The Myth of Diamond Saturation

Old Feb 7, 15, 6:42 pm
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The Myth of Diamond Saturation

Loyalty Lobby had an interesting article that purports to highlight the breakdown of loyalty members across the Hyatt Gold Passport program:

http://loyaltylobby.com/2015/02/05/l...tinum-diamond/

We can do some back of the envelope calculations based on this data:
  • Out of 16,500,000 million total HGP members, 2,900,000 stayed at a Hyatt hotel in a given year.
  • Out of those, there are 37,000 active Diamond members
  • Diamond members stay an average of 40 nights a year
  • HGP members account for 35% of all room nights (roughly a third)

A simple calculation based on an average of 500 rooms per hotel gives us the number of Diamonds on a property at any given time to be approximately eight (37,000 people * 40 nights/ 500 rooms / 365 days in a year), or less than 2% of the total occupancy (500 rooms / 8 Diamonds).

Another way to look at it is that 1.3% of the active HGP membership are Diamond members. But since two-thirds of the rooms rented out at hotels are taken by non-members, even if there's a concentration of 10 times more Diamond members than normal, they would only occupy 13% of the third, or less than five percent of the total occupancy.

While some people loudly lament the flooding of "fake Diamonds" into their favorite properties, the hard data just does not bear this out.
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Old Feb 7, 15, 7:11 pm
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Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
A simple calculation based on an average of 500 rooms per hotel gives us the number of Diamonds on a property at any given time to be approximately eight (37,000 people * 40 nights/ 500 rooms / 365 days in a year), or less than 2% of the total occupancy (500 rooms / 8 Diamonds).
500 is the number of hotels in the Hyatt portfolio, not rooms per hotel. Hyatt actually has closer to 550 hotels if I'm not mistaken.

37,000 Diamonds which average 40 nights per year therefore account for about 1.5 million nights. If Hyatt has about 550 hotels than, on average, you have about 7-8 Diamond members at any hotel at any given time. closer to 7 than 8. I estimate it would be more than 10, or even 15, at a random Grand Hyatt or most of the top-tier Park Hyatt - and less than 5 on a random mid-week night at the other brands.

And I'm actually surprised there are 37,000 Diamond members. Seems a bit high, especially since one can not get this status via credit cards.
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Old Feb 7, 15, 7:26 pm
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While this is certainly interesting, I'm pretty sure that there are peaks and valleys for award redemption, so that looking at the average number of nights and applying them equally throughout the year across all the properties seems pretty pointless. You can also add to this that since award stays are not counted as "nights," I'm not sure exactly what these numbers are supposed to mean.

If one were to simply look at the Hyatt FT property threads for total views, one might get a much better sense of which properties get a concentration of attempted award redemptions, and, judging by the increasing difficulty of scoring a DSU suite even a year out at some of these properties during vacation periods, compared to the relative ease with which one could get an award suite for the same room 6 months out 5 to 10 years ago, well, that might need some explaining as well.
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Old Feb 7, 15, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingOutTLV View Post
500 is the number of hotels in the Hyatt portfolio, not rooms per hotel. Hyatt actually has closer to 550 hotels if I'm not mistaken.
Fair enough, but that doesn't have an effect on the calculation of average percentage of Diamond members on property.

Originally Posted by nhwiki View Post
If one were to simply look at the Hyatt FT property threads for total views, one might get a much better sense of which properties get a concentration of attempted award redemptions, and, judging by the increasing difficulty of scoring a DSU suite even a year out at some of these properties during vacation periods, compared to the relative ease with which one could get an award suite for the same room 6 months out 5 to 10 years ago, well, that might need some explaining as well.
I don't think your limited, anecdotal evidence invalidates the data. For every person that posts here having a problem, there could be another person that has an easier time with benefits than normal and consequently doesn't feel the need to post about it.
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Old Feb 7, 15, 11:34 pm
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My experience also is that getting DSU's in 2014/15 is very hard, even at relatively unpopular properties and locations. I have resorted to two stays for 2015 where I have accepted the DSU being on only 2 of the 3 nights I am there and so room hopping in order to get the suite. These are Waikiki BTW/Grand NY.
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Old Feb 8, 15, 12:13 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingOutTLV View Post
And I'm actually surprised there are 37,000 Diamond members. Seems a bit high, especially since one can not get this status via credit cards.
I thought it would be much higher, judging by the number of Flyertalk members who claim Diamond status. Given we FTers collectively are a tiny sub-set of actual travelers, I would have extrapolated to a much higher number of Diamonds worldwide.

That said, 7-8 Diamonds per night per Hyatt does actually feel about right, if slightly high. Of course one can never really know who is in the lounge because they paid for it, and who is a Diamond...

Apples and oranges I know, but I was just in a resort town Hilton where I could scan the list every morning at breakfast when signing in to see who had status, and most days there were only a couple of Diamonds. But considering how large HHonors is, I would have expected more...
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Old Feb 8, 15, 12:22 am
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Originally Posted by Markie View Post
My experience also is that getting DSU's in 2014/15 is very hard, even at relatively unpopular properties and locations. I have resorted to two stays for 2015 where I have accepted the DSU being on only 2 of the 3 nights I am there and so room hopping in order to get the suite. These are Waikiki BTW/Grand NY.
That situation will hopefully ease throughout 2015 with the expiration of the unsuccessful 2014 Diamond Trial DSUs.
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Old Feb 8, 15, 12:28 am
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Originally Posted by stargold View Post
That situation will hopefully ease throughout 2015 with the expiration of the unsuccessful 2014 Diamond Trial DSUs.
If it doesn't, that would be proof that the fake Diamonds never made much of a difference.
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Old Feb 8, 15, 12:52 am
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I really don't care about other Diamonds. I'm solely concerned with my own travel.

