I had my NEXUS interview last weekend at the Blaine, Washington enrollment center. Admittedly, the Canadian officer was rather puzzled by my place of residence in New York but went along with it after I explained why I wanted NEXUS: “I find cheap airfares for weekends and go jetsetting. I’d like to visit Canada with minimal fuss at the border.” In an impressive show of government efficiency, I was approved at my interview last Sunday and received my card this past Thursday. Since I got into the Seattle area on Friday night, I went hotel hopping to score two last hits for the U.S. Airways Grand Slam. I managed to find two Hotel Sierras (now owned by Hyatt) in the area at $90 per night two weeks in advance. While I didn’t manage to find a third Hyatt stay in my schedule to stack the “Possibilities” promotion, these stays worked out nicely as other hit-eligible hotels in the area had more expensive rates. When I checked-in, the front desk clerk recognized my Hyatt Diamond status and asked for my choice of Diamond amenity: 500 Hyatt Gold Passport points or a $5 market credit. With no desire to eat an overpriced bag of candies or a drink, I took the points. The clerk was also able to tie my US Airways number to the stay. From my reading of Hyatt’s policies, it is necessary to do this at check-in rather than in advance as Hilton allows. I booked a king bed studio and received one. Hotel Sierras seem to have marketed themselves more into the extended stay arena and feature kitchenettes:
I woke up rather late so I came in to the breakfast area right at its official close time (10AM), so it meant that they had stopped putting out more food. Since I was going to be meeting a friend for lunch, this wasn’t that much of a problem. I was able to grab a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee and be on my way.
During StarMegaDo3, the existing Hyatt Diamonds raved about the value of having a private line agent. A few weeks ago, I decided to request to have one assigned to me without fully recognizing the immediate value. I now do. On Tuesday evening I noticed that my stay for this hotel had credited to Hyatt (according to FlyerTalk, this is apparently typical with Hyatt) and without the Diamond amenity, so I sent an email over to my PLA. I received a response the next day asking for confirmation of my US Airways number and found that everything had been taken care of a few hours later when I checked my Gold Passport account. No phone calls. No hold music. No frustration at ensuring my Gold Passport number is recognized by the automated prompts. Asynchronous, yet responsive interaction is something I wish I could have with the airlines I fly.