but don't feel "bad" if I use a benefit that was provided to me due to my loyalty with Hyatt.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  24. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    I always loved that moment in the film.
     
  25. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Not Hyatt, but I also have a similar issue with the SPG Gold/Platinum lines. Some like the Sheraton Centre in Toronto are very good at maintaining a dedicated line and accommodating those clients first, but there are a few out there where there is no recognition of the Gold/Platinum vs non-SPG elite guests, despite the Gold placard.
     
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