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-   -   Cancellation Guidelines Update (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilton-hilton-honors/1627445-cancellation-guidelines-update.html)

Hilton Honors Ambassador Nov 10, 14 6:30 am

Cancellation Guidelines Update
 
Hi all,

I wanted to share a quick update with you. We are updating our reservation cancellation guidelines to a minimum of 11:59 p.m. local hotel time the day prior to arrival, and you will be required to provide a credit card at the time of booking.

These changes will go into effect on January 1, 2015. As always, cancellation policies may still vary depending on the rate or dates of your reservation, and some hotels have more restrictive policies in place, so please refer to your individual confirmations to verify their policy.

We’re making this change so that we can provide you with a more consistent booking process and make more rooms available for when you need last minute travel accommodations.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out within this thread or through PM and I will do my best to share updates with you all.

Thanks!
Erin

cblaisd Nov 10, 14 6:41 am

Thanks for the heads up.

That's an unfortunate decision, though, since in the event of potential misconnects and other airline-related problems, it was nice to be able to do a backup reservation at a hotel that had a 6pm same-day cancellation.

I hope management might consider an exception for Diamond folks, anyway.

Truffles Nov 10, 14 7:00 am

This is certainly helpful for me. I'm fed up with not being able to book a hotel room (whatever the chain) because some people book a room on a contingency basis and then simply cancel on the day after I have already had to make alternative plans. It is galling to learn fro the hotel later that they were not full.

Eagle_and_Hawk Nov 10, 14 7:02 am

I guess it it's past the 11:59PM, day before cancellation, no need to call and cancel if I am going to be charged for it anyway. The hotel can just keep the reservation until check out the next morning. A win-win for Hilton as still get the money for the room, and not have to clean it or provide services/meals that night.

Meanwhile, a traveler who just got their plans cancelled, can't stay there, because there are no rooms available. Not that Hilton will care, as see above......

manneca Nov 10, 14 8:01 am

This is not good news. I agree with the flexibility of being able to cancel day of in case of things going wrong with airlines, etc.

I will often choose a hotel with a 4 pm or 6 pm cancellation policy over those with an earlier cancellation deadline.

dave1013 Nov 10, 14 8:29 am

Erin, thank you for the advance notice.

There are winners and losers here. I can understand Truffles' sentiment; this is a good deal for him/her. I find myself on the other side of the fence.

It's not always possible to get out of Juneau, esp. in the wintertime. I'm sure we are not the only town like this. Though it's better than it used to be thanks to upgraded airport and approach navaids and on-board avionics, we still experience many overflights and cancellations. And then there's mechanicals.....

With this new policy, we are essentially being penalized for conditions that are not within our control.

bigbuy Nov 10, 14 8:49 am

Since me and my girlfriend mostly fly on a standby basis, I will no longer consider Hilton on the first night of my intended arrival. Both me and my girlfriend are former Diamonds, now Gold, so I will inform her (she loves Hilton) also. It's too bad, as Hilton is our preferred chain.
I have found lately that www.booking.com generally has the most lenient cancellaton policies.

hginPHL Nov 10, 14 8:50 am


Originally Posted by dave1013 (Post 23819320)

With this new policy, we are essentially being penalized for conditions that are not within our control.

This.

While I understand why this policy is being changed, not all of us are trying to game the system. The 6pm cancellation policy has helped me on more occasions than I would like given flight cancellations - situations outside of my control.

I also thank you for the heads up, but count me as one who will be looking elsewhere.

Kacee Nov 10, 14 8:52 am

Blindly following Marriott. Nice. Just ensures Hyatt will get even more of my business.


Originally Posted by Truffles (Post 23818937)
This is certainly helpful for me. I'm fed up with not being able to book a hotel room (whatever the chain) because some people book a room on a contingency basis and then simply cancel on the day after I have already had to make alternative plans.

