Understanding Hotel Hustle award alerts

I've written quite a few times about Seth Miller the Wandering Aramean and Hotel Hustle, his tool for searching for award space across hotel chains.

Like most (all?) his online tools, it's undocumented, which means it requires quite a few rounds of trial and error before you get the hang of its, shall we say, nuances.

Just yesterday I discovered another one of those nuances that I thought readers might appreciate.

A Hyatt property can have any of three flags — or none of them

As a newly-minted Hyatt Diamond, I've been doing a lot of searching for Points + Cash rates to fill out my travel schedule for the year, and to do so, I've spent a lot of time using Hotel Hustle.

To understand how Hotel Hustle views the universe, you have to treat every Hyatt property as having 3 possible "flags" in a true or false position:

  • Flag #1 asks, "is there a cash rate available?"
  • Flag #2 asks, "are there rooms available for all-points redemptions?"
  • Flag #3 asks, "are there rooms available for Points + Cash redemptions?"

If there are rooms available for all-points redemptions there should be cash rates available, but the same is not true for Flags #3 and #2; in the course of researching this post I discovered a property with Points + Cash availability but with no points-only redemptions available.

(As an aside, I'm sure I could call Hyatt and have them book me into an all-points redemption, but Hotel Hustle operates based on what's available on the website — no bargaining allowed.)

Hotel Hustle treats each combination of flags differently

Say I'm interested in visiting Philadelphia on July 25, 2016, which happens to be the first day of the Democratic National Convention. Here's what Hotel Hustle shows me when I narrow my search to Hyatt:

It looks like Hyatt doesn't have any properties in Philadelphia, so I'm out of luck.

But a bit earlier in the year, say, this Saturday, my results look different:

It turns out Hyatt has all sorts of properties in Philadelphia! That Hyatt Place in Mt. Laurel looks promising, but unfortunately it doesn't have any points-only or Points + Cash award availability.

Of course, if I arrive a few days earlier, I might be interested in spending some time up in Plymouth Meeting:

I'm in luck! Points + Cash rates are available, securing me a precious stay credit towards requalification.

Making sense of Hotel Hustle flags

Each of the above pictures illustrates a particular combination of flags, each of which you need to understand to get all the information you need from Hotel Hustle.

The first picture illustrates the situation when none of the flags are "true:" Hotel Hustle will not help you. You cannot configure any kind of alert for a property that does not have any rooms available for cash.

The second picture illustrates a situation where only Flag #1 is "true:" Hotel Hustle will allow you to set an alert for points-only award availability in the righthand sidebar or, if you can locate the property on the map and click on it, set an alert for Points + Cash award availability.

The third picture illustrates the (unusual) situation where Flag #1 and Flag #3 are "true," but Flag #2 is "false." Hotel Hustle does allow you to set a points-only alert in the righthand sidebar, but it only allows you to view Points + Cash availability by locating the property on the map and clicking on its icon.

Points-only and Points + Cash are different alert types

What if you're not interested in qualifying or requalifying for Diamond status with Hyatt and just want to save some money on your next Hyatt stay?

In the second picture above, you can see that you can create both points-only and Points + Cash award alerts through Hotel Hustle. But if you are indifferent between the two, you need to create both types of award alert.

If you select "Manage Alerts" you can see which kind of award alert you've created. If you want to be alerted when either a points-only or Points + Cash awards become available, your "Manage Alerts" page should look like this:

The "C&P Alert?" column designates whether the alert is for Points + Cash or a points-only award availability.


I poke fun at Seth for not documenting his web apps, but in all fairness, even if he did I wouldn't read the documentation.

At the same time, since I just figured out how this worked I suspect there's a chance it will be of value to some of my readers!