Recently I had the opportunity to use a couple Hyatt Diamond confirmed upgrades for a family trip next year to New York City where we plan to spend some time at the Andaz 5th Avenue (my daughter and her cousins from Connecticut are going to have a NYC slumber party!), and I wanted to share some things from the experience that may help others looking to use some Diamond confirmed upgrades before they expire early next year. As a reminder, you can typically use them for a reservation beyond the expiration date, but you will lose the confirmed upgrade if you cancel that reservation.
Don’t be afraid to use Diamond Confirmed Upgrades for short stays:
Since you can use one certificate for a reservation of up to seven days, it is tempting to save them solely for longer stays to get the maximum value. That is a good strategy if you will still use all four certificates, but it isn’t a very good strategy if it means you end up not using all the certificates. I don’t hesitate to use the certs for short one or two night stays, since we rarely have multiple long paid stays in a calendar year.
Call Hyatt Gold Passport to redeem the upgrades as soon as you make the reservation:
The sooner you try to secure the upgrade the better since you can only confirm the suite if it is available. I have very good luck securing suites months in advance, but a tougher time sometimes closer in to the reservation date. That said, if the suite is not initially available it can be wise to check again as the reservation gets closer to see if the situation has changed. If you know what type of suite the hotel upgrades to then looking at what is for sale via Hyatt.com can give you a good idea about availability.
Ignore the first confirmation email you get:
Currently, the first confirmation number you get after you apply a diamond upgrade will have a higher price (the selling price of the suite you were upgraded to). However, if everything works as it should, shortly after you will get another confirmation email showing the suite upgrade at the price of the regular room you booked. If that doesn’t show up within a few hours something is likely not working as it should, but be patient and ignore the first confirmation email with the incorrect price.
The Andaz Fifth Avenue is Confirming Upgrades to the Splash Suite:
This isn’t brand new news, but I can personally confirm that Diamond confirmed upgrades now confirm into the Splash Suite at the Andaz Fifth Avenue. I stayed in this suite last year (by paying an additional co-pay) and it was a pretty nice suite with a fantastic bathtub!
Remember to use your upgrades by February 28, 2014:
The confirmed upgrades you have in your Hyatt account right now will expire if you don’t apply them to reservations by 2/28/14. Hyatt has stated that you will able to use them on cash and points reservations that become available on January 7th, so that might be an option as well. We don’t know yet how available cash and point options will be, but that will hopefully increase the usability of Diamond upgrades.
Just try not to let your hard earned elite benefits go to waste!