Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Travel Advice: Three Tips for Scoring a Hotel Upgrade

Advice for Scoring an Upgrade:

1.  Ask
Seriously, just ask.  I've found it works about half the time, but the half the time that I get a half-priced suite is, well, pretty sweet.

2.  Visit Popular Destinations in High Season
This one is counter-intuitive, so let me explain: Even with the recession on, popular destinations such as New York, Orlando and Las Vegas find themselves flooded with requests for standard rooms.  What they don't get flooded with--particularly since we're on the tail end of a recession--are demands for high-end rooms.  So when hotels have more requests for standard rooms than they can honor, it makes economic sense to start bumping people up to high-end rooms in order to keep booking the standard rooms.

3.  Check in Late
The later in the day you check in, the better able the hotel is able to judge demands on rooms for the day.  If they see that a lot of their upgrade rooms are oversold, it costs them little and gains them a lot (of customer favor) by upgrading the room.

[Personal example of the above three: I arrived on a early evening flight into Vegas during the summer and was checking into my Circus Circus hotel room at around 8:00 PM.  There was a long line ahead of me and a long line behind me, meaning that the hotel was probably booked to the gills.  When I got to the desk, I asked if there were any available upgrades.  Without batting an eye, the attendant immediately gave me a strip-facing suite.  Sweet.]

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