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Goodbye Hilton Honors Diamond VIP Status

Goodbye Hilton Honors Diamond VIP Status

Old Aug 10, 99, 4:01 pm
  #1  
WJP
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Ballwin, MO
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Goodbye Hilton Honors Diamond VIP Status

For all of you who were Diamond members - read on........

I have been a Hilton HHonors member since 1989 and a Diamond member since 1994. (Yes it existed then) Requirements were 15 stays and 25 nights. Even if their rules were unwritten(June 1999 Frequent Flyer magazine) all you had to do was call and ask. I have over 200 stays(many different properties) and 400-500 nights(Hilton lost automated tracking when they changed computer systems)

These requirements were established (as I was told) to ensure loyalty by requiring stays and nights so a person could not 'camp out' at a hotel to get elite status. Well that has all changed.

( I can't figure out why IF Inside Edition played so ignorant in their article on Hilton in June, they had to know the requirements. So it was invitation only, I made it and others could have as well)

Now you can 'camp out' and are not required to have both nights and stays. To me, this reduces the loyalty requirement and bumps up these customers status to 'campers'. Nothing personal against them, but I guess they screamed loud enough to cause these changes and consequently cause a demotion to the loyal people who have traveled to many cities and stayed at countless Hiltons. (Not all-new Diamond members are 'campers' so I salute them for their loyalty).

Us old timers have outlived our welcome and since business is good right now, I guess Hilton sees that as OK. Airlines are doing the same thing. You can read about it every month in IF magazine and it all relates to here and now. Loyalty for years of service does not matter any more. The hard times are over so the newer customers, with skin deep loyalty, will be gone tomorrow or when there is a down turn in the economy.

I voted for Hilton in the Freddie awards, shame on me. There are also other problems with Hilton as well, this is just the most visible. I am also Marriott Gold, should I try for Black? Starwood, are you calling me??

Us veterans(airlines, hotels, etc.), well what does 900,000 HHonors points, 200 stays and 400-500 nights get you....

A DEMOTION - THAT'S WHAT



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Old Aug 10, 99, 5:54 pm
  #2  
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Sorry WJP,

I cannot agree with you. I think that if you spend the time at the property and spend the money, you should qualify for the Elite Level. I know people who would stay a two diffent Hotels in the same city, maybe a Downtown Westin and an airport Sheraton just to get the stays. I don't think it should matter or detract from your status. If you spend nights under their roof, you should get all you are entitled to.
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Old Aug 10, 99, 5:56 pm
  #3  
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WJP, Ever call the HHonors management and vent on them? With the points you have I would feel they should listen. You make my 200,000 look skimpy! I was a little Po'd when they reduced me to Silver because I fell two stays short in 98. However, you have a real case.
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Old Aug 10, 99, 6:02 pm
  #4  
pgupta011
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I have a hard time understanding this post. What is camping out and why is it so bad?
 
Old Aug 10, 99, 8:47 pm
  #5  
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Join Date: Jun 1999
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I was a Hilton Diamond, and have cut back my Hilton stays by 75% in the last year. The standards of the properties are just too variable,a nd the same applies to the staff.. especially as regards owned vs. franchise hotels.

The top tier properties were outfitted well and treated me well... Millenium Hilton, Palmer House, et al. But the hotels in mid size cities could be truly horrible. At some point I realized I was making myself miserable on almost half of my trips just for points. I have over half a million Hilton points that I will only use at Conrad and flagship hotels, or convert for other uses.

Now, I stay at the most logical hotel in a market, regardless of the chain. Still am Hilton Gold, but spend lots more time in other places, and am much happier travelling. For my 2 cents, unlike my affinity to UA, which is deserved and reasonably consistent, Hilton isn't there yet, and wont be till they clean house.

I hope they do. They have the guts of a great company.
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Old Aug 10, 99, 9:50 pm
  #6  
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Hyatt recognizes status by nights or stays. This recognizes that the programs are based, as well as possible on revenue, without saying so. Jobs are different, and so therefore are business travelers patterns. The hotels want the business of those who come a few days at a time and those "campers" that visit less often, but for longer stays. Actually, it would seem that a hotel would be far better off having one stay two weeks three times a year, than 14 stays of 3 days each, let alone 42 one night stands. Lots less clean up, bookeeping, etc. Some hotels offer these campers, paying corporate rates, gifts, like sweaters, wine and other special perks, that are not advertised.
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Old Aug 11, 99, 7:51 pm
  #7  
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This topic hits home. I also believe that the new policy is a slap in the face to loyal Hilton customers. I have been a Diamond member for several years and have found the program to be falling off quite a bit - So here is my comparison, for what it is worth between Starwood Platinum (SP) and Hilton Diamond (HD) -

UPGRADES - SP has always gotten me an upgrade - usually to a suite - With HD, suite upgrades are specifically excluded and very rarely given

CHECKOUT - Most SP properties grant the 4:00 p.m. late checkout option (I have never been denied) - Most HD will charge a day rate after 1:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. and the Hilton policy is to charge $75 for a checkout prior to the date scheduled

CHECKIN AMENITY - The SP "gift basket" may have a few corny snacks - but I sure do appreciate the bottled water when I arrive - especially when it is late - HD provides no amenities or "gift baskets"

INTERNATIONAL TREATMENT - I am treated very well at SP international properties and receive the same treatment that I receive at domestic properties - AT HD - Hilton International properties (except for Conrads) are owned by a separate company and are VERY RELUCTANT to supply Diamond benefits - most claim that their "Execuitve" floors are much different than domestic "Towers" (THEY ARE NOT !!!!) and are not available for an upgrade because of what I call " The HHonors Catch-all exemption" - which is the terminology HHonors uses that excludes "Suites, Villas, and other ""SPECIAL ACCOMODATIONS"" from upgrades - most Hilton International properties that I have dealt with (more than 10 worldwide) rely on this exemption to deny an upgrade - by the way MANY HHONORS customer service reps have told me that they hear numerous complaints regrading the Hilton International Properties' failure to supply Diamond benefits and upgrades