Hotels already account for cancels by overbooking (just like airlines). You will not see any difference in availability due to this change.

fozziedoggie Nov 10, 14 8:55 am

Hi Erin,

I trust that existing reservations for 2015 that currently indicate 6:00pm local day cancellation will not be affected?

Hilton Honors Ambassador Nov 10, 14 9:08 am


Originally Posted by fozziedoggie (Post 23819458)
Hi Erin,

I trust that existing reservations for 2015 that currently indicate 6:00pm local day cancellation will not be affected?

Hi there,

Your reservations will be subject to the cancellation policy in place at time of booking!

Cheers,
Erin

zachary Nov 10, 14 9:26 am

Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never had a hotel actually make me pay when I've had to cancel after the deadline because my flight was cancelled. I just call the hotel directly and explain what happened. They've always let me cancel or reschedule.

3Cforme Nov 10, 14 9:36 am


Originally Posted by HHonorsRepresentative (Post 23818820)

We are updating our reservation cancellation guidelines to a minimum of 11:59 p.m. local hotel time the day prior to arrival, and you will be required to provide a credit card at the time of booking.

As always, cancellation policies may still vary depending on the rate or dates of your reservation, and some hotels have more restrictive policies in place, so please refer to your individual confirmations to verify their policy.

Nice effort at spin, but fail. It's not traveler-friendly in that:

- it's more restrictive than what I see at many properties & rate codes now

- it's not going to be applied consistently as properties can use something yet even more restrictive

Cancellation deadlines do matter. I have found Hilton properties very reasonable when stay plans get upended due to flight problems. If that generosity goes away by corporate edict, too, my stay count will drop precipitously.

BearX220 Nov 10, 14 11:14 am


Originally Posted by HHonorsRepresentative (Post 23818820)
We’re making this change so that we can provide you with a more consistent booking process and make more rooms available for when you need last minute travel accommodations.

It would be more credible to say you're making this change to improve revenue capture, especially from arriving travelers with unforeseen travel difficulties who will now forfeit funds. This change is 90% to the property's advantage, isn't it?


Originally Posted by dave1013 (Post 23819320)
With this new policy, we are essentially being penalized for conditions that are not within our control.


Originally Posted by 3Cforme (Post 23819683)
Nice effort at spin, but fail. It's not traveler-friendly... I have found Hilton properties very reasonable when stay plans get upended due to flight problems. If that generosity goes away by corporate edict, too, my stay count will drop precipitously.

Agreed. I hope Hilton asks itself what aspects of the Hilton experience separate it from Priceline. If I can't cancel a $250 room early on check-in day because my flying plans blew up, why not book a room of similar quality via Priceline at $100? I'm risking much less money.

As for the "nice effort at spin" point... most of us are by now weathered observers of loyalty programs and travel/hospitality provider policies gutted, diluted, 86'd, etc. with bland (if borderline fraudulent) assurances that these "enhancements" are "to better serve our customers." Today's news is perilously close to that sort of doublespeak. As a number of HHonors members have said, good initial intentions aside, a rep who traffics in see-through spin is going to create net negative energy here.

Truffles Nov 10, 14 11:18 am

I may be missing something here, and I am far from being an apologist for Hilton, but I can fully understand their stance on no longer allowing same-day cancellations if the practice of booking a room just in case there are flight or other travel problems is as widespread as it seems from the above comments. While they can overbook, just like airlines, if there is inclement weather they would end up not only having to accommodate more bookings than there are rooms, but they also have no rooms for all the other travellers affected by the weather.

On the other hand, this practice, for al I know, may only affect airport properties, so perhaps there is room for Hilton to finesse the requirement by limiting it to certain hotels only.

dave1013 Nov 10, 14 11:40 am


Originally Posted by Truffles (Post 23820254)
I may be missing something here, and I am far from being an apologist for Hilton, but I can fully understand their stance on no longer allowing same-day cancellations if the practice of booking a room just in case there are flight or other travel problems is as widespread as it seems from the above comments. While they can overbook, just like airlines, if there is inclement weather they would end up not only having to accommodate more bookings than there are rooms, but they also have no rooms for all the other travellers affected by the weather.

