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Hilton elite benefits on travel agent bookings

20 Discussions

mo

Member since 22 Dec 2012

Total posts 12

Hey All
I'm Gold with Hilton Honors.

Virgin Holidays travel portal gives me 3 points per dollar if I book the Hilton with them (same price).
If I do this, will I still get my elite benefits? Do I earn any status with Hilton?

Cheers

bl5965

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 13 Nov 2015

Total posts 79

Generally you have to book with Hilton direct to get full benefits and earn credits. That's what they told me when I checked in for my reservation booked via Qantas hotels.

russell

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 04 Nov 2011

Total posts 187

You need to book direct with Hilton to earn points, not third party sites. You may have some benefits recognised if you don't book direct, but this is not guaranteed.

markpk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Nov 2013

Total posts 413

I've had the same issue with Qantas/Accor so unless I'm desperate for QF points or they have the 6x offer going I book direct so as to accumulate nights and get benefits

sim86on

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 08 May 2014

Total posts 39

I've just relinquished Hilton Gold status, but for the 2 years I held it I had no issue accessing all of my gold entitlements at any of the Hilton properties regardless of how/where I booked.
However, you will only earn HHonors points if you book directly with Hilton.
You'll need to go the maths if you'll earn more Velocity points booking direct with Hilton (My HHonors account was configured for 'Points & Points' and direct flows to Velocity) or booking via Virgin Australia Holidays.

GBRGB

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Jan 2014

Total posts 219

I think all hotel programs are the same, we moved to a corporate travel management company last year, Hilton, IHG and Accor do not recognise anything unless booked direct with them and my status will disappear with them all so I am moving to other hotels or self contained apartments that are more convenient or better quality as there is no benefit to me to stay with these groups,, Hotel rewards programs will be virtually worthless in years to come as more and more business travel is done through management company, short sighted I would say on behalf of the hotel chains, airlines don't have an issue with points/ status regardless of where the booking originates, I don't know why hotels cant.

mo

Member since 22 Dec 2012

Total posts 12

I agree GBRGB.

The hotel chains voluntarily agree to make rooms available to these booking sites, travel agents, travel management companies etc and consequently pay them commission. There must be some benefit to the hotel for this arrangement so it would seem counter-intuitive that hotels punish guests for using these booking services. It is especially mean-spirited to deny loyalty benefits to corporate travelers who are required to book via an intermediary. Wouldn't these be lucrative customers?


It also seems odd not to give benefits to customers who book via airline portals when the hotels themselves have agreements (with the airlines) to give frequent flyer points to guests.

Last editedby mo at Jan 08, 2018, 09:20 PM.

ChrisCh

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,031

I stayed at a Hyatt property last week which I'd booked via Expedia (was 15% cheaper than direct from the hotel due to a couple of promo offers), and gave my World of Hyatt number at check-in. I earned eligible nights and status points on seemingly the entire cost of the stay (the Expedia component and in-house folio charges), except for taxes, fees and alcohol (which Hyatt doesn't seem to offer points on).

That said, Hyatt is a bit more liberal with giving you points - if you dine at a hotel restaurant even when you're not staying at the hotel, you can just give them your World of Hyatt number and you'll get points on that spend (5 per US$1 spent), without even having to charge it back to a room. :)

brinkers

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Jun 2011

Total posts 215

I stayed at a Hyatt property last week which I'd booked via Expedia (was 15% cheaper than direct from the hotel due to a couple of promo offers), and gave my World of Hyatt number at check-in. I earned eligible nights and status points on seemingly the entire cost of the stay (the Expedia component and in-house folio charges), except for taxes, fees and alcohol (which Hyatt doesn't seem to offer points on).

That said, Hyatt is a bit more liberal with giving you points - if you dine at a hotel restaurant even when you're not staying at the hotel, you can just give them your World of Hyatt number and you'll get points on that spend (5 per US$1 spent), without even having to charge it back to a room. :)


As far as I know, World of Hyatt is one of the few programs that doesn't exclude travel agency bookings.

On the dining front SPG also offer points and a discount, even if you aren't staying.

