Reader Email: Hilton Hotel Claims No Free Upgrades To Lifetime Diamond Members


A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a message about a Hilton hotel that claims that they don’t upgrade even Honors Lifetime Diamond members without a fee.

Readers are encouraged to send us questions, comments, or opinions by email, FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. We’ll try to cover them here several times a week.

You can access Hilton Greenville here.

READ MORE: Hilton Honors Rate & Bonus Points Offers

Reader’s Message:

I thought you’d find this interesting. I wonder what Hilton corporate would say

I booked a standard and received a standard

It appears this property has decided it will only have paid upgrades regardless of the diamond beneift

I found it interesting she replied that the local management had decided this policy

Reader’s Chat With The Front Desk:

When the reader contacted us, I pulled up the hotel’s room availability for the night.

They had corner rooms where they could have moved the lifetime Honors Diamond member.

Hotel’s Usual Room Inventory:

Honors Benefits Matrix:

The matrix states upgrades as a benefit for Gold and Diamond members.

Then there is a note on Diamond benefits that the upgrades are: Space-available room upgrades. If we have a better room available, it’s yours – up to a 1-bedroom suite.

If the upgrade was available for cash, it is evident that it should have been given without a fee to a Diamond member.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Have a chat with the front desk manager

2. If the upgrade is not fixed, open a case with Guest Assistance and request points as compensation for the hotel’s failure to deliver the elite benefits by the program T&Cs. You can reach Guest Assistance by emailing

3. Leave appropriate feedback with low scores on Google and TripAdvisor and name names.

Sebastian recently wrote a rant about the lack of top-tier benefits with Hilton:

Is Hilton Honors The Worst Of The Big Four Loyalty Programs When It Comes To Benefits?


I was having my 994th Hilton night ( I am counting until I reach a lifetime Diamond at 1,000 in six nights)  when I was reading this reader’s message this past weekend and at a presidential suite at one of the Hilton’s in Europe.

Unfortunately, Diamond Elite treatment is truly lackluster in the US, but that is likely due to giving the tier to those paying for a specific co-branded card from Amex.

I do not doubt that this hotel’s management has instructed the front desk not to process any upgrades and only offer them for cash, but then they violate their franchise agreement with Hilton.

Suppose the owner doesn’t like the business Hilton brings and the benefits they need to provide for this to continue. In that case, they can always reflag the hotel to a random “Inn with a Flag” and see how easy the business is as an unaffiliated hotel.

Nothing will change until elite members start revolting, leaving less-than-stellar online reviews on Google Maps and TripAdvisor and opening Guest Assistance files that go against the property performance measures.

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