Hyatt Place adds early check-in / late check-out for a fee


Hyatt has announced that World of Hyatt members can now make an advance reservation for early check-in or late check-out at Hyatt Place properties. This will come at a fee for those without hotel status, but those with status will have some fee-free options to reserve this. While part of this disappoints me (see below), this is probably a net win for members.

How it works

I believe this is already live. If you make a reservation within 7 days of arrival, you’ll be able to specify check-in and check-out details while making your reservation. For reservations made further in advance, you can reserve early check-in or late check-out via the Hyatt mobile app within 7 days of arrival. Here is the fee structure from Hyatt:

General World of Hyatt members:
– Early check-in at 9am or 12pm: starting at $10
– Late checkout at 2pm: starting at $10

Discoverist members:
– Early check-in at 9am or 12pm: starting at $10
– 2pm late checkout upon request as a World of Hyatt benefit

Explorist members:
– Early check-in at 9am or 12pm: $0
– 2pm late checkout upon request as a World of Hyatt benefit

Globalist members:
– Early check-in at 9am or 12pm: $0
– 4 pm late checkout upon request as a World of Hyatt benefit

My take

One thing that stood out to me in One Mile at a Time’s coverage about this is that Explorist members are entitled to 2pm late checkout “based on availability”. I had it in mind that 2pm late checkout was guaranteed for Explorist members, but according to Hyatt’s benefits page, it is “subject to availability at some locations”. Since there is nothing more specific, I suppose any location could say it is one of some locations.

As such, the part of this development I find most disappointing is that I imagine if a lot of no-status members pay ten bucks for late checkout, it’s not going to be available for those folks who spent 30 nights at Hyatt hotels last year unless they have the fastest finger and reserve it 7 days in advance. There’s probably some hyperbole there — I guess most folks don’t usually need late checkout and most Hyatt Place properties probably aren’t so full as to be unable to accommodate quite a few late checkout requests, but I’m sure there are times when this will come into play.

On the other hand, I often need a late checkout and this has in the past pushed me towards Hyatt or more recently towards Marriott so that I can count on the benefit. In February, I made the mistake of staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta Downtown (a Hilton property). My wife had a video conference from 12pm-1pm on checkout day and the manager stood firm in saying there was no possible way to extend a late checkout to 1pm, even for a fee. I ended up having to burn 8,000 points to book a Hyatt Place to use it for an hour thanks to not having late checkout locked down at a Hilton. I wasn’t pleased with myself (nor the manager at the Hampton Inn, who clearly had no interest in trying to work anything out despite the fact that the hotel had plenty of room types available for reservation that night).

And so I’m of two minds on this change: part of me really likes the benefit of being able to confirm it, even without status, so that early check-in or late check-out is not something held off until the day you need it. Adding to that, I’d love to know a week in advance if it’s going to be a problem so that I can make alternate arrangements rather than getting stuck scrambling to reserve a new room and find an Uber on like an hour’s notice.

The Gotcha

All that said, I’ll be curious as to how this works in practice. Here are the terms from Hyatt’s site:

Early check-in and late checkout are subject to availability. Early check-in and late checkout are not guaranteed. Offer is only valid at participating Hyatt Place hotels, for World of Hyatt members who book an eligible rate or redeem an award night. Advanced reservation is required. The fee associated with early check-in and late checkout varies by specific hotel and will not be charged until after the early check-in/late checkout is confirmed. If the early check-in or late checkout time cannot be confirmed, the hotel may attempt to contact the guest via email and/or telephone. Offer may not be available on certain room types or levels and may be subject to limitations. If a hotel cannot accommodate room preference with early check-in or late checkout, it may, but is under no obligation to, offer guest an alternate room type. Early check-in and late checkout offer may only be available during certain specified periods before a stay (if any).

I’m not sure exactly how to take that first sentence. I would assume that if you pay for it in advance / reserve it in advance, it is a done deal. Perhaps they mean that the ability to reserve it is subject to availability? I’d be unhappy if I reserved it in advance and then the hotel said it wasn’t available as that would seem to defeat the purpose of reserving it. We’ll see how it works in practice.

Bottom line

If this works as it sounds, it’s probably a net win. One of my biggest complaints with World of Hyatt has long been that elite members don’t really get much measurable benefit at Hyatt’s limited-service brands, which make up the vast majority of Hyatt’s footprint. This adds something tangible for elite members with the possibility of early check-in and scheduled late check-out while also enabling the hotel to monetize those things from non-status guests willing to pay a few extra bucks. If the fee is something like $10 or $20, I don’t think that’s unreasonable at all for a 2pm check-out with no hotel elite status. We’ll see how it shakes out.

H/T: One Mile at a Time

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