I don’t value Hilton Honors points very highly. Part of that has to do with how many points it takes to redeem for a free night at certain properties. It can cost almost 100,000 points a night at some properties.
Another part of the equation is the fact that they stopped publishing award charts. Delta Air Lines has been doing this for years as well. I understand the need for programs to make money. But, customers want to know how many points they need to save up for an award stay. Alas, these programs don’t agree.
To make matters worse, it now seems the Hilton has abandoned their promise to tell customers when they raise award prices. View From the Wing broke down a list of approximately 65 Category 1 hotels in the Hilton Honors program that another blogger, Loyalty Lobby had assembled. A whopping 20 of those properties doubled from 5,000 points to 10,000 points a night. There was one outlier that went up 25,000 points a night, but I think that’s truly an outlier. Still, doubling the number of points required per night without notifying customers isn’t going to make you any friends.
The Final Two Pennies
Raising award prices without notifying customers erodes trust. It’s also bad for Hilton. The whole genius behind travel loyalty programs is that they encourage irrational behavior by customers. Saving for that dream vacation in Hawaii? You’re more likely to start your search with Hilton rather than looking at all the choices in a market. Even with no blackout dates, Hilton has some ability to control the inventory they make available for award rooms. They also control the award pricing. Customers might be disappointed when they’re notified of an award price change. Imagine how they feel when they believe they’re saving up a certain amount of points for a vacation only to find that change without notice?
Being open and honest with your customers is table stakes in the digital age. I just don’t see the business case for keeping such things a secret.
How do you feel about this Hilton change? Is Hilton the new Delta of hotel loyalty?
The post Hilton Is Raising Award Room Rates 100% And Higher Without Telling Customers was posted first on Pizza in Motion