One of my favorite things about Milepoint is how it really strives to connect its users directly with the executives of major frequent flyer programs. Today they did that by hosting a live chat with Hyatt Gold Passport’s Jeff Zidell. You could submit questions in advance, or submit them “live”. Though submitting them live didn’t necessarily mean they were answered, as mine didn’t quite make the cut.
You can read the full chat here, but in case you just want the highlights, here are a few summarized portions of the chat. Some are direct quotes, and some are my interpretations. If you want the “verbatim version” definitely check out the transcript on Milepoint.
Will you bring back Faster Free Nights (this was a promotion where you stayed two nights at any Hyatt and received a free night to use at any Hyatt around the world)?
FFN “needed a break” and they will look at what makes sense going forward.
What about a cash and points redemption option, similar to what Starwood Preferred Guest offers?
That is something that Hyatt is considering.
Is there such thing as “Lifetime Diamond Membership”?
Yes, Lifetime Diamond membership is achieved after completing 10 years in the program and 1 million base points. You are not required to have Diamond status during those 10 years. Lifetime Diamond membership provides all the benefits of Diamond without qualifying each year.
Can award stays count towards status as they now do for Starwood?
Jeff asked if this would increase loyalty to Hyatt – um…… YES! For many of us it is hard to obtain elite hotel status, so every little bit would be very helpful and very much appreciated.
What happened to “G Bonuses” (property specific point bonuses) and will they be back?
We eliminated the property-level bonus program (G bonuses) because its fulfillment was based on an outdated, manual process. The program resulted in ongoing customer service issues and a less than perfect member experience.
Would Hyatt be the hotel sponsor for a rumored SkyTeam MegaDO?
I’ll call my friend Jeff Robertson who leads the program at Delta. We worked together at AA, back in the day. Love the Do!
Any chance of being able to use your Hyatt Gold Passport card to access your room instead of having to stop at the front desk to obtain a card at check-in?
This is currently being tested in California.
Why can’t Diamond members have access to their four confirmed Diamond suite upgrades for the next year as soon as they requalify for Diamond instead of having to wait until February of the next year to access them?
Short answer….I agree and will check on this and see if we can make a change.
Hyatt also talked about looking into some other things to stream-line the customer experience such as: email confirmations that print on one page, hyatt.com storing information such as credit card numbers and AAA numbers, and possibly beefing up the rewards at Hyatt Places and Hyatt Houses for Diamond members.
Here is the question I submitted that wasn’t answered on the live chat:
I like to use the Hyatt Gold Passport points we earn from business travel to take my family on vacation. When I travel with my family on points, that is when I need the most space in my room. Would it be possible to utilize the four confirmed Diamond suite upgrades on reward stays so that my family can be more rewarded for my time away from them?
Hopefully Hyatt will respond to this question via Twitter or Milepoint in the near future. If not, I will shoot an email to Jeff directly and see what his team thinks. They really do seem to care about what Gold Passport members think. I know that Hyatt wants their reward stays to be as fantastic as paid stays. They do a great job of that in many categories, but this change would really help families like mine who use their points to spend quality time with each other. That time together could be of an even higher quality with a little more space in the room.
Randy Peterson gave away 10,000 of his own personal Gold Passport points during the chat to a couple lucky chat participants and Hyatt is giving away four $250 Hyatt Gift Cards to four different registered participants in the chat. I’m not 100% sure how you registered to participate, but I am assuming that was accomplished by submitting a question. At least that is what I am hoping….I could put a $250 Hyatt gift card to very good use!
What do you think of Hyatt’s answers? What questions would you have asked?