How did 550,000 Hilton points become 55,000 Delta miles? And can you undo it, please?

Serg64/Shutterstock
Serg64/Shutterstock
When Gale Flake tries to convert his Hilton points to Delta SkyMiles, something gets lost in the translation. Can the conversion be undone?

Question: I recently read your story about how persistence pays and it inspired me to write to you about my problem with Delta and Hilton HHonors. I’m a gold member of HHonors, Hilton’s loyalty program, and have saved for many years to plan a trip to Paris. I have accrued 550,000 points, and wanted to redeem them for a flight.

I called Hilton and they suggested that I contact Delta to handle the transaction. I did. At the end of the transaction, I learned that I’d been reduced to 55,000 Delta miles.
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A perfect Paris vacation foiled by a flagging flap — what can I do?

It was supposed to be a special trip for Alana Pitts and her father to celebrate his birthday in Paris. They’d made reservations at the Hilton Arc De Triomphe hotel in Paris back in June, using his HHonors points, and selected a special room on the executive floor with two queen-size beds.
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Lost HHonors: “Life” member stripped of Hilton elite status

card hhonorsIn 1991, Robert Annenberg paid $150 for life membership in Senior HHonors Gold VIP program. Last year, Hilton terminated his membership without warning. Is Annenberg’s elite status gone?

My initial response — and one I’ve repeated to several Hilton guests with the identical problem — is that he’s probably lost his HHonors status for good. The lawyerly terms and conditions for Hilton’s loyalty program is crystal clear that it can basically change its contract any time, for any reason.

But the more I thought about it, the more I thought how wrong that was. The terms are irrelevant — lifetime means for the rest of my life.

Right?
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