On the other hand, this practice, for al I know, may only affect airport properties, so perhaps there is room for Hilton to finesse the requirement by limiting it to certain hotels only.

This is true in the case of poor weather at the hotel's location. Not so much for the location from which the traveler is departing. It doesn't matter if, for example, it's sunny or below minimums at Seattle - if I can't fly out of my town because the weather crapped out here then I will be penalized.

craz Nov 10, 14 11:44 am


Originally Posted by bigbuy (Post 23819434)
Since me and my girlfriend mostly fly on a standby basis, I will no longer consider Hilton on the first night of my intended arrival. Both me and my girlfriend are former Diamonds, now Gold, so I will inform her (she loves Hilton) also. It's too bad, as Hilton is our preferred chain.
I have found lately that www.booking.com generally has the most lenient cancellaton policies.

Although I dont fly on a SBY basis, last year many 1st nights had to be CXed , since I wasnt able to reach my destination due to flights being CXed or missed due to the snow. All this mean sto me is not booking with Hilton ever again for my 1st nights stay or any time Im not 100% positive that my plans wont be changing. This is especially true for Intl reses, where by the time you find out your flight has been CXed its already passed 11:59pm where you were heading to

Just another DUMB Greedy move on Hiltons part

Sorry but I dont believe a single word of the Spin Doc (HHRep) its simply just anyway Hilton has thought up of adding to its bottom line. Time to move on from Hilton and never look back, seeing 135,298,298,298 pts per night for an award stay wont be missed. Ever since they took away the Diamond force and then teh fixed amount of miles Ive been staying with Marriott where Im about to cross into LTP status.Not that MR hasnt had its share of negations but no where IMO as Hilton has done

manneca Nov 10, 14 11:44 am


I may be missing something here, and I am far from being an apologist for Hilton, but I can fully understand their stance on no longer allowing same-day cancellations if the practice of booking a room just in case there are flight or other travel problems is as widespread as it seems from the above comments.
I don't think the above comments reflect a practice of booking a room in case of travel problems. At least for me, I book a room intending to stay at my destination. It is almost never an airport hotel. (If I am overnighting, then I do book an airport hotel). But if something goes wrong and I can't get there, then under the new policy, I can't cancel and I'm stuck.

I've missed connections and had to cancel right before the deadline. Not an airport hotel.

manneca Nov 10, 14 11:46 am

Someone is going to post that this is what trip insurance is for.

craz Nov 10, 14 11:51 am


Originally Posted by manneca (Post 23820406)
I don't think the above comments reflect a practice of booking a room in case of travel problems. At least for me, I book a room intending to stay at my destination. It is almost never an airport hotel. (If I am overnighting, then I do book an airport hotel). But if something goes wrong and I can't get there, then under the new policy, I can't cancel and I'm stuck.

I've missed connections and had to cancel right before the deadline. Not an airport hotel.

Problem is say youre heading to London thats 5 hrs ahead , you better not book a flight that leaves after 6pm east coast time since thats 11pm UK.If you do and your flight CXs any flight after 7pm will mean having to eat the hotel night, its worse when youre heading to Asia or DownUnder where its 12-14 hrs ahead that would mean having to fly out by 9am to be covered. Or simply book at any other chain and know if things hit the fan they will understand (unlike Hilton) and CX your 1st night (or only night) at no charge to you.

tkelvin69 Nov 10, 14 11:54 am


Originally Posted by Eagle_and_Hawk (Post 23818947)
I guess it it's past the 11:59PM, day before cancellation, no need to call and cancel if I am going to be charged for it anyway. The hotel can just keep the reservation until check out the next morning. A win-win for Hilton as still get the money for the room, and not have to clean it or provide services/meals that night.

