In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel industry has taken an enormous hit and there has been a lot of speculation around what steps airlines and hotels would take to maintain membership loyalty.
Big news came from Hilton this morning — we received an email confirming the extension of Elite Status, Hilton Honors points, and Weekend Night rewards. While the status extension may not be as big of news since elite status is often automatic through credit card benefits (we have Diamond status thanks to the Hilton Aspire card), the significant news here is that members won’t be forfeiting points and Weekend Night Rewards. Details of the email read as follows:
- 2019 Status Extension. All members whose 2019 status was scheduled to be downgraded on March 31, 2020—whether it’s Diamond, Gold or Silver—will automatically receive an extension through March 31, 2021.
- 2020 Status Extension. We are extending your 2020 member status through March 31, 2022. This means you will continue to enjoy all the Diamond, Gold or Silver benefits you have access to today for the next 24 months.
- Points Extension. We will pause the expiration of all Points scheduled to expire between now and December 31, 2020.
- Weekend Night Rewards Earned on Eligible Hilton Credit Cards. We have extended the expiration date of all unexpired Weekend Night Rewards as of March 11, 2020, and all new ones issued until August 30, 2020, through the end of next summer (August 31, 2021).
The email went on to mention that Hilton is allowing free cancellations through June 30:
- Existing Reservations. All reservations—even those described as “non-cancellable” (“Advanced Purchase”)—that are scheduled for arrival on or before June 30, 2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge, up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival day.
- New Reservations. Any reservations you make—even those described as “non-cancellable” (“Advanced Purchase”)—that are booked between today and June 30, 2020 for any future arrival date can be changed or cancelled at no charge, up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival day.
Even though Hilton elite status is the easiest to earn of any of the three major hotel brands, we’re super impressed with Hilton for setting the bar high with these accommodations. Hopefully, we’ll see Hyatt and Marriott follow suit. While we’d love to see airlines do something similar, we aren’t quite as hopeful but will provide updates as we receive them.
What do you think about the news from Hilton? Let us know in the comments below.