MCLEAN, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE). As the COVID-19 Omicron variant raises new safety concerns for vacation travel, housekeepers say Hilton shouldn’t cut cleaning services. Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said its goal is to “retrain guests” and change expectations for housekeeping, but housekeepers want travelers to know Hilton says they can opt in for daily cleaning at no additional cost.
Hilton’s new housekeeping policy automatically excludes guests from daily housekeeping when staying at flagship 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 like Waldorf Astoria.) But Hilton policy states that guests can select daily housekeeping at no additional cost by calling or visiting 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 automatic daily housekeeping, guests have been approaching me in the hallway asking why their rooms aren’t being 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 become much harder to clean if you let dust and grime build up over days without cleaning. In 22 years , my workload has never been so difficult as now that we no longer do the daily cleaning.
“I don’t think guests realize that Hilton won’t clean your room every day unless you ask for it,” said D. Taylor, UNITE HERE’s international president. “Customers don’t want to have to ask each time they need to empty their bins or replace their dirty towels. Without cleaning, what stops a hotel from being just a more expensive Airbnb? Hilton is trying to use COVID as an opportunity to eliminate that standard customer service in order to boost its profits — and guests and housekeepers are paying the price.
Housekeepers doubt that consumer preferences explain the reduction in cleaning services at Hilton. “They [customers] always have very high expectations of what they want us to provide for them,” 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 at a hotel for recreation in a 2020 survey by McKinsey. UNITE HERE housekeepers visited Hilton headquarters yesterday to deliver a 20,000 signature petition calling on Hilton to restore automatic daily housekeeping.
Industry analysts are wondering if the end of automatic daily housekeeping could cause hotels to charge guests an extra fee for this standard service. “The biggest question that still remains unanswered is whether guests will eventually have to pay for housekeeping services,” hospitality consultant Rachel Roginsky told The Boston Globe.
UNITE HERE estimates that ending daily housekeeping across the industry would eliminate up to 39% of all hotel housekeeping jobs in the United States and cost housekeepers – mostly US dollars. women of color – $4.8 billion in annual lost wages. Rooms that have gone days without cleaning are also harder to clean, and housekeepers have reported pain, stress, and injuries related to cleaning checkout rooms that weren’t cleaned daily.
UNITE HERE has provided daily room cleaning requirements in key markets such as New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, etc., and will continue to work to ensure that guests and housekeepers in the United States and Canada can expect daily disinfection at no additional cost. For more, check out UNITE HERE’s “Playing Dirty” report.
UNITE HERE is the union for hospitality workers in the United States and Canada, representing more than 300,000 workers in hotels, gaming, restaurants and food services, airports, and more.