Meanwhile, a traveler who just got their plans cancelled, can't stay there, because there are no rooms available. Not that Hilton will care, as see above......

Thanks for not calling and keep that room from being used by another traveler. :rolleyes: The reason someone can't stay there is because "YOU" opted not to call not because Hilton wants it go go empty.

BearX220 Nov 10, 14 12:01 pm


Originally Posted by tkelvin69 (Post 23820456)
Thanks for not calling and keep that room from being used by another traveler. :rolleyes: The reason someone can't stay there is because "YOU" opted not to call not because Hilton wants it go go empty.

Actually, the reason is that the guy paid for it and Hilton won't let him cancel and free up the room. Since the hotel is keeping his money, what ethical rule requires him to expend more effort contacting the hotel so it can sell the room twice and make even more money?

Hilton should contemplate the law of unintended consequences. Adversarial stance begets more of the same.


Originally Posted by manneca (Post 23820415)
Someone is going to post that this is what trip insurance is for.

They always do. :) But if you buy trip insurance for, say, 20 trips per year and use it once, it's going to be far more costly than eating one night's lodging. Especially if you bought it for cheap on Priceline. ;)

mrow Nov 10, 14 12:37 pm


Originally Posted by HHonorsRepresentative (Post 23818820)
please feel free to reach out within this thread or through PM and I will do my best to share updates with you all.

What a cruddy policy...do let us know if the bean counters reverse it! Otherwise big :td: to Hilton for this move!

Eagle_and_Hawk Nov 10, 14 12:42 pm


Originally Posted by tkelvin69 (Post 23820456)
Thanks for not calling and keep that room from being used by another traveler. :rolleyes: The reason someone can't stay there is because "YOU" opted not to call not because Hilton wants it go go empty.


I have never had to cancel a room the same day in 25+ years of road warrior & leisure travel. My point is if this is the stance Hilton is going to take, there is the flip side of it. Maybe I "thought" I was not going to make it to the hotel, and it was past cancellation. Then, 5-6 hours later, the plans change and I get there. Since I am stuck paying for a reservation, then I expect to be able to check in, all the way up until one minute before check out. Now if I cancelled the reservation that morning under the current rules, and my plans changed, then my own fault and I have to take what I can get.

The hotel could be losing more money because I did not physically check in. What if I decided to eat dinner or spend $$ at the bar with friends. They kept the room rate, and lost other revenue that might have been spent by someone actually staying.

It's not cut & dry, just two different views of what they are doing and I am sure in their mind, it's what profits the most.

ChinaShrek Nov 10, 14 1:05 pm


Originally Posted by manneca (Post 23820415)
Someone is going to post that this is what trip insurance is for.

So true.

Rebob Nov 10, 14 1:06 pm

My Diamond Status will be in Jeopardy
 
My only cancellations have been because I could not physically get to the hotel, primarily because of flight disruptions. I will have to take this policy into consideration when travelling next year and look for more travel friendly accommodations. Anyone know offhand which chains do not have this archaic policy?

BearX220 Nov 10, 14 1:43 pm


Originally Posted by Eagle_and_Hawk (Post 23820780)
The hotel could be losing more money because I did not physically check in. What if I decided to eat dinner or spend $$ at the bar with friends. They kept the room rate, and lost other revenue that might have been spent by someone actually staying.

Whereas if a Diamond or other high-value customer is the victim of this policy once, and takes his/her business elsewhere as a result, the hotel has squandered thousands in future revenue to hang onto a few bucks here and now. Screw-the-customer policies like this never seem to account for the lifetime value of some of the customers on the receiving end.

shadowbozo Nov 10, 14 1:47 pm


Originally Posted by BearX220 (Post 23821118)
Whereas if a Diamond or other high-value customer is the victim of this policy once, and takes his/her business elsewhere as a result, the hotel has squandered thousands in future revenue to hang onto a few bucks here and now. Screw-the-customer policies like this never seem to account for the lifetime value of some of the customers on the receiving end.

