Reader Question: Hilton Honors Property Reflag & Award Reservation?

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us an email about Hampton Inn reflag and how his award reservations at the property was handled by Hilton Honors.

Reader Question Hilton Honors Reflag

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Here’s the email from the reader:

I booked two nights in the Hampton Inn Manhattan SoHo, which has now changed ownership. It is not affiliated with Hilton anymore. On September 27th, I received the following email. I have never received a cancelation email, but I was suspicious since the booking wasn’t in my account anymore. It still shows up in the app. So I called Hilton today to see whether my booking got canceled and apparently it did. Without any notification.

Is Hilton right to cancel it without any substitution? I now have to find a different hotel for December, presumably more expensive.

We are facing these cases more often where members held both paid and award reservations for hotels that decide for one reason or another to change or drop the flag. The reason is that all the chains have implemented the asset light strategy which means that they don’t own the hotels operate under their brands. If the owners are not satisfied with the performance or the hotel no longer meet the required brand standards, it may simply abruptly exit.

Paid reservations are honored (as long as the hotel is not closed) but award reservations sometimes/often (perhaps fifty fifty) are not. Many members want to get out of their paid reservations because elite benefits are no longer applicable.

Seems that here the property has decided not to accept award reservations past their Hilton exit.

I would request Hilton’s Guest Assistance department to relocate the reservation at the same cost to the reader at some other nearby property. Considering how many hotels Hilton has in New York this shouldn’t be too difficult thing to do.

Conclusion

It is unfortunate that members are usually the “victims” in these reflags that are left holding the bag so to speak.

These hotels that leave the chain try to hang on to the paid reservations and many loyalty program members want to get out them because no elite qualifying nights/stays, points or benefits apply. Award reservations may or may not be honored.

You also don’t often get proper advance notice. Sometimes the notice is only given when the hotel leaves and not even a day before. I truly believe that all the chains could handle the process better for the members.

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