The simply answer is to both is that they may work at times, but you probably will end up spending more time working the machine and getting the room you booked rather getting an upgrade by working the front desk. I have had the check in kiosk work few times at the limited service Hyatt Place locations where I prefer to bypass the front desk altogether.
Hyatt Web Check In
The web check in is enable at some Hyatt properties in the North America. For my stay this past Saturday, I received the email very early on Saturday morning PST.
You can also see the web check invitation if you log in to your Hyatt Gold Passport account.
When you click the link on the email or at the Hyatt.com, you will see the screen connecting to their web services that is simultaneously pulling up your check in information.
You can then choose your preferred check in time, allow Hyatt to email you a notification when the room is ready, and for you to change the option of receiving miles or points for the stay.
Normally, I would choose Hyatt Gold Passport points, but the current promotion that Hyatt has is for airline miles. I decided to choose American Airlines miles for the stay and entered my AAdvantage account number.
Then I chose to proceed further and shortly received the web check in confirmation.
About half an hour later the email confirmation that my room was ready arrived.
Hyatt Check In Kiosk
I decided to use the check in kiosk to pick up the keys to the room.
The kiosk was unable to find the reservation using the credit card & using my name.
The Kiosk was able to find the reservation using the confirmation number, but requested me to proceed to the front desk for completing the “transaction”.
Quite frankly it would have been faster had I completely dissed the kiosk and just went to the Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum/Diamond area. I just wanted to test if Hyatt had had any development on the kiosk user interface and if they had finally got it to work.
There was no line at the front desk and I got checked in very quickly. I managed to score an upgrade to a nice suite as well that I would have not received had the kiosk actually worked.
In general, I do like the idea of being able to check in over the internet or using a kiosk in the lobby. Hyatt also used to have 1-800-CHECK-IN service over the phone, but this has been discontinued. If Hyatt wants people to start using either web check in or kiosks, they need to make sure that one is able to complete the process without having to see the front desk as happened with my case.
If you do not care about an upgrade at the full service Hyatt and if the kiosk happens to be able to process the check in transaction, you should give it a try. I do continue bypassing these, however, at full service Hyatt properties and rather use traditional front desk.