I have written about how Hilton often offers space available Nor1 upgrades and confirmable upgrades using points during the online booking process. These offers are often also show when you are checking your reservations online.
Hilton used to call these Nor1 upgrades as “Unique upgrade opportunity”. Now they have rephrased this as “You are eligible for custom upgrade”. The technology behind these is exactly the same. You can choose number of different upgrade options that are not guaranteed before your arrival. Each of these carries a different price.
Here’s an example from my stay at the DoubleTree Kuala Lumpur last week. I made the reservation on Hilton.com and was offered immediately points based upgrades that would have been guaranteed on the sport, and these Nor1 upgrades.
You actually have to click the link to see what the Nor1 upgrade options are. You are taken to a different website that appears like Hilton.com, but is in fact Nor1’s own. On this instance I was presented only two different options, sometime the list of possible upgrades for cash is really long, and chose not to participate.
The actual upgrade was shown on Hilton’s website on the day of arrival, and it was an upgrade to a deluxe suite.
I see very little value on either of these points or Nor1 “custom” upgrades for cash. I am sure, however, that the hoteliers love the ancillary revenue they provide. I have often received far better upgrades for free than what was shown possible using points or cash. Also, the number of points required for these upgrades is insanely high.
I could see value for someone choosing to pay for the executive room upgrade at this property, if they are not Hilton Gold or Diamond member, when the executive lounge access would be complimentary. (You can get complimentary Hilton Gold after just four stays or having certain Visa credit card) You get complimentary wireless access in the lounge, breakfast, tea/coffee/soft drinks during the day and some sandwiches, and evening complimentary happy hour with open bar and plenty of snacks.