Once again I get to write about how Hilton has taken diamond members and bent them over the check in desk for a good screwing. It shocks me how year after year more and more benefits are taken from Hilton’s top tier of loyal guest. To make matters worse Hilton has also added things to the Gold level making that status on-par with Diamond. Oh and they are handing out Gold status like it is candy.
As a HH Diamond who has earned the status for the last 8 years, it has been one slap in the face after another. It all started when they took away the rolling year calendar, this would allow status nights and stays roll over and not go to zero at the end of the calendar year. So now once you hit your target for the year lets say the required 28 stays a year in June all the stays after count for nothing and will be zapped away on Jan 1. The old system would let these totals roll as you made status. Over the past few years points were devalued when they made the new cat 7 hotels at a whopping 50K points a night for a reward, and the introduction of the Waldorf Astoria collection tier. Making the points in your account worth less. A little over a year ago the biggest scam of them all started the Premium Room rewards, charging crazy amounts for rooms outside the standard category, at this time many hotels cut the number of standard rooms to bypass the “no black out date” perk of the HH program, Hilton pushes you can use your points for a free room with no black out dates as long as they is a standard room open the night you wanted. Less standard rooms, less rooms to use your points on. Many hotels have deluxe rooms that add a robe and slippers and want around 100,000 points per night. Scam! Hilton needs to set point rates for these rooms by category like SPG. For example at a Cat 6 Hotel 40,000 points for Standard room, 45,000 for deluxe, 50,000 for executive, 60,000 for Jr Suite..etc.. Not let hotels just make up amounts, I have seen rooms come up at 900,000 points per night. The good news as a diamond you could request a diamond force for a reward stay. HHonors would work with a hotel to book a room with points when standard rooms were not open. This was a nice perk, really the best perk as a Diamond. Now that is gone too!
I understand cut backs, but if Hilton thinks these “cut backs” to Diamonds are going to help them in the long run I think they are greatly mistaken. The fact that the only real difference between Gold and Diamond status is now that Golds get a 25% Bonus on base points for a stay and Diamonds get 50%. Points are nice but perks are king. Hilton will tell you Diamonds can get suites as an upgrade and golds should not. Ok I have gotten suite upgrades at some Hilton hotels around the world before and after this new perk was rolled out early this year. Other times when I asked for a suite at check in I was told by many hotels “You booked a standard room so you only get an executive room.” To be fair Diamonds are permitted to the Executive lounges even if not upgraded to a room that allows access, as Gold only get if they are upgraded to a room that allows access. But lets not get into the cut backs at many Lounges around the world and Hilton lowing the standards and hours of the complementary items.
The thing that really pisses me off with all this is the fact that Hilton has been giving fast tracks and some promotions just give Gold status to people like here and here just to name a few. Now with the new CITI visa Hilton card you get free (for $95 a year) Gold status. Hilton is just making this very giving mid-tier status away. This is the true slap in the face to the Diamonds who earn the status. The difference between gold and diamond is trivial and everyone is a Gold now.
“We understand your disappointment. Careful thought and consideration went into this decision. We are committed to ensuring that the program remains strong for our most loyal customers. We recognize that you have a choice when you travel and we hope that the benefits and the experiences that you have had over the years of your membership will be the deciding factor for your future travels.”
This response is a total insult. Lets read between the lines. We hope you enjoyed Diamond status in the past, we know it sucks now, hope you put up with it.
Hilton needs to look at the other major programs, and how they are ADDING perks to the top tiers of loyalty. For example SPG.
Conrad is turning in his grave.
Loyalty is a two way street.