Hilton Honors has just launched a very impressive response to the coronavirus crisis. The company has really stepped up to the plate here and put down a marker. It will be VERY interesting to see how Marriott, IHG and Hyatt respond.
What is Hilton doing about your status due to coronavirus?
Here is the one I didn’t expect:
If your status was due to be downgraded on 31st March 2020 (as mine was – I was due to drop from Diamond) you receive an automatic extension to 31st March 2021.
This is really very generous. After all, people who did not requalify due to lack of nights in 2019 did not do so because of coronavirus. The only real loss has been the inability to use my status during February and March 2020.
Given that Marriott Bonvoy has just dropped me from Titanium Elite to Gold Elite, I can see Hilton getting more of my business later this year.
If you earned status during 2019, you will keep it until 31st March 2022
If you have status now due to your stays last year, you don’t need to worry about requalifying before the end of 2020. Your status is locked in until 31st March 2022.
This is a smart move. People who did make an effort to requalify last year won’t feel let down by the fact that people like me have been gifted an additional year regardless.
There are two other announcements:
All points expiry has been paused until 31st December 2020
This isn’t really a big deal, since it was incredibly easy to avoid expiry anyway. This article explains how to stop your Hilton Honors points expiring.
For US credit card holders, all free night awards earned by 30th August 2020 will be extended to 31st August 2021.
What are the Hilton rebooking rules due to coronavirus?
Hilton has also extended its coronavirus rebooking policy:
ALL bookings at Hilton hotels, even non-refundable ones, for stays up to 30th June can be changed or cancelled up to one day before arrival
All NEW reservations you make between today (25th March) and 30th June 2020 for ANY future arrival date can be changed or cancelled at no charge, up to one day before arrival
For clarity, this means that there is no reason not to book a cheaper Advanced Purchase room whenever you are booking a Hilton property up to 30th June, for any future date.
If you cannot make the change you need online, you can submit a request via this page of the Hilton website. This only applies to bookings made directly – if you used a non-Hilton website or a travel agent to book you will need to speak to them.
Taken overall, I don’t think anyone could have expected more from Hilton. Let’s hope that we see some similar moves from other chains. With Hilton refusing to drop status for anyone it will put pressure on the other brands to act.