Hilton booking – massive price variation depending on booking channelCreate Topic


Home Forums Accommodation Hotel loyalty schemes Hilton booking – massive price variation depending on booking channel

This topic contains 24 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  LuganoPirate 2 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #454327

    Anonymous
    #454328

    SwissExPat
    Participant

    I thought this might have been the case but have not come across such a disparity as I did today.

    I am Hilton diamond member for the last 3 years and 99% of the time I book on Hilton.com via my Hhonors account.

    Next week I needed a room in London and went to book only to find that all hotels seemed to be £250+ for the middle of next week.

    I booked my outward flight to London with BA for Wed AM. I was finalising my schedule and deciding if it was worth staying the night and maybe have some more meetings on Thursday. The late flights back were expensive but so were the hotel rooms.

    Then on my BA booking screen, my eye stumbled on some hotel room offers. £130 for a Hilton Hotel in London. I clicked through and within 3 mins I had booked a Hilton hotel room in London for 2 persons INCL Beakfast !! MY BA booking allowed cancellation up to 48 hrs in advance.

    I revisited hilton.com and checked again for Wed eve. The hotel I had just booked for £130 incl B’fast only offered £245 room only or £269 incl Bfast.

    I have some vague memory that hotels only get guest data for these ‘Agency’ bookings on the day before arrival and hence have no idea of the FF status of the booking so I immediately sent an email to the hotel telling them of my booking with BA and my HHonors number.

    I also remember reading somewhere perhaps on this Forum that with these non direct bookings, the hotel may not be keen to give you your FF member benefits. Normally I would have access to the Exec lounge at this hotel and also an upgrade to the Exec floor. I will await developments.

    Meanwhile looks like excess £100 had remained in my Pocket.

    #454329

    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I booked Hilton once with booking.com as it was £20 cheaper than with Holton.com and despite their price match guarantee it would have been too much hassle to claim the difference. I stayed two nights, got all the benefits Gold brings but never got my points for the stay other than for the extras I took.

    #454330

    1nfrequent
    Participant

    I usually shop around if I find a hotel I like to see where the best deal for it is, but I can definitely confirm that you won’t get HH points if you booked through anyone other than Hilton.

    1F

    #454331

    1nfrequent
    Participant

    I usually shop around if I find a hotel I like to see where the best deal for it is, but I can definitely confirm that you won’t get HH points if you booked through anyone other than Hilton.

    1F

    #454332

    Bullfrog
    Participant

    There are instances in many businesses, not just in travel, where the customer is grateful for the higher level status & all the perks. Creating the desire to join (Marketing) & having the desire to belong (loyalty) can lead the supplier to take advantage of the customer. Instead of offering discounted products to the loyal customers, the customer is offered higher prices.

    To maintain income, the supplier may wholesale its products at much cheaper rates to firm it hopes will attract new business, and business it would not usually get.

    After all, the loyal business that comes from a Diamond level customer, is likely to book direct, why lower the margin ?

    Just another example of businesses taking advantage to loyal customers, yet ‘fishing’ for new business with cheaper products.

    #454333

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Usual story isn’t it? I have read examples on here before of people booking Avis through the BAEC being bled dry.

    #454334

    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Hi SwissExPat

    Hilton is one of those chains that uses many distribution channels. If you have booked through ba.com they are probably using 3rd party wholesalers as many agents do (these bedbanks negotiate there own rates with hotels – and then agents like ourselves work with multiple bedbanks) and these can be vastly cheaper than the hotel direct (they often have there own allocation of rooms which are returned around 72 hours before arrival if not sold). So you can go to Hilton.com and be told hotel is sold out only to find a room with an agency using a bedbank. In answer to your question, you will almost certainly not earn points for this stay, and you may not get any of the Frequent Guest (FG) benefits (but then you have saved £135 over the Hilton rate). Downside to these rates is cancellation terms are not as good as Hilton direct. It can work the other way and Hilton direct can be cheaper than bedbank rates in some situations where hotel has there own special rates.

