Hyatt has once again shown why they have such a highly regarded loyalty program. They announced last night that they’ll be awarding 10,000 World of Hyatt bonus points for any guests that booked a non-refundable rate but have now decided they don’t wish to (or can’t) travel as a result of the Coronavirus.
Here’s the official announcement from Hyatt:
We understand the need for increased flexibility with travel planning right now. To help guests, World of Hyatt is now extending special exceptions for all Advance Purchase Rate non-refundable reservations made directly with Hyatt on or before March 8, 2020 for travel through June 2020. If interested, guests holding these fully prepaid reservations who have decided not to travel may opt to receive 10,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points compensation in lieu of their stay to use toward future travel at any of our 900+ hotels across 17 brands globally. For full details and to make arrangements, guests can call one of our Global Contact Centers or email us at email@example.com. Guests must contact us at least 48 hours before their stay to elect this (World of Hyatt Explorists and Globalists must contact us at least 24 hours before their stay dates to elect this). For interested non-members, colleagues will be able to quickly assist with enrolling the guest into World of Hyatt and creating a World of Hyatt account to deposit the points.
This is a very generous gesture by Hyatt. While you’re still on the hook for the cost of the room if you cancel a non-refundable reservation, being awarded 10,000 bonus points is some consolation. That consolation will likely be somewhat scant if you have an extremely expensive reservation booked, but it’s still better than nothing at all. For those with an inexpensive one night stay, 10,000 bonus points is an excellent return, far outweighing the regular points you would’ve earned from the stay.
Another nice touch is that even if you weren’t a World of Hyatt member when booking the stay originally, you can register now and still earn the 10,000 points. Note that this is only valid for bookings made directly with Hyatt, so if you booked via an OTA like Hotels.com, you won’t get to benefit from this exception.
There’ll be some travel companies that come out of this whole situation with their reputations enhanced, while others will have lost a lot of goodwill. With this type of policy, Hyatt is helping ensure they’ll be in the first group.