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free upgraded room - do you ask for it or just hope for it...

free upgraded room - do you ask for it or just hope for it...

Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 02:31 PM
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Sylvia - thank you for the kind words, but you'll probably change your mind once you see my rage on/about some of the non-travel-related threads somedays!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 03:30 PM
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I try to avoid those...but admit to getting involved in one on self-tan lotion.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 04:13 PM
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Okay, How about stretching the truth a little and saying it is your anniversary or birthday (a big one)??Does that help the upgrade situation a little??
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 04:26 PM
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I know someone who always makes it an "anniversary" when he travels to try to get special treatment at restaurants or hotels. Ticks me off; hotels already hear enough about real honeymoons, etc. without having people lie for an upgrade...ruins it for the people who are celebrating something really special...
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 04:35 PM
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frankie: I never seem to be traveling on my anniversary or special occasion. I never ask for an upgrade for a special occasion. I am just saying that if I were going someplace special, would it be a good idea to say it is my anniversary to get a better room.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 04:39 PM
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I'll second Howard and Sylvia...good post rb.

I'm curious as to your reaction to girlonthego's question. Can you sense "little white lies" and how many times a day do you hear that same thing? From the number of times it's asked here, my guess is you hear it plenty.

LOL I'm laughing now and must relay this quick little tale. We had gone up to Dallas for our first grandchild's birth July 18 and rather than staying at their house, we booked the Amerisuites across from the hospital. We'd spent the entire day at the hospital and it was such an awesome experience...our