Hyatt screws me over, but delights me in the end…

While I usually speak very highly of Hyatt, I had quite an issue with a reservation last night that I thought would be worth sharing, fearing some of you would experience the same issue.

It all started back in December when I decided to visit Australia this May, staying first at the Park Hyatt Melbourne, and then flying on to Sydney and the Park Hyatt there. My reservation was successfully made using a points and cash rate at time, though I really never remember why I decided to do so, since it seems odd I’d be interested in paying the $300 cash rate per night. Anyways…

Yesterday, I called the Hyatt Diamond line to change the reservation as follows:

Currently Booked: 5 Nights at the Park Hyatt Sydney, with each night at 15,000 points and $300 cash

Wanted to Book: 2 Nights Using a Chase Hyatt Visa certificate, and 3 nights at full points.

Here’s what I figured: I assumed that since I’d paid 75,000 points for the 5 nights already, I’d only have to pay an additional 15,000 points out of my current account balance, to make the 5 night stay completely free.

Not so fast…

When I called, the agent said she would cancel my original 5 night reservation, re-deposit the points, and then re-book me into a new reservation consisting of the 2 free nights from the credit card, and then 3 all points nights. When she refunded the points, nothing appeared back in my account, and there was major confusion over my current balance. She couldn’t understand why the points never refunded, and after several times explaining the situation using basic math, I confused her just as much as I was. At that point, she brought a supervisor on the phone, since effectively she wanted to charge me 90,000 full points, which now I didn’t have since the refund didn’t go through as expected. I was placed on hold for over an hour, with no response…

After coming back on the line, the supervisor started tapping away and eventually found what happened. Both the previous agent made a mistake in canceling a reservation I didn’t need cancelled, and the agent in December made a reservation without ever deducting the proper points. So, effectively it made it look like I had a legitimate reservation, which is why I was so frustrated when I found out the new agent had canceled it.

After the hour on hold, and the mistakes from the previous agents, I was offered 30,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for my time, something I found very generous. In the end, I was able to actually walk away better than before, though not without having over an hour of frustration:

Night 1: Chase Hyatt Visa Free Night

Night 2: Chase Hyatt Visa Free Night

Night 3: 30,000 Hyatt Gold Passport Points (Compensation from Customer Service)

Night 4: 30,000 Hyatt Gold Passport Points (Mine)

Night 5: 30,000 Hyatt Gold Passport Points (Mine)

Effectively, my phone call had saved me close to $1500 in room charges, as I was getting rid of my previously booked points and cash option. Now, I’ll have 5 nights at the Park Hyatt Sydney, completely free, which isn’t too shabby, both on the logic, and on the wallet.

Things to Take Away From This:

Apparently, reservations with points and cash can be booked, but no points taken out, even though Hyatt’s policy states otherwise. In fact, Hyatt has previously confirmed with me that this policy holds true, though they’ll allow reservations to be held and no points taken out for all-points reservations.

Hyatt does have an automated sweep that will occur several nights before you check-in to confirm whether you have the proper points or not, and you’ll need the right amount in your account at check-in anyways. If you don’t, you’ll be forced to transfer in points, or buy them, which can be expensive depending on if there’s a promotion running or not.

Have you ever booked a reservation with Hyatt like this?

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