The hotel industry considered whom it most admired.
The answer was: the airline industry.
Yes, that wily cartel of misbegotten nickelers and dimers who delight in making planes narrower, seats smaller and passengers ever closer to ululating for five hours straight.
This was something to which the hotel industry could look up to.
This was greeted with cheering in the streets. At press conferences, world leaders came out in support. The United Nations held a five-minute standing ovation.
Would it actually work? Would it increase customer satisfaction — I mean, Hilton’s profits?
This seems unclear. What is very clear is that cancellation fees are staying. They’re going to become a thing.
As Skift reports, Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said this during an earnings call: “As opposed to the test, which was quite blunt force, I think what you will see us do — and we’re in the process of doing other tests right now — is different ways of pricing our products both short, long, lead and more and less flexibility.”
A translation of this might be: You know when you book a flight online and you get all those different pricing options, in which if you cancel the cheapest one you lose all your money, well, have you seen how much money the airlines are making these days?
Please, therefore, look forward to hotels aspiring to be as venal as airlines.
One airline fee that especially boggles my brain involves booking an economy plus seat. You pay extra to sit, say, in a exit row.
It used to be that if you then upgraded, you got the seat fee back. Now you don’t. Even though the airline will likely sell that seat again for the very same amount.