Fighting for VIP Loyalty

This Reuters article describes how chains have targeted promotions to previously loyal Hilton customers after Hilton increased its number of loyalty points required for a free stay.  It mentions that InterContinental will offer loyalty points to those who lost Hilton points, and Carlson will drop the minimum number of points need for a stay at top properties.

Interestingly, while other chains fight for their frequent travelers, some Hilton hotels have cut the program further.  The article mentions some Hilton hotels that have cut back on hours for VIP lounges, lowering the elite loyalty member’s guest experience.  The executive lounge, which used to offer free drinks, breakfast, and hors d’oeuvres, has closed down in some hotels.  Instead, their VIP guests received coupons for coffee and a pastry at Starbucks.  At that point in check-in when the friendly front desk agent mentions that the executive lounge is closed and offers coupons, I doubt any loyalty members feel special or “VIP” at that point.

The USA Today Check-in post follows up on the Reuters article with stories of guest experiences at some of the hotels that have cut back.  In one unfortunate situation, since the executive breakfast was not set up, the loyal guest received a coupon for a continental buffet breakfast.  However, when the guest went for continental breakfast, it was not set up, and the coupon only covered a portion of the guest’s meal.

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