UNITE HERE issues travel alert: Hilton doesn’t automatically clean hotel rooms every day

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MCLEAN, Virginia – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – The UNITE HERE hotel workers union has issued a travel alert for guests of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT), stating that most Hilton hotels no longer clean hotel rooms on a daily basis . As the COVID-19 Omicron variant raises new holiday travel safety concerns, housekeepers say Hilton should not cut cleaning services. Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said his goal was to “retrain customers” and change expectations for housekeeping service, but housekeepers want travelers to know that Hilton says they may opt for daily housekeeping service at no additional charge.

Hilton’s new cleaning policy automatically excludes guests from daily housekeeping when staying at flagship brand Hilton Hotels & Resorts as well as DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and eleven other Hilton brands. (Automatic daily housekeeping remains in effect for luxury brands such as Waldorf Astoria.) But Hilton policy says that guests can select daily housekeeping at no additional charge by calling or going to the front desk. If guests choose daily housekeeping and do not receive it, they are encouraged to report it to [email protected]

“Since Hilton ended the automatic daily housekeeping, clients have approached me in the hallway asking me why their room is not cleaned,” said Lourdes Cortes, housekeeper at Hilton’s Drake Hotel in Chicago for 22 years. . “The truth is, housekeepers want to clean your hotel room every day, because rooms get a lot harder to clean if you let dust and grime build up over the days without cleaning. In 22 years, my workload has never been as painful as it is today when we no longer do daily cleaning.

“I don’t think guests realize that Hilton won’t clean your room every day unless you ask,” said D. Taylor, International President of UNITE HERE. “Customers don’t want to have to ask every time they need to empty their trash cans or replace dirty towels. Without housekeeping, what prevents a hotel from being just a more expensive Airbnb? Hilton is trying to use COVID as an opportunity to eliminate this standard customer service so it can increase profits – and customers and housekeepers are paying the price. ”

Housekeepers are skeptical that consumer preferences are behind the reduction in cleaning services at Hilton. “They [customers] always have very high expectations of what they want us to deliver, ”Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said in November 2021, according to a report by The Points Guy. “We need to communicate and retrain customers,” he added of the housekeeping changes. Less than 10% of Americans said suspending daily housekeeping would protect guests from COVID and make them more likely to stay in a hotel for leisure in a 2020 McKinsey survey. UNITE HERE housekeepers visited Hilton headquarters yesterday to deliver a petition with 20,000 signatures calling on Hilton to reinstate automatic daily housekeeping.

Industry analysts are wondering if the end of automatic daily housekeeping could lead hotels to charging guests extra for this standard service. “The biggest unanswered question is whether customers will eventually have to pay for housekeeping services,” hotel consultant Rachel Roginsky. told the Boston Globe.

UNITE HERE estimates that ending daily housekeeping industry-wide would eliminate up to 39% of all hotel housekeeping jobs in the United States and cost housekeepers – in large part majority of women of color – $ 4.8 billion in lost annual wages. Rooms that have gone days without cleaning are also more difficult to clean, and housekeepers have reported pain, stress, and injuries from cleaning checkout rooms that haven’t been cleaned daily.

UNITE HERE has provided daily room cleaning requirements in key markets including New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and more, and will continue to work to ensure that guests and housekeepers in the United States and the Canada can expect daily disinfection at no additional cost. Learn more in UNITE HERE’s “Playing Dirty” report.

UNITE HERE is the union of hospitality workers in the United States and Canada, representing more than 300,000 workers in hotels, games, restaurants and food services, airports, and more.


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