I’ve been in this situation several times before, and it’s not fun:
- The hotels the airline has an agreement on are hit or miss depending the day. Some days have nice hotels contracted, and other days don’t.
- On a cancelled flight from Dallas, I requested to be put in either the Hyatt Regency or Grand Hyatt DFW. Unfortunately, both were unavailable for the contracted rate, and I was instead put up in a Days Inn.
- The hotels may or may not be the closest to the airport. In some cases, they are miles away, and if your flight leaves prior to the start of the hotel shuttle (if they even have one), you may have to pay for taxi fare.
When I’m delayed and need to be overnighted, I do make an effort to request to be placed in a certain brand of hotel, depending on where I have my elite status, so I can at least be guaranteed some level of comfort overnight.
Can you still receive elite benefits on these airline-paid stays?
Yes and no. The short answer is that for benefits, yes. For stay and night credit, no.
Hyatt’s terms and conditions specifically state that the contracted airline-paid rates are not included:
An “Eligible Rate” is any hotel published room rate, including, but not limited to rates found on hyatt.com or any Hyatt Gold Passport, the Hyatt Daily Rate, Volume Rate, AAA and Senior Citizen rates, etc. “Ineligible Rates” are discounted rates, including, but not limited to, any free night stays, Internet wholesale rates (such as priceline.com, hotels.com, etc.), traditional wholesale rates (such as GOGO Worldwide Vacations, Pleasant Holidays, etc.), airline crew rates, airline employee rates, travel agency employee rates, Club at the Hyatt discount certificate stays, Hyatt Vacation Club stays, Hyatt employee or employee family discount rates, airline interrupted-trip vouchers or contracted rooms (a contract room is a room that has been reserved pursuant to a written and executed agreement between a hotel and a corporation, government agency or individual for a negotiated room rate in exchange for an agreed upon number of rooms to be rented for an extended period of time).
My experience is that you’re still able to receive your elite benefits, such as room upgrades, breakfast, lounge access, etc., and even welcome amenities, include point bonuses. However, I’ve not been successful in receiving stay credit for the stay or points for the amount of the room cost.
- Always add your loyalty number to the reservation at check-in, even if you know you won’t receive benefits. You may just receive something unexpected.
- Make sure you get a copy of your invoice upon check-out, just to prove your stay if you’re asked.
- Make sure you inquire at check-in whether you’ll be able to use elite benefits during the stay. The last thing you want to do is charge breakfast to your room, only to be informed it wasn’t included per your status because of the rate booked.
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