Do I need to ask for benefits?

Old Aug 11, 05, 10:16 am
  #1  
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Do I need to ask for benefits?

Apologies in advance if my question is too basic, but I'm new!

I recently got HH gold and decided it might be worth finding out exactly what my benefits are supposed to be. I had been silver until now and never really noticed any benefits whatsoever... I am wondering whether I should be asking for benefits at check-in whilst flashing my gold HH card, or is the hotel meant to have been expecting me? The reason I ask is that I used to be a platinum Best Western member (still am actually) but I never got any upgrades or "free gifts". I always had to ask at check-in and then they would act like they had no idea what I was talking about. It was all much more trouble than it was worth.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 10:26 am
  #2  
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To some degree, it depends on the property. However, most of the time you should expect to receive your benefits without asking if you have made a reservation using your HH account number. Your HH status will show with your reservation.

On the occasions where you do not receive the proper recognition, it is appropriate to ask nicely. I don't come across many desk clerks who don't know what I'm talking about.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 10:31 am
  #3  
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When I check in, I put my Diamond card on the counter. If the clerk seems unfamiliar with benefits, I ask with a smile: "What do you do for Diamonds at this property?" Or perhaps I ask "Will you be able to put me on the concierge level today?" In general, I am treated very well. There has been a rare case where the clerk is truly nonresponsive. In that case, I'll ask specifically about the benefits to which I am entitled.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 10:54 am
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Varies property to property, but it never hurts to ask if benefits aren't received. If you are staying at HGI's, I find elite benefits are much more consistant there.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 11:33 am
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I was HH Gold forever. If I wanted to take advantage of the gold benefits, it always seemed that I had to "gently remind" the desk staff of them. Sad that I look to a bottled water and pack of Oreos to provide comfort while on the road. My HH Gold # was always in my reservation, but often was overlooked.

However, I recently moved to Diamond. (Thank you, Fast Track!) My first stay as a Diamond was this past Friday at the HGI at the Columbus Airport. Seemingly, there is a difference. While there wasn't an upgrade option at that location, my room preferences were recognized. My $5 coupon was in the key envelope, with Breakfast and some other coupons, as well. While there may not be any correlation, it was nice to check-in and not feel as though I'm begging for a benefit.

I will be in Chicago next week at the Chicago Hilton and I'll see if the improved service continues or if my last stay was just a fluke.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 12:01 pm
  #6  
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If they don't offer them, then ask for the ones you are entitled to and will actually use. They may forget the breakfast (though don't ask for it at a place that gives it to everybody, they will laugh at you) and other things.

If you reserve with your number it will be on the reservation, you don't need to show a card.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 12:18 pm
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Originally Posted by cordelli
If they don't offer them, then ask for the ones you are entitled to and will actually use. They may forget the breakfast (though don't ask for it at a place that gives it to everybody, they will laugh at you) and other things.
Also, a good rule of thumb is to know what you are and are not entitled to. The HHonors website has a comprehensive list of VIP benefits by level that serves as a good guideline as to what to expect at any given brand. This doesn't mean that any hotel won't give you more than is entitled by policy, but this way, you'll know what and what not to expect.

Mike
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Old Aug 11, 05, 1:50 pm
  #8  
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Some places are great - extra attention, more than the basics you are entitled to, etc. while at others you get the basics. At a few, you encounter uncaring management or staff, and I've found it helps to underscore the issue by giving over credit and status card (this is usually followed by "Mr. JDiver, I have your HHonors card and airline in the record already," no harm done.)

On occasion, I have to start inquring and advocating for myself, and as others have said, it helps to know what you are entitled to, what is contingent on hotel status, etc. especially as I've encountered an occasional clerk who has never taken the time to read "the book" and know what we are up for. And don't forget the bennies you have available in the award stay department - managing some of those can save points to spend on other days.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by marlowe
I will be in Chicago next week at the Chicago Hilton and I'll see if the improved service continues or if my last stay was just a fluke.
The only good thing about the Chicago Hilton is the Exec. Check in. If you're Gold or Diamond, you can proceed right to the elevators and check in with the Towers Concierge.

Other than that, I hate the Chicago Hilton. I had issues with dirt and stepping on a toenail.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 2:03 pm
  #10  
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I concur with those who say you should familiarize yourself with the listed benefits, so that you don't expect too much, too little, or the wrong things.

When making online reservations, I always put something in the comment field such as: "Request Gold benefits & upgrade if available. Thanks!"

As I understand it, these comments are usually read by someone on the day you check in (or maybe the day before?), so they possibly help remind them of the status perks you are due.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 2:08 pm
  #11  
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Good of you to point that out, Kathy ^ ! I forgot to - but I always do the same thing. I feel it does help.
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Old Aug 11, 05, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K
When I check in, I put my Diamond card on the counter.

I found that this is the best way to remind the desk clerk of your status without appearing to be a snobby Diamond or a point-hungry Silver. I usually have my credit card and HH card in my hand before I reach the front desk. It also allows them to verify that my HH number is in with the reservation.
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Old Aug 14, 05, 3:48 am
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Originally Posted by KathyWdrf
When making online reservations, I always put something in the comment field such as: "Request Gold benefits & upgrade if available. Thanks!
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Also, if you weren't able to book your preferred room type because of lack of availability, you should note that. For example, you want non-smoking, only smoking was available: "please change to non-smoking if it becomes avail, bed type does not matter" ...heck, noting your room preferences explicitly isn't a bad idea in general... maybe an upgrade will be available, but only with double beds, and you booked a king, but don't really care?

Last edited by MDtR-Chicago; Aug 14, 05 at 3:51 am
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Old Aug 14, 05, 6:52 pm
  #14  
 
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I had a freind and i check in to a HGI on Schaumburg. She did not recive her $5 pantry coupon becuase according to the Receptionist. She was a GOLD HH member not a GOLD VIP HH member. And only Gold VIP HH members got the benefit. YIKES! I had to explain nicely that they were the same,....
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Old Aug 14, 05, 7:04 pm
  #15  
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This was a new desk clerk or one who didn't care to educate herself... Good gravy! (The bad thing is it was reinforced because your friend didn't know and therefore couldn't adequately advocate for herself.)

Originally Posted by HepperSchepp
I had a freind and i check in to a HGI on Schaumburg. She did not recive her $5 pantry coupon becuase according to the Receptionist. She was a GOLD HH member not a GOLD VIP HH member. And only Gold VIP HH members got the benefit. YIKES! I had to explain nicely that they were the same,....
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