Friday, November 11, 2011

Rant: Hilton Premium Room Redemption "Enhancements"

After visiting Maldives twice (click here for Trip Report #1 and Trip Report #2), Bora Bora was on the top of our list of places to visit. We were planning on heading to Bora Bora sometime next year. We had enough BMI miles for the flights and more importantly, we had saved enough (or what we thought was enough) Hilton points for the last 5 years for a 4-5 night stay in Bora Bora.

Looks like this trip might just still end up being on a list. The Hiltons in both Moorea and Bora Bora decided to decrease the availability of “standard room awards” and only premium rooms were available for the next 2 years per a post in flyertalk. Premium room awards were introduced by Hilton Honors to provide access to premium rooms on points. This change was initially well received but it appears that some hotels are abusing this. what is happening now is that some hotels are limiting the number of standard rooms thus leaving only mostly premium room award availability. Our 4-5 night stay in Bora Bora is now only good for one night!

What I hope this hotels eventually realized is that this abuse is just a bad idea in the long term. I will not spend that many points on a premium room and would just use the points elsewhere. I'm currently thinking of Seychelles or Mauritius. Furthermore, they need to realize that people using  points are typically not going to go there and pay cash instead of points for the rooms. I sure can’t afford the $$$ a night room in Bora Bora. Isn’t one of the purpose of award stays is to fill rooms that were meant to be empty anyway? I'm not sure what Hilton Honors pays the hotels for the rooms but it should definitely be better than keeping it empty.  The hotel would also make more some money for expenses incurred at the hotels on things like room upgrades, food and excursions. 

Per updates from Hilton and flyertalk, this is supposedly an IT glitch but after about a month, there's still no standard availability in Bora Bora and worse of all, other hotels such as Hilton Paris are also experiencing this "glitch". At this point, I don't really trust that this is a true IT glitch. The lack of communication and updates from Hilton is appalling and does it take that long to fix a "glitch"?
The simplest fix Hilton Honors is to require the hotels to set aside a certain percentage of rooms as standard awards. If this doesn't get fixed soon, my Hilton points just got devalued pretty quick. I'm still staying loyal to Hilton for now due to the Q4 Free Nights Promo but have been looking at other options.

1 comment:

  1. dreaming of maldives one fine day