Why the Hilton honours site is fundamentally misleading ..

Firstly, let me say .. that I am a fan of the Hilton hotels and service.

I have stayed in Hilton hotels across the range for years. I have read Conrad Hilton’s book Be my guest  

So, I hope this blog can be seen as a trigger for improvement.

I contacted their customer services but still I think they did not get the point ..

There is a fundamentally misleading sequence of events with the Hilton Honours web site

Here is why ..

Like most people, I went to the Hilton Honours web site to redeem points

I think this is the normal use case of the Hilton Honours site i.e. to make a new booking, people will either go to a site like expedia or they will go to the individual Hilton properties

I did the same
However, as per below, there is a little check box which is NOT checked by default when I go to the honours site ..
It means, by default .. you DONT use points .. you make a NEW booking .. unless you see and check that small checkbox
That’s exactly what happened with me ..
Sales/marketing seems to have got the better of customer service – at the expense of customers.. 

Ex .. when I go to an airline frequent flyer site, my default action is to redeem points .. it is not to make a new booking
Hilton must have spent a lot of money on the site .. yet this seems to have been missed? or was it intentional?
Someone in sales/marketing seems to have seen this as a way to sell NEW bookings at the expense of your existing customers
Among the response I got from Hilton by email was the below
But this seems to have missed the point that I did not intend to make the booking in the first place(I wanted to redeem my points to book the hotel as opposed to make a new booking)
This is sad indeed ..

Please be advised that during the process of your reservation, you booked a special rate called ‘Great Getaway’.  While our Terms clearly state:  


  1. Rewards may not be combined with other certificates, discounts, packages or promotional offers unless otherwise specified in writing by Hilton HHonors Worldwide.

It was not our intention to make you book a paid reservation.  Even if this is the case, most of our reservations are cancelable; however, the reservation which you confirmed was a non-refundable booking.