So you’ve made your reservations, flawlessly navigated the airport, crushed the free food and booze at the lounge, and finally made it to your hotel.
24 Hours Before
Many hotels (especially the big chains) offer mobile check-in like the airlines. While normally I am a massive proponent of handling everything via mobile, I never check in using mobile check-in.
When you check in and choose your room on your phone and proceed using a digital room key, you give up the face to face interaction at the front desk. Again, this is something I normally avoid at all costs but in this case that interaction is incredibly value to me. Why?
Proceed to the check-in desk and, if you have status there, make sure you use the “Elite” check-in line or desk. This automatically puts the person working the front desk into the mindset that you are important and has them already thinking upgrade.
Always treat the front desk agent with respect and courtesy! Make them want to help you out. Make sure you know the ins and outs of your reservation and rate so you can confirm what you are entitled to, such as:
-Do you get free wifi?
-Is parking included?
-If you have elite status, what is the breakfast benefit?
-What is the elite status welcome benefit?
I don’t care if I am only in my room to sleep, I want my upgrade! Remember that the upgraded room doesn’t just mean a bigger room, it can mean free breakfast or club lounge access for free snacks and alcohol. So how do you get an upgrade?
You have significantly more leverage if you have status, even if it’s the lowest level of status. The higher the level the more likely you are to get that coveted upgrade. Duh.
Don’t be an asshole about it and demand an upgrade. Remember, if someone is already occupying all the nicer rooms, they can’t kick them out just for you. I’m always nice and pleasant, and I usually wait until after I give my credit card to ask for an upgrade, simply by saying “You have a nice upgrade for me (insert name of the desk agent), right?”
This psychologically puts them into the head space that you are expecting it and they are more likely to accommodate an expectation, rather than someone who seems like they have no idea how it works.
Again, it’s a much nicer way show you want the upgrade while still being assertive. The tone is important, so don’t be over-bearing about it.
For me personally, I never like to lie to reservation/desk agents. I am a big believer in reservation karma and I don’t like the thought of lying to get something free.
Entering Your Room
Do a quick check of all the important functions of the room. Check the lights, the sink, the toilet, safe, etc… You don’t want to wait until the next day to figure out something is wrong and address it, since there is a chance they may think you broke it. It will still get fixed, but if upon check-in something is broken, or worse – dirty – you are more likely to get a different room. If you get a different room because the room smells or is dirty, you are more likely to get an upgrade.
Again, don’t be an asshole about it.
So there are just a few things to remember when checking into a hotel. Remember, tone is always important when it comes to dealing with agents. They control your world, so make them want to help you.
Do you have any tricks that work for you? Tweet me @MileageMayhem