If frequent-traveler points are like currency, then being denied access to them would be akin to a bank’s denying an accountholder access to his funds. In the banking world, that only happens under the most dire of circumstances, in the event of a bank’s insolvency, for example, or a national financial crisis.
In the world of travel rewards, it happens very occasionally that a loyalty program goes offline, either due to a system meltdown or for scheduled maintenance. And on those rare occasions, it’s typically a matter of a few hours’ inconvenience.
Against that backdrop, Hyatt’s plan to shut down Internet access to Gold Passport accounts for four full days—December 15 through December 18—is a conspicuous outlier. As announced by a company representative on FlyerTalk, program members will be barred from accessing their accounts and redeeming points for awards while the company performs “system maintenance.” In addition, points earned after December 12 won’t be reflected in members’ account until the week of December 28.
As one Hyatt Diamond member commented: “4 days, lol?! Could you imagine Yahoo or Google or Amazon or Facebook going down for 4 days? What sort of IT clowns do they have working over there? Whoever is running Hyatt’s IT should be fired immediately. 4 days. Puhlease.”
Indeed, denying program members access to their accounts for four days is unprecedented, as far as I know. If Bank of America cut off access to my checking account for four days, I’d switch banks. Although I hold loyalty programs to a somewhat lower standard, four days seems unreasonable and disrespectful.
As for actionable advice: If you plan to redeem Hyatt points anytime soon, be sure to do so on or before December 14, or be prepared to wait until December 19.
Reader Reality Check
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This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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