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2013 Changes to HH Reward Stays, new cat., more pts needed

2013 Changes to HH Reward Stays, new cat., more pts needed

Old Apr 29, 14, 2:32 pm
  #1141  
 
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Originally Posted by fly0815 View Post
Just returned from a P&C stay booked before devaluation. I ran into the issue of certificate expiration of which I was not been aware of before arriving at the hotel. I tried to check-in, but my reservation could not be found. The reservation was still in my Hhonors account, so I thought it should be a mistake which can easily be sorted out. I was wrong. It took an hour of waiting before the receptionists told us that the reward certificate expired. Therefore I do not have a valid reservation. He offered me a room for the best available rate which was about $500 per night.

I called the Hhonors hotline. They first told me that the hotel should let me check in, but after talking to the receptionist they changed their mind. They told me it was my fault as it is clearly stated in the T&C that reward certificates are valid one year only. Therefore the points used for the booking were lost, but I could do a new reservation on P&C. I was struck dumb! It took another hour of discussion on the phone before they offered me to refund the points of the expired certificate and difference between the current and the old P&C rate in the next weeks.

Back home I just read the German T&C and could not find anything about expiring hotel certificates at all.
Welcome to FT!

What sort of certificate was this? I'm just used to booking the room with points and all the rest is behind the curtain. Did you actually change points to a certificate and then book with the certificate?
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Old Apr 29, 14, 2:57 pm
  #1142  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Originally Posted by orca15 View Post
What sort of certificate was this? I'm just used to booking the room with points and all the rest is behind the curtain. Did you actually change points to a certificate and then book with the certificate?
For discussion of the nature of Hilton certificates (actual? virtual?), at least WRT AXON reward bookings, see post 634 & surrounding discussion from Feb 2013.

Short version: there was a lot of chatter last year about being able to make AXON bookings more than a year ahead. Numerous people, including the post 634 author, warned that reservations of this sort were highly risky & could result in what happened above (showing up to find the room no longer booked/held). And yes, I see that the latest inquiry is about P&C, not AXON, but many of the same considerations/risks apply.
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Old Apr 29, 14, 3:08 pm
  #1143  
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Originally Posted by fly0815 View Post
Just returned from a P&C stay booked before devaluation. I ran into the issue of certificate expiration of which I was not been aware of before arriving at the hotel. I tried to check-in, but my reservation could not be found. The reservation was still in my Hhonors account, so I thought it should be a mistake which can easily be sorted out. I was wrong. It took an hour of waiting before the receptionists told us that the reward certificate expired. Therefore I do not have a valid reservation. He offered me a room for the best available rate which was about $500 per night.

I called the Hhonors hotline. They first told me that the hotel should let me check in, but after talking to the receptionist they changed their mind. They told me it was my fault as it is clearly stated in the T&C that reward certificates are valid one year only. Therefore the points used for the booking were lost, but I could do a new reservation on P&C. I was struck dumb! It took another hour of discussion on the phone before they offered me to refund the points of the expired certificate and difference between the current and the old P&C rate in the next weeks.

Back home I just read the German T&C and could not find anything about expiring hotel certificates at all.
So, I really hate to say "I told you so", but:
Originally Posted by stifle View Post
Anyone making a reward booking more than a year in advance needs to be aware that they are taking a big risk. Any of the following may happen:
  • You may be denied check-in
  • You may be told when checking in that your reward reservation is invalid and invited to agree to pay the rack rate
  • Your reservation may be cancelled sometime between booking and checking in
  • The above, but you may be given the option to pay the extra points between the old and new rates
  • You may be told when checking out that your certificate is invalid and your card billed for the rack rate
  • You may have your card billed for the rack rate some time after you check out
You can blow off all you like about how it was booked at the old rate, but certainly in the first four scenarios the hotel holds the (key) cards and you could end up at a significant inconvenience. In the last two, you might potentially be able to dispute the matter through your credit card, but you could end up out the money for some time.
Originally Posted by stifle View Post
There will be people who show up at hotels and get told "your award cert is out of date".
Despite what some members chose to believe...
Originally Posted by kryten22uk View Post
This is all scaremongering, and factless personal opinion.

There is no hack. There is no loophole. You are simply phoning reservations and making a booking. There is nothing on the website to say that bookings are only valid within 12months, there is nothing in the HHonors T&Cs to say that bookings are only valid for 12 months, and there is nothing in the booking confirmation to say that either. Those are the FACTS.

Its not rocket science for Hilton reservations system to prevent >12m bookings if they wanted, but the fact is that they're freely available to book, and via human beings on the reservation line, not just online.

Over the years, and all will attest to this, I've had all manner of crazy statements by individual agents, so some will nodoubtdly tell you that there is a 12m limit, but I'm more interested in legalities and facts. I'm not saying that I'm right, i'm just saying that at this point in time there is zero evidence to suggest a time limit.
I'm glad to hear you managed to come to an agreeable solution in your case.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 10:59 am
  #1144  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Can I use free weekend nights certificates for a stay past the expiration date of the certificate, as long as I book it before it expires?
TIA
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Old Jan 5, 15, 12:32 pm
  #1145  
 
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Originally Posted by ShakuniMama View Post
Can I use free weekend nights certificates for a stay past the expiration date of the certificate, as long as I book it before it expires?
TIA
An expired certificate will not be valid after the expiration date. I had one booked, but after reading this thread I called the Rome Hilton to ask and was told, NO, the certificate must be valid at the time of the stay.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 12:41 pm
  #1146  
 
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Originally Posted by trekker954 View Post
An expired certificate will not be valid after the expiration date. I had one booked, but after reading this thread I called the Rome Hilton to ask and was told, NO, the certificate must be valid at the time of the stay.
Thanks.
What a shame I could not use two nights cert due to personal circumstances.
Oh well.....life goes on.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 2:32 pm
  #1147  
 
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Originally Posted by ShakuniMama View Post
Thanks.
What a shame I could not use two nights cert due to personal circumstances.
Oh well.....life goes on.
If there's a strong reason (eg bereavement) then Hilton may be able to make some sort of ex-gratia arrangement - no harm in asking in this sort of situation.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 4:45 pm
  #1148  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by EDIflyer View Post
If there's a strong reason (eg bereavement) then Hilton may be able to make some sort of ex-gratia arrangement - no harm in asking in this sort of situation.
Thanks.
Yes, there were.
I PMed the official HHonors Representative without success.
Is there anyone else I should be contacting?.......maybe @ corporate?
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Old Jan 5, 15, 5:08 pm
  #1149  
 
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If you have status then Diamond Desk - if not then try main HHonors CS or Corporate. You could also try them on Twitter/FB.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 5:51 pm
  #1150  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by EDIflyer View Post
If you have status then Diamond Desk - if not then try main HHonors CS or Corporate. You could also try them on Twitter/FB.
Thanks. Will do and report back.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 6:49 pm
  #1151  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
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I was able to get an extension of about 3 months, which was to the end of the calendar year, by calling Customer Service. We had to cancel our reservation to use the award near to its expiration date because of a hospitalization. I can't remember if I had to send any verification.
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