Hilton Adds Ways to Digitally Share Your Key, Introduces Advanced Room Upgrades

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Hilton recently announced that it's adding a series of tech updates. The first gives guests the option to share their room key digitally through Digital Key Share. Hilton is also introducing new automated room upgrades for Hilton Honors elites.

Let's see how these new features can amplify your Hilton experience.

How Hilton Digital Key Share Works

Hilton Adds Tech Updates for Digital Key & Automated Upgrades

The Digital Key Share feature is an update to the existing digital key feature. Previously, only one guest could have access to the digital key. Now, multiple guests staying in the room can turn their smartphones into a room key.

To share and access the key, you can use the following process:

For the primary room guest

  • Open the Hilton app and select your Digital Key.
  • At the Digital Key screen, choose the “Share Your Key” option.
  • Select which room you will share.
  • Choose the “Send invite” option and then select the way you'd like to share the key: SMS or email.
  • Finally, send the key share invitation.

Hilton Digital Key Share

For secondary guests

  • Open the Hilton app. If you don't have it, make sure to download it. You can download it here for the Apple store and here for Google Play.
  • Log into your Hilton Honors account.
  • Open the invitation you received via SMS or email and click on the link.
  • The Hilton app will open and allow you to accept or reject the shared key invite.
  • Clear the adaptive authentication and fraud check.
  • Once the Digital Key is ready, you will be notified.

Hilton Digital Key Share

New Hilton Automated Upgrades Process

Hilton is also updating the way upgrades for its elite members are processed, introducing automated upgrades. Instead of waiting until check-in to find out if you have been upgraded, you can now find out up to 72 hours before.

But these upgrades are more of an opportunity to select an “enhanced” room in the app. In order to snag a suite upgrade, you'll still need to do it the old-fashioned way: make sure your social engineering skills are polished and ask the desk agent.

Both Gold and Diamond elite status holders are eligible for early room upgrades. This makes planning ahead much easier, knowing for sure in advance that you have scored an upgrade.

Suite at the Conrad Tokyo in Tokyo, Japan.

Hilton Cards That Offer Free Elite Status

Related content: How to Get Hotel Elite Status for Free (or Almost Free).

Final Thoughts

The Digital Key Share option is a nice addition and will definitely make stays less complicated when multiple people are sharing a room. As for Hilton's automated upgrades in advance, it's yet to be seen how great — or not great — this option will be.

What do you think of these new technological advances from Hilton?

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Comments

  • Nice that the digital key allows the second person to arrive first at the hotel without waiting the owner of the reservation. Well in the past it is often enough to ask kindly at the reception.
    Good also to know in advance if there has been an upgrade.
    I wonder if in order to have an upgrade it make sense to do the check-in not much time in advance.

  • The digital key sounds great. No more making sure everyone in the room has a key.

  • Looking forward to the new features. Crossing my fingers for the advance upgrades.

  • excellent room upgrades and security key features. I love this as travel has become rather unsafe.

    • Travel safety references these days usually are Covid related, but yours reads as if you’re concerned about safety in general. I’m sorry to hear that’s your perception and I’m not sure what’s driving it, but the overwhelming majority of the world does remain a safe and wonderful place to visit.

  • I cannot even get my own key to work for me! I don’t think this would work for me. hey I can always give it a try. I like updates making things easier.

  • With requesting room upgrades, do you get a limited number? Or should I ask every single reservation?

    • Darren – it’s a perk of status. There’s no limit, such as “get upgraded 3 times per year”, if that’s what you mean. You are eligible for upgrades according to status on every single reservation, depending on what’s available at the hotel when you check in.

  • Albert C Rollins says:

    I’m old school, rather have a key. Why add another item to my phone that ends up draining battery life.

  • It’s great that Hilton is further developing their products. I’m interested in Hilton’s automated upgrades and how that turns out.

  • how do these digital keys work? you put the phone close to the lock?

  • Great customer friendly addition. Love bypassing the desk for checking but when traveling with others in the same room it makes it a pain to only have one person with a key.

  • Sharing digital keys will be a big improvement — when it works. My experience so far with digital keys hasn’t been great: they often don’t work at all. It’ll be nice once they work the kinks out.

  • Will be interesting to see how these advance “upgrades” pan out.

  • Kurt Thearling says:

    Finally. Given that they always asked “how many keys do you want” when you checked in (physically), you would have thought this was something that they built in from the beginning.

  • Even as the primary guest I’ve never been able to get the digital key to work within my HH app

  • For the digital key, I still had togo thru the front desk in order to make it work even though I was already assigned a room in advance.

  • I’ll stick to getting a key from the front desk. I’m old school.

  • Excellent news for the environment, no more plastic keys for rooms

  • Love the idea of the advance room upgrades, hope they work as well in real life as they do on paper.

    • We shall see. I’ve seen the option but haven’t used it yet because I didn’t/don’t know if we only get a limited number or if we should try every time.