Trouble with Awards???

Old Dec 26, 01, 9:07 pm
  #1  
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Trouble with Awards???

Anybody else have trouble trying to redeem a hotel reward???

While I do think Hilton is quite generous on awarding points with double dipping, I have yet to be able to find any dates I need to redeem an award. Granted, I've selected some nice places such as Saint Lucia, Seychelles, New Zealand, etc., but I have tried in off season, too.

One rep looked at ALL annual dates in 2001 and could not find one open space for an award.

I have not had this trouble with Marriott and Starwood, even in great locations. Has anybody else experienced this? Is Hilton's award inventory so inadeqaute?

I have written them via email and have yet to hear from them. Perhaps my gold status doesn't warrant their attention??

I told them all my PAID hotel rooms are now going to be booked with Starwood and Marriott since I'm at least able to cash in on awards.

What's your story?
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Old Dec 26, 01, 10:02 pm
  #2  
 
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I had no trouble booking an award stay at the AKL Hilton about 5 months out (also booked an award stay at the JW Marriott in HKG for the previous week).

Sometimes, it helps to call the hotel directly for overides for particular dates. With today's economy (and occupancy rates), it's very common for individual hotels to be more flexible than what the reservations system shows.
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Old Dec 26, 01, 10:52 pm
  #3  
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After all these years of hearing how hard it is to cash in points, I booked 2 rooms in a major US city for New Years Eve. And at the reduced levels...60,000 points for 3 nights.

Go figure.

Dan
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Old Dec 27, 01, 5:19 am
  #4  
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As a diamond I've never been prevented from getting any award I want at any property. I believe you can only reserve what is available if you don't have the points in your account to cover it yet, but if you do, they can "force" you into almost any property. I'm sure that there are exceptions, but I haven't hit any in NY, CA, FL, etc.
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Old Dec 27, 01, 8:09 am
  #5  
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I had no problem booking the HHV for a 6 night award stay pre-9/11. I needed to change the dates after 9/11 and had no problem either.

Perhaps the size of the resort has something to do with the ease of getting rewards.

Mary
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Old Dec 27, 01, 8:57 am
  #6  
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Are trying to get those places in 2001 ???

Just booked award for stays in 2002 in Brussels, London (2 properties), Paris and Dublin. Not one did I have a problem.

I must say I have never had trouble getting the awards I want but then I usually travel in the Spring or Fall (off-peak??).

Surely one would expect to get awards more easily during the properties' slower periods.
Mike
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Old Dec 27, 01, 9:27 am
  #7  
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I have run into the situation (the Hilton in Cabo for example) where the hotel doesn't offer any rooms ever. They claim they are not owned by Hilton and do not have to "participate". The property is listed on the Hilton Honors web site as available for awards, and when you initially call the agent they tell you nothing is available for the dates you selected. When you press further, they tell you that the hotel doesn't participate ever. I have emailed Hilton regarding this since it seems wrong, but they apparently decided to ignore me.
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Old Dec 27, 01, 9:50 am
  #8  
 
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As I have said in another post I've had little trouble using points although I accept that being Diamond may help. Last week I called the Diamond desk and managed to get 3 nights in NYC Hilton commencing 30th Dec. I was very happy!
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Old Dec 27, 01, 11:54 am
  #9  
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Thanks to all of you for your insight!

Obvioulsy I must be picking properties where they do not particpate (St. Lucia, Seychelles, etc.) Just my luck!

Wish they would tell you that instead of saying "not available" and keeping you on the line for an hour looking at alternate dates that don't even exist!

As a Gold, obviously Hilton does not care about my business, as they have not yet responded to my emails.

To all: Happy New Year!
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Old Dec 27, 01, 12:14 pm
  #10  
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The properties you have listed as far as I know do participate but may also be among the more popular for HHonor members, hence the difficulty in getting awards.

It helps if you are flexible( sometimes very) and try to book well in advance. Availibility is also dependent on local holidays in addition to the US holidays, when I suspect less rooms made available for award stays. Keep calling back (and try the HHonor service center at off-peak hours) I couldnt get a reasonable room in Scottsdale ist week Nov, then 9/11 and rooms rates fell 50% or more.
Mike

P.S. I am only Gold too.

[This message has been edited by MIKESILV (edited 12-27-2001).]
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Old Dec 27, 01, 1:08 pm
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P.S. Everyone and their mothers' are GOLD...it was definitely dilluted during the year with those 2 promos..all it took was a phone call and 4 stays!...EWRDC..and the other which I can't recall the name...I think Hilton realizes this.I went and qualified for Diamond after those two promos and what a world of difference!
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Old Dec 27, 01, 6:41 pm
  #12  
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This has been my biggest complaint about Hilton and a primary reason we switched most of our hotel stays to Starwood.

I still have a couple of hundred thousand points with Hilton though and, while in 1999 and 2000 it seems we couldn't get an award room anywhere, this year we were easily able to get award rooms in Singapore and Tokyo.
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Old Dec 27, 01, 6:55 pm
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My strategy was to make top tier on Marriott,Hilton and Starwood...no problem there as I travel extensively. No I have mega-points in all 3 and can generally get an award wherever/whenever I need . I hate switching ....so I figured this would be the best! They all fail one way or another.
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Old Dec 28, 01, 3:41 pm
  #14  
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Maybe I'm just lucky (I'm Gold), but I've managed to get 6 free nights twice (GLONP) at the Paris Hilton, as well as stays in Barcelona, Cannes and New York. Granted, I generally plan well in advance.
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Old Dec 28, 01, 4:14 pm
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The group I work with and myself are all Diamonds, and most of us have top tier status at other majors. On Nov 30 we all went to CUN, some staying on awards while others paying. One of my co-workers experienced great difficulty trying to book the award stay at the Hilton CUN. Here are the facts: the hotel was nearly empty, he is a Diamond. Tough to figure out?

He had to call back 3 times in order to get his room. I enjoy the HH program but I have more choices then patience.
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