I am a Hyatt Diamond Gold Passport member. I don’t know many people who don’t love the perks of Hyatt status. The fancy breakfasts, the room upgrades, the wi-fi, the club access, the points. It is truly wonderful. I’ll (begrudgingly) sit in coach, but when I get to my hotel, I really like my Diamond!
I first attained Hyatt Diamond status because I went on the Star Mega Do 3, and Hyatt generously bestowed Diamond status upon all of the attendees. What’s even better, I won that trip from a contest by the Points Guy. (see, And the Winner of the Star Mega Do 3 First Class, Great Seatmate Giveaway Is…)
It is not terribly difficult for a business traveler to qualify for Diamond status, but it is more difficult for a leisure traveler, such as myself, to accrue 25 stays (not nights) in one year. I could have remained a Platinum member by virtue of my Chase Hyatt Visa Card (a card which I own and recommend), but instead chose to spend the year, busy as a bee, chasing Diamond (or rather retaining Diamond).
Others, have chosen the Hyatt challenge. It’s simple: if you have sufficient status at another hotel chain, Hyatt will extend diamond status to you if you stay 12 nights in 60 days. During that trial time, Hyatt will provide you, the challenger, with all of the valuable Diamond benefits. The challenge is a coup of a deal! The purpose of this is the expectation that most such challengers will then transfer their hotel loyalty to Hyatt.
Now, Hyatt has pulled the cord. At least for the time being, the challenge as we know it is gone. Actually both the Diamond and the Platinum challenges have been pulled without date by Hyatt. And, according to the Hyatt memorandum, this has been done so it can evaluate the success of these programs.
It is my opinion that, like Amazon Payments, bloggers and others got too complacent with the benefit. Everyone bragged about it, blogged about it, went on TV about it, and generally assumed they owned it. They told others the trick was to take the challenge just to get the 60 days of benefits on that special trip to Milan or the Maldives to get the upgrade and the lavish breakfasts, and then to abandon it. I have to assume that, at a certain point, with more and more people using the challenge in not quite the way it was intended, it was no longer a loss leader for Hyatt, and it was pulled.
I don’t want to be sanctimonious about this – I know far less than many, but, just because a benefit (trick, hack, or whatever you want to call it) has been around for a while, that does not mean that broadcasting and flaunting it are appropriate. Maybe some people were just too in Hyatt’s face with it? I’m not saying that secrecy is the answer, but perhaps some modicum of restraint could have kept this benefit alive a little longer? A private institution has no obligation to continue a benefit – our right to use it is not inherited or grandfathered in. We do not own it.
I have never used a Diamond Challenge, but was hoping that perhaps next year I might try it. Or perhaps the year after. I hope that if or when Hyatt creates a new rendition of the challenge, it is still beneficial on balance considering all of the interests involved.