A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us an email about an issue they had with the daily F&B credit instead of breakfast for two.
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We stayed two nights at the Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront on December 9th to 11th. It just so happened that with our travel schedule we would be arriving late on the 9th and leaving very early on 11th. The “flexibility” that the Hilton F&B Credit promised seem like a good match for this stay. On the 10th, we went to breakfast to use the credit from our first night. On the 10th, we also went to dinner to use the credit from our second night. A hotel day (in my mind) runs from noon until noon generally, and the T&C prevent you from stacking them and using multiple credits on the same meal, which is fair.
On early check out with audit shift, the second credit was not adjusted. She seemed to have no clue what to do about it. You can see on the attached folio the meals, and the one credit removed from breakfast. She gave us the card for the Front Office Manager (attached) saying she just didn’t know how to fix it. Later that morning we called back to the FOM. He said we could not have two the same day even though they were on different meals and for different dates of stay. Even trying to explain to him that we would have received the credit if we had made two one night reservations, and he agreed that we would have, he claimed to not have the ability to fix it and would have to refer it to accounting. The next day, called back, and accounting said the same thing. Cannot have two credits on the same day no matter what.
So in all of the marketing of the “flexibility” and “guest choice”, etc., in the end that is not what is happening. I posted a review on TripAdvisor (attached) and the GM commented (attached). At the same time I disputed $30 of the charge with American Express and filed a case with Hilton. American Express initially issued a credit
The hotel filed “additional information” with American Express which caused them to reverse their credit and recharge the card. I was not given the “additional information”, so I have no clue. That notification caused me to contact Hilton about the case as I had no update. The direct quote from the Hilton Diamond rep: “absolutely only one $30 credit per calendar day, irrespective of number of nights. So if you eat breakfast one day you can’t eat lunch or dinner same day.”
So there goes all of the flexibility. If you eat breakfast your first day, you either eat breakfast for every day of your stay or lose out on one $30 credit (or more if you flop between meal periods more than once), no matter how long you stay. If I were doing this stay over again based on what I know now, I would book two separate nights, one in each name as we are both Diamond, and check out and back in the second day. I was not as “anti F&B credit” as some, but with the flexibility out the window, I have now joined the chorus of haters.
Hilton Corporate is cutting a check for $30 to satisfy us, but still sticking to their guns that the property is correct and their really is no flexibility between meal periods. If you start with breakfast, you stay with breakfast. As a side note, you can see that the credit covered less than half the cost of breakfast for two. There is no menu, and the overpriced and less than fantastic buffet is the only option.
Thought you might want to share this experience to warn readers of how it is working in practice and backed up by Corporate, especially as they start expanding it. Needless to say, I won’t be back to this particular hotel.
The reader shared with us their folio:
And review left on TripAdvisor:
We have extensively covered the ins and outs of this F&B credit:
And the exact timing of the credit if staying multiple nights:
We covered this issue in one of the pieces linked above.
There is confusion at what time the daily F&B credit begins and ends, and I would like to get it clarified to our readers.
Let’s say that a guest stays three nights midweek: Monday to Thursday.
Day 1: Monday
The guest can use the F&B credit on the day they check-in, but until what time on Tuesday?
Day 2: Tuesday
What time can the Tuesday F&B credit be used from and until when on Wednesday?
Day 3: Wednesday
What time can the Wednesday F&B credit be used from and until when on the day of check out (Thursday)?
Based on our reader replies, there have been hotels that require the use of the F&B credit by midnight that renders it useless for breakfast on one-night stays, and I would like to have this clarified.
Also, let’s say that a guest eligible for the F&B credit has lunch at noon on Tuesday. Can they use both the Monday and Tuesday credit towards it?
Response from Hilton’s spokesperson:
The daily amount expires at the time of check-out. For stays of two nights or more, the daily credit re-sets at midnight for each full day to the maximum daily credit value; if a member does not use the full credit amount on any day of their stay, they can use any leftover credit on the day of check-out, up to the daily maximum.
As a reminder, since members receive one daily credit per night of their stay and may only use up to the total daily maximum each day, the only day they can use any leftover credit is the morning of check-out.
In the examples you provided, the member would receive three daily credits – they can use up to the daily amount between Monday and Thursday. For lunch on Tuesday, the member could use up to the daily amount, however per the benefit terms, they cannot combine Monday and Tuesday’s credit.
As it relates to a one-night stay, per our FAQs, a Hilton Honors member would receive one complimentary Daily F&B Credit that they may use on the day of arrival or day of departure. The credit may be used in full/entirety on day of check-in or check-out, or on various eligible items each day until the maximum daily amount or total stay maximum is reached.
To answer the reader’s question. No, I am not surprised that they had problems with the Food and Beverage credit that was supposedly here to help Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond members with more flexibility (in reality, it is here to drive hotels’ F&B revenues, as you can see from the reader’s folio).
Unfortunately, it has turned into an unmitigated disaster. Those who are after complimentary breakfast as their elite perk should move their business in the United States to IHG, Marriott, or Hyatt.
Hilton recently changed Honors program T&Cs, and this credit could expand outside of the US, as it has to some hotels in Ontario (Canada). Hilton, however, is unable or incapable of publishing or providing a list of hotels outside of the US that don’t offer complimentary breakfast for two.
I am glad that Hilton corporate eventually came to the rescue and cut a check for $30.