Suite Denied: Did Hyatt Retroactively Change Upgrade Terms & Conditions?

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I received a disturbing email from Hyatt last week. The Suite Upgrade award I had requested for an upcoming stay while I was still a Diamond and before the Suite Upgrade Award expired was being denied. Because I currently only hold Platinum status.

Dear Ms. Anderson,

Thank you for your upcoming reservation at Hyatt Regency Vancouver for arrival on XXXXX.

I understand your request for suite upgrade for reservation number XXXXX. On reviewing, I can see that your membership tier has downgraded to Platinum, hence I am unable to issue Diamond Suite Upgrade award for reservation number XXXXX.

I regret for the inconvenience caused to you. Please feel free to contact us for further assistance.

Huh? It didn’t make sense.

Hyatt did change the Suite Upgrade Award terms for 2016 to exclude stays booked beyond the upgrade expiration date. But for Suite Upgrades earned prior to the change, you could apply them to future stays provided they were redeemed by XXXX. And that’s what I did. I was still a Diamond (earned not matched) and the upgrades were still valid when applied to my reservations. Nothing was said about having them taken away if I didn’t maintain Diamond Status.

I emailed back, politely (and anxiously) asking for clarification and pointing out the language on Hyatt’s website which indicates my Suite Upgrades should still be valid (bolding mine).

10. Diamond members will be issued four (4) suite upgrade awards, in their account, annually, defined as March 1st of the current year through the last day of February of the following year, Awards can be tracked through “My Awards” on Suite awards issued on or after March 1, 2016 must be redeemed for reservations with a checkout date prior to the expiration date of the award. Suite awards unredeemed prior to the expiration date of the award will be forfeited. Suite awards issued prior to March 1, 2016 must be redeemed by making a reservation no later than February 29, 2016 for future reservations. 

When I hadn’t heard back I followed up, finally receiving an email today, confirming my Suite Upgrade has been applied.

Dear Keri Anderson,

I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your reservation at Hyatt Regency Vancouver on  XXXXX.

The Diamond Suite upgrade has been applied to your reservation and a revised email confirmation has been sent.

We look forward to welcoming you soon.

While I’m glad that went through, I would like to know why. Has Hyatt retroactively changed the policy but will waive it for those who contest the decision? Did the first agent just make a mistake?

If it’s the latter, I can easily excuse human error but would appreciate some acknowledgement of what the problem was. Not good customer service. It’s left me with a bad taste in my mouth and anxiety about other bookings where I applied Suite Upgrade Awards — will those randomly be denied or cancelled?

Has anyone else had this issue?

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