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Old Jul 25, 12, 5:09 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Points / Stay Credit Eligibility for Third Party Bookings

I have a question that Hyatt's customer service policy response doesn't answer. Can anyone help.

As is clear from their posts, Hyatt take the view that the only bookings that are eligible for points are those made through Hyatt direct and that no third party booking will ever be eligible. Other hotel programs have the same policy (e.g. Hilton). The difference (in my view) between those and Hyatt though, is that the formers' T&C's say that clearly (e.g. Hilton's T&C leave you with no doubt about what is eligible).

I don't think Hyatt's T&C are so clear/beyond doubt. On my reading of them, Hyatt's T&C's determine eligibility based on the rate paid, wherever that rate is found, and not on how the booking is made (look at the wording used, like "including but not limited to"). That is, provided the rate paid is not a discounted rate but any hotel published rate, then wherever that rate was found should be irrelevant.

Has anyone out there ever looked at the detail of the eligibility clause in the Hyatt T&C and if so, what do you think it says (i.e. do you agree that it says what Hyatt says)?

Or has anyone out there had a stay not booked through Hyatt credited to their account?
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Old Jul 25, 12, 3:31 pm   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perplexed View Post
I have a question that Hyatt's customer service policy response doesn't answer. Can anyone help.

As is clear from their posts, Hyatt take the view that the only bookings that are eligible for points are those made through Hyatt direct and that no third party booking will ever be eligible. Other hotel programs have the same policy (e.g. Hilton). The difference (in my view) between those and Hyatt though, is that the formers' T&C's say that clearly (e.g. Hilton's T&C leave you with no doubt about what is eligible).

I don't think Hyatt's T&C are so clear/beyond doubt. On my reading of them, Hyatt's T&C's determine eligibility based on the rate paid, wherever that rate is found, and not on how the booking is made (look at the wording used, like "including but not limited to"). That is, provided the rate paid is not a discounted rate but any hotel published rate, then wherever that rate was found should be irrelevant.

Has anyone out there ever looked at the detail of the eligibility clause in the Hyatt T&C and if so, what do you think it says (i.e. do you agree that it says what Hyatt says)?

Or has anyone out there had a stay not booked through Hyatt credited to their account?
The terms and Conditions for many aspects of Hyatt have always been murky and has had many gray areas
Just look historically into the Hyatt Gift certificates dilemma that many of us struggled to interpret some time ago.
When hard pressed not even senior management at Hyatt could come up with exact answers who had been with the company many years.

One of the pleasures I get from this forum is helping others translate the language of Hyatt or elsewhere and help determine what they are trying to say
Unfortunately sometimes there aren’t crystal clear answers.Its not always limited to Hyatt but more frequently seems to be
As great as a company as Hyatt is we have to accept it or walk away.
Sometimes Hyatt gives up on trying to understand what its saying or gives vague answers rather than say we don’t know what we are really saying.
In the end it’s the lawyers and folks that write all this stuff that can confuse us all.

Essentially my suggestion to make life easier for you based on the question which nobody will easily be able to answer would be this.
If it’s booked through global distribution system that’s a public rate which is almost always eligible not limited to
Hyatt directly by phone or internet reservations overall you are probably fine.
That means an eligible rate in which you are paying for directly at the hotel and out of your own personal pocket
Anything else that you might receive credit for from a 3rd party or opaque site would be considered an accident/mistake in your account.
When in doubt call the hotel directly and Gold Passport and take names if you have any doubts.
We as Hyatt Ambassdors are always here to assist as well should we be able to be of service
As well as our global community who I personally thank for their participation as well
Hope this sheds some light on the question

Happy travels and many miles and points!
And did I say a warm welcome to Flyertalk and the Hyatt Forum
Cheers
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Last edited by 777 global mile hound; Jul 25, 12 at 3:37 pm.
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Old Jul 26, 12, 8:37 am   #3
 
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Eligibility query...

