5 Secrets From Former Hilton Employees

There's plenty that even regular travelers don't know about this hotel chain.

Hilton might be the best-known hotel chain in America—not because of its offerings, per se, but because of its family members' penchant for appearing on reality television. But Hilton the company is nothing to sneeze at, with more than a century-old pedigree of hospitality, now spread across six continents. If you haven't yet stayed in one of the conglomerate's 200,000-odd rooms, you almost certainly will one day. And here's how to make the most of it, straight from the folks who'd know most. Read on to learn the best Hilton secrets from former employees.

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Book with Hilton's reservations team to avoid getting bumped.

Hilton Entrance

It's a traveler's worst nightmare: You book a room, only to learn, mere days before your flight, that you've been bumped. For Hilton, priority as to who gets bumped or not is broken up into a sort of tier system, a former employee said on Reddit under the username NeoPendragon117. "If anyone's gonna get bumped, it's gonna be third-parties over direct reservations," they say. "Hotels do sometimes overbook. It sucks but the math [works] for them."

They explain that people who book through a popular third-party site like Priceline are more likely to lose their reservation. If you book through a third-party site you've never heard of—one that likely offers a price too good to be true—then you're on even thinner ice. Your best bet is to book directly with Hilton's reservations team either online or via phone.

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Secrets From Former Marriott Employees.

You can also angle for a price match.

Expedia Website Highlighting Hotels

Speaking of third-party sites, if you see a rate from a place like Priceline, Orbitz, or Kayak (or other reputable sites with big enough advertising budgets to be household names), mention it to the booking agent. In their Reddit thread, the former employee, who worked in the reservations department, said the hotel might match your price, provided you keep all of the key details, from the location to the length of your stay, exactly the same.

Yes, you can book connecting rooms.

Connecting Hotel Rooms
Paul Vinten/Shutterstock

You no longer need to leave things up to chance (and the whims of a reservations algorithm). Launched early last year, a new Hilton program, very aptly called Confirmed Connecting Rooms, allows you to book adjacent rooms.

"[Guests] told us they wanted more flexibility in their travel space and experience," Tripp McLaughlin, the head of Hilton's Motto by Hilton chain—which spearheaded the initiative—said in a press release. The connecting rooms feature is currently available across all 18 hotel chains in Hilton's portfolio, and you can book your adjoining rooms via Hilton.com or the Hilton Honors App.

Bothering the front desk could jeopardize upgrades.

Front Desk Bell and Associates
Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock

We get it: Sometimes a hotel room is less than perfect. Maybe there's a funky smell, or the blankets aren't fluffy enough, or maybe you're just too close to the elevator. But you should be judicious in what matters you bring to the front desk, according to one front desk staffer, or you might end up on a gray list that could hurt your future chances at an upgrade.

"It does [but] only if you put in guest assistance requests over and over," the employee, who goes by Bellboy13, said in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, responding to someone wondering about the irritation threshold for Hilton's front desk employees. "As long as you're not giving them a hard time, it won't affect future stays."

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You should mention your membership status.

Hilton Honors Rewards Program
JL IMAGES/Shutterstock

It's natural to imagine that, when you start talking to a Hilton employee, all of your lodging history with the hotel chain is automatically teed up. (C'mon, why else would they ask for your name and phone number from the jump?) But according to Bellboy13, all employees can see on their end is how many points you have. If you want the Hilton agent to know you're part of Hilton's Honors rewards program, you'll have to make that clear to whomever you're talking to.

And it's worth doing. "If anything, at my hotel, [guests who stay with points] are the most fun," Bellboy13 says. "They're usually there for vacation and not work. They're more relaxed, and you can spend more time with them to get to know them which in turn, makes for a better guest experience."

Ari Notis
Ari is an editor specializing in news and lifestyle. Read more
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