Proactive Service from Hyatt and American Airlines

I’m always looking for companies that provide good service. I will gladly cut back on other areas of my budget if it means I need to pay more for good service because, quite frankly, bad service makes me grumpy. I don’t like being grumpy, and the people around me definitely don’t like me when I’m grumpy.

So if you’ve just recently started reading this blog and haven’t caught on to this trend, I hope you now understand why I favor certain brands. I like saving money, but it just isn’t the only thing that drives my decisions when I travel. Cheap points from IHG and Club Carlson aren’t enough by themselves to make me stay at their hotels.

But in return, I love showering praise on those who do a good job. Even when I flew on United, I wrote four letters to 1K Voice complimenting employees for every one complaint.

Recently I was changing some Points + Cash awards I had booked with Hyatt for a family vacation to Hawaii this summer. I have two rooms each at the Grand Hyatt Kauai and the Andaz Maui and needed to change the number of guests and bed type when one person dropped out. I thought it was all processed easily enough but later that day I logged on and noticed there were 50,000 points too many in my Gold Passport account. (I had spent 200,000 on 16 room nights total, leaving me with just 127, so it was pretty hard to miss.)

I sent off a tweet before bed, amused at the error and relating it to Hyatt’s “Surprise and Delight” campaign, but I didn’t really investigate the cause because I was pretty sure what it was. I’d leave that for tomorrow.

Tomorrow came, and I found I had a tweet, phone call, and email from Gold Passport checking in on my reservation. They knew who I was and apparently had already identified the problem. So now I know that Hyatt has linked my blogger identity to my personal account (…not really a surprise; I’d do it, too, if I were them). But looking past that I am really impressed that they made such an effort to look into the problem and try to fix it for me on a Saturday.

In another example, I had an upcoming trip from Honolulu to Los Angeles on American Airlines. I was surprised to receive an email alerting me that that the Admirals Club was shared with the Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge. The email included directions, a map, and opening hours. Wandering Aramean pointed out that this is not new. I wouldn’t know since I’ve only flown through Honolulu once before. But if it’s not new, that makes it even more impressive.

I don’t have an Admirals Club membership though I am an Executive Platinum member and was flying on a paid business class fare. Maybe that helps explain why they reached out. Even so, lounge access is not an included benefit for that particular route and fare class. My guess is someone at the lounge desk had free time on his or her hands and decided to send out an email to customers passing through on a future trip. But after visiting the lounge, which does, in fact, have some very friendly agents, it’s really not that surprising anymore.

So kudos to Hyatt and American. Your creepy data mining efforts to track my social media accounts and upcoming travel plans may not have been strictly necessary, but they did impress this customer and make me even more likely to recommend you to others.

Fare Sale: SEA/PDX to Boston on AS, AA, and UA for $218-260 (3.9-4.4 CPM)
Stay for 5,000 Points/Night with New IHG PointBreaks List Tomorrow

Scott created Travel Codex after learning how to travel better on a budget during grad school. He now flies over 150,000 miles every year.
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  • SC

    So did Hyatt let you keep the extra 50K points or deducted it?

    • Scottrick

      No. It was an error because they’d booked different rate type when I was trying to fix one of the reservations earlier that day and had redeposited the points.

  • Carl

    While the staff may be friendly, the AA/JL lounge at HNL is pretty awful in décor and in food and amenities. And not only are the bathrooms outside, they would not be out of place at a bus station.

    • Scottrick

      True… But better than sitting in the terminal, which actually _is_ a bus station if you consider the Wikiwiki heading everywhere.

  • http://upgrd.com/RegionalFirst Brad (Regional First)

    Interesting points about your online identity having an affect on the response you get from programs. I’m sure its a factor. I’ve never had the confirmation of the same in my experience. Obviously, my blogger profile is several tiers below yours. I’ve been pretty fortunate with hotel upgrades, particularly with SPG, and maybe its a factor, but it could just as easily be related to elite status.

    • Scottrick

      True. It’s not something I’m sure I know best how to address. I’m sure it’s possible that my position as a blogger had something to do with it, but I like to hope any individual would get similar treatment, or at least another individual with similar elite status.

      For the record, I never tell anyone on a plane or at a hotel I write this blog. One of the managers asked to meet me when I checked in at Waikiki and said she put me in one of the new rooms they’re renovating. But even then, it could be because I’m a Diamond guest, so I held my tongue and said nothing.

      • http://upgrd.com/RegionalFirst Brad (Regional First)

        Agreed. I haven’t made any airline or hotel aware that I’m a blogger either, but their data mining may come into play. It’s not hard to figure out. I’d hope good service is for everyone, especially those with status.

        • Scottrick

          That is my goal. I can’t stop them from data mining, but not all employees take advantage of that. I can at least try to avoid introducing additional bias.

  • Shane

    FWIW, AA will tie your twitter/blog to your AA#. You’ll find that out as you spend more time with them.

    • Scottrick

      I’m pretty sure AA’s Twitter team knows who I am. But in this case it was a form email. No less impressive that someone made an effort to create such an email and send it to guests passing through.