There have been quite a few cuts in hotel service and elite member benefits at all chains, especially in the United States.
Hilton announced last week that it would temporarily move away from complimentary Gold and Diamond member breakfast benefit in the United States (read more here and here) through the end of the year, and members would get a Daily Credit instead.
You can access Hilton’s page for Covid-19 related travel information here.
Hilton added the following disclaimer to its page:
Housekeeping Upon Request.
Housekeeping is now available upon request. Please call the front desk if you’d like your room cleaned. If you want to skip room cleaning during your stay but need extra towels or amenities, the hotel can arrange that for you.
You can read this two ways:
Previously Hilton didn’t mention housekeeping at all on the Current Health and Hygiene Standards at all, and some hotels were providing none during your stay. Now, it should be available, at least theoretically, “upon request.”
Hilton uses this pandemic to push through changes at hotels that its hotel owners would have loved to do years ago and ends daily housekeeping and turn down services unless you request them.
In the long run, the pandemic might be just what the hotel owners have been dreaming about. It elevates their profits if consumers are willing to accept these cuts (I don’t).
Why would you stay “loyal” to a hotel chain if the benefits and services are so watered down that you may as well pick the most convenient hotel that fits your budget, regardless of what company it is affiliated with it, and book it using the cheapest OTA option that their Best Rate Guarantee programs won’t match?
Also, what would then be the differentiators between full and select-service hotels? You may as well choose a cheaper select service option if a full-service hotel doesn’t live up to its promise.
Businesses should be careful that they don’t enrage their most loyal customers. It is easy to lose one, but it takes time and money to win over one’s business.