Hilton is extending status for all Silver, Gold and Diamond members for up to two more years, in a move to keep loyal travellers happy during these tumultuous times.
For members whose 2019 status was due to expire on 31 March 2020, this is now renewed a further 12 months until 31 March 2021.
The move is especially generous, given that travellers in that position would most likely have earned that status in 2018 and not maintained it in 2019, well before COVID-19 became a pandemic.
Members who have earned or maintained status through 2020 will see their expiry date bolstered by 24 months, locking in Silver, Gold or Diamond to 31 March 2022 at the earliest.
All Hilton Honors points that were due to expire from now until December 31 have now been granted a reprieve, and all current and new Weekend Night Rewards will be extended to 31 August 2021.
Free changes, cancellations
Hilton is also tweaking its booking policies and granting free changes and cancellations to all bookings, even Advance Purchase rates described as 'non-cancellable'. The same applies to new bookings made from now until 30 June 2020.
Like most of the travel industry, Hilton has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak with Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta expecting hotel occupancy across its global portfolio to hit '10% to 15% within the next few days'.
The chain previously had to close 150 hotels in China during the early stages of the virus and is now looking to do the same within the USA, with high-profile properties such as the Capital Hilton in Washington D.C. and the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan already shutting their doors and putting staff on leave.
Hilton owns or manages around 6,000 properties across 18 brands in 117 countries, but only 14 can be found in Australia with three more due to open in the next few years across Perth and Melbourne.