Hilton elite benefits on travel agent bookings

By mo | Jan 07, 2018, 07:44 PM
Hey All
I'm Gold with Hilton Honors.

Virgin Holidays travel portal gives me 3 points per dollar if I book the Hilton with them (same price).
If I do this, will I still get my elite benefits? Do I earn any status with Hilton?

Cheers
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By bl5965 | Jan 08, 2018, 02:25 AM
Generally you have to book with Hilton direct to get full benefits and earn credits. That's what they told me when I checked in for my reservation booked via Qantas hotels.
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By russell | Jan 08, 2018, 09:52 AM

You need to book direct with Hilton to earn points, not third party sites. You may have some benefits recognised if you don't book direct, but this is not guaranteed.

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By markpk | Jan 08, 2018, 09:55 AM
I've had the same issue with Qantas/Accor so unless I'm desperate for QF points or they have the 6x offer going I book direct so as to accumulate nights and get benefits
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By sim86on | Jan 08, 2018, 10:32 AM
I've just relinquished Hilton Gold status, but for the 2 years I held it I had no issue accessing all of my gold entitlements at any of the Hilton properties regardless of how/where I booked.
However, you will only earn HHonors points if you book directly with Hilton.
You'll need to go the maths if you'll earn more Velocity points booking direct with Hilton (My HHonors account was configured for 'Points & Points' and direct flows to Velocity) or booking via Virgin Australia Holidays.
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By GBRGB | Jan 08, 2018, 01:33 PM
I think all hotel programs are the same, we moved to a corporate travel management company last year, Hilton, IHG and Accor do not recognise anything unless booked direct with them and my status will disappear with them all so I am moving to other hotels or self contained apartments that are more convenient or better quality as there is no benefit to me to stay with these groups,, Hotel rewards programs will be virtually worthless in years to come as more and more business travel is done through management company, short sighted I would say on behalf of the hotel chains, airlines don't have an issue with points/ status regardless of where the booking originates, I don't know why hotels cant.
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By mo | Jan 08, 2018, 09:17 PM
I agree GBRGB.

The hotel chains voluntarily agree to make rooms available to these booking sites, travel agents, travel management companies etc and consequently pay them commission. There must be some benefit to the hotel for this arrangement so it would seem counter-intuitive that hotels punish guests for using these booking services. It is especially mean-spirited to deny loyalty benefits to corporate travelers who are required to book via an intermediary. Wouldn't these be lucrative customers?


It also seems odd not to give benefits to customers who book via airline portals when the hotels themselves have agreements (with the airlines) to give frequent flyer points to guests.

Last edited by mo at Jan 08, 2018, 09.20 PM.
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By ChrisCh | Jan 09, 2018, 10:02 AM
I stayed at a Hyatt property last week which I'd booked via Expedia (was 15% cheaper than direct from the hotel due to a couple of promo offers), and gave my World of Hyatt number at check-in. I earned eligible nights and status points on seemingly the entire cost of the stay (the Expedia component and in-house folio charges), except for taxes, fees and alcohol (which Hyatt doesn't seem to offer points on).

That said, Hyatt is a bit more liberal with giving you points - if you dine at a hotel restaurant even when you're not staying at the hotel, you can just give them your World of Hyatt number and you'll get points on that spend (5 per US$1 spent), without even having to charge it back to a room. :)
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GBRGB

By brinkers | Jan 10, 2018, 02:18 PM
I stayed at a Hyatt property last week which I'd booked via Expedia (was 15% cheaper than direct from the hotel due to a couple of promo offers), and gave my World of Hyatt number at check-in. I earned eligible nights and status points on seemingly the entire cost of the stay (the Expedia component and in-house folio charges), except for taxes, fees and alcohol (which Hyatt doesn't seem to offer points on).

That said, Hyatt is a bit more liberal with giving you points - if you dine at a hotel restaurant even when you're not staying at the hotel, you can just give them your World of Hyatt number and you'll get points on that spend (5 per US$1 spent), without even having to charge it back to a room. :)


As far as I know, World of Hyatt is one of the few programs that doesn't exclude travel agency bookings.

On the dining front SPG also offer points and a discount, even if you aren't staying.

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By DWB6265 | Jan 10, 2018, 07:32 PM
Get a Macquarie Hilton visa. auto gold, diamond if you can spend 40k per year. You can haggle the yearly fee as well when it is due. Free night in HKG upgraded to a suite on arrival was worth the card fee
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By peteshep | Jan 11, 2018, 09:10 AM
I disagree that booking through travel agents does not get benefits - I book through a corporate agent regularly and still earn Hyatt, Hilton, Accor and Swissotel points at the hotels I stay at.

