Home Hotels Hilton Hilton News: Early upgrade confirmations & digital key sharing on the way

Hilton News: Early upgrade confirmations & digital key sharing on the way


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Hilton is introducing a couple of new measures which should make the travel lives of guests and Hilton Honors elite members a little easier. Coming soon, Hilton Honors elites will get advance notice when their space-available upgrade has been cleared by a property and Hilton guests who have downloaded the Hilton app and are a room’s primary occupant will be able to share their digital key with those with whom they’re traveling.

Complimentary upgrades get a little better

Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond elite members have been entitled to complimentary space-available upgrades for years but up until now, these upgrades have usually only been processed on the day of check-in and in this Gold member’s experience, often only at a hotel’s front desk where I can politely ask if I can have a room that doesn’t overlook the aircon units.

Going forward, Hilton says that “when possible”, Gold and Diamond members will be notified of their complimentary upgrade 72 hours prior to arrival so that they can choose their upgraded room directly via the Hilton Honors app well in advance of their arrival at the property.

How it will work

Eligible members will receive an email and a Hilton Honors app push notification alerting them of their complimentary upgraded room. Once received, if the hotel offers Digital Check-In, the member can choose the location of their upgraded room through the app 36 hours prior to arrival.

All stays under seven nights are eligible for this early confirmation, and it will be available in the coming months at all Hilton brands globally where space-available upgrades are currently offered, including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Signia by Hilton and Tapestry Collection by Hilton.

Digital Keys can now be shared

Hilton says its Digital Key technology is now available at “more than 80%” of its portfolio and that since its introduction in 2015 it has helped guests open over 135 million guestrooms and has saved an estimated 125 tons of plastic waste…which is both laudable and a little impressive.

Now, Digital Key is getting an upgrade.

Hilton has confirmed that in the coming months, it will roll out “Digital Key Share” which will allow a room’s primary occupant (the lead guest) to share their digital key with others.

How it will work

A room’s primary guest will be able to share their active Digital Key with up to four additional people or devices from the Hilton Honors app.

For a secondary guest to gain access to the Digital Key, they must receive an invitation from the primary guest, be logged into the Hilton Honors app, and pass a security check that happens instantly in the background.

Guests who accept a share will have access to the room and property throughout the duration of the stay and, for security purposes, cannot further share the Digital Key.

Interestingly, Hilton doesn’t state if the secondary guest’s name has to be on the reservation for the Digital Key to be shared so it may be possible for non-guests to be given access to a guest’s room and whatever other spaces a Digital Key will open at a property.

If any of Hilton’s Executive Lounges can be accessed via a Digital Key, this may prove to be an issue – we’ll have to wait and see.

Bottom Line

Hilton has announced that it will be introducing a new system under which Gold and Diamond elites will be informed of a successful complimentary space-available upgrade 72 hours before check-in. The hotelier has also confirmed that it will be upgrading the technology that operates its Digital Keys to allow a room’s primary occupant to share their Digital Key with up to four others. No exact dates have been given for the rollout of these enhancements so all we know is that they will come into play in the coming months.

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