I wonder if this even applies to Diamond members. If so, Starwood here I come.

Sometimes factors make it so you can't get to the city where the hotel is. Usually, I call the property directly or the Diamond desk. Hilton will be shooting themselves in the foot with frequent business travelers.

FlyinDutchman Nov 10, 14 1:56 pm


Originally Posted by HHonorsRepresentative (Post 23818820)
Hi all,

I wanted to share a quick update with you. We are updating our reservation cancellation guidelines to a minimum of 11:59 p.m. local hotel time the day prior to arrival, and you will be required to provide a credit card at the time of booking.

These changes will go into effect on January 1, 2015. As always, cancellation policies may still vary depending on the rate or dates of your reservation, and some hotels have more restrictive policies in place, so please refer to your individual confirmations to verify their policy.

We’re making this change so that we can provide you with a more consistent booking process and make more rooms available for when you need last minute travel accommodations.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out within this thread or through PM and I will do my best to share updates with you all.

Thanks!
Erin

Just another 'enhancement' like we see in the airline business.... Bad news for most of us

Just wondering what 'enhancements' will be next....

So the price of the Easy cancellation rate will go down? Since it's less special as it is less flexible? .... I bet not

FlyinDutchman Nov 10, 14 1:57 pm


Originally Posted by shadowbozo (Post 23821156)
I wonder if this even applies to Diamond members. If so, Starwood here I come.

Sometimes factors make it so you can't get to the city where the hotel is. Usually, I call the property directly or the Diamond desk. Hilton will be shooting themselves in the foot with frequent business travelers.

Interesting. Will look into Starwood indeed.

steppie Nov 10, 14 2:04 pm

No more Hilton for me.......!

sleasure Nov 10, 14 2:10 pm

Add another HH Diamond to the list of dissatisfied Hilton customers. :td:

I understand that there are frequent travelers who have placeholder bookings, etc., but there are more of us who are truly fit the road warrior profile, especially the Diamond folks. As an example, my plans for today just changed and I will end up 500 miles from where I thought I would. This didn't happen for any reason other than business needs. I probably only cancel a reservation quarterly or so, but this policy would definitely impact where I stay.

I'll be well over 200 nights BIB this year in total. There is a reason that Hilton gets only a percentage of my business. This just adds on - and may end up being the final reason that I needed to quit bothering Hilton brands. I like to feel appreciated as a customer, rather than penalized for not following the business' policies. Way to win loyal customers, Hilton!

tryathlete Nov 10, 14 2:13 pm

Dear Erin,

You can count my last reservation as a farewell. I've been Gold now for a few years, and never book elsewhere, but with this change, we are no longer partners.

United Airlines provides me with Marriott Rewards Gold status as part of my benefits as a 1K frequent flier (actually they provide this to gold status members). That's where all my stays are going to be scheduled effective immediately. Too bad because I've enjoyed the value of HHonors for the last several years.

As a frequent flier who is in hotels every week, and whose itineraries can change at the drop of a hat, I have free same day changes to my flights. I cannot imagine Hilton thinking this change through properly and coming to the conclusion that customers, particularly loyal customers, will simply absorb this increase in cost.

Rescind, and I'll be back, but do it fast.

ILovetheReds Nov 10, 14 2:14 pm


Originally Posted by cblaisd (Post 23818870)
Thanks for the heads up.

That's an unfortunate decision, though, since in the event of potential misconnects and other airline-related problems, it was nice to be able to do a backup reservation at a hotel that had a 6pm same-day cancellation.

I hope management might consider an exception for Diamond folks, anyway.

+1. In the past if I had a flight have an irops situation I would simply call the property or diamond desk and they would cancel the reservation with no penalty or allow me to arrive a day late with no penalty (sometimes I had to provide the flight number but that was fine). Is Hilton going to continue to allow this diamond unwritten benefit?

