December 9 2009 by Chris McGinnis
Last month I took a Tuesday evening flight to Atlanta and ended up arriving to my hotel at about 10:30 pm. Little did I know that the entire hotel lobby and many of the rooms were occupied by revelers attending Jezebel Magazine's raucous "Most Beautiful Atlantans" party.
After a five-hour flight from the West Coast, I was a rumpled mess in a sea of beautiful, well-dressed Atlantans. I felt like the only person in the hotel lobby without a Cosmopolitan cocktail in my hand. I was definitely the only one with a roller bag and a briefcase.
While there was certainly a lot to look at, I remember thinking to myself, "Man, if I had only known this party was going on, I would have booked the hotel across the street!" Luckily, the front desk clerk recognized my distress, and told me he'd moved me to a high and relatively unoccupied floor.
This made me think about other situations where I'd say, "If I had only..." when it comes to hotel stays. Hopefully you'll learn--as I did--how to avoid some snafus...
If I had only...
- Checked the calendar, I would have known that the University of Colorado graduation happened on the weekend I arrived into Boulder without a hotel reservation and ended up having to drive an hour down to Denver to find a decent room.
- Checked the hotel address. I remember one time fighting my way through the evening rush hour in Sacramento to get to one Best Western in time for a conference call from my hotel room when in fact, I had booked a reservation at the Best Western on the other side of town...and at least 30 minutes away. (Fortunately, there was room at the inn and I was able to cancel my erroneous reservation.)
- Requested a room away from the ice machine. Otherwise, I would not have been awakened three times by the clank-clank-clank-slam on the night before an important presentation in Nashville.
- Asked for an upgrade when I checked in. In a recent poll of Best Western's Diamond 100 focus group, 20 percent of respondents said they'd scored upgrades over the last year by simply asking for them when checking in! You never know unless you ask, so next time, I'm asking!
- Confirmed that the front desk clerk had my correct frequent stay program number. If I would have noticed the error when checking in (or even before checking out), I would not have had to correct my address through Best Western Rewards customer service afterwards.