Update 3/31/20: Hilton reached out to let us know that this issue was a copy error. It has since been updated and the site once again reflects the program terms, stating that Diamond members can be upgraded up to a 1-bedroom suite (at the hotel’s discretion). It seems this was just a mistake that has been fixed.
Loyalty Lobby notes a very interesting (albeit minor) change to the listed benefits for Hilton Diamond members in several places on the Hilton website: while program terms still indicate that Diamond members could be upgraded to a suite (but don’t have to be), several pages on the Hilton website now say that Diamond members can be upgrade “up to the Executive Level”. Suite upgrades have been at the discretion of the property anyway, but taking the suite language out of the benefits is still probably bad news for Diamond guests.
The key change is in how Hilton bills upgrades for Diamond members. New materials state: As noted above, Hilton updated us to let us know that this was a copy error. The site has since been updated to reflect the fact that Diamond members can be upgraded up to a 1-bedroom suite. Here is what it said yesterday:
Space-available room upgrades: If we have a better room available, it’s yours — all the way up to the executive level.
Previous materials had billed this upgrade as “up to 1-bedroom suite room type”.
The program terms and conditions do indeed still show this:
Diamond Elite Members will receive the following during stays as a registered Diamond Elite Member: At Waldorf Astoria® Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Canopy™ by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton™ and Tapestry Collection by Hilton™ properties, Diamond Hilton Honors Members may receive upgrades to preferred rooms, based on availability at the time of arrival. Upgrades for Diamond Hilton Honors Members may include upgrades up to “junior”, “standard” or “one-bedroom” suites.
Hilton let us know today that this was an error and new materials state now once again reflects the program terms above.
The Hilton terms have always been wishy-washy, leaving upgrades to the discretion of hotels. As one would guess, some properties are better than others. I got an amazing free upgrade to a 2-bedroom residential suite at the Conrad Fort Lauderdale a couple of years ago. I didn’t get good pictures of the living area of the 2-bedroom suite, but we had a couple of rooms and this was a 1-bedroom suite.
But I’ve had plenty of Hilton stays where I got at best an executive level king. On the one hand, the change in terms more closely reflects what you can realistically expect. I imagine the hotels that go above and beyond still might and those that didn’t upgrade to suites still won’t. It is nonetheless a bummer to see the move away from setting the expectation that a suite would be possible.
One glimmer of hope in this is that there was a survey a year or so ago that suggested that Hilton may have been considering adding suite upgrades as a Diamond benefit. We don’t know whether they were considering a model like Hyatt’s, which gives a set number of guaranteed suite upgrades that can be applied in advance, or Marriott’s model where you can apply upgrade certificates and hope they clear a few days prior to arrival. Is Hilton perhaps switching up terms to lower expectations so they can guarantee the benefit a few times a year? It’s anybody’s guess. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it, but we can at least hope they have some good news up their sleeves.
H/T: Loyalty Lobby