Compensation Clinic: DoubleTree Aberdeen City Centre Diamond Late Check Out Benefit Issue

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This week the Compensation Clinic case comes from a reader’s stay where Diamond member was denied a late check out at the DoubleTree Aberdeen City Centre.

Compensation Clinic DoubleTree Aberdeen City Centre

Remember that you can always email us, send us a Facebook message or Tweet about the issues you have with hotels, airlines and other travel providers. We’ll feature one new Compensation Clinic each week.

You can access DoubleTree Aberdeen City Centre’s website here.

READ MORE: Hilton HHonors Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

Here’s the email from the reader:

As a long time reader, I would like to share the below case which you may leverage for your compensation clinic series.

Here”s what the reader emailed to Hilton Guest Assistance:

I am writing you regarding a recent stay at the Doubletree by Hilton Aberdeen City Center which I finished on Dec. 16th.

As I had an early evening flight, I requested a late checkout for 4pm. To my surprise, I was told that a late checkout is possible but I would have to pay for it. Even after I highlighted that I am a Diamond Member and that this amenity is for free with my status as long as there is availability, the agent still resisted that I would need to pay for it. As I was upset about this treatment, I informed the agent that I will check out during the normal checkout times.

I made a first claim via Twitter which contacted the property and apparently agreed with them the complimentary late checkout. However, as I was preparing to checkout I did not see the message from your Twitter team on time and checked out around 11am Needless to say that the hotel did not mention anything that a late checkout was now possible.

Due to the inconvenience occurred, I kindly request 10.000 points as a compensation.

In addition, I would like to highlight the condition of the property which requires an overall renovation.

Here’s reply from the Guest Assistance:

Thank you for contacting Hilton Guest Assistance. My name is Mary. It will be my pleasure to assist with the Doubletree Hotel Aberdeen City Centre, UK.

I would like to express my sincere apologies for falling short of our commitment to extend a rewarding experience due to hotel policy during your stay. In an effort to make amends for your experience, a total of 10,000 points will be posted to your Hilton HHonors account within 24 hours. The Voice of our Customers is critical to ensuring our guests receive a rewarding experience when staying at the Hilton Portfolio of Brands. Thank you for bringing this concern to our attention. 

Conclusion

The problem is that unlike Hyatt, Marriott, SPG (for top tiers) and IHG for Ambassadors, the Hilton HHonors doesn’t guarantee late check out for even Diamond members. The benefit is worded as “Late check-out must be requested and is subject to availability”. You can read more about Hilton’s elite benefits here.

One can always argue like the reader did here that if the late check out is available for cash it should be available for based on the status as well.

The best thing in a situation such as this is to open a case with Hilton’s Guest Assistance and request compensation. Merely opening a case will result in processing fee charged to the property ($150 – $200 in case if a Diamond member) and the compensation costs to the property too.

Hilton HHonors really should amend the late check out benefit and make it GUARANTEED at the minimum for Diamond members. The program really is an outlier compared to the ones I mentioned above in this.

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  • Alisdair Menzies

    I stayed in that DoubleTrees a few years ago and it was one of the worst experiences of customer services I have experienced from a Hilton group hotel. Even when getting upgraded staff were unhelpful and made even checking in seem like a burden to them. Needless to say I’ve not returned. There are other much better Hilton group hotels in Aberdeen, let alone better hotels.

    • cscasi

      Thanks for the input. My wife and I will be traveling around Scotland next Fall, and I will take your comments on board as well as those from the person who made the above report.

  • Steve

    When I asked for an upgrade at a Houston Doubletree, even though I should have got it free I was told I would need to pay for this. I agreed as I really wanted the late check out.

    However, upon check out – I was not charged the late check out fee. Does the computer system automatically apply the free late chedck out rule I wonder?

    • Vithdos

      While the new e-checkin has it’s advantages, the disadvantages, for elite members of the program, outweigh those advantages. If a person uses the e-checkin the hotel cannot manipulate your room selection and upgrade you. Sometimes, old-school still rules and in the case of complimentary upgrades forget the e-checkin, stop by the desk and ask for it.

      • I really don’t see as an elite member any benefits for using e-check in.

        Usually, the overnight shift does the elite member room assignments, although at sloppier hotels nothing is done in advance. The agent checking you in has the authority pretty much to give you any room or suite that is available.

      • Gaijinsan

        Agree, I have never had a positive experience with e-check in, the only way I can justify using it is at busy resort properties where you can at least chose a room with your preferred view.

        I’ve also found that many properties never get around to doing upgrades until either just before my arrival or during check in. At times I even have to ask for an upgrade, in these cases I look on the application to see what category rooms are still available and ask directly for it.

    • I believe that the agent must add the fee.

  • Gaijinsan

    My experience has been that you often really have to push Hilton properties for the late checkout benefit. Almost every time I ask for it they resist regardless of rooms available on that day. Usually they try to give me until 1pm (a whole hour extra in most locations, LOL!) as a “One time exception”, but that’s a far cry from 4pm. Hilton definitely needs to make this a guaranteed benefit to eligible status members, in general I like Hhonors elite benefits but this one is weak compared to the competition.