A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a question regarding award availability at the Hilton Garden Inn Mall of Emirates in Dubai (never had ANY for non-Diamond members) that I covered week ago (read more here).
My conclusion was that the property either unintentionally or intentionally forgotten to attach room type or two applicable for awards. The reader had received nonsense responses from HHonors claiming that the property had blackout dates (there are no blackout dates on Hilton awards).
You can access Hilton Garden Inn Mall of Emirates website here.
Here’s email that Hilton Representative sent us:
I am reaching out on behalf of Hilton re: your article about Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Mall of the Emirates. In this instance, Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Mall Of The Emirates was not aware of a technical issue affecting reward redemption availability. Since discovering the issue, the hotel is working to resolve it, making booking a reward stay possible for all HHonors members. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused your readers and appreciate you bringing awareness to the matter. Hilton would like to personally ensure that your reader is able to book the reward stay he’d like. Can you please ask him to reach out to Hilton.Comments@hilton.com so we can resolve this issue?
Here’s an update from the reader:
While no one actually got in touch with me from Hilton, The FoM of the property (Diana Shaker) returned my call back request and offered 1 night stay and 10K points as compensation. Since my original stay was two nights and we ultimately ended up paying for 2, I would have preferred 2 nights but I’ll take what I can get out of this since this seems to be an offer from her rather than Hilton Corporate.
I still find it shocking that there is no reasonable way for guests in Middle East or most parts of the world to reach the Diamond Desk without making international calls and holding for however long is required (on international calling rates!). They don’t respond to email callback requests and they don’t transfer internally from toll free or local Hilton Reservations/HHonors/Customer support unlike SPG.
If you post a resolution, do mention Nourhan Anany and Diana Shaker, for competence mainly. They straight away figured out the whole issue and did their best to fix it. Rest of the agents/employees had me going around in circles with evasive and/or non-answers.
Here’s award availability now:
It really shouldn’t be this difficult. The frontline HHonors representatives that the reader dealt with the in the Middle East were either incompetent or disinterested resolving any complicated issues.
My advise for the reader would be to sign up for Skype and call the Hilton HHonors number in the states when there are issues such as this.
I have, however, had some less than stellar experiences even with Diamond agents when it came one award issue I had couple of years back. If you know for sure that you are right, you just need to keep escalating until you get an agent that is willing to resolve issues.