Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step

June 14, 2007

Hilton: Not Really Interested in my Public Transit Ideas

Category: Companies,Economics,Little Things,Observations,Rants,Tips,Transportation – Tom Harrison – 6:23 pm

Last week, I wrote about high gasoline prices in Chicago and my realization that I could have easily taken public transit to the airport, rather than the cab that was ever-so-conveniently waiting for me, with the ever-so-convenient assistance of the personnel at the hotel to whisk me away to the airport.

I presented my ideas to Hilton Hotels via their website, and got prompt replies … but I didn’t get a strong sense that there was any real interest in providing an “active” effort, just the “if you ask, we’ll tell you” response. I doubt I would get anything more substantive from other major hotel chains, but perhaps this is worth trying.

I could be wrong about my perceptions of the response I got, so here’s the email thread (in reverse chronological order, with contents bolded and with the personal details removed) for your perusal. I would encourage others who think this simple step might help to contact Hilton and other hotels.

Good evening Mr. Harrison

Any and all of are properties are more than willing to assist in providing any information you may have if/when asked. If you should have any issues with properties not willing to assist you with your request for information please feel free to let me know so I may assist with resolving that issue and finding the information requested.

Have a great day!
[name removed]
Guest Assistance Specialist
Hilton Hotels Corporation
755 Crossover Lane, AW-A2
Memphis, TN 38117
[fax number removed] Fax
[email removed]

Thank you in advance for not posting my information or my email correspondence on your blog.

—–Original Message—–
From: Tom Harrison [mailto:[email removed]]
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 4:48 PM
To: [name removed]
Subject: RE: Hilton Chicago

Hello [name removed] —

Thanks for your reply. I still have some questions.

So just to be clear, am I to understand that the city requires you to direct customers to cabs and not to public transit? Would the city have a problem with Hilton’s employees providing directions, maps, and otherwise facilitating the use of public transit as an alternative to cabs?

Or further, would it be the case that an influential company such as Hilton might have some special sway in promoting environmentally beneficial actions by their guests? Or promoting even more progressive environmental transportation policies within the cities and towns in which the hotels operate?

Or gosh, might it not even be the case that a company who is seen to be making environmentally progressive actions might benefit in the marketplace?

Thanks for your responses,

Tom Harrison

(P.S. I assume it’s ok for me to post this email thread on my blog, and to share it with the other environmental organizations with which I am affiliated)

—–Original Message—–
From: [name removed] [mailto:[email removed]]
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 2:28 PM
To: [email removed]
Subject: RE: Hilton Chicago

Good afternoon Mr. Harrison

Thank you for visiting our website! The public transit decisions unfortunately are made by the city and the transit authority. We definitely appreciate your comments and look forward to serving you again in the future.

Have a great day!

[name removed]
Guest Assistance Specialist
Hilton Hotels Corporation
755 Crossover Lane, AW-A2
Memphis, TN 38117
[fax removed] Fax
[email removed]

—- Original Message —–
From : [email removed]
Sent: 06/10/2007 10:36:16 AM
Subject: Hotel Questions

To:Internet Help Desk

Subject:Hotel Questions

From:Thomas S Harrison Jr[email removed]
Phone:[phone removed]
Hotel Name:
Date:Sun Jun 10 10:35:38 CDT 2007

Computer Type:
Operating System:
Browser Type:
Browser Version:

Comments:I recently stayed at your Chicago (Michigan Ave) hotel. After a long cab ride to the airport, it occurred to me that I could have taken the train, which I could have boarded a few blocks from the hotel.
It would have been faster, more reliable and saved my company about $40.
Most importantly, it would have used much, much less energy.

As a leading hotel chain, I suggest you make public transit the easy and default option for your guests and do your part to help save energy.

Tom Harrison

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