DWB6265

Member since 22 Oct 2014

Total posts 4

Get a Macquarie Hilton visa. auto gold, diamond if you can spend 40k per year. You can haggle the yearly fee as well when it is due. Free night in HKG upgraded to a suite on arrival was worth the card fee

peteshep

Member since 15 Feb 2013

Total posts 11

I disagree that booking through travel agents does not get benefits - I book through a corporate agent regularly and still earn Hyatt, Hilton, Accor and Swissotel points at the hotels I stay at.

It is only for rates where the travel agent goes through a wholesaler between them and the hotel that it doesn't apply - mainly because the hotel has sold to the wholesaler at a more discounted rate, who then adds their fee on, and then the travel agent adds their fee. Even though the price might be virtually the same as booking direct, the hotel has sold the room for quite a bit less, so fair enough they don't award points. Virgin Holidays would be in this category - they are not buying rooms directly with each hotel, they are going through wholesalers, or they would be a third party website booking. A lot of travel agents will buy through wholesalers in bulk as well (such as Flight Centre) - you'd need to ask them directly when you book if it is through a wholesaler or direct with hotel.

For the record, the full list of rates not counting as an eligible stay for Hilton Honors are (from the program terms and conditions):
  • wholesale/tour operator packages;
  • contracted crew rates;
  • travel agency discount rates;
  • packages exclusively for casino player card holders;
  • unauthorized Members staying on Go Hilton Team Member or Family & Friends Travel Rates;
  • stays secured utilizing Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Hilton Club timeshare programs, Hilton Grand Vacations marketing packages with a sales presentation requirement;
  • complimentary or barter rooms;
  • NET Group rates;
  • Series Group or IT Group rates;
  • contracted Entertainment or Encore rates;
  • third party websites bookings (irrespective of rate paid); and
  • "opaque" channel bookings where the brand may or may not be known at the time of purchase.

thomas87

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 05 Apr 2016

Total posts 7

Even if You booked with a third party, you simply notify the hotel of your loyalty membership number and they will add your stay and recognise your elite tier at check in.

Several years ago my friend booked me an ‘onsale’ Room at Pullman shanghai. Dirt heap price. Upon check in I showed my Le Club Accor platinum loyalty card, they upgraded us to a junior suite and gave lounge access to their executive floor. Most of all my stay at that hotel was included upon my membership statement.

rob01

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 10 Nov 2011

Total posts 88

Hilton will only recognise your status if your stay is booked via a GDS or Global Distrubution System. On a work trip last year my stay was booked via Qantas travel online and even as Hilton Diamond in a hotel I had stayed at regularly I received no benefits, points or lounge access. No amount of writing to the manager changed this. This new policy came in early 2017.

brinkers

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Jun 2011

Total posts 215


For the record, the full list of rates not counting as an eligible stay for Hilton Honors are (from the program terms and conditions):
  • wholesale/tour operator packages;
  • contracted crew rates;
  • travel agency discount rates;
  • packages exclusively for casino player card holders;
  • unauthorized Members staying on Go Hilton Team Member or Family & Friends Travel Rates;
  • stays secured utilizing Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Hilton Club timeshare programs, Hilton Grand Vacations marketing packages with a sales presentation requirement;
  • complimentary or barter rooms;
  • NET Group rates;
  • Series Group or IT Group rates;
  • contracted Entertainment or Encore rates;
  • third party websites bookings (irrespective of rate paid); and
  • "opaque" channel bookings where the brand may or may not be known at the time of purchase.


These are about what is or is not valid for a 'stay'. The terms and conditions further narrow what is eligible for on property benefits:

On-property benefits are not awarded in the following circumstances:
  • Reservations booked through a non-Hilton-direct booking channel or a non-designated GDS, third party website or any other channel,
  • Rates available on "opaque" websites where the hotel brand and specific hotel are not known until the booking is made, or
  • Third party hotel packages or travel packages not booked through one of the eligible channels.
  • Booking ineligible stays, (as defined in the Accrual of Points section) unless hotel contract has specific benefits included.


Of course, these things are always a bit of a YMMV, and there may be reasons that a particular property goes above and beyond the minimum...



mo

Member since 22 Dec 2012

Total posts 12

Hilton will only recognise your status if your stay is booked via a GDS or Global Distrubution System. On a work trip last year my stay was booked via Qantas travel online and even as Hilton Diamond in a hotel I had stayed at regularly I received no benefits, points or lounge access. No amount of writing to the manager changed this. This new policy came in early 2017.

How do I know if my stay is booked via a GDS? The websites generally won't tell you.

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