It is only for rates where the travel agent goes through a wholesaler between them and the hotel that it doesn't apply - mainly because the hotel has sold to the wholesaler at a more discounted rate, who then adds their fee on, and then the travel agent adds their fee. Even though the price might be virtually the same as booking direct, the hotel has sold the room for quite a bit less, so fair enough they don't award points. Virgin Holidays would be in this category - they are not buying rooms directly with each hotel, they are going through wholesalers, or they would be a third party website booking. A lot of travel agents will buy through wholesalers in bulk as well (such as Flight Centre) - you'd need to ask them directly when you book if it is through a wholesaler or direct with hotel.

For the record, the full list of rates not counting as an eligible stay for Hilton Honors are (from the program terms and conditions):
  • wholesale/tour operator packages;
  • contracted crew rates;
  • travel agency discount rates;
  • packages exclusively for casino player card holders;
  • unauthorized Members staying on Go Hilton Team Member or Family & Friends Travel Rates;
  • stays secured utilizing Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Hilton Club timeshare programs, Hilton Grand Vacations marketing packages with a sales presentation requirement;
  • complimentary or barter rooms;
  • NET Group rates;
  • Series Group or IT Group rates;
  • contracted Entertainment or Encore rates;
  • third party websites bookings (irrespective of rate paid); and
  • "opaque" channel bookings where the brand may or may not be known at the time of purchase.

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By thomas87 | Jan 12, 2018, 03:35 PM
Even if You booked with a third party, you simply notify the hotel of your loyalty membership number and they will add your stay and recognise your elite tier at check in.

Several years ago my friend booked me an ‘onsale’ Room at Pullman shanghai. Dirt heap price. Upon check in I showed my Le Club Accor platinum loyalty card, they upgraded us to a junior suite and gave lounge access to their executive floor. Most of all my stay at that hotel was included upon my membership statement.
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By rob01 | Jan 13, 2018, 11:39 AM
Hilton will only recognise your status if your stay is booked via a GDS or Global Distrubution System. On a work trip last year my stay was booked via Qantas travel online and even as Hilton Diamond in a hotel I had stayed at regularly I received no benefits, points or lounge access. No amount of writing to the manager changed this. This new policy came in early 2017.
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By brinkers | Jan 13, 2018, 12:28 PM

For the record, the full list of rates not counting as an eligible stay for Hilton Honors are (from the program terms and conditions):
  • wholesale/tour operator packages;
  • contracted crew rates;
  • travel agency discount rates;
  • packages exclusively for casino player card holders;
  • unauthorized Members staying on Go Hilton Team Member or Family & Friends Travel Rates;
  • stays secured utilizing Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Hilton Club timeshare programs, Hilton Grand Vacations marketing packages with a sales presentation requirement;
  • complimentary or barter rooms;
  • NET Group rates;
  • Series Group or IT Group rates;
  • contracted Entertainment or Encore rates;
  • third party websites bookings (irrespective of rate paid); and
  • "opaque" channel bookings where the brand may or may not be known at the time of purchase.


These are about what is or is not valid for a 'stay'. The terms and conditions further narrow what is eligible for on property benefits:

On-property benefits are not awarded in the following circumstances:
  • Reservations booked through a non-Hilton-direct booking channel or a non-designated GDS, third party website or any other channel,
  • Rates available on "opaque" websites where the hotel brand and specific hotel are not known until the booking is made, or
  • Third party hotel packages or travel packages not booked through one of the eligible channels.
  • Booking ineligible stays, (as defined in the Accrual of Points section) unless hotel contract has specific benefits included.


Of course, these things are always a bit of a YMMV, and there may be reasons that a particular property goes above and beyond the minimum...



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By mo | Jan 13, 2018, 12:45 PM
Hilton will only recognise your status if your stay is booked via a GDS or Global Distrubution System. On a work trip last year my stay was booked via Qantas travel online and even as Hilton Diamond in a hotel I had stayed at regularly I received no benefits, points or lounge access. No amount of writing to the manager changed this. This new policy came in early 2017.

How do I know if my stay is booked via a GDS? The websites generally won't tell you.
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By rob01 | Jan 13, 2018, 10:09 PM
Hilton will only recognise your status if your stay is booked via a GDS or Global Distrubution System. On a work trip last year my stay was booked via Qantas travel online and even as Hilton Diamond in a hotel I had stayed at regularly I received no benefits, points or lounge access. No amount of writing to the manager changed this. This new policy came in early 2017.

How do I know if my stay is booked via a GDS? The websites generally won't tell you.

My understanding is that the GDS is one of the travel agent systems like Sabre or Amadeus. it has to be one of these systems.

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