Thanks for the welcome and for the reply.

Based on your reply, I seem to be a textbook example of the Hyatt woes. My query arises out of a recent almost 3 week stay so although I am now "in the know" for the future (should I decide there will be one in my burgeoning Hyatt relationship, which I doubt), being in that know doesn't help me for the past.

In brief:

- Two previous stays to the stay in question - one at the same hotel - were booked in exactly the same way (online agency, not Hyatt) but at the same rate offered by Hyatt.

- Both previous stays were credited so based on that and my reading of the Gold Passport T&C, I booked the latest long stay in the same way. That stay would have given me not only base points but also significant bonus points and a status upgrade.

- This latest stay was not however credited and Hyatt are refusing to credit it.

- When I queried this, Hyatt reverted with the line that the first two stays were credited in error. Even though I have pressed them, sent my detailed reasoning and escalated my query to near enough "the top", nobody has been able to tell me why (i.e. how they justify the refusal with specific reference to the T&C). The best I seem to get is "it's because of the because reason"...

I am really unhappy as had they not made their initial "errors", I would not have booked the stay in the way I did. I did not pay less doing so. Ultimately and as the T&C require, I have paid a hotel published room rate, I paid personally (nothing in the T&C require me to pay Hyatt direct) and I was the registered guest.

I would appreciate it if someone at Hyatt could explain to me precisely where I have gone wrong - either in my interpretation of the T&C or in my thinking that since I was misled by Hyatt's "error" into booking the same hotel in the same way as a previously credited stay, this stay (but no future stays) should also be fully credited. So far they have not been able to do that because - I think - they can't. From your reply, it seems there is a theme here...

This kind of stonewalling - at times downright rude - approach in the face of a clear problem (that you too describe) shows (at best) a dismissiveness that has put me off. The T&C do not need to be so murky. Since Hyatt know they are, this suggests they are deliberately so, so they can pick and choose how each situation is dealt with.

As most of us do, I belong to other much better/consistent hotel programs with just as good and sometimes better hotels (I have found the quality and consistency in Hyatt's of equivalent "brand" can vary considerably), whose terms are clear so I know precisely when I will earn and when I won't. Such transparency wins over every time.
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Old Jul 26, 12, 1:52 pm   #4
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Greetings Perplexed,

I know how frustrating this can be having been in your shoes in the past and I do fully agree Hyatt could be a better communicator and despite some limited past dialogue with the good folks at Hyatt they don’t seem to have enough interest in doing so and have apparently other priorities on the table.
Communication snafus arise between program and members which is part of the learning curve process.
Early on in any program I always seek answers to learn see if I can recover from the problem and see if the relationship in fact is worth keeping in the end.

In my many decades with Hyatt Gold Passport or Hyatt Consumer Affairs I think I have been truly wronged by their actions not taking ownership very few times.
Not so bad in the big picture
However failure has happened and through no fault of my own but Hyatts own internal confusion/dysfunction.I won't at this point agree or disagree your case was handled well regarding your booking issue.
I have always gone out on a limb for my fellow GP members when I can and to help Hyatt who has been mighty good to me over the years.
More often than not Hyatt does the right thing statistically with some very odd exceptions in all regards if not going above and beyond what is actually necessary.
Hyatt to their credit really as any program goes really is above industry average when it comes to customer service.And a number of agents are simply outstanding to work with.
Yes there are some who don't care,don't know how to answer questions and won't follow-up and more confued than some members.

