I have found that the best way to resolve a travel-related customer service issue is to contact the company on Twitter. I’m not saying you should blast out your travel grump in a public tweet, even if that’s an effective way to get their attention. If you want assistance and not just to air your frustration, it’s better to ask for help politely or even better to send a direct message.
One of the best Twitter teams belonged to Delta Airlines but earlier this year they stopped answering messages on social media platforms, telling everyone to use the website-based chat function. Fortunately, other companies still monitor their Twitter, with some of them having a dedicated handle for customer service questions. In my opinion, the best of these services is the Hyatt Concierge.
Striving to make a difference for our guests. We are just a tweet away 24 hours a day!
That’s the type of service I like. I don’t write to them about every little thing. If I can handle something myself, I’ll do it. However, there are situations outside the norm where I need some help. Sure, I could pick up the phone but who should I call? The hotel? Corporate? World of Hyatt? That’s where the Hyatt Concierge Twitter team comes in.
I had a possibly difficult situation with Hyatt about one of its hotel’s booking policies. Instead of trying to resolve it myself, I sent a DM to the Hyatt Concierge. Allow me to set up the scenario.
On November 7th, Sharon and I made a snap decision to go to Washington D.C. to watch the inauguration. We’d never seen one before and while we were still are in the midst of the pandemic, we were willing to accept whatever precautions were required. We’d drive to D.C., eat take-out in our hotel and watch the ceremony on a large monitor back at the Jefferson Memorial, if that was what spacing required.
I did a quick search and found that hotels in Washington were already mega-expensive. I had a stash of Hyatt points from our just canceled Japan booking so I checked and the Grand Hyatt had rooms for 15,000 points a night. This was a large number of points but since rooms were going for over $400 a night, it was a good value. When booking the room, I did notice something different about the cancellation policy.
Refunds and changes are not allowed. I know this is typical for special events, but even these restrictions have been relaxed during the pandemic. We agreed that we were going to Washington and booked anyway.
As it turns out, many things can change in six weeks. While in early November we took a trip and felt OK if we acted safely. Now it’s mid-December. COVID cases around the country are at record levels and hospital ICU’s are nearing or over capacity. There are also two vaccines approved for emergency-use, with more in the pipeline. While we’re up to our knees right now, there’s hope we’re nearing the end of all of this. Given the updated scenario, we were having doubts if the trip was still worthwhile.
The tipping point was a note we received from our congressional representative. We’d sent an email to her asking for tickets to the inaugural. While they originally asked for our info, the most recent one said that while they’d love to have everyone in Washington D.C. to celebrate, that would be the least responsible thing to do at the moment. Therefore, they were asking constituents not to travel to Washington D.C. in January.
Based on this suggestion and our own doubts, we decided to not go after all. That meant I had to figure out what to do about the non-refundable hotel award reservation.
I wrote to Hyatt Concierge and explained my situation. While I knew the hotel said there were no cancellations when I booked in November, this was before the government asked people not to visit the city.
A Hyatt representative responded quickly and asked me to confirm my email address. Once I provided the info, the concierge said that they would contact the Grand Hyatt directly about waiving the cancellation fee due to the circumstances.
The next afternoon I received an email from the hotel’s operations manager letting me know the reservation was canceled and points returned to my account. I also received a DM from the Twitter rep saying that everything should be straightened out and to reach out if I needed any more help.
It took me less than three minutes to write a DM on Twitter that resulted in me getting 60,000 World of Hyatt points redeposited into my account. The Hyatt Concierge contacted the hotel management directly, which is something I couldn’t do on my own.
We don’t get a chance to stay with Hyatt very often. The few times we have, their properties have over-delivered in both the product offered and the service provided. My last two interactions have been about canceling reservations, which they have handled professionally. When we can travel more freely, my recent experiences will have me looking towards staying at Hyatt properties first.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary