Whenever I book a hotel room, I don’t leave the additional “requests” section blank. If I’m a Hilton Gold elite member, I would put “HHONORS GOLD VIP GUEST – PLS UPGRADE TO THE BEST SUITE AVAILABLE. THANKS.” I’m sure that it has worked in my favor before, but of course it’s always YMMV.
I started looking at hotels yesterday and found an amazing boutique hotel in Santiago, Chile for $29. I needed a simple day room to possibly nap and store my belongings for one of my upcoming mileage runs. The amazingly low $29 rate was just for a single private room with a shared bathroom. I decided to try my luck at a free upgrade by writing on the comments section, “Please upgrade to a single room with a private bathroom if available. Thanks.”
Later that evening, I received an e-mail from the hotel:
We have received yours reservation to arrival /11/2013 and leave /11/2013. It asked for a single room with shared bathroom that costs US$ 29. A note of “booking” website asking us to upgrade to a single room with private bathroom that costs US$ 50. You should confirm it changing on the page where you created the reservation, and making a new one with the characteristics of the room you request.
In all the history of my hotel bookings, I have never heard this type of response from a hotel. Usually, they would either ignore my request or comply before arrival. Honestly, I felt very embarrassed and ashamed of myself. In the frequent flyer world, we always preach the term, “It never hurts to ask”. Well, today it did hurt because when I read the e-mail, I felt like I was trying to scam the boutique hotel.
I will continue asking for complimentary upgrades, but this one really hit it home on a small boutique hotel trying to make money.