In February, Hyatt announced a start date for the introduction of their peak and off-peak award pricing, and hotel category changes slated to start on March 22.
But amid the coronavirus outbreak, Hyatt is putting those plans on hold. The global hotel chain will delay the introduction of both peak and off-peak award pricing and category changes until 2021 – and that’s good news.
And when these changes go into effect, the increases will be fairly mild, at no more than 5,000 extra World of Hyatt points to book a top-tier property during peak times – or discounts of up to 5,000 for an off-peak booking. Take a look at how Hyatt will divvy up the rates for off-peak, standard, and peak award nights at each type of Hyatt property.
Staying with points at one of Hyatt’s great all-inclusive resorts, Hyatt Ziva and Zilara? Changes are on the way there, too.
Hyatt’s Points + Cash bookings are also getting hit with peak and off-peak pricing – but also not until 2021.
Critically, Hyatt says it will automatically refund any member who books a free night with points that drops to an off-peak rate after the change takes effect – and members won’t be forced to pay more if their booking changes to a higher-priced peak period.
If there’s a silver lining here, it’s this: Hyatt says that peak and off-peak periods will not change from the time hotel reservations open, roughly 13 months in advance. That means Hyatt won’t constantly tweak the award rates to charge more over time – what you see immediately is what you’ll get. That’s far more customer-friendly than most hotel chains handle it.
Hyatt will set the off-peak, standard, and peak period schedules by geographic area – not individually by property. So while price increases may sting, it should at least be fairly consistent.
What this Means for Using Hyatt Points
Let’s be clear: This isn’t the end of the world. Many of these increases are pretty mild. After they take effect, you may even come out ahead if you’re traveling during an off-peak time.
Hyatt is also giving travelers nearly three months of notice before the changes take place. And they’ve structured this variable pricing in a way that should make it easier to understand.
Still, this stings. Hyatt has stood out for years because of its low, predictable award rates. A free night at a basic Hyatt starts at 5,000 points per night. A night at a ritzy hotel like the Park Hyatt Tokyo or Park Hyatt New York will cost you 30,000 Hyatt points, every time.
That predictability will disappear in 2021 (originally March 22). And while the award rates will still be reasonable for booking a free night during peak periods, there’s no way to disguise a 5,000-point increase as anything other than bad news.
But Hyatt has put these plans on hold with the devastation the coronavirus outbreak is having on the travel industry.
Hyatt is putting its plans to introduce peak and off-peak pricing on hold until 2021. This was originally slated to start next week on March 22.