A LoyaltyLobby sent us an email about a $1,400 charge that Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill had charged for a free award night that the reader could not use due to illness.
You can access Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill here.
READ MORE: World of Hyatt Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Reader’s Email To Us:
I am a Globalist member.
I took the opportunity of taking up a free night and booked free night.
I did not use free night and could not get there because I was ill.
I was then charged $1400+ for the free night because according to below if you don’t turn up you need to pay full price for something that is free.
This is complete madness.
And I also get points or recognition for it
Reader’s Email To Hotel:
There should not have any bill. This was a free stay and I also did nay end up staying as I was ill. I would appreciate refund to my American Express Card as soon as possible.
As per records we have you booked with us for arrival 06th May 2023 and came up as non-arrival.
We have no record of your booking is no longer required therefore the 1 night no show fee was charged.
Please note that when a booking is on free night stay or points when it becomes a no show the rate changes to Hyatt Daily Rate as part of the World of Hyatt Terms and Conditions.
I have spoken to our Front Desk Team to see if we can waive the charge, unfortunately I was not give the permission to do so.
I am sorry for not being able to accommodate you request on this occasion.
This situation is unfortunate, and the reader doesn’t have very good options.
If you have a Hyatt reservation that is NOT prepaid or has NOT been charged, you can easily modify the stay date a few months to the future without a fee and cancel later. However, the reader had an award reservation to a Hyatt hotel that they did not use or cancel.
The hotel gets award reimbursement only for a reservation where the guest checks in. If the hotel is sold out and the room is kept for late arrival, there is a loss to the hotel; they don’t get money from Hyatt for the stay and cannot resell it.
Relevant part World of Hyatt Terms and Conditions:
Award Reservations are subject to the cancellation policy of the applicable hotel or resort. These policies vary by hotel and resort and each hotel’s and resort’s cancellation policy can be found on the page for that hotel or resort within hyatt.com (or miraval.com, as applicable), by calling the hotel or resort directly, or by contacting a Hyatt Global Care Center. (Please see hyatt.com for contact information.) If a Member cancels an Award Reservation in compliance with the applicable hotel’s or resort’s cancellation policy, any corresponding points that have been deducted from the Member’s account (or the applicable award) will be returned to the account within approximately three (3) days of the cancellation. If a Member does not follow the proper cancellation policy for the applicable hotel or resort or if a Member does not check into the hotel or resort when scheduled, the credit card provided with the Award Reservation will be charged the Standard Rate then being offered by that hotel or resort on the date charged in accordance with the hotel’s or resort’s cancellation or no-show policy and any points/award redeemed for the applicable Award Reservation will be returned to the Member’s account, except that – if for any reason the credit card provided with the Award Reservation cannot be charged – Hyatt reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to (a) attempt to charge any other payment method we have on file for such Member and/or (b) retain (or deduct from the Member’s account) the points or award redeemed for the applicable Award Reservation.
We can argue whether charging the guest for the night’s price is fair, but I believe that it should be clearly disclosed during the award booking process.
I just had a look at the emails that I have received for Hyatt award reservations, and none disclose the exact amount:
So what is this one-night fee, and what is it based upon?
UPDATE: After we published this piece, we received an update from the reader that this issue has been resolved with the hotel.
Reader’s Additional Email To Hotel:
1. You are going to charge for something that is free.2. I do not use the free offer that I have accumulated and then get charged for it.3. The hotel has triple dipped in making a profit firstly by being allocated the price of the room and then by reselling the room and then charging me as well.4. I then pay close to $1500 Australian for the pleasure of not staying in a hotel room which is supposed to be free.5. I then receive your response noting that the free night cost me over 60 nights the year before in stays and that the charge was also not recognised as a stay nor points granted for it.6. What should happen is that that you refund me money paid and I get allocate a new free night or points in lieu and be given an apology before I need to take further action not only legal but to publicise how I am being treated.
Greetings from Churchill.
Thank you for your email, and please accept my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience caused by the charges. I understand your frustration and would like to assure you that your loyalty to Hyatt and being a valued member of the Globalist are greatly appreciated.
I am happy to inform you that, as agreed, we have refunded the charges. I have also sent an email to World of Hyatt to ensure that the free night award is reinstated in your account, which you can redeem at any other Hyatt property or at our hotel.
In the future, please feel free to contact me directly for any assistance with your reservations. I will ensure that you have the most comfortable stay possible.
Thank you again for your loyalty to Hyatt, and I look forward to welcoming you back soon.
It is a very unfortunate situation that the reader has with Hyatt.
I would approach this from the angle that the exact no-show penalty was never disclosed during the booking process, and I have a tough time believing that a night at this specific Hyatt Regency would ever cost $1,400.
As the reader is a Globalist, they should contact their Hyatt Concierge and open a case.
There are always horror stories with award cancellation fees, but they are usually centered around a couple of Marriott properties that deal with them very aggressively, even in case of flight delays and cancellations.
Have you had any experiences with no-show Hyatt awards, and whether you were charged or not?
UPDATE: I am glad that the reader was able to resolve the issue with the hotel. But this case exposed the ambiguity of these no-show penalties when it comes to award nights. The exact amount is not disclosed anywhere.