One of the best benefits of being Hilton HHonors Diamond member has been the ability to force an award room in an otherwise sold out hotels. This is usually referred as Diamond Force, although the Hilton calls this the Diamond Special Arrangement. There is only a small list of hotels where this facility is not available as I found out when I tried to use this to get me a room at the Conrad Koh Samui last month.
This has now come to an end for award bookings, however. Diamond special arrangement was already watered down last year. Previously you could force an award room if the award room category only was sold out. After Hilton introduced Premium Room Rewards last year, you were forced to use them in a case that the base level room, where regular awards book, was sold out. If the hotel didn’t have ANY availability, you could them use the Diamond Special Arrangement to “force” an award room. This change, which was buried in the Terms and conditions, was first pointed out by FlyerTalk member stifle on his post.
I don’t like the way how Hilton changes the Terms and conditions of its program and doesn’t give any prior notice. This is really a sneaky way trying to dilute the benefits of the Diamond status. Probably not many used this, but it was invaluable in a situation where the hotel was sold out and there was no general availability. I used Conrad Singapore as an example where I forced an award room few months ago. This was the biggest differentiator of the Hilton HHonors Diamond status compared to other programs.