Update: After we published this story, World of Hyatt has emailed “selected” members to offer them a status extension for another year with status now valid until February 2023. It is not clear which members are being offered this extension and it is not available to everyone.
Over the past few months, almost every major hotel loyalty program has announced another year of elite status extensions for their members, meaning they won’t lose their status until at least the end of 2022.
This makes sense as many people have been unable to travel and retain their usual status level during 2021. But there is a bizarre exception: World of Hyatt.
Every loyalty program gave status extensions in 2020
In 2020, pretty much every hotel loyalty program in the world extended their members’ status due to the pandemic. At the beginning of 2021, most hotel loyalty programs then also reduced their elite status qualification and renewal requirements for the year, recognising that travel was still more difficult than usual.
But with COVID-19 (frustratingly) not going anywhere just yet, most hotel chains realised towards the end of 2021 that this wouldn’t be enough. If they didn’t extend members’ status for a further year, they would risk losing a lot of their most loyal customers just as they were starting to travel again.
Further 12-month status extensions given in 2021
So in September 2021, Hilton Honors became the first major hotel loyalty program to announce a second year of status extensions for all members. (Hilton had also been the first hotel chain in 2020 to extend its members’ statuses until the end of 2021.)
Over the following weeks, most other hotel loyalty programs followed suit including Shangri-La Circle, Accor ALL, Marriott Bonvoy and IHG Rewards.
But not World of Hyatt…
Despite this, World of Hyatt did not announce any further status extensions in 2021. In fact, World of Hyatt has also just resumed letting its members’ points expire if they haven’t had any account activity in the last 24 months.
World of Hyatt did extend its members’ status in 2020 until the end of 2021. It also halved its elite status qualification requirements in 2021, allowing members to earn or renew their status for 2022 with half of the usual number of tier-qualifying nights or base points during 2021. But the program has not announced any similar initiatives in 2022, even though many others have.
Based on this, one can only assume World of Hyatt has made a calculated financial decision to let the status of many of its members lapse. Either that, or the company has forgotten about its overseas-based members.
If you live in the United States, it may not have been so difficult to retain World of Hyatt status during 2021 as there are far more Hyatt properties, travel in the US was less restricted, and it’s possible to retain status there through co-branded Hyatt credit card spend. But in Australia, there are no Hyatt credit cards, many of us couldn’t travel for much of 2021 and there are currently only seven Hyatt hotels open in Australia.
In fairness to Hyatt, they do offer significantly better status tier benefits than programs like IHG Rewards and Accor ALL. But not extending members’ status when they couldn’t travel seems a bit unfair – especially when every other major hotel loyalty program has done so.
If you’re a long-term Hyatt Discoverist, Explorist or Globalist member who has lost their status this year due to being unable to travel last year, one AFF member suggests that you could try contacting your Hyatt concierge.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: No 2022 status extension for World of Hyatt members