I noted comments about changes to airline tier status qualifying levels (Emirates). The same has also happened in the hotel industry with Hilton.
Hilton Honors offered a rolling twelve-month qualification period, and my Diamond status expired in April 2009. However, when Hilton International and Hilton Corporation were combined and then bought out, a change in policy seems to have ensued. Hilton have returned to a 12-month calendar year for tier qualification, January to December.
This has resulted in me losing my Diamond status, as my stays from January to April this year were not taken into account when considering my tier renewal for 2009. I am now a humble Silver member for the next few months, despite having earned enough to keep Diamond under the old rules. What really annoys me is that at no point were members informed of the rule change – it was hidden in an obscure part of their website, and was billed as an ‘improvement’ that was ‘in response to Member demand.’ I somehow doubt that; I think it’s a reflection of the change from British to US ownership and the greed that seems to often breed, coupled with a reduction in customer care.
Considering that Hilton Honors Diamond (and also Gold) status is actually a meaningful thing to have, with tangible benefits (unlike Starwood), this is a pretty short-sighted approach for the new, reunited Hilton Corporation to take. To then wrap it up as a ‘customer-demanded service improvement’ is, frankly, an insult to our intelligence.
I wonder if Michael O’Leary is a non-Executive Director of Hilton?