No Hyatt Award Availability: Are Hotels Playing Games?
I’ve been loyal to Hyatt for a few years now, enjoying fantastic value out of their top-tier Globalist status. For the most part, I’ve not struggled to book the awards I want. There have been a few exceptions, which I’ve taken in stride (e.g. weekend nights at the new Alila Napa Valley). The Andaz Maui has also notably played with award availability. Now it appears that there is another property showing no Hyatt award availability that might be playing games with inventory.
Striking Out at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki
I’ve been toying with the idea of planning a 3-4 night trip with a friend to Honolulu. This has been the last island on my Hawaii list, but it is the easiest for planning flights, especially for a short trip. It also has the most hotel options, and there are a few Hyatt properties.
The Hyatt Centric Waikiki seemed like the perfect choice. It is a Category 4 property where I can use my free night certificates (FNCs). I have two, so I was thinking of booking there for two nights and then another property using Marriott of IHG free nights. But I ran into an issue. There is no standard award availability.
These are weekday night in November, mind you. And suite awards abound. But this totally kills the ability to use certificates. A FNC is a way better play than 24,000 points. I also can’t even book two nights for 15,000 points each and then apply a suite upgrade award.
Concierge? A Little Help?
I have an excellent Hyatt concierge. She has helped me out many times and has gone above and beyond multiple times for me. It’s so nice to be able to fire off an email to her and wait for the magic to happen. So that’s what I did in this case.
What I wondered is whether it is possible to spend the points for a standard night in conjunction with a suite upgrade award to book a suite. While this leaves me with 2 Category 1-4 FNCs to burn, it would be the best option for us. The suites are spacious.
Sadly, their hands are tied as well. She was sympathetic, but this is the response I got after inquiring about the Hyatt Centric Waikiki:
“I’m also not showing the option to use the standard amount of points at The Centric. Majority of the entire year is unavailable using the standard amount of points.”
I’ve emphasized the important part. I can buy no availability for some particular dates, but this changes my view of the situation. The fact that there is no Hyatt award availability at this property sounds more like game playing on the Hyatt Centric’s part than an actual lack of rooms. With rates at barely over $200 per night, this also makes a little more sense.
I’m not throwing my concierge under the bus. Honestly, I’m glad she is this candid about things. It also shows me she did a little extra research.
Does Hyatt Let Properties Play These Games?
Allowing hotels to play games with their award inventory defeats the entire purpose of loyalty programs. I get it if there are actually no rooms. But going to unreasonable lengths to restrict award stays at your property by playing with room classifications is a bit shady.
I mentioned the Andaz Maui as another culprit (the ol’ 7-night-minimum-stay trick). It’s not surprising that Hawaii hotels are among the more popular for award redemption, so it also makes sense that properties seeing a lot of award bookings are going to try to “push back” in some way. I’ve also read about this being an issue at some of the all-inclusive brands and some of the nicest properties around the globe.
But it’s still sad. I hope that Hyatt tries to actually do something about these properties. They seem better than some other chains (looking at you, IHG), but it’s still annoying.
We have also heard of a lot of grumblings from people in our Facebook group that they have been having issues finding Hyatt availability. Even at hotels that don’t seem like they should be that highly sought after. Or for dates that wouldn’t normally be popular, so this isn’t an isolated incident.
Final Thoughts on No Hyatt Award Availability
I know I’ll work something out for this trip. There are a bunch of options. It is just a bummer to have what I consider the best one unavailable. The upside is that I’ll probably end up using the Marriott free nights I need to burn anyway.
Anyone else ever had trouble with a property showing no Hyatt award availability?