I’d like to share one bit of advice if I may as an entrenched guest in many programs at the top tier levels. If I never forgave any hotel company or program I’d be in a very sorry position today.
Starwood and Hyatt now my primary hotel program and travel partner typically have given me some of the best experiences in my life time due to very generous programs & hotels that reach out to us and widely exceed all expectations in service and accommodations.Yet there are always going to be some bumps along the road.To not reconsider a relationship with Hyatt learn and move on would be a mistake IMHO

To be clear at almost every program I am familiar with one must pay at the hotel regardless of eligible booking channels.
This is pretty rare to have it any other way. I made the mistake long ago when I started out with Marriott rewards. They did credit me as a onetime good will gesture even though I prepaid the rate through another 3rd party booking channel back in the 80s

I am off to the London Olympics
Upon my return in mid August I would be delighted to take your booking details and get some more definitive answers that may put your mind to rest even if it’s potentially what you might not want to hear.I am interested where eligible does not apply in your situation
In closing Hyatt has been wrong many times over the years even with senior management in some select situations some of these failures were highly emabarrassing and frustrating to all parties!Keep the faith

Cheers
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Last edited by 777 global mile hound; Jul 26, 12 at 2:13 pm.
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Old Jul 26, 12, 2:06 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perplexed View Post
(online agency, not Hyatt)
My post is not a flame. It is advice for others that come to read this thread. NEVER use an online agency (especially when there is no rate savings). It has greater than zero risk, and never any upside.

Online agencies can be good tools for shopping and researching, but never make the booking there.
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Old Jul 27, 12, 8:28 am   #6
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Originally Posted by canyonleo View Post
My post is not a flame. It is advice for others that come to read this thread. NEVER use an online agency (especially when there is no rate savings). It has greater than zero risk, and never any upside.

Online agencies can be good tools for shopping and researching, but never make the booking there.
No, it's not a flame. But it's not correct either. Given two identical booking possibilities, one through the hotel's site and the other through an online agency, I'd likely pick the hotel site.

But it is frequently the case that the online agency offers more. Consider booking online through Amex FHR, for example, for those eligible. It's an agency that stacks on significant extras, even if the rate is the same.
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Old Jul 27, 12, 8:35 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
No, it's not a flame. But it's not correct either. Given two identical booking possibilities, one through the hotel's site and the other through an online agency, I'd likely pick the hotel site.

But it is frequently the case that the online agency offers more. Consider booking online through Amex FHR, for example, for those eligible. It's an agency that stacks on significant extras, even if the rate is the same.
Good point. I'll reword to say booking with online agencies comes with non-zero risk and thus one should question and understand if there is any upside to offset.
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Old Jul 27, 12, 10:25 am   #8
 
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Eligibility query...

It is precisely because there are advantages to booking online with a third party that I sometimes do that even if the rate is the same on the hotel's own website. I weigh up the advantages against the disadvantages - including as regards the hotel's loyalty scheme if I am enrolled in it - and take a view.

And this is precisely why I am so angry with the current situation (made worse and "bit between my teeth like" because we are talking a significant loss of points and a status upgrade, without which I cannot even get a taster of how good Hyatt's program might be since at the introductory level, I've yet to see a benefit...I've only recently joined this particular program). I weighed up the advantages and disadvantages and took a view, only what I couldn't know when I did that was that Hyatt "makes errors" that - at least in my case - they wish to take the benefit of rather than give it to me, meaning that one part of my equation was wrongly stacked...to my disadvantage.

If the Hyatt T&C were as clear as those of, for example, Hilton (which very clearly say that any third party booking is ineligible with no mention of rates), then I would have obviously chosen to book direct with Hyatt if the third party site was offering me nothing more. I am clear as to what is and is not an eligible stay with Hilton and so have never had cause to stumble. There is no need for the T&C to be so unclear either. They can be drafted to leave no doubt. Hilton's T&C show this. A crack team of lawyers is not needed to achieve this...

In addition, if Hyatt had not consistently made "errors" on my account - bearing in mind that a previous stay less than 12 months earlier at the same hotel booked in the same way was fully and automatically credited as was a later and the only other 3rd party booked Hyatt stay I've made - I would have at least known their stance early on in my membership. Then whether or not I agree Hyatt's interpretation of their own T&C, I could at least have made an informed decision; that is, if I had chosen to go with a 3rd party booking, I would have known that Hyatt might refuse to see it as eligible for points.

