Jeff Zidell, VP of Hyatt Gold Passport, speaks out on the new 2015 Hyatt changes


In browsing around MilePoint last night, I came across a posting from Jeff Zidell, the Vice President for Hyatt Gold Passport. Here, he posted a message to MilePoint members about the new 2015 Hyatt changes, and shared his thoughts and reasoning behind what’s new, and what’s changing:

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Dear milepoint members,

It looks like we got an unexpected holiday gift from our IT department this year with an early reveal of our Award Chart changes for 2015 – tis the season! I always like to be the one to personally share Hyatt Gold Passport news, but it looks like the Grinch beat me to it this year! In any event, this is a good time to talk about other noteworthy Hyatt news.

Yes, it’s true. We are making some changes to the Hyatt Gold Passport Award Chart. On January 22, 2015, 48 hotels will move to a lower category and 22 hotels will move to a higher category. Existing reservations for stays subsequent to January 21, 2015 will receive a refund for the point difference if the hotel moved to a lower category. A complete list of the changes and FAQs can be found on

I’d now like to take a moment and reflect on 2014. Overall, this year has been a very exciting one for Hyatt. In my opinion, some of the highlights are as follows:

· The Hyatt mobile App added new functionality, including more intuitive searching, booking and point redemption

· Park Hyatt opened its first hotel in Vienna, as well as the brand’s flagship hotel in New York City

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· Hyatt Place celebrated a significant brand milestone with more than 200 locations open across nine countries

· We have more than 250 executed contracts for Hyatt-branded hotels around the world, which represents potential entry into more than 100 new markets

With respect to Hyatt Gold Passport, this year we launched two new programs — Points + Cash and My Elite Rate. Points + Cash has been very successful, and we are looking at ways to enhance it even further. Points + Cash was launched with the full intention of making it a permanent element of the loyalty program; whereas, My Elite Rate was launched as a beta test for the calendar year. At this point, we have chosen not to roll out My Elite Rate on a permanent basis, and it will not be available in 2015. I realize that many of you enjoyed My Elite Rate and were strong advocates for its continuation; however, the results from our beta test did not warrant a permanent roll out. We are currently working on a variety of new programs to make your travels in 2015 more effortless, more personalized and more rewarding, and you will begin to hear about some of these initiatives in the first quarter.

One thing that will be changing effective January 1, 2015 is the existing bed type guarantee policy. Today, this is applicable to elite members only, and members are awarded 5,000 bonus points if the reserved bed type is not available upon check-in. Less than 0.1% of elite members did not receive their confirmed bed type – so in the future we’re guaranteeing that upon check-in all guests will receive the bed type confirmed, and there will no longer be any bonus points associated with non-compliance. Rest assured, the hotels are committed to getting this right!

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As always, I appreciate your feedback, and I encourage you to continue to let us know how we can support you better in the coming year. You can always reach out to me via this forum or directly at [email protected]

Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday season and safe travels.

All my best,


P.S. Be sure to look out for our new, exclusive promotion launching in January!


What do you think about the new Hyatt Gold Passport changes?

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