If a flight cancels it is out of our control and if it's due to weather in the city the property is in, chances are the hotel could also use the room for people stranded in that city so it was a win/win situation. If I am going to be charged for the room and my flight cancels due to bad weather I'm certainly not going to call Hilton to cancel so they can sell it and collect twice.

Very bad move on Hilton's part. Or at least exempt Diamond's fro mthis change.

tryathlete Nov 10, 14 2:21 pm

Now I see Marriott has the same policy. Hyatt? Time to look outside for a partner who can handle my schedule variations.

N965VJ Nov 10, 14 2:27 pm

Glad to see the FT tradition of harumphing off to greener pastures is alive and well in this thread. :rolleyes:



Originally Posted by cblaisd (Post 23818870)
I hope management might consider an exception for Diamond folks, anyway.

Doesn't seem like that's likely, but I would really like the Diamond Desk to retain the ability to cancel reservations without penalty. This year I've only had to do it once, for the stupid reason of forgetting to cancel when my plans changed. Something was preventing them from being able to do it, but they figured out a workaround in the system on the fly. ^




Originally Posted by Rebob (Post 23820922)
Anyone know offhand which chains do not have this archaic policy?

I'm also a Marriott Plat, and see same day cancellation on some properties, but not all. Last year I booked a stay at a Vacations property with a two day prior policy. I felt like I was living dangerously. :D

If you need the big footprint of Hilton, and Marriott does not have enough flexibility for you, I guess IHG would be the next place to look. Just a guess though; I've not stayed in a IHG property in years.

craz Nov 10, 14 3:19 pm

[QUOTE=N965VJ;23821374]

I'm also a Marriott Plat, and see same day cancellation on some properties, but not all. Last year I booked a stay at a Vacations property with a two day prior policy. I felt like I was living dangerously. :D
[QUOTE]

A vacation prop (time-share) or a resort has always had CXs that werent day of. Ive had plenty of MR reses that by the time I landed back in the US and misconnected it was past the CX day of cutoff, yet either calling the hotel or the Plat desk was all I had to do res was CXed w/o any penalty, most times they didnt even want my PNR or flight info, they accepted it as fact. IMO Hilton wont be like this, and if I dont CX by 11:59pm the night before they will charge me, maybe not but Im not gonna chance it as others have said time to use up any remaining pts and hit the road.

3Cforme Nov 10, 14 3:41 pm


Originally Posted by Rebob (Post 23820922)
Anyone know offhand which chains do not have this archaic policy?

That question serves to highlight the issue. We have enjoyed cancellation policies set by the property (and specific rate code, sometimes). Now Hilton (and Marriott, I hear) has implemented a ceiling that is much less generous.

AFAIK, there is no corporate Starwood policy on cancellation deadlines. (They can vary quite a bit from business locations to resorts. Some Starwoods do impose an idiotic early departure fee, so it's not heaven.)

LongingForORD Nov 10, 14 7:34 pm

I just want to ask, (so don't scream at me) how many of you have called a Hilton property after getting delayed due to Irrop (weather, MX, ect..) after the 4 or 6pm cut off and did NOT have them cancel or re-schedule for you?

I have only had to cancel after the cancel time a couple of times in +25 years of travel and the hotel has always been accommodating (either canceled or re-scheduled).

I would also be interested in Hilton's stand on Irrop situations. (ie: you supply the flight #'s, ect..)

Arthurrs Nov 10, 14 8:32 pm

It's unfortunate that Hilton is copying Marriott with this policy. Seems like some Hilton properties already require a 24 hour (or longer) notice for cancellation, and those few where I needed to change my reservation *after* the deadline has passed (even ones past the 6 pm deadline) have been accommodating to this diamond member, and if not, the diamond desk figured something out for me. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I'm holding on to my diamond status. It would be a really nice gesture if HHonors would make an exception to this rule a benefit for their most loyal customers.


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