Ultimately, I did nothing different to what I'd done before based on my interpretation of the T&C that do not say what Hyatt want them to say. At the very least Hyatt should in my view, acknowledge what has led to this unfortunate situation and accept responsibility "as a gesture of goodwill". I'll even accept them doing it on a "no admissions" basis so as not to create a precedent. That would be the right and moral thing to do in my view. The fact that they will not do that but would rather simply and dismissively "fob me off" does not reflect well on Hyatt on any view and leaves me finding it difficult to "keep the faith".

It is also difficult to do so when what Hyatt is refusing to budge on is significant; that is, as a result of this issue that I have raised, they're making "allowances" for the two previous much shorter stays - allowing them to remain fully credited - where there is no bonus point/status upgrade issue, but not on the longer stay where there is.

I believe in admitting my errors and rectifying them (which is not always easy but is the right thing to do) and gravitate to those who are able to do likewise. I am just not impressed.

Thanks for the offer to help on your return 777 global mile hound. Have a great time at the Olympics...
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Old Jul 27, 12, 3:06 pm   #9
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I think the key here is the fact that you have paid the room rate to the 3rd party agency, who in turn paid the hotel for your stay (check your folio to see what was used for the payment - personal credit card or maybe a company account). If that is the case then no wonder you have not received the points. The payee and the GP member names must match for the stay to be eligible for stay credit/points. Otherwise I could be added as a guest to a lot of reservations of my friends/family members who infrequently stay in Hyatt hotels or who don't want to bother with the FF programs (blasphemy, I know) and reap the rewards w/o spending a cent.

This rule is outlined in the T&Cs (found here) under the section "Earning Hyatt Gold Passport Points as a Registered Guest"

Quote:
3. In order for a Hyatt Gold Passport member to receive Hyatt Gold Passport points, the bill for charges must be in that member's name and member must personally pay for all charges.
You argued that nothing in the T&Cs requires you to pay Hyatt directly but that you paid personally for all charges. As far as Hyatt is concerned, they go by who paid them as they really don't have a way of determining whether you personally paid the 3rd party agency or not.
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Old Jul 28, 12, 2:29 pm   #10
 
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Eligibility Query...

"You argued that nothing in the T&Cs requires you to pay Hyatt directly but that you paid personally for all charges. As far as Hyatt is concerned, they go by who paid them as they really don't have a way of determining whether you personally paid the 3rd party agency or not."[/quote]

Hi there

The T&C you've excerpted supports my view. It does not say I have to pay Hyatt direct, rather that I must personally pay the charges. The 3rd party booking confirmation/voucher I received and that I have sent Hyatt clearly shows I did just that. My credit card number is clearly shown on it. The confirmation/voucher is provided so that it can be handed to the hotel as proof of my booking. They cannot seriously deny that they have a way of confirming whether or not I personally paid for the room.

In any event, Hyatt are not refusing the points based on this. They are refusing them on the bland unsupported statement that all 3rd party bookings are ineligible. That is plainly wrong based on their own T&C.

I am not looking to get points/credit where I am not entitled to them (i.e. for a room booked on a corporate/company account). I am just wanting the points/credit I believe I am entitled to under the T&C having done all I am able to do to ensure my compliance with them.

I remain of the view that Hyatt's refusal to credit 3rd party bookings just because they are 3rd party bookings is wrong/disingenuous.
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Old Jul 28, 12, 9:54 pm   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perplexed View Post
Hi there

The T&C you've excerpted supports my view. It does not say I have to pay Hyatt direct, rather that I must personally pay the charges. The 3rd party booking confirmation/voucher I received and that I have sent Hyatt clearly shows I did just that. My credit card number is clearly shown on it. The confirmation/voucher is provided so that it can be handed to the hotel as proof of my booking. They cannot seriously deny that they have a way of confirming whether or not I personally paid for the room.

