Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Timed Check Ins (and Outs) for Hotels: Soon to Be a Thing of the Past?

Let guest stay longer & they'll order more room service! (photo by R. Poe)
On my recent tour of Sicily (with listeners to my radio show), I had the good fortune to be in the care of a miracle worker of a tour director. Linda took on dozens of problems--hale soaking the group, a passenger robbed, another passenger putting the wrong name on their air ticket--and yet never lost her cool. She epitomized grace and good will and was without a doubt one of the most impressive people I've met in the travel industry. I know that everyone on that tour was grateful to be traveling with Linda.

Yet, not long ago, Linda was punched in the face by a disgruntled client (and this is why I'm not using her last name). The tour participant arrived earlier than the rest of his group, flying overnight to Europe and arriving at the hotel close to 8 am. Linda had arranged snacks for the man and a place to leave his luggage. But because the official check-in time wasn't until noon, she couldn't get him into his room.

So he socked her.

Yes, that's how angry check in times can make passengers!

I'm sure Linda would be glad to read that many hotels now are reconsidering their time policies. Andrea Petersen writes in the Wall Street Journal that hotels are "increasingly offering guests ways to wriggle out of rigid check-in and check-out policies. These include:
  • Late check-outs (4pm) automatically offered to Amex Centurion and Platinum card holders
  • Check-out time waivers for members of certain hotel loyalty programs
  • A small hotel chain (Capella Hotels and Resorts) that will be getting rid of set check-in and check-out times by employing maids on staggered shifts
And Petersen notes that simply asking nicely will often win guests more leniency (or at least the option of hanging out at the pool for a few extra hours).

Would these policies have save Linda a sore cheek? My guess is this guy was the type of ugly traveler we all dread encountering and would have found some excuse for blowing his stack. But who knows? May angelic Linda (and she really is a peach) would have an easier life if all hotels found a solution to the check-in, check-out timing problem.

To read Petersen's full piece, click on the link above.


  1. Its great to share the post with others.And blogging is the best way to do that.

  2. After reading your post, I thought that I was there on your place.
    Really you have expressed your views beautifully
    Thanks for such a nice post!

  3. You have shared a nice travel experience with other.
    You have really written very well!

  4. Great experience you have shared with all, and also written a good post.

  5. You have written very well and shared a very informative and intrusting information with all of us.
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. The post you have shared with all is entertaining and informative also. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  7. you have shared a very nice story with the experience you have got.
    You have also written very well. Thanks a lot for sharing!