Hilton “Flash” Sales Could Save You Money — But Not Always

T he most recent “flash” sale from Hilton Worldwide concluded yesterday, which purported to save you up to 33 percent off of the best available room rate for stays during weekends on hotel properties in 50 different countries located in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It lasted seven days; and it had the potential to save you money on room rates — but be aware that those sales will not save you money all of the time.

Why? Because as soon as the “flash” sale ended, an “early saver” rate appeared which you can save 30 percent on room rates — rendering the room rates at some hotel properties even less expensive than during the “flash” sale.

Bad Deals of the “Flash” Sale

One example is the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa in Egypt:

  • $165.00 during the “flash” sale of seven days
  • $154.00 using the “early saver” rate

 

You would have paid $11.00 more per night for the same hotel room on the same date had you participated in the “flash” sale and not waited until the “early saver” rate kicked in.

Another example is the Hilton Hurghada Resort in Egypt:

  • $56.50 during the “flash” sale of seven days
  • $52.00 using the “early saver” rate

 

You would have paid $4.50 more per night for the same hotel room on the same date had you participated in the “flash” sale and not waited until the “early saver” rate kicked in.

Good Deals of the “Flash” Sale

Then again, you could have saved money at other hotel properties during the “flash” sale.

One example is the Ramses Hilton in Cairo, Egypt:

  • $96.70 during the “flash” sale of seven days
  • $146.71 using the “early saver” rate

 

You would have saved $50.01 per night for the same hotel room on the same date had you participated in the “flash” sale and not waited until the “early saver” rate kicked in.

Another example is the Hilton Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates:

  • 361.80 United Arab Emirates dirham during the “flash” sale of seven days
  • 436.80 United Arab Emirates dirham using the “early saver” rate

 

You would have saved 75.00 United Arab Emirates dirham — or slightly greater than $20.00 — per night for the same hotel room on the same date had you participated in the “flash” sale and not waited until the “early saver” rate kicked in.

Can You Trust Future “Flash” Sales From Hilton?

The problem is that it is virtually impossible to predict at which hotel properties will you save money during one promotion versus during a different promotion — and I do not believe that is fair. If a company is going to promote its product to its customers during an event such as a “flash” sale — the very name connotes a great sale during a very limited period of time — then it had better ensure that the sale prices are worth it. A “bitter taste” of sorts can form in the mouth of the person who just took advantage of the “flash” sale — only to find the room rates even less expensive at a hotel property immediately after the “flash” sale concludes.

It may even smack of dishonesty. How can you trust the prices during the next “flash” sale?

Because the room rates offered during both the “flash” sale and the “early saver” must be paid in full at the time of booking, no changes or refunds are permitted; so you cannot simply cancel your reservation and book the less expensive one. This is one of the reasons why I dislike room rates which require advanced payment.

Summary

If you have time before your trip, you may want to constantly monitor the room rates — which could change at any time due to a change in promotion by the lodging company.

Otherwise, it is pure luck as to whether or not you will truly save money on a room rate; although my experience has been that you will save money — more often than not.

I did reserve some hotel rooms through the “flash” sale; and although I could have saved an additional $40.00 or so on some hotel properties — which can be frustrating — I saved significantly more than that on other hotel properties.

As they say: “Your mileage may vary.”

Photograph of Hilton Durban ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

2 thoughts on “Hilton “Flash” Sales Could Save You Money — But Not Always”

  1. Marcus Aurealist says:

    WHO THE F is actually planning to use this in Egypt?

  2. Ra Anders says:

    Who the heck is even in control of these flash sales?? I as planning a 3 month stay while looking for a house in the Palm Beach area of Florida. I work late, logged into Homewood suites. It had an active “flash” sale of 25% off best available, limit was off season for the area (summer). 25% off was posted for rooms booked 3/28 through 4/1, and a hhonors member.

    It was 2am on the 1st, – great deal, went to book it. First couple days were $96.xx plus tax, May 1 it dropped to $76.xx plus tax. I had stayed in HS in other ares, generally very nice properties. So I went through the process, entered credit card. I hit save, got “server down for maintenance, come back later”. I should have hit print screen. I did go back several times, noting less than $130. Called reservations, they had a higher rate, told me to call hotel directly “they don’t handle the web”. So, I called hotel, got attitude, first was “what site did you go to, we never have rates like that, never heard of a “flash sale”, then suggested I call reservations. I explained reservations call the hotel. Both suggest I must have received that rate from a third party. Gave him the address – “well that is the official website”. After 15 minutes of showing him around the Hilton site, including “flash” sales – ” I never heard of those before”. Since my head was hurting by now, I had to convince him to leave a message for the GM.

    4/3 I get a call from an Assistant Manager. He has never heard of “flash” sale, had to show him current one in Europe. He also has an attitude “I have been here two years, we don’t really have a slow season. Lowest rate I ever saw was $96 and proceeds with an attitude that They are extended stay, 90% average occupancy. We don’t need sales”. I then gave him a confirmation number, last night I went back same time. Flash sale was expired, but I did get a rate of $89.10. “Oh, that must be prepaid”. So, again I show him his own site, fully refundable up to 24 hrs in advance. He continues with attitude, I just say I want to speak to the GM and the web manager when they come in: I DID get the screen print of 25% off (popped up on another screen). That was like pulling teeth. “I need to speak to my revenue manager as well, we provide breakfast and a light dinner fare, that rate was never offered”. This is same guy who just told me Hilton did not have flash sales. He just kept at me with attitude. Now I am wondering if I even want to stay there, with that type of response, even at $89 per night. Does anyone know who to call? I had a two moth stay at a HS in Orlando late last year, experience was 1000% percent better – extended my rate several weeks when delay came up.

    Two purposes for this comment: have a copy of EVERYTHING – they only know what that screen tells them, I had to PROVE my $89 rate. No one has heard of “flash sales”” – be prepared.

    If I do decide to stay at this is hotel, any idea who to call to get the rate I originally had. Now I know why I was dedicated to Marriot during my consulting days!

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