Avoid Hotel Check-in Nightmares

The last thing you want to face after properly planning yournext vacation by carefully reviewing available cheap traveloptions, including cheapairplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages, is tobe told upon check-in at your hotel that there is no record of yourreservation.

Hotels typically oversell their rooms by between 2 percentand 10 percent, depending on the time of year, in anticipation that some guestswill cancel their reservations.  However,when more guests than expected show up, hotels are unable to accommodate allthe people who reserved rooms.  A smallerpercent of reservations are lost by hotels or an intermediary such as a travelagent or website.

The missing reservation is a common travel problem.  Hotel overbooking is legal.  If you know the rules, plus follow a fewinsider strategies, you should never end up without a room, according toChristopher Elliott:

·     If yourreservation is “lost,” a hotel should never just send you packing, particularlyif you have a record of your booking.  Ifyour hotel tries, you should refuse and request that the hotel fix theproblem.  At the very least, the hotelshould offer you to rebook you at a similar hotel nearby.  Hotels who are unable to honor existingreservations have been known to pay for a guest’s first night at another hotel,cover transportation to the new hotel, and any phone calls made to informfriends and/or colleagues.


·     If thehotel has no record of your reservation, this could be because computer systemssometimes do not match up, so a confirmation number from a website used to makeyour reservation does not always match the reservation number issued by thehotel.  If your reservation confirmationcode is not recognized, ask for the front desk clerk to look for yourreservation under your name.


·     Smallerhotels with less reliable IT systems sometimes lose reservations, particularlythose made through a third party such as an agent or online travel agency.  Always keep a copy of your reservation eitheron your cell phone or as a hard copy.  Thenif your reservation goes missing, at least you will have evidence that you madea reservation.


·     Alwaysremember to remain calm when dealing with a lost reservation.  Assigning blame will not get you a room forthe night.  Remain polite and try toconvince the clerk to give you a room. If the clerk is unable to do so, stay polite and ask to speak to areservation manager or a general manager.


The following are suggestions on how to avoid missing areservation:

·     Call toconfirm your booking before arrival.  Ifpossible, get the name of the employee you speak with and make a note of thatname.


·     Doublecheck your arrival and departure dates before departing.


·     Travelwith a printout of your reservation.  Ahard copy printout is the most reliable evidence of your reservation andpreferable to having a stranger pawing your cell phone while you are standingon the other side of the counter.

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