Hyatt drops a HUGE change overnight

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💸 Extra airfare expenses simply add up fast. You might spend hours hunting for deals, but prices fluctuate and hidden fees are inevitable. Learn how to dodge six sneaky airline fees! Read more about it here.

Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop, the newsletter as satisfying as hitting snooze on a Monday morning… or Tuesday morning… or any morning, I guess.

Today is a big day, so let’s get started:

😮 Hyatt adds 700 new luxury hotels

I won’t waste your time trying to make jokes here folks…

Because today, Hyatt dropped some MAJOR updates that we’ve all been eagerly waiting to hear about.

And the results?

Well… as usual, there’s good news and bad news. But first, let me give you some background.

Last year, Hyatt announced that they acquired Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a hotel booking platform for luxury hotels.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith Hotels

So we’ve been expecting some sort of integration of those hotels into the Hyatt program but haven’t heard any details until now.

The good news is that this integration adds over 700 new hotels to Hyatt’s portfolio, including some REALLY freaking cool ones in some REALLY freaking cool corners of the globe.

For starters, look at this map of Europe. The blue dots represent NEW Hyatt properties, in addition to all of the ones that existed before today…

New Mr. and Mrs. Smith hotels in Europe

That’s a lot of new options for Europe…

But what I love most about this update is that there are now Hyatt hotels in parts of the world that I never would’ve expected to see.

For example, look at this map of Sri Lanka. Again, the markers here represent NEW Hyatt hotels that are part of the portfolio as of today.

New Mr. and Mrs. Smith hotels in Sri Lanka

What’s especially cool is that there are plenty of new properties in more obscure destinations, too.

For example, there’s now a Hyatt property in Luang Prabang, Laos - a lovely town (that I’ve been to a few times myself) that otherwise doesn’t have ANY chain hotels.

Hyatt property in Luang Prabang, Laos

The other good news (don’t worry, there’s a big heaping piece of bad news coming, too) is that you will earn Hyatt points and elite nights from booking these hotels.

Elite members will even earn the normal bonus points in addition to the five points per dollar that all members earn.

Finally, Hyatt has decided to include Mr. and Mrs. Smith Hotels as a new “brand” in its portfolio.

That means that staying at one of these new properties will count toward earning a free night award through Hyatt’s “Brand Explorer” promotion (which I wrote about in detail in this newsletter).

Hyatt's Brand Explorer Promotion

As you can see, there’s a lot to be excited about with this new announcement.

And now for the bad news…

For the first time ever, Hyatt is pricing award nights for Mr. & Mrs. Smith properties dynamically…

That means that… and this is hard to say… the points price will be tied to the cash price of each hotel. 😬

Since Mr. & Mrs. Smith are generally high-end, luxury hotels, this is basically all bad news across the board as far as award pricing…

For example, on the LOW end of the spectrum, a hotel that costs around $100 per night is pricing out around 11,250 points.

Lower-end pricing with Hyatt's new dynamic pricing

Compare that to the low end of Hyatt’s normal award chart (where hotels can cost as few as 3,500 points), and it’s not fun.

But it gets even less fun. 🤗

For example, really high-end hotels like this one in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, price out at…

…well, I’ll let you see for yourself.

Extremely high WoH award pricing...


I’ll be honest with you - I never thought I’d see the day when a Hyatt hotel would be priced out at almost 200,000 points…

So here’s the bottom line:

I’m still excited about this announcement… it opens up tons of opportunities for continuing to stay at Hyatt properties while earning more Hyatt points and elite nights in hundreds of new places.

However, I’d avoid booking these hotels with points… Overall, you cannot get the same outsize value for your points as you do with the rest of Hyatt’s portfolio.

There are a few other nuances to these new properties that we simply don’t have time to cover today, so I’ll fill you in on the rest when I stay at one of them myself in a few weeks. 😉

You can see a map of all 700 new properties here.

🍪 Tasty Travel Tidbits

✈️ Southwest flash sale (today only)

If you’ve been craving a flash sale lately, you’re in luck… 😏

And that’s because Southwest’s “Wanna Get Away” sale is happening RIGHT NOW. You can save some coin on flights for this spring, summer, and early fall starting at just $49 one-way.

A screenshot of Southwest's home page featuring the flash sale

You must book by today though, and in true Southwest fashion, there are a few things to know about.

First things first, you can book eligible flights between May 7 and November 21… on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

Honestly, nothing says “Southwest flash sale” like only being able to book on a Tuesday or Wednesday 🙃

But are we even surprised at this point?

And keep in mind that those $49 fares do exist, but they’re tricky to find. You can more reasonably expect to find deals in the $60 range—like these flights from Las Vegas to Denver, for example 👇

An example of a Southwest booking from Las Vegas to Denver

I still think those $68 flights are pretty superb, and there are tons of routes I found in that price range.

Here’s a few other details to know:

  • Only “Wanna Get Away” fares are discounted

  • Both cash bookings and award redemptions are discounted

  • A 21-day advance purchase is required

To maximize this further, make sure you’re using a card that’ll earn you bonus points for your airfare purchase.

If you’re a Southwest loyalist, consider using one of the airline’s credit cards. Otherwise, this card (2X points per $1 on travel) or this card (5X points per $1 on travel) will also do the job.

Even with some restrictions, I’ll never not be happy to see a good ol’ Southwest sale, and I hope some of you will be able to take advantage and find a solid deal as well!

That’s all for today, folks! I have a feeling the new Hyatt changes are going to be controversial among hotel loyalists…

And like any good controversy, I want to hear your take:

How do you feel about this Hyatt announcement?

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

See you tomorrow ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W

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