A report posted by FlyerTalk member flyingweekly indicates that — in an apparent attempt to become more environmentally friendly — guests at Hilton Garden Inn hotel properties will no longer receiving copies of USA TODAY. Rather, hotel guests will instead receive access to the newspaper via the Internet. This supposed new policy is purported to be gradually implemented throughout the entire Hilton Garden Inn system.
Some people prefer to have a newspaper awaiting them outside their hotel room door in the morning with which they can enjoy a cup of coffee in peace and quiet before their day begins. Others are constantly on the run and have no use for a newspaper, as they have no time to read it. Perhaps some people keep the newspaper to be used as reading material during a flight aboard an airplane to pass the time. As for me — well, I fall somewhere in the middle, as sometimes I like to have a newspaper to read either in the hotel room or aboard an airplane, while other times I do not…
…and then there are some people who literally create a federal case out of automatically receiving a newspaper in the morning as a hotel guest, as this guest of the Hilton Garden Inn Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, California did last year.
Then again, perhaps the supposed new policy of Hilton Garden Inn will prevent potentially embarrassing situations resulting from the “naked newspaper grab” from occurring.
The usual policy at the properties at hotel chains is usually to leave a copy of a newspaper outside the door of the hotel room of a guest — especially when the procedure is part of the complimentary benefits of a guest who has attained elite level status. For those guests who do not have elite level status, they can refuse the copy of the newspaper being delivered to their door and have a nominal charge deducted from their final hotel folio — usually anywhere between 50 cents and a dollar per day.
Especially interesting is that Hilton Worldwide and USA TODAY had announced back in May of this year that they had entered into a multi-year print and digital alliance where Hilton Worldwide became the “first hotel company to align with national newspaper to offer guests exclusive access to online news, with additional travel and entertainment content.” In this press release sent to me this morning by a contact of mine at USA TODAY who wishes to remain unidentified, it clearly states that “copies of USA TODAY, the nation’s top-selling print newspaper, will continue to be available for guests.” It also states that “Hilton HHonors members will also have access to premium online entertainment through the Hilton HHonors guest portal, powered by USA TODAY. Hilton HHonors tier status will determine the extent and variety of media available to each member, which, upon full launch, will include books, magazines, games, and other entertainment content.”
Should staff at hotel properties no longer automatically leave a newspaper outside the doors of the hotel rooms of guests? Even if this policy is confirmed, should Hilton Garden Inn hotel properties still provide newspapers in the lobby area for those guests who want a physical copy? Will this policy have a significant positive environmental impact, or is it yet just another way of a hotel chain to save money?
What are your thoughts?