Guest Of Honor Awards
Wow, talk about potentially giving Globalists losing status in 2024 one of the best parting gifts ever. I am kind of ashamed I didn't think about this when the Hyatt enhancements were first announced. It has to do with the program's new Guest of Honor awards. While many people thought this was the biggest, and maybe only, negative on the revamp. Now, it might be the biggest win for some World of Hyatt members. ToP Facebook group member Ali kind of opened up pandora's box for me.
Update 1/3/24 – Confirmed!
I heard back from World of Hyatt media relations and they confirmed that people that have Guest of Honor awards in their account will retain them even after they lose their Globalist status. The awards will need to be used by, not booked by, the expiration date. This is great news for many!
What Are Guest Of Honor Awards?
In the past Hyatt Globalists, their top tier elites, could do as many Guest of Honor bookings as they wanted. A Guest of Honor booking essentially gifted their top tier Globalist status, and all the perks that came along with it, to friends and family. It had to be on award bookings, but it was essentially a way to gift your status to others. As with most things, this got abused heavily by a small group of people selling access to their status. Because of that Hyatt recently made some changes.
In enters Guest of Honor awards. You can now earn these as a milestone reward. It works the same way as before, gifting your Globalist status to others, but this puts a cap on how many times Globalists can do it. You need to earn these throughout the year via Milestone Rewards. You can earn up to 10 each year if you choose them as your Milestone Reward along the way.
Realizing this would be a big blow to many Globalists, Hyatt decided to give their most loyal members a head start in 2024. They would add 5 Guest of Honor awards to each Globalist account at the start off 2024. Those should be in your account now, with an expiration of February 28, 2025.
But What If You Are Losing Globalist Status?
This is where things get interesting. The elite status train starts back up on January 1st every year, dropping everyone back to zeros, but last year's status doesn't drop off until the end of February. That creates a bit of an overlap, and for this year, the softest of landings.
That is because even Globalists losing their status come March 2024 received the 5 gust of honor awards. And the awards all show the expiration date of February 28, 2025. The 5 bonus awards is something that is only happening this year, but it is pretty epic. Why? Because you can now use guest of honor awards on yourself too.
That is because you can earn them starting at 40 night milestone awards, well before you actually earn Globalist status. This is brilliant on World of Hyatt's part because it gives you a taste of the good life before you actually have it. That will likely cause people to push harder to hit 60 nights once they see what it can offer.
This Extends Globalist Status For Those Losing It
This is just a working theory by me until I get confirmation from World of Hyatt headquarters. My thinking is that since these guest of honor awards are “earned” that they will stick in the account past when the person loses Globalist status. Much like Suite Upgrade Awards and Lounge Access Awards etc.
Since they can now be used on your own bookings, because of that tempting people with access before they have it milestone award thing, this should extend Globalist perks to those people losing access throughout 2024 and into 2025.
Maybe not entirely, since they would have to have 5 or less stays. But, at least it does for the stays where it really matters. When the people losing Globalist status are staying at resorts or have longer stays at full service properties etc. Most people probably only have a handful of these a year, and those 5 guest of honor awards should cover them.
Guest Of Honor Awards: ToP Thoughts
I'll update this in the next few days when I get definite word from World of Hyatt on the Guest of Honor awards. I believe that my theory is pretty sound and lines up well with what Hyatt has done in the past with other perks. The one thing that gives me pause is that they weren't traditionally “earned” milestones. I just think the pool of people this works for is small enough that they won't focus on it. Plus, those people still would have had two more months of access to Guest of Honor bookings normally. In that way they deserve them as much as everyone else.
In the future someone losing their Gloablist status could try to stockpile a few to create their own soft landing as well.
If this plays out how I think it will then this is the softest landing I can remember for hotel elites losing status. Let me know your thoughts over in the ToP Facebook Group.