    With regards to the price match guarantee that Hilton offer, when I last read it I think they exclude rates booked through wholesalers. And in terms of hotel getting guest data – this will depend on the bedbank – some send it straight away, some send it 72 hours before arrival – each one is different. I use these prepaid rates a lot as many of my clients do not have there staff holding corporate credit cards and want it all prepaid to make expensing and reconciling much easier. Downside is people don’t earn miles. However it is not unknown for a hotel to recognize FG benefits, and occasionally points do appear on a guests account. I have other clients who always want hotel booked direct so they can settle on card direct, and earn points.

    Horses for courses!

    #454335

    SwissExPat
    Participant

    @ Tim, Thanks for this very useful insight.

    One of the great positives of this Forum is that it can help particularly those of us running our SMEs go get access to great information and bang for our travel budget buck.

    I noticed this anomaly a few years ago but kept an eye out for such disparities but to be honest, Hilton during this time seemed to have decent rates compared to the other channels.

    However, I have noticed in the last few months that their rates in London (for the 30+ Hilton group properties there) have been stubbornly excess of £200 for even mid range properties (Doubletrees etc with the new Hampton at Waterloo being always >£200!!)

    The property I will stay at on Wed does have an Executive Lounge and this will be the acid test as to whether my Diamond benefits are granted. My BA room rate included breakfast so this wont be the test it might otherwise have been.

    Just as a comparison, could you imagine a BA card holder arriving at a BA lounge and being turned away ‘cos you booked your flight using a “bucket” shop or some other “Aggregator”.’

    IMHO if you book a room at a hotel, it should not make a jot of difference as to the booking channel you used when it comes to provision of frequent stayer benefits.

    #454336

    HarryMonk
    Participant

    SwissExPat

    “Just as a comparison, could you imagine a BA card holder arriving at a BA lounge and being turned away ‘cos you booked your flight using a “bucket” shop or some other “Aggregator”. “

    The cynic in me says just give it time, if not BA, someone else will

    #454337

    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    HarryMonk

    I can understand the cynicism!

    Actually another point on the use of bedbanks by UK companies that reclaim VAT, is that bookings through bedbanks don’t have a VAT element (they were originally aimed at Leisure market) – due to something called TOMS. Won’t go into masses of details but where a business wants VAT back, I have to balance direct rate which is subject to VAT against a bedbank rate that doesn’t have VAT and work out what is best for client. A strange anomaly for UK hotels.

    #454338

    MrMichael
    Participant

    In response to TimFitzgeraldTC and the price gurantees reminds me of a situation I had trying to claim on it a few years ago. I booked a bog standard double at the Brisbane Sofitel on the Sofitel site for 5 nights. Later the same day MrsMichael thinking I had paid over the odds found within minutes the same room, same dates about sterling equivalent £200 cheaper on ebookers. I put in a claim as I considrred the offered room, cancellation policy(no cancellations) etc was exactly the same. They Agreed it was the same room, same dates, same cancellation policy, same everything, except…….. the cheaper ebookers rate included breakfast, the booking I made direct did not. Subsequently they squeezed out of it on that basis after a long protracted and sometimes frank email exchange with their Pacific region office. It made me realise the guarantees are worthless drivel. I did not buy breakfast at the hotel but had a very nice breakfast each day at the Brisbane Station restaurant.

    #454339

    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I’ve just booked a room at the Hilton Canary Wharf for an upcoming trip to London. It now states very clearly on the website “Free Internet is given only for bookings made through Hilton.com”.

    #454340

    SwissExPat
    Participant

    Post Event Update.

    I stayed at the Hilton in London (Wembley) and they honoured all my Perks as Hilton Diamond[Exec Room upgrade, access to Exec lounge, Free internet, free breakfast etc]

    I also was awarded hhonors points for my stay (I just checked my account)

    Hence £110 saving booking via the BA website and full perks.

    Not bad, ehh!

    #454341

    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Result!

    Didn’t think you’d get the points (you don’t normally). FG benefits more hit and miss so glad you got them as well.

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