This week’s Compensation Clinic comes to us from Chicago and my recent one night stay at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare which was less than perfect due to some issues with the Hyatt iPhone app check-in process which was further magnified by communication issues between hotel staff.
While I’ve used the app many times to book hotels, this was actually the first time I used the Hyatt app to actually check into a hotel. The latest version of the app has been advertised heavily by Hyatt on hotel TV channels and through email since the new version came out in August so I figured I’d give it a try.
I was scheduled to arrive around 11pm into O’Hare and figured I would get to the hotel around 11:30, so I decided to use the app to checkin, mostly because I wanted to choose the food and beverage option for my Diamond Amenity this time instead of bonus points, and I knew at most hotels, the in-room dining service closes around midnight and I wanted to ensure that option was still available.
So I checked in on the app and was very impressed with the functionality. As a Diamond guest, I was able to not only select the option of a food and beverage amenity instead of points but was able to select both a food and beverage item from a list similar to the ones normally presented to Diamond members at the checkin desk. Checkin using the Hyatt app or the Gold Passport website begins at 9am day of arrival for Diamond and Platinum members and 1pm for non-elite members. The app will show you when your stay is eligible for check-in:
For my amenity at this property, I chose a food item and a bottle of wine. When I checked in around 11:20pm I verified with the front desk agent that my amenity choice came through with my checkin. So I figured it was either in my room or coming up shortly. So I waited about a half hour, and then at 11:55, with the in-room dining service closing in 5 minutes, I figured I’d call down to find out the status of my order. To my surprise, neither the front desk nor the in-room dining line had any record of my order so I had to place the order again from scratch.
When I talked to in-room dining, they also told me that it was too late in the night to order the food item I had ordered, which I had been looking forward to, so they offered me another item in its place. My order was delivered in about 20 minutes; however, the front desk clerk evidently didn’t communicate properly to the in-room dining service that this was my Diamond Amenity, because my order was delivered with a $64 room service bill that was requested for me to sign. I had to call down again to straighten this out.
So although this mixup didn’t totally ruin my stay, it did add about an hour delay to me finally relaxing in my room with my late night snack and bottle of wine. So I decided to talk to the front office manager about it the next day when I checked out, and explained the situation and the fact that I was more upset about the miscommunication between the hotel employees than the app checkin process not working properly. I proactively suggested that I should be given some compensation points for my trouble, expecting maybe a couple thousand or so, but was pleasantly surprised when he immediately offered 8,000 compensation points, which is enough for a one night stay at that property.
I was very happy with this compensation offer and the manager’s insistence that the issues I had will be addressed so that it should not happen again in the future. This left me with a more positive impression of my stay and I will likely consider this hotel again next time my travel plans take me to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.