Hilton Los Cabos NOT Honoring 279 HHonors Point Award Reservations

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotels

Yesterday I posted about the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort allowing HHonors members to book King Premier Suite Oceanview rooms for 279 HHonors points per night.


The hotel is closed for renovations until July 1, 2015, so this was clearly a back-end error they made as they loaded inventory. Not surprisingly hundreds of people booked stays, and we didn’t hear anything from the hotel for over 24 hours (in my opinion when there’s a mistake that a company doesn’t plan on honoring, they really should make every effort to contact customers within 24 hours).

Well, the hotel is now sending out the following cancellation emails, saying that they won’t honor the bookings:

Greetings from Hilton los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort.

First of all we would like to thank you for thinking of our Hotel for your  trip to Los Cabos.

Our records indicate that you have a reservation with us, lamentably we are not able to offer you our services, the reservation was made yesterday March 26, 2015 during a testing of our systems were the time share units become available and they don’t belong to the hotel, reason you was able to book a room category that do not exist.

Unfortunately we are forced to cancel your reservation at this time, your HHonors points have been credited back to your account already.   We sincerely apologize if this information causes turmoil to your upcoming vacation plans but we wanted for you to be aware as soon as possible, so you could make the necessary changes to your trip.

Feel free to rebook your reservation on line as the system already have the properly room types.

Given how long it took them to send out the email, you’d think they could have at least had someone proofread it first. 😉

So the claim is that the timeshare units don’t belong to the hotel, and therefore you booked a room category that doesn’t exist. Interesting logic…

They’re also claiming that the reservations have been canceled and that points have been refunded, though in my experience that’s not the case. They’ve sent out the email but not cancelled reservations or refunded points yet.

Welcome to the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort!

Bottom line

While the Department of Transportation regulates mistake fares when it comes to airfare, there’s no similar consumer protection when it comes to hotels.

And in this case I don’t think the hotel is being unreasonable. While it took them a bit longer to send out emails than I would have hoped, ultimately we all knew it was a mistake. And at least for me, half of the fun of mistake rates is the actual thrill of the booking process. So I’m not especially sad, or disappointed, really…

Has the Hilton Los Cabos contacted you yet regarding your reservation? How do you feel about how the hotel is handling the mistake?

(Tip of the hat to Miles To Memories)


  1. Sounds good Hilton, I’ll log on right away and fix my turmoil with a 6 digit point redemption. Thanks for HHonoring.

  2. Very surprised it took them this long to cancel such an obvious mistake, especially since there’s no DOT-like authority. Hope everyone made refundable/cancel-able travel arrangements.

  3. You forgot this part of the email:

    “We at Hhonors were originally planning on honoring these reservations as a gesture of good will towards our loyal customers, even though we would be losing money. Unfortunately upon review of some of the reservations, we saw that someone named Ryan booked 14 stays of 7 days each for a total of 98 nights. This is just absurd and we could never let someone get away with something like this. Because of Ryan’s 14 bookings (and we emphasize that it was for this reason alone) we have decided to cancel the thousands of bookings that everyone made. In the future, we encourage everyone to keep their mistake rate bookings to three nights or less so these types of things are sustainable.”

  4. Ah poor Tom. He was late to the party and is jealous that he couldn’t get a room.

    Yes, at one point for a few hours yesterday I had 98 nights across multiple reservations. I had multiple weeks booked with 4 rooms. But I canceled all of them except for 7 days yesterday (a single room, way before they reviewed anything.

    People were still booking today. Plenty of other people booked multiple 4 room stays as I did. Some even did month or multi month stays.

    But Tom can cry all he wants.

  5. To kinda belabor the obvious, it’s Hilton’s call on whether to honor a fairly apparent mistake in the name of Goodwill. If some people go nuts booking multiple weeks at the crazy low rate, it only increases the chances of having everyone denied. This greed hurts everyone, since everyone loses the booking. A little thought before being That Guy might help everyone next time.

  6. I have no desire to ever go to Mexico, but followed this out of curiosty having not seen many hotel mistake fares.

    But that someone can actually book 98 rooms and still doesn’t realize how dumb he is takes a special kind of talent lol. I don’t think it affected the chances Hilton allows these rooms, it was just too low a price anyway, but still too funny to see pure greed in action.

  7. Ryan is a young kid who does not understand what is going on here. He is of the me-first, oh wait, me only generation.

    He proudly announces his foolish behavior and then he defends it in public. Enough said.