In any event, Hyatt are not refusing the points based on this. They are refusing them on the bland unsupported statement that all 3rd party bookings are ineligible. That is plainly wrong based on their own T&C.

I am not looking to get points/credit where I am not entitled to them (i.e. for a room booked on a corporate/company account). I am just wanting the points/credit I believe I am entitled to under the T&C having done all I am able to do to ensure my compliance with them.

I remain of the view that Hyatt's refusal to credit 3rd party bookings just because they are 3rd party bookings is wrong/disingenuous.
I don't mean to argue with you but the fact is that Hyatt was paid by a third party and not by you. Here are the relevant paragraphs from the T&Cs:

Quote:
2. To receive Hyatt Gold Passport points in connection with a hotel stay, member must be a registered guest ...... and pay an Eligible Rate.
Quote:
4. ...An "Eligible Rate" shall be defined as any hotel published room rate, including, but not limited to rates found on hyatt.com, the Hyatt Daily Rate, Volume Account Rates, AAA and Senior Citizen rates. A portion of an Eligible Rate may reflect taxes, service charges, gratuities, and third-party charges for certain included items, and those costs may not be eligible for Hyatt Gold Passport points. "Ineligible Rates" are discounted rates, including, but not limited to, any free night stays, Third Party Internet Rates (examples include priceline.com, hotels.com, Expedia, and Travelocity), traditional wholesale rates (examples include GOGO Worldwide Vacations, Pleasant Holidays, etc.), airline crew rates, airline employee rates, travel agency employee rates, Club at the Hyatt discount certificate stays, Hyatt employee or employee family discount rates, airline interrupted-trip vouchers or contracted rooms (a contracted room is a room that has been reserved pursuant to a written and executed agreement between a hotel and a corporation, government agency or individual for a negotiated room rate in exchange for an agreed upon number of rooms to be rented for an extended period of time).
I don't know where exactly you purchased your stay (that would actually be a useful info that may help us figure out if your rate is indeed eligible) but most likely it falls under one of the "Ineligible Rates." The fact that the rate you paid was exactly the same as the rate on Hyatt.com (if I understood correctly) is irrelevant. The way the T&Cs are written they pretty much exclude any third party bookings other than corporate bookings using Volume Discount Rates where the guest still uses a (corporate) credit card in their name to pay for the room. Again, I am not writing this as a defense of Hyatt policies but am just offering my interpretation of their T&Cs.
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Old Jul 29, 12, 5:38 am   #12
 
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Hi and thanks again for reverting todorovic. I'm still not getting it though. I've read and re-read the T&C, including the bits you've quoted, both before contacting Hyatt, then posting here and since. I wouldn't be querying if I hadn't.

My point is this:

- From the bits you have quoted (and also clause 3 in the same section), eligibility is defined by reference to three things - (1) who is the registered guest, (2) what rate was paid for the room, and (3) who paid that rate (clause 3 requires the "bill" - not defined as the Hyatt bill - for the charges to be in the member's name and paid personally by the member).

- There is no argument/doubt that I was the registered guest.

- There is/can be no argument that the (3rd party or otherwise) bill for the charges that I paid was in my name and that I personally paid that bill; i.e. the room rate. There is nothing in the T&C that say that the bill I pay must be a Hyatt bill or that the room rate I pay must be paid direct to Hyatt and based on the definition of eligibility whose focus is on the rate paid not the booking method (see below), there is in my view no basis/reason to imply those "conditions" into the T&C.

- So that means that the refusal to credit me for the stay seems to be based on a refusal to acknowledge that the rate I paid was an "Eligible Rate".

- "Eligible Rate" is defined to include any hotel published room rate including, but not limited to rates found on Hyatt.com etc. So, when determining whether or not the rate I paid is an eligible rate, the key factor is the rate paid (i.e. it must be any hotel published room rate). From the underlined wording it is clear that where that rate is found is not relevant (i.e. it is not limited to hotel published room rates found only on/through Hyatt direct). Why use this "non limitation" wording if the intent is to limit eligibility to stays booked through Hyatt/exclude stays booked in other ways.

- I paid a "hotel published room rate" (i.e. the rate I paid - to Thomas Cook - was the same rate, described in the same way, as the rate found on Hyatt.com).

- "Ineligible Rates" are in contrast defined as discounted rates.; that is, what is key in determining eligibility is once again the rate paid, not where the rate is found or how/through whom the booking is made. If the rate I paid had been a discounted rate, then clearly I would not be entitled to have my stay credited.

So my quest to understand continues.... Ultimately, if Hyatt wants to exclude all 3rd party bookings, then like Hilton's T&C, the T&C could easily say that in far fewer, clearer and hence fairer clauses.
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Old Jul 29, 12, 10:00 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perplexed View Post
- "Ineligible Rates" are in contrast defined as discounted rates.; that is, what is key in determining eligibility is once again the rate paid, not where the rate is found or how/through whom the booking is made. If the rate I paid had been a discounted rate, then clearly I would not be entitled to have my stay credited.

So my quest to understand continues.... Ultimately, if Hyatt wants to exclude all 3rd party bookings, then like Hilton's T&C, the T&C could easily say that in far fewer, clearer and hence fairer clauses.
I think there is a possible interpretation discrepancy in the "Ineligible Rates" section that might be the sticking point. The language, which was quoted before, is:

Quote:
"Ineligible Rates" are discounted rates, including, but not limited to, any free night stays, Third Party Internet Rates (examples include priceline.com, hotels.com, Expedia, and Travelocity), traditional wholesale rates (examples include GOGO Worldwide Vacations, Pleasant Holidays, etc.), airline crew rates, airline employee rates, travel agency employee rates, Club at the Hyatt discount certificate stays, Hyatt employee or employee family discount rates, airline interrupted-trip vouchers or contracted rooms (a contracted room is a room that has been reserved pursuant to a written and executed agreement between a hotel and a corporation, government agency or individual for a negotiated room rate in exchange for an agreed upon number of rooms to be rented for an extended period of time).
I think the sticking point may be what the term "discounted rates" applies to. The two interpretations are:
  1. everything listed after "discounted rates"
  2. "discounted rates, including, but not limited to, any free night stays" as a standalone statement

The difference is that in #2, the term "discounted rates" only applies to the statement directly after, namely "but not limited to, any free night stays". In #1, the term "discounted rates" is a general category that applies to everything listed afterwards, including "Third Party Internet Rates (examples include priceline.com, hotels.com, Expedia, and Travelocity)".

I believe you are interpreting it as #1, meaning that you think "Third Party Internet Rates" falls under the umbrella of "discounted rates". And since you didn't get a discount from what Hyatt offered directly, you think the entire clause doesn't apply.

However, if Hyatt is interpreting it as option #2, then everything listed is a separate and stand-alone "ineligible rate", which means that the statement "Third Party Internet Rates" is a standalone example that is separate from "discounted rates, including, but not limited to, any free night stays". As such, it wouldn't matter if you got a discount, because all "Third Party Internet Rates" are ineligible.

I hope I got my logic right in there, because even I got confused as I was writing it!
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Old Jul 29, 12, 11:28 am   #14
 
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I think a big reason Hyatt does not offer points and stay credit for third party prepaid bookings is to incentivize booking directly with Hyatt.

The commission the hotels pay to agencies can be substantial, so while a room might cost a guest the same rate either way, the hotel makes more money off of direct bookings.
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Old Jul 29, 12, 6:26 pm   #15
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I suspect that the definition of the discount rate doesn't have anything to do with the amount paid but with the channel where the rate was found. Most likely, the hotel you stayed at didn't get the amount you paid. Thomas Cook probably has a discounted rate at the hotel and they just decided to sell it to you and other guests at the same cost as found on hyatt.com in order not to give you an incentive to book directly with Hyatt.
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