Among a spate of updates that Hyatt announced for an upcoming Hyatt Place brand overhaul, there was news last week that the properties soon would start offering a new free breakfast benefit to business travelers. And while true, there was a catch: Free breakfast would be limited to World of Hyatt loyalty program members who book direct.
It’s only a small hoop to jump through — any person off the street can join World of Hyatt in the time it takes to ride down an elevator — but there’s significant meaning behind the restriction. In forcing guests to join its loyalty program, Hyatt is effectively getting users into its system, collecting data on their habits, and opening a marketing and loyalty relationship with each person.
Moves like this have already happened in the in-room Wi-Fi space. InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott, and a handful of other brands all offer free connectivity for loyalty members while other perks like local attraction discounts and free Kindle books are also on offer. Put another way, small perks that could really be for free are now being used to purchase your loyalty.
Indeed, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor
Skift Stories and More Expert Insight
Why Luxury Hotels Spend So Much Time Choosing Bathroom Amenities: The process behind selecting bathroom amenities is an exercise in brand alignment, especially in the luxury space. Top hotel companies have been known to get themselves in a lather about choosing the perfect product line.
Hawaiian Airlines CEO on Staying Small While Withstanding Competition: To thrive as a full-service U.S. airline, a carrier must be all things to all people, taking customers everywhere they want to go, on their own aircraft or through partners, with enough frequency to satisfy business travelers. But one U.S. airline doesn’t seem interested in bulking up.
Marriott CEO on Tech Giants: ‘We Are in an Absolute War for Who Owns the Customer’: When asked last week about competing with technology platforms like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorensen described the situation in battle-like terms.
What Accor’s Interest in Air France-KLM Means for the Travel Industry: Nothing is official yet — far from it. Or as AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin said last week: It’s “a bit too early” to speculate. But the possibility of Accor buying up the French government’s 14.3 percent stake in troubled airline group Air France-KLM is garnering plenty of industry interest.
Where Does Air France-KLM Go From Here? Until Air France-KLM implements a long-term cohesive strategy, it probably will keep falling behind its main competitors.
Emirates Plans Will Add Premium Economy Seats to Match Rivals: Emirates aircraft are synonymous with luxury, offering premium-class passengers a shower on board and a bar while cruising at 30,000 feet. Now the carrier wants to give some legroom for those flying coach.
Japan Airlines Is Going After AirAsia With Its New Low-Cost Service: Japan Airlines has decided to go head-first into the home turf of Asia’s largest low-fare carrier.
United’s 737 MAX Lavs Are Just as Bad as American’s: Just as with the sinks on American’s 737 MAX 8s, despised by crews and passengers alike, United’s version is so compact that you can’t reasonably wash both hands at once.
Skift Business of Loyalty Editor Grant Martin [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.