For years, some have accused America’s largest hotel chains of colluding with travel booking sites like Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline to make sure that the room rates offered to consumers on these sites are the same. This practice, claimed plaintiffs in various lawsuits, effectively allowed the hotel chains to determine their own prices and kept the booking sites from competing against each other; meaning consumers could be paying more than they should. But a U.S. District Court judge feels differently. [More]
The crime wave carrying off the world’s comfort food by the truckload is only continuing and escalating. From maple syrup in Québec and Maine to Nutella in Germany and soup in Florida, criminals are carrying off many of our tastiest and most comforting foods. Now, criminals in New Jersey have made off with an entire refrigerated shipping container of hamburger patties. Not the burgers! [More]
Many hotels have rather strict cancellation policies, which is understandable since it’s bad for business if people book rooms and then fail to show up. What’s not so understandable is a hotel that decides it has a strict cancellation policy after it’s allowed a guest to cancel and provided her with a cancellation number. [More]
A class-action lawsuit filed yesterday in a U.S. District Court in California alleges that the biggest names in online travel — Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com — and some of the world’s largest hotel chains — Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Intercontinental, among others — conspired together so that the “best price guarantee” you often see when booking a room online is in actuality just a number set by the hotel operators. [More]
A man has decided to turn a minor annoyance, getting a newspaper at your hotel room door and getting charged for it, into a class action lawsuit. [More]
No person in their right mind should ever long for the ’70s. In case, they do, however, we offer as counter-argument this incredibly weird Hilton ad, which features a magician, a Scott Bakula impersonator, and a bunch of hotel maids dressed in what later became the Munchkin costumes for a community theater production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Due to the nature of Craig’s work, he spends about half of his nights sleeping in hotels. If you’re a hotel chain, he’s the kind of customer you would want to work hard to keep. However, Hilton doesn’t think so: since his work didn’t bring him near any Hilton properties in the last year, they canceled his rewards account and purged all 323,000 of his HHonors points. [More]
Older stairwells were apparently not designed to handle the massive boxsprings that come with today’s double beds. When Sarah ordered a mattress set from Hampton Inn, she didn’t realize this, and ran up against a no-return policy and an inexplicable $500 markup for a split boxspring. [More]
Embassy Suites plans to launch a site next month that will let people buy sheets, comforters, pillows, coffee pots, and alarm clocks just like the ones in their hotel rooms, reports national hotel paper USA Today. A Hilton executive in charge of the Embassy brand says the company doesn’t plan to make much money off of it and that the items will be priced below retail, but I’m not sure that means you’ll find any bargains. [More]
Buddy says a Hilton parking structure security guard wouldn’t allow him to drive his car away because he didn’t have a ticket. Buddy didn’t have one because the ticket machine was broken and couldn’t provide it to him. It took a 911 call to get to freedom. [More]
If you’ve got Hilton Honors points, the hotel chain will let you redeem them as cash donations for Haiti relief efforts. That’s a pretty nice offer, but Oyster Hotel Reviews points out that the hotel chain is only offering $25 in donations for every 10,000 points–an exchange rate that puts the points at a fourth of what they’re usually worth. [More]
Jeremy received a solicitation from Hilton to donate his points from the chain’s loyalty program, HHonors, to the Red Cross in order to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti. He thinks that this e-mail blast was in poor taste. Do you? [More]
At Hilton Washington Dulles Airport hotel, everything is complimentary! That’s because to them “complimentary” actually means “for a price.” Last week, a linguistics professor tried to take advantage of their “Complimentary High-speed Internet access on the lobby level,” which is how they describe the service on their website. He quickly discovered that he’d have to agree to a $9.99 charge in order to get the free service.
Rikki is happy to report that her 162,000 Hilton points that disappeared without notice or warning are reinstated!
When Mr. Glassman tried to change his reservation date at a DC Hilton, a hotel clerk told him he couldn’t do that because a large group was checking in and, “There won’t be anyone on the desk to accommodate you.” When he asked for clarification, that no matter what time he checked in during that day, no one would be able to help him, the answer was in the affirmative. So Glassman, a frequent Hilton customer, canceled his reservation, all his future reservations, and all those of the rest of his 21-member law firm. When Hilton corporate caught word, “gaskets were blown” and they took it as a “training opportunity,” but by that time, they lost Glassman’s business for good.
Readers Brandon and Eleanor made reservations back in November for their wedding this June, but in May found out that the Doubletree Hotel had only reserved a small fraction of the rooms they requested. This started off a chain of bad service that included weddings guests not able to book their rooms at the quoted rate, unauthorized charges to Eleanor’s credit card, and unexpected fees for handing out gift bags. What a headache.