Like many of you, my travel activity during the global coronavirus pandemic has come to an abrupt halt. My travel-related activities consist primarily of canceling travel plan after travel plan and following up on the rules for refunds, credits and changes. I’m literally stuck at home in New York City in the epicenter of the pandemic.
A few months ago, World of Hyatt extended elite status and loyalty benefits to elite members who stayed extensively in Asia. In the interim, Covid-19 has spread like wildfire throughout the world and now all of our lives and our travel plans have been impacted.
We waited somewhat patiently when we heard that some hotel chains, such as Hilton and Radisson, were extending status and program benefits to their members. Without a doubt, World of Hyatt treats its members better than most other hotel chains, so we hoped they would come through for their loyal members with respect to the current crisis.
I am thrilled to report that World of Hyatt has announced that it too will extend loyalty program benefits. World of Hyatt benefits will be extended in the following ways for all members globally:
- More time to use points: The general rule is that World of Hyatt points do not expire, but they will be forfeited if a member’s account is inactive for 24 months. Now, forfeiture of points will be suspended through December 31, 2020.
- More time to use Free Night, Suite Upgrade and Club Lounge Awards: All unused Free Night, Suite Upgrade or Club Lounge Access awards with expiration dates between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 will be extended to December 31, 2021. This includes existing awards and awards that may be earned throughout this year with a 2020 expiration date. The award extension will be generated by World of Hyatt – members do not need to take action. Awards that expired between March 1 and March 31, 2020 will be replaced with new awards on April 20, 2020. All other qualifying, unused awards will be updated by the 20th day of the month in which the award would have originally expired.
- Extension of status and benefits for Elite members: Status and benefits will be extended for all existing elite members without having to re-qualify. This means that whatever your status was as of March 31, 2020 – whether Discoverist, Explorist or Globalist – it will be automatically updated to reflect a February 28, 2022 expiration date. All elite tier extensions should be reflected in members’ accounts no later than April 15, 2020.
This is phenomenal news. As someone who has been a Hyatt Passport Diamond and then a World of Hyatt Globalist member for nearly 10 years, I was fearful that, in light of Covid-19, I wouldn’t be able to maintain my status next year. I am thankful that my loyalty has been recognized and rewarded.
I do not believe that members will receive additional suite upgrade or club access awards next year unless they have met the specific night requirements to earn those awards. Thus, in my case, my 4 suite upgrade awards will not expire in February 2021, but instead will expire in February 2022. However, I will not receive 4 more upgrade awards on March 1, 2021 unless I complete 60 nights at Hyatt properties this year.
Headspace: Additionally, World of Hyatt is offering members complimentary Headspace content via the World of Hyatt App, which includes meditation and mindfulness content. Headspace will also be offered in at least 200 Hyatt hotels across Hyatt’s portfolio of brands in the coming months.
Cancellation Fee Waivers: Furthermore, as previously announced, World of Hyatt is extending cancellation fee waivers through June 30, 2020, as set forth below:
- Existing reservations for upcoming travel through June 30, 2020: All existing reservations (booked April 1 or before) for arrivals through June 30, 2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations.
- New reservation for any future travel: With some very limited exceptions noted below, reservations booked between April 2, 2020 and June 30, 2020 – for any future arrival date – can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations. The only exceptions are reservations booked after April 1, 2020 at Destination Residences and Special Events Rate reservations booked after April 1, 2020. The cancellation policies for a Special Event Rate will be noted in the rate’s Rate Rules section when booking.
Reservations can be changed or cancelled up to 24 hours before a scheduled arrival on hyatt.com or via the World of Hyatt app (subject to the exceptions noted above). Note that these policies apply to reservations made through Hyatt directly.
Please continue to stay healthy and safe.