  8. @Ryan,

    That was just a joke above. I got a kick out of all the hate for you on the other thread. I have no skin in the game. I just think it is funny that people think that somehow you were messing it up for everyone else when in reality nobody understands what decisions go into whether to honor the rate or not. I think most people knew this one was too good to slide under the radar. You were just the scapegoat.

  9. @Christian – yes, because Hilton really cared about my reservation… It did not increase the chance of it getting canceled one bit. The fact that within hours, this hotel which is not even currently open until till July 1, suddenly had 2700 rooms booked all in a period of a few hours made it stand out.

    @Mark Well you obviously did not follow the entire story as I quickly canceled most of the rooms and had my friends book them under their own accounts. Other people had just as many rooms book, and some had MONTHS booked. I simply had a few weeks booked with 4 rooms per week for friends for a group trip.

  10. Hear, hear! Death to Ryan! He is also the one who bought all the vanilla reloads at all the CVSs ruining that; charging too many serve’s with online CCs which killed that deal, and I assume he will be buying 100 Redbirds to kill that deal out of spite.

    Sure he booked a lot of rooms which cut down on the chance some other people got some no longer existent deals. He won the ‘being online at the right time’ lottery and took advantage of it. The same could be said for those who booked 4 months stays, got 20 AA executive 100K CCs, etc. It’s all a matter of perspective, heck none of us even would have known about this if a kind hearted flyertalker didn’t post about this. I’m all for more for the masses but the MS and mistake fare delas are a zero-sum game where someone has to lose eventually. Hopefully everyone reading and posting will just take their fair share next time (whatever that may be)

  11. This is why I refuse to share any secrets on FT anymore. People like Ryan who add no value just leech off others finds and good will. No thanks, as said before, all the good stuff is locked behind closed doors.

    I’ve recently completed a similar stay. Nope not sharing it, except to a few trusted friends. At least the mistakes I find get honored.

  12. Of course Hilton shouldn’t honor it. The same way United shouldn’t honor their 4 mile F redemption a few years back that I attempted. Lucky and many other reasonable people go for mistake deals but don’t go crazy on them, or whine when they are not honored.

    And yeah Ryan, you’re still a greedy freeloader. Btw many hotels (as you probably don’t know much) are privately owned and franchised/ managed thru big groups. Mexico has many image problems but hard working people. You would happily negatively impact their business so you could get fatter.

  13. I also had booked at the hotel, 3 nights for 2 rooms. I read the email this morning and it seems a bit suspect in the wording that said:

    “Our records indicate that you have a reservation with us that was made yesterday March 26, 2015 “during a testing” of our systems……”

    What I don’t understand is what company “tests” their systems in a live environment? Maybe what Hilton should have done is re-book customers in their hotel inventory know some will cancel and those that do go will inevitably spend money on food and drink?

  14. @Andy – actually I know plenty about the hotel and travel industry. As a consultant, I spend more time in hotels than most people and have earned and kept status at multiple chains. Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, Starwood Gold, Kimpton Inner Circle and not via credit card spend but nights in a bed.

    Yes, many hotels are independently owned, but what you are not considering is, even if I did not book a room, everyone else on this web site, FT, and other sites would have. Some of those people who couldn’t find a room would have – so the outcome would have been the same for the hotel. All the mistake award rooms being booked.

    Also, you apparently do not understand how Hilton pays hotels for point redemption. They are paid out based on the occupancy level of the hotel – not the number of points required. For example. if a hotel is at 70 % occupancy, they may only receive $15-40 per night from Hilton to cover the costs of housekeeping, etc. Only if the hotel is at 90- 95+ % occupied do they receive any real compensation from Hilton as clearly they had the possibility of selling out at a cash rate.

  15. I’m going to be filing a suit against Hilton to have this honored. How was I supposed to know it was a mistake? 279 points per room night doesn’t sound any more crazy than 130,000. How do I know 130,000 isn’t the mistake rate?

  16. I still haven’t received a cancellation email and reservation still shows on website. Not that i have high expectations

  17. Not a slam against anyone, but wow–you people live such radically different lives than I do. I value my time way too much to chase a deal I expect to be pulled/dishonored. I was upset I’d missed out, but only b/c I thought it was a legit deal. It seems most of you never expected it to be honored. Don’t you have important things to do with your time? It’s just a view of life I can’t wrap my head around. But, very interesting to consider.

  18. I take it back, just now received the cancellation email.

    @mbh, booking took literally 30 seconds, no more time than it took you to write the above post. What did you get for that effort?

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *