Hyatt Improves Suite Upgrades & Lounge Access Policies

I love Hyatt hotels, so when last year Hyatt announced that they were replacing Hyatt Gold Passport program with World of Hyatt, as a Hyatt Diamond member I was a bit upset.  In 2017,  Hyatt moved away from the Gold Passport program to bring in a new program called the World of Hyatt. The new program had four tiers instead of the earlier 3, and some of the changes to the program included a very high bar to reach the new Hyatt status top tier: 60 nights. You can read our whole analysis about the new loyalty program of Hyatt here.

Hyatt Suite upgrade policy

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

After terrible member feedback, however, Hyatt got their act together and started to crawl out of the hole they created for themselves. Hyatt has already announced some positive changes effective 2018.

Award Nights now count towards status qualification. Starting January 1, 2018, all nights on free night awards count toward tier status. This is Hyatt coming at par with other hotel chains in the market including Marriott and IHG. This should make it easier to climb to the 60 nights number. They indeed looked through all the 2017 award stays for members and elevated status where affected.

Simultaneously, World of Hyatt extended the validity dates for the free night awards which will be issued effective January 1, 2018, onwards. The new validity is 180 days after issuance, instead of the earlier 120 days.

  • You get a free night in Cat 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort when you stay 30 qualifying nights or earn 50,000 Base Points in a calendar year
  • You get a free night in Cat 1-7 Hyatt hotel or resort when you stay 60 qualifying nights or earn 100,000 Base Points in a calendar year

Hyatt Suite Upgrade validity extended

One of the major pain areas, where Hyatt made a self-goal was the issuance of Four Suite Upgrades that Globalist members received per annum. Top-tier Globalist members currently earn four Complimentary Hyatt Suite Upgrade certificates every year they qualify for the status. Explorist members earn four Club Lounge access certificates every year when they reach the elite tier. Both these awards can be applied on an award and paid stays, and each stay covers up to a maximum of 7 nights.

During the days of Hyatt Gold Passport, they would be valid through the end of the membership year, but in the new program, they were only valid for 12 months after they were issued. This would discourage members to stay with them through the year because if they hit the mark of 60 nights early enough, they had no incentive to come back later in the year.

Hyatt suite upgrade at Grand Hyatt Kochi

Terrace Suite at the Grand Hyatt Kochi

Hyatt Suite upgrade and lounge access

The evening lounge spread at the Hyatt Regency Churchill in London

Last evening, however, Hyatt has turned around on this policy. World of Hyatt has now bettered this. Effective 2018, upgrade awards and the lounge access certificates will be valid until the elite status is live. For 2018 and beyond, these awards (both suite awards and club awards) will be valid through the member’s tier expiration date at the time they are earned, as opposed to 365 days.

If you’ve earned yourself a Globalist or an Explorist status in 2018, your certificates will be valid until February 29, 2020. For everyone who already earned status this year, they should see this change in their account effective June 1, 2018. Hyatt has also sent out mailers to members.

Hyatt suite upgrade and lounge access


This is a positive change and I’m happy that there is no sword hanging on our necks to use Ajay’s Club Lounge passes until mid next year. The changes definitely exhibit one thing, Hyatt is listening to its members. Although, as much as Ajay would like to go back to being a Hyatt Globalist, I can’t fathom how living in India he will be able to complete 60 nights with the chain.

What are your thoughts about the changes World of Hyatt has made this year?

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