Hilton has historically been very good about honouring your status benefits if you book via a third party site such as Expedia. Whilst you won’t receive Hilton HHonors points or stay credit for your room rate, you would generally find that – as a Hilton Honors Gold – you received an upgrade, free breakfast and free wi-fi.
You could argue that this makes good business sense. After all, if you have hotel status, you have presumably shown loyalty to that chain in the past via booking directly. It is not your fault if a client insists on booking you a room via a third party or if a hotel is cheaper on Expedia but in a way which means the Hilton best rate guarantee does not apply (eg Expedia says 11am check-out and the hotel site says noon check-out).
You may remember that I successfully got my Hilton benefits on a stay in Munich a year ago even though it was booked via hotels.com.
The rule change means that Hilton properties no longer have any obligation to do this. This doesn’t mean that, overnight, all of the hotels will stop doing it but in time it will filter down.
The exact wording that has been added into the rules is:
On-property benefits are not awarded in the following circumstances:
Reservations booked through a non-Hilton Worldwide-direct booking channel or a non-designated GDS, third party website or any other channel, Rates available on “opaque” websites where the hotel brand and specific hotel are not known until the booking is made, or Third party hotel packages or travel packages not booked through one of the eligible channels.
Hyatt remains the only major chain which retains a policy of awarding on-property status benefits irrespective of how you booked and irrespective of whether your room rate will earn points.
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