If you care that much, just look at housekeeping's print out on their cart.
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Old Feb 8, 15, 1:33 am
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Housekeeping knows who the Diamonds are? Why would they need to
know?
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Old Feb 8, 15, 1:41 am
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Originally Posted by kevino View Post
Housekeeping knows who the Diamonds are? Why would they need to
know?
Because VIP levels are printed on the manifest. It will even tell you what amenities are being delivered to each room.
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Old Feb 8, 15, 1:43 am
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Originally Posted by kevino View Post
Housekeeping knows who the Diamonds are? Why would they need to
know?
Diamond amenity, note from GM, etc.
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Old Feb 8, 15, 5:03 am
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Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
While some people loudly lament the flooding of "fake Diamonds" into their favorite properties, the hard data just does not bear this out.
Generic numbers can be interpreted and twisted any way you want... they are almost meaningless to support such a claim, especially if you are trying to make it more specific by stating something like "favorite" properties.

Diamonds generally "compete" for benefits at the high end properties, no one cares how many Diamonds are visiting at a HP. So that's the first thing where averages become meaningless.... especially if you consider that less than 30% of global rooms availability is branded above the HR label. And even that varies wildly among regions with the Americas having only 18,5% of the PH, Andaz, Hyatt and GH rooms available worldwide (Dec 2013 numbers).

I would tend to say that on average the HR properties are not really relevant for this discussion. A lot of nights are spent here since the HR label alone is about 50% of all rooms worldwide, but most properties are less than aspirational and especially in the US you normally get a pretty crappy lounge and not much else. 30-35% of US properties are HP/HH's (that's 20-25% of all rooms available worldwide) and while some nights will be spent there (I have no clue how much, maybe more than I can think of for those looking for a cheap qualifying night) they are meaningless for benefits.

So with an average spend of Diamonds somewhere around $300 per night a lot of those nights (all relative of course) will be at those "favorite" properties. That's where you are competing for meaningful benefits/upgrades and use of most DSU's. And since those things tend to be scarce one or two additional Diamonds staying there at the same time can have a big impact on availability... e.g. the influx of Diamond trails members using DSU's at the Andaz Maui was hard to deny. That's where the number of Diamonds staying at the same time can significantly impact your chances of getting an upgrade. And that's not even considering that a lot of us are looking for those upgrades when on vacation instead of on business, so time of year can also play a major role.

The number of rooms is also wildly inaccurate.... Dec 2013 had something like 145,000 rooms worldwide, that's less than 300 rooms per property on average, not 500.
And even there averages tend to be a bit meaningless since there is a wide variance among properties and labels with an HP having normally less than 200 rooms and a lot of the HR's having 500+, or even 1000+ rooms. No easy way to count the number of suites unfortunately....

So even with these numbers I would tend to say that things like a Diamond trail and the free credit card nights can have a significant effect on someone's favorite property, since for most of us those will only make up something like 5% of the properties worldwide.

Last edited by RTW1; Feb 8, 15 at 5:17 am
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Old Feb 8, 15, 7:11 am
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[QUOTE=hailstorm;24310548

I don't think your limited, anecdotal evidence invalidates the data. For every person that posts here having a problem, there could be another person that has an easier time with benefits than normal and consequently doesn't feel the need to post about it.[/QUOTE]

Goodness, that comment seems rather uncharitable, don’t you think? I mean, I didn’t feel the need to point out the silliness of the title of the thread “The Myth of Diamond Saturation” based on data that has little or no relevance to anything meaningful to folks here on Flyertalk.

Especially since all these numbers and silly extrapolations are based on averages, they are next to meaningless, especially when it comes to award redemptions and such that actually matters to most folks here. I tend to think that yes, based on my limited personal experience, and I’ve only been a GP member for 20 years or so, that award redemption has become much more difficult as of late, especially for the last few years. One might chalk that up to a better economy, more GP members, more fake diamonds, or any number of other factors, but my experiences seemed to be shared by more than a few other long time folks here, that’s all.
Just by quickly looking at the most active threads here in terms of properties and award redemptions, and thinking about the overall number of diamonds versus available rooms during high demand times, it’s pretty easy to see how some properties have changed their policies about awards, especially using DSU’s. Those policies are not anecdotal at all, and point to things a lot more relevant to most Diamonds than overall GP membership numbers for the entire chain, when it sure seems like a lot of us are trying to redeem points or certs at the PHT or Vendome or Kauai or some other place where we actually want to use the benefits, and not the Buffalo Regency in January.

But I certainly don't think that based on the numbers presented here, however interesting one might find them to be, you can to jump to the conclusion for the title of the thread, "The Myth of Diamond Saturation." Try using a DSU at a decent property at a time you might want to actually be there, and then get back to me. I'm 0 for 2 for in 2015 at 2 properties I've consistently been using DSU's for for the same dates, and I'm trying to book as soon as the dates are available, about a year out.
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Old Feb 8, 15, 7:18 am
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Originally Posted by nhwiki View Post
Try using a DSU at a decent property at a time you might want to actually be there, and then get back to me.
Grand Hyatt Tokyo January 2014 (New Years): 2 nights, success
Park Hyatt Tokyo May 2014 (Golden Week): 2 nights, success
Andaz Maui August 2014: 3 nights, success
Park Hyatt Tokyo December 2014 (New Years): 2 nights, success
Hyatt Regency Tokyo Summer 2015: 7 nights, success

Mostly aspirational properties (and I personally find the Hyatt Regency Tokyo Atrium Suite rather aspirational)

But I guess my anecdotal evidence means nothing because you are having problems, and it's your experiences that deserve to be extrapolated.
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