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New from Hilton: ‘Little Extras’

SmarterTravel

Taking a page from the airlines’ revenue-optimization playbook, Hilton is offering travelers a little something extra, for a little more money.

Customers who opt to pay extra for a Little Extras Upgrade at participating DoubleTree hotels will receive one the following three perk bundles, as determined by each hotel:

  1. Snack bag including a bag of chips, candy, a “healthy snack,” two bottles of water, a piece of fruit, two drink vouchers, and premium in-room WiFi
  2. Unlimited snacks and non-alcoholic beverages at the 24-hour self-service refreshment center located on the Little Extras Floor, an in-room premium coffee brewer, and premium WiFi
  3. Unlimited snacks and non-alcoholic beverages at the 24-hour self-service snack pantry located on the Little Extras Floor, an in-room premium coffee brewer, and premium WiFi

Yes, options 2 and 3 are virtually identical, except for the designation of the snack area, which is called a refreshment center in one case and a snack pantry in the other.

And yes, free basic WiFi is already available to Hilton customers, provided they’re HHonors loyalty-program members whose bookings are made direct with Hilton.

So, for a surcharge ranging from $25 to $35 per night, what most DoubleTree customers get that they wouldn’t otherwise are snacks. Worth it?

Hilton’s take: “Through the program we’re allowing hotels to create a more rewarding guest experience by offering extras that can make their stay more enjoyable, while also driving profitability for our owners.”

The Little Extras price-to-value equation strikes me as delivering more profit for owners than joy for their guests, not unlike the mini-bar concept with its overpriced liquors and nut bags. But I’m not much of a snacker. Even if I were, though, I’d be inclined to bring my own, rather than rely on a hotel to define my options.

Extras are currently being rolled out across the DoubleTree network, and if successful will likely be adopted by other Hilton brands as well.

Reader Reality Check

A Little Extras Upgrade for $35: Aye or nay?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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