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I recently wrote a post showing how Hilton Honors was showing incorrect, and potentially illegal, award pricing for multiple-night stays. Today’s post will show how Hilton Honors award pricing is sometimes contradicting Hilton Honors’ OWN Terms & Conditions!
A room is a room, right? The room rate shouldn’t really change whether there is one person using it or two. Some hotels, especially in North America, offer two large-bedded rooms, and don’t really mind if two couples share the room or an entire family does… Of course, many jurisdictions have per-guest local taxes, or hotels that offer certain amenities (free breakfast, etc.) may justifiably charge a bit more for a double occupancy room.
Hilton Honors’ is pretty specific about this in its Terms & Conditions. All members, including entry-level Blue members, benefit from “second guest free”.
Not all Hilton hotels are playing by their own rules
Here’s an example at the Hilton in Barcelona, Spain…
If I book for one guest, Hilton Honors would charge me 35,000 points. If I try to book for two guests, Hilton Honors would charge me 36,000 points. So… what happened to second guest free? It doesn’t matter whether I am logged in or not – although this doesn’t really matter because, by definition, when you are redeeming points you are at least a Blue member of Hilton Honors!
Considering that award prices are set by Hilton Honors rather than the individual hotels, this oversight is rather appalling!
I do know where the difference is probably coming from
If you look at cash rates for single and double occupancy, the price is the same… until you get to the final confirmation page, where local occupancy taxes apply on a per-guest basis.
I suppose that it is understandable that Hilton Honors would charge a few more points to cover a slightly higher all-in room rate. With 1,000 being the minimum increment in terms of award pricing, it makes perfect sense that the award price would increase by 1,000 points for double occupancy, in places where there is a local, per-guest tax.
HOWEVER!!! I know two simple facts…
The first is that this hotel will ask me to pay the local occupancy tax in cash, even when I paid with points. Every time I use points in Spain, I am asked to pay it.
And second… there’s no point screaming and shouting about it – if you are so inclined… many of us aren’t and just pay the two euros or so – because Hilton Honors’ Terms & Conditions make it clear that the member is responsible for any local or city occupancy taxes.
Hotel Reward Stays apply to full Point redemptions or Point redemptions combined with money. Redemption stays can be used for Standard Rooms or Premium Rooms; both Reward types are for double occupancy room rate. Additional occupants, age 19 and above, are subject to the standard extra person charges. Any tax liability incurred (if any) in connection with the receipt and/or use of Hilton Honors Rewards, including, but not limited to, local or city occupancy taxes, international departure tax, customs fees, airport surcharges, non-resident tourism fees or individual income tax is the sole responsibility of the user. Incidental charges are the responsibility of the user. At hotels with resort fees, members on reward stays booked using all Points, or using a Promotional free night reward (e.g., issued by credit card partners, etc.) will not pay resort fees.
Why are Hilton hotels in jurisdictions with local occupancy taxes charging more points for double occupancy versus single occupancy? Again… Hilton Honors award pricing algorithm is so messed up that it cannot apply its own Terms & Conditions, which state that the second guest stays free.
The solution? Always book Hilton Honors hotels based on single occupancy, and prepare to stand your ground if the hotel doesn’t seem thrilled to have two guests show up…