Hyatt Gold Passport: Online Q&A Session With Jeff Zidell Turns Into A Storm Of Frustration

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Hyatt Gold Passport has outdone itself once more when it comes to the matter of absolutely terrible marketing and IT infrastructure after a widely advertised online Q&A with Mr. Zidell turned awry.

hyatt-zidellThe Reddit session which was advertised as a way of mutual exchange and clarification of open questions ended up as a pathetic marketing tirade with nothing but lame excuses.

Every time Hyatt comes up with a new downgrade and infrastructure failure of their brand I ask myself how low can they actually go and sure enough they always manage to surprise me again as the race to the bottom apparently has no end.

You might remember that two weeks ago I wrote about (see here) Hyatt sending out emails to their members inviting them for an online Q&A session with Vice President Jeff Zidell to discuss upcoming changes of the Gold Passport program which has been absolutely massacred.

Well for one the email said Hyatt would get back to the recipients on the day of the Q&A with the exact link to the discussion room on Reddit which never materialized. I ended up traveling that day so it wouldn’t matter but I found the link a day later in various Facebook groups and boy oh boy I can only say what happened there wasn’t pretty.

I’d have expected Hyatt to be a bit more prepared, upfront and honest with their communication if they send their Vice President into a discussion about the most aggressive program changes to date but this was an embarrassment.

You can access the Reddit Discusssion here. These following are some of the highlights.

response-1That didn’t sound too well…

response-2No happy campers here either!

response-3Uhmmm… nope!

response-4And then a couple customers expressed their discontent about the absolutely ridiculous names of the new program.

nameI think it’s safe to say that this Q&A didn’t go over very well and that it’s apparent that Hyatt neither planned or desired to appease their members in any way. Something on this level just contributes to the bad emotions many members have over these changes.

Some of the keywords from the entire thread are that members feel betrayed by Hyatt, embarrassed by the new names and belittled by the unprofessional communication extended to them.


Did I expect miracles from this discussion? No, certainly not. But I’d have expected that there is a clear approach and preparation to the scathing inquiries of longstanding, disappointed members that were to be expected.

This was unprofessional and did more damage than good in my opinion. Why waste time and resources if you can’t meet the expectations and enrage people even more? Did you participate in this discussion and if so, what was your impression of the entire charade?

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  • Danny

    I’m already planning my hotel stays for 2017. It doesn’t include Hyatt properties. So disappointed with them.


    Hyatt really blew it on this change. Who was the brain surgeon who came up with it? No more Hyatt for me. Loyalty customers got the shaft.

  • Flyboy

    I’ve been Diamond for over 10 years but recently having relocated to Asia, just found it difficult to keep the status due to their lack of properties in this region compared to lower rates and more varieties with the likes of Starwood and even Hilton. I was thinking of picking up my stays with Hyatt again and then this happens. Sorry. But that did it for me too. Yeah, all the extra rooms are certainly not in Asia.

  • billybethel

    I’ll be glad to see less diamonds over the next few years. Maybe the lounges won’t be so crowded and the suite upgrades will be a little easier to get. They had to do something to keep people like me who qualify with more than enough nights happy rather than give status to people who qualify on only 25 stays which could be as little as 25 nights if planned in one night increments. There are literally way too many Diamonds for the size of their footprint. It seems the only people complaining that they’re out of Hyatt next year are people who were skating by easily and getting the same perks as people like me who put in the nights.

    • Lawrence S

      Yes I agree. I already spend 50-70 nights a year there before the additional 10 nights with the credit card so it would be the most “fair” to actually current loyal customers. Perhaps now I can go to the lounge during evening happy hour and get a seat.

  • sam

    Please. All of you defect. More upgrade availability for me!