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Consolidated "Best Strategies for Receiving an Upgrade" thread

Consolidated "Best Strategies for Receiving an Upgrade" thread

Old Mar 12, 06, 7:29 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: HHonors Silver, SPG Preferred Plus
Posts: 11
Consolidated "Best Strategies for Receiving an Upgrade" thread

Wise FT community,

Although I'm somewhat new to this whole scene, I have been obssessively lurking and reading FT posts. One question that I have in regards to Hiltons (maybe it's the same for all hotels) is exactly how to go about securing an upgrade. Assuming I've booked a room from their website that I'd be happy with if I didn't get the upgrade, what is the best move to try for an upgrade? Just ask the front desk? E-mail beforehand? And would the procedure be different if I were a mesely Silver vs. Gold? Obviously I know the chances of success would be different, but I just mean how to go about it (is it even possible for a Silver to score an upgrade?)

I swear that I've done hours of searching on this topic and read probably every post written on it. There are tons of posts about upgrades, but in my experience not many on the actual mechanics. If I've missed something, my apologies. But I know the FT community gets mad when somebody doesn't do their research before asking a question and I just wanted you all to be sure I've done what I can.

Hopefully this question is not out of line or in the wrong place, etc. I would greatly appreciate any responses.

Thank you!
UCLA_Tico is offline  
Old Mar 12, 06, 8:17 pm
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Somewhere in picturesque New England
Programs: WN Rapid Rewards, DL SkyMiles, UA MileagePlus, HiltonHonors
Posts: 765
Originally Posted by UCLA_Tico
One question that I have in regards to Hiltons (maybe it's the same for all hotels) is exactly how to go about securing an upgrade.
Upgrades are generally not guaranteed (as on airline flights, for example); they are largely dependent upon availability upon check-in and the willingness of the hotel to upgrade you (which can depend on the hotel's own internal policies and/or the knowledge, willingness, etc. of the check-in desk clerk). Your status, which should be in your reservation record, should trigger the check-in clerk to give you an upgrade, but this isn't always the case--I always specifically request it, too, and show the clerk my card.

In my experience I've found that most Hiltons do a pretty good job of upgrading their guests, but the extent of the upgrade (i.e. from standard room to "preferred" room, standard level to exceutive level, etc.) can vary signficantly. Upgardes can sometimes be hit or miss, hence the grumblings often posted in this forum about a hotel here of there that did not meet expectations.

Silver members are not eligible for upgrades (though some hotels have an HHonors floor that's often a little better than the standard floors and Silvers can get a room here). Per the HHonors rules, only Golds and Diamonds get upgrades.
senatorgirth is offline  
Old Mar 12, 06, 9:02 pm
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: SFO
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold; Hilton Diamond; National C ar Executive Elite
Posts: 732
Request it at the desk...

I've done the following as both a Gold and currently as a diamond to secure an upgrade:

1) request an upgraded room by writing it in the comments field when making the reservation (online most of the time)

2) Call the front desk either the day before or the day of checkin to check on the availability of upgrades

3) Request an upgrade at the front desk at check in

At most of the properties I've stayed at the upgrade has been automatic...I didn't really need to follow any of the steps above...examples of some auto upgrade properties: The Drake Chicago, HGI Ithaca NY, Hilton Del Mar CA, Hilton Sandestin FL, DT Del Mar CA, HHV.

Other properties I was sure glad I followed the above 3 steps since I would never have gotten a better room unless I had personally asked for it: example HS Chicago, ES Frisco TX.

You can't go wrong using my 3 steps...if you're a Gold or Diamond. Out of luck if you're Silver...
Hotel_junkie is offline  
Old Mar 13, 06, 12:23 am
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: 80 countries across the world
Programs: some, * alliance, OW, ISIC,
Posts: 1,336
To answer the op's question,

to a certain extent, it depends if the hotel pre-allocates rooms before check-in or assign rooms on check-in. If the assignment of rooms is done before check-in or the night before, you would have to ensure that maybe a call to the property to see if they have yr updated status and so on would be in order. If the property is experiencing high occupancy, they may/usually refuse to re-allocate rooms even for diamonds/golds.

But that being said, if you are after an upgrade to a suite, officially its nil. The revised t & C states upgrades for diamond and gold members but exclude suites. So, golds and diamonds get lounge access.

So, i guess the question to the op would be, ru after a bigger room or lounge access? if its a bigger room, chances are zero, lounge access maybe.
trekkie is offline  
Old Mar 13, 06, 1:12 am
Four Seasons 5+ BadgeHilton Contributor Badge
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: YVR
Programs: Hilton*D, Marriott*LG, Hyatt*G
Posts: 6,268
I had decent success in getting upgraded when I was Silver..... about 20% of the time and each time it was upon request at check-in. Upgrades have been far better and consistent since I have become Gold.
luxury is offline  
Old Mar 13, 06, 3:35 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: HHonors Silver, SPG Preferred Plus
Posts: 11
Who to Ask

Originally Posted by luxury
I had decent success in getting upgraded when I was Silver..... about 20% of the time and each time it was upon request at check-in.
Interesting. And when you request at check-in, for either Silver or Gold, do you just talk to whoever is at the desk, or is it ever smart to ask to talk to the manager (i'm clearly not experienced... is the person in charge of this sort of thing at any given time called the manager or is there some other title)?

