A blog reader contacted me yesterday regarding an issue he was having with an upcoming Hilton award reservation, which I found pretty interesting. Usually I try to help with these issues privately, though this is one of those extreme cases that I think deserves a mention.
A Hilton HHonors Diamond member made a booking at the Hilton Arc De Triomphe Paris for his honeymoon on July 12, and unfortunately in the meantime that hotel has been stripped of the Hilton name due to a legal battle over the management contract (Loyalty Traveler has a good post on it here). However, that seemed to happen about a month ago.
The guest assumed everything was alright with his reservation, until he received the following email from Hilton yesterday, just two days before his stay:
I am contacting you on behalf of the Hilton Executive Offices regarding your stay at the Hilton Arc De Triomphe Paris, which is scheduled for arrival September 19, 2012. Unfortunately, this property is no longer be a Hilton property, and therefore, will not be able to honor the reward stay.
We understand the inconvenience this may present. We have made alternate accommodations at the Hilton Paris La Defense. They will be more than willing to accommodate you for the amount the same terms of your original reservation.
Should you have any additional questions, or discover there is something you and I have not covered, please let me know. I will be more than happy to offer further assistance.
Thank you and have a great day!
Guest Assistance/Advance Purchase Assistant Supervisor
So Hilton contacts him two days before his stay and books him at what most consider an inferior property. I think we can all agree that letting him know just two days in advance is unacceptable, when they could have known this weeks before.
That being said, what should Hilton’s obligations be here? To pay for his stay at the Hilton Arc De Triomphe, to offer him points as compensation, or something else?
He responded to the person that emailed him stating this was unacceptable, though hasn’t heard back yet.
In my opinion given the circumstances (the fact that he was notified two days in advance, had a confirmed reservation, is being moved to a hotel considered by most to be inferior, and is a Diamond member on his honeymoon), I think it’s only fair that Hilton comp the stay, or offer him some serious points as compensation.
What do you guys think? Am I off base? Is Hilton being reasonable? What would you consider “fair?”