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A quick Hilton-related Public Service Announcement for you this morning: double check the dates you’ve selected when making a booking!
Ok, I admit that “book the right date” might not seem quite like the level of ‘expert’ travel hacking and analysis you’ve come to expect from InsideFlyer (cough), but there is slightly more to this story. At the very least, you’ll get to laugh at me.
Despite making literally thousands of hotel bookings in my life, experience has taught me that I’m not immune from making extremely basic errors on occasion – and I therefore tend to check things quite carefully. Last Friday evening though, I messed up.
At about 8pm (before I’d even had a drink! 😉 ) I was trying to book a hotel for a night in a couple of weeks time, but somehow ended up booking it for Friday 18th May instead – which is to say, the date it was at the time!
I was busy over the weekend, so didn’t get round to checking my booking properly until yesterday afternoon, (supposedly) safe in the knowledge that even if something was wrong, it was a Points booking and therefore free to cancel. I was pretty confused when I couldn’t see the booking anywhere on my account – the Points were gone, but no sign of the reservation…
…Until I clicked “Cancellations” and there it was. Huh?
For a minute I was confused, thinking that perhaps the hotel had cancelled it for some reason without telling me, or that there had been a technical error. Eventually, I noticed the date on the reservation. Oh dear.
I got in touch with Hilton Honors straight away and threw myself at their mercy, hoping that the hotel might have a lenient attitude towards guests who are sadly afflicted with gross stupidity. The case is being looked at, and it’ll be interesting to see how it’s dealt with.
The real question in my mind though was “how did this happen?”. As I said, I’m more than capable of making mistakes when booking hotels, but this seemed particularly sloppy, even by my standards. I decided to retrace my steps and see if there was something in the booking process that might have confused things:
As far as I can remember, when you search using the main Hilton site (as above) and click “Find It”, you then normally get the results page, meaning that so long as you get the place and dates right in the initial search, you’ll be fine. BUT, that’s not what’s happening at the moment – at least for me. Instead, when I search (laptop, Windows 10, Google Chrome, everything updated), rather than the results page showing all the hotels and how much they cost, I get taken to the page below:
Yep, I have to fill in the search details again to actually see the results page – and this is where I think the confusion occurred.
I must have just quickly typed the destination again into the search box, assuming that I’d spelt it wrong or something, and hit enter. It didn’t cross my mind to check the dates again, having already selected them on the first page. That was the crucial error – as you can see above, the dates are automatically switched back to the current day, regardless of what you had previously selected.
I was rushing a bit and clearly should have checked more carefully, but this is a mistake I can potentially see other people making too.
What I’m not sure about is whether being taken to the second search page is something peculiar to my system, or a wider error on the Hilton site. The point is though, if you do find yourself on the second search page when trying to make a booking, please pay more attention than me and make sure you change the dates!
A mistake you can imagine yourself making, or an act of singular stupidity? Let me know in the comments! 🙂