AWARD STAYS - SP - no capacity controls or blackouts - never had a problem - HD I am currently 0 for 9 in my attempts to book award travel - including off peak times with maximum flexibility - this includes non resort or popular destinations - want to stay with an award at the Waldorf - GOOD LUCK

STAY CREDIT - SP - had one instance of failure to receive stay credit and it was handled in about 30 seconds over the phone - HD - folios have to be faxed or mailed and it often requires multiple requests to get done - Many Hilton International properties "forget" to credit stays

Well, I guess I have said enough - I just have to find a way to use my 700,000 HHONORS points and give Starwood my 80 PLUS room nights (usually at corporate rate or higher) per year - Whadda y'all think ? - kazman
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Old Aug 11, 99, 11:23 pm
  #8  
 
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I agree with Kazman. SP has a lot of benefits that most frequent guests appreciate.

Especially room upgrades - so far I have never been denied an upgrade of some sort - from a larger corner room upto a suite with the SP program. At Hilton Gold rarely is decent upgrade given. Also, at a lot of Starwood hotels a nice bottle of local wine is left each day of your stay - a nice touch in my opinion.

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Old Aug 12, 99, 8:21 am
  #9  
 
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kazman, I think you answered your own question. Based on the comparison you did, it looks like a 'no-brainer' to switch to Starwood. You certainly opened my eyes, and I'm thinking about changing a couple reservations I've got to Sheraton/Westin now.
Thanks.
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Old Aug 12, 99, 2:53 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
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Kazman,
thanks for a "wake-up" call. I am a member since 1989, and had to fight to become Gold 2 years ago (numerous faxes, phone calls, e-mails - because lots of properties "forgot" to give me stay credit).
I too never have any luck w/upgrades,service, property locations/quality -- but always assumed it's the same everywhere. I guess it's time to look somewhere else :-)
As far as your miles are concerned - can't you trade them for airline tickets? or transfer to an airline program?
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Old Aug 12, 99, 5:14 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
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I'm new to frequent flying and staying so am learning the ropes on a number of topics. Hilton happened to be convenient for the first few trips I took. The stays went well, so I settled into their program to collect points and stays.

I've noted the complaints against Hilton on FT with some concern. So far I've only had a few minor problems with double dips being credited, but the service has been good and all stays credited. I should make Gold by year's end.

Here's where this is headed: I'll be quite annoyed indeed if a bunch of nitpicking exceptions nullify the stated benefits of Gold VIP. I especially note kazman's comment about the Special Accomodations clause.

The other restrictions on upgrades don't trouble me because they are (as we computer guys say) deterministic. They can be predicted. No suites, and a list of properties that don't offer upgrades can be understood. "Special Accomodations," defined as whatever a property wishes it to mean, is just too slippery.

As I've said, no problems so far, but we'll see what happens in the future

[This message has been edited by QuantumLeap (edited 08-12-1999).]
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Old Aug 12, 99, 5:55 pm
  #12  
pgupta011
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Like QuantumLeap, for the most part I have not had problems with Hilton either. I am gold with Starwood and staying at their property next week - I'll report on what kind of upgrade I will get, but my experience has been - that like Hilton many Starwood properties themselves do not have anything to upgrade to which is tangibly better. I am staying at a Four Points property and I think that there is no Club Level there (we'll see).
 
Old Aug 12, 99, 6:29 pm
  #13  
doc
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You'd think by now that managers/executives would realize that the upgrade to a Club floor or even just a key and access when full is a favorite perk of many many frequent travelers/stayers!
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Old Aug 12, 99, 7:09 pm
  #14  
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Kazman makes a number of good points about Hilton. Perhaps the best one is in regard to award stays. With Starwood moving to no capacity controls/blackout dates and Marriott having a very limited number of blackouts, Hilton's blackout date situation (not even considering capacity controls) is really intolerable. (Sorry, but I can't speak to Hyatt) If you have never had occasion to view the HHonors list of blackout dates, I suggest you spend a few minutes on the Hilton web site where they are organized by month. I don't believe I am exaggerating when I say that Hilton has more blackout dates at its properties in ONE month than Marriott has all year!

The other day I tried to book an award stay at the Anchorage Hilton for a trip next May-June. I was told by the HHonors rep. that the Anchorage Hilton had no rooms allocated for April, May, or June next year! They apparently have done allocations as the rep told me they had award rooms available in July. The blackout list for this year (1999) shows that hotel blacked-out about 4 days every week in May and June. Obviously a lot of convention business at that time, but still, no allocation? My guess is that Anchorage doesn't even want to allocate since Diamonds can now override the blackout dates. Better for them to wait to the last minute when most people, including Diamonds, have already made their plans.

Oh, by the way, I booked my award stays at the Sheraton Anchorage instead.
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Old Feb 21, 03, 10:28 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Lurking in the shadows of Mt. Diablo.. Danville CA
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Goodbye Hilton HHonors Diamond VIP Status

I am a Diamond without enough stays to qualify for either Diamond or Gold next year.
A couple of questions:
1. Will I be decreased from Diamond to Silver next year or do they ease you down one level each year like some of the airline programs do.
2. If I will be a Silver, I would like to take advantage of the AAGU offer. Any thoughts on how to do this since I will be a Diamond when the offer expires on 2/28?
Thanks



[This message has been edited by nwr1txg (edited 02-21-2003).]
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