For example, I'm taking the Bar Exam near Los Angeles in July and will probably stay at a Hilton. I'm only a Silver, but do you think it would be worth my while to e-mail the Hilton and say: "Hey, I'm taking the bar. Obviously I'm happy with the basic room, but just in case it turns out that you have an extra upgrade and nobody else to give it to for whatever reason, I would love to have it and obviously it would super appreciated. Just wanted to put my name out there just in case."

Or is that a waste of their time and my time. Thanks again learned FT community.
UCLA_Tico is offline  
Old Mar 13, 06, 5:24 pm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 134
I always ask for an upgrade from the person who is checking me in. Sometimes they will go and check with a manager but I personally never ask for the manager. It can't hurt to ask.

For your bar exam I'd recommend that you request a room away from an elevator, not facing a pool and far away from foot traffic so you can get a good nights sleep.

Good luck and go Bruins!
hhonorsjunkie is offline  
Old Mar 13, 06, 10:09 pm
Join Date: Feb 2006
Programs: AA Platinum, HHonors Gold VIP
Posts: 379
I got decent upgrades as a Silver and lots of time at decent Hiltons I was upgraded to a suite or Exec Level (Orange County, San Antonio, Houston). Now that I'm gold I pretty much expect exec level at the minimum and haven't been disappointed.
jmplatinum is offline  
Old Mar 14, 06, 6:57 am
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Texas
Programs: HHonors Gold, UA 1P, CO Elite
Posts: 96
It never hurts to ask ahead of time...they usually say "that's determined when you check in and availability"...so check in early
redeeming is offline  
Old Mar 14, 06, 7:40 am
Join Date: May 2002
Location: DTW
Programs: HH Diamond
Posts: 1,933
Wirelessly posted (My IV to the Net: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0) BlackBerry7250/4.0.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1)

I think that how you ask is almost as important that you actually ask (confirm) that you are being upgraded / have been upgraded.
infinityplusone is offline  
Old Mar 14, 06, 7:46 am
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Texas
Programs: HHonors Gold, UA 1P, CO Elite
Posts: 96
It helps to smile sweetly, give eye contact, expect nothing, have a calm voice (especially over the phone), and initiate caring conversation....
oh yes how we should be living anyway...
redeeming is offline  
Old Aug 28, 09, 11:11 am
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 70
Upgrade Tactics

Hello to all,

Was recently comp'd Gold HH status from scratch, can't remember how exactly (!) but may have been something to do with Amex;

I've read the master thread but still have a couple of newbie q's;

i) In trying to benefit from the upgrade to executive floors and therefore lounge access, is the normal tactic just to chance booking the cheapest room available and hope for a space available upgrade to executive floor?

ii) Do you check for executive floor availability yourself just prior to checking in, just in case they try and fob you off at reception claiming that there is no availability?

I, of course, understand that there does need to be some availability!

Losing my Hilton virginity at London Metropole next week, then might take Mrs Bombo to Dubai Jumeirah back end of September.

bombo is offline  
Old Aug 28, 09, 11:41 am
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FRA
Posts: 588
Hi Bombo,

Welcome to Hilton ^

First of all, my experiences is there's no consistency in getting an upgrade or any other VIP benefits you should be entitled to. To find reliable information I suggest you do a search about the specific hotel here on FT.

Your idea of booking the cheapest room and hoping for an upgrade is indeed the right way. Keep in mind, that lounge access is guaranteed for Diamond VIP's only if you've set your on-property VIP benefit to room-upgrade.

Since I became Diamond not one hotel gave me the story "sorry, no upgrade due to booked Executive Floor". While being Gold, it happened pretty often.

Checking right prior check-in might help, but keep in mind, that might become a huge hassle. Are you willing to argue whith some Front Desk Agent while on vacation?

Hope you have a great trip!

Last edited by servus; Aug 28, 09 at 11:58 am
servus is offline  
Old Aug 28, 09, 11:45 am
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: DFW
Programs: Marriott Life Titanium, Hilton Diamond, United Silver, DL, IHG Plat, etc.
Posts: 2,878
Sorry to say the whole upgrade benefit and its loose defintion is a real weak point in the program. What it usually comes down to is the local property's policy and/or the front desk attendant's decision. Freqently they'll pre-package your check-in as an Elite member and that package will have an upgrade of some sort but its far from guaranteed. I've made a standard practice of asking when I check in.
pmaddock is offline  
Old Aug 28, 09, 11:56 am
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,530

If you are looking for an upgrade, make absolutely sure that you have indicated this as your selected "MY WAY" benefit for Hilton Hotels.

Keep your expectations low when you visit Dubai. The Jumeriah is very popular with the wealthy Gulf area locals and you may only end up with a T Shirt and a free buffet meal
Bondiboy is offline  

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