Hotels look to cash in by selling 'standby' upgrades
Staying only one night, coming in late and traveling when there's a conference in town have always increased the odds of of getting an upgraded hotel room.
But these days room upgrades are harder than ever to come by. Unless you're willing to pay for them up front, of course.
Basically, what some hotels are doing is following the airlines' lead by charging extra for something you used to get "free," at least some of the time, depending on your frequent flyer status or the metallic colour of your credit card,
According to Consumer Traveler, asking prices for conditional upgrades start at $9 for a room on a higher floor, $20 for a room with a better view or a smoking room, $65 for a late checkout, or $125 for a suite – assuming there’s one available when you actually check in.
It’s a great idea for hotels trying to squeeze a bit more revenue out of what's essentially a “standby” option. But is it worth the money?
No one is twisting your arm, of course. If there are any losers, it's frequent-stay members without promised upgrades who might otherwise receive discretionary perks on arrival.
Top tier frequent guests will still likely have priority for any free upgrades that are available, but it’s hard to be sure, warns travel agent Janice Hough.
Would you pay upfront for such an upgrade? Or do you try to dicker when you hit the front desk? If so, how has that worked out?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: MexicanRose | Oct 26, 2021 9:29:16 AM
Yes, I've been fortunate to get a room upgrade...FREE. Where I frequent, if the room doesn't meet MY standards, then I go back to the front desk & request another room. Usually, I'm upgraded..free of charge. I've stayed at a certain resort so many times, the staff recognize me although my name may not be remembered.
Posted by: zakimar | Oct 26, 2021 12:22:07 PM
I used to always book packages, until once I needed to make a change of departure date before the 45 day mark and the company really took me to the cleaners even though I've been a regular client with them. When I called the resort directly in Cuba, I found out that booking directly with them for all-inclusive stays was less than half of what the tour operator (Sunwing) charged. So in the future, I'll be taking air only, and arranging my stay directly with the resort and saving HUNDREDS of dollars per vacation.
Posted by: Jeff | Oct 26, 2021 1:34:27 PM
@zakimar - not sure what this has to do with the article since it deals with people getting free upgrades in the past possibly having to pay for them now. Your problem deals with cancellation and change policies of a tour operator.
I am not one to worry about upgrades as long as the room meets my needs. The only time I have received upgrades it was at the hotels discression and, as a result, was a pleasant surprise. I doubt I would pay for an upgrade since I generally book the type of room I need.
Posted by: Brian Patterson | Oct 26, 2021 6:17:14 PM
This is the most ridiculous stupid thing to try and do. The hotel is a business trying to make ends meet like anyone else and to put added pressure on the front desk agent and complain to get something for free is the sign of somebody with low morals.
Posted by: Wendy Tucker | Oct 26, 2021 6:46:44 PM
I think that people who think they are entiteled to any sort of upgrade just because they complain and harass front desk staff are despicable individuals. As someone who has worked on the front desk and been reduced to tears by rude, arrogant people looking to get free upgrades or a discount on their room, I can only say - How would you like it if we came to your place of business and treated you the same way? Would you give us a discount or free service?
Posted by: Andrea | Oct 26, 2021 8:38:56 PM
As a proud employee in the hospitality industry, I agree with Wendy..if I came into your place of business and demanded things for free..or was rude to, and angry with your staff for doing their job..would you give me a discount..please consider this the next time you arrive at a hotel front desk...thanks :)
Posted by: Dean | Oct 26, 2021 10:05:34 PM
I hate nothing more than being behind an A-hole who tries to get a better rate at the front desk. I was at a hotel in Montreal and there was a group of Jewish people (obvious by their attire) at the front desk FOR THREE F**KING DAYS demanding better rates. Every time I went to the lobby, no matter what time of day, they were there arguing with the poor person behind the front desk. That was the extreme, but go somewhere else, like a dumpster where you belong.
Posted by: Luke | Oct 27, 2021 12:39:40 PM
If the occupancy is minimal, what is the harm and the extra cost to the hotel/resort. The hotel/resort will still have to send their room maids afterwards to clean. Just because it's a few floors higher or has a a bigger square footage....it's not costing any more. I do agree with people demanding with the front desk clerks on having an upgrade when the hotel/resort is clearly at full occupancy. Trust me, I ask politely every time, and I am able to get it over 75% of the time. Btw...a happy customer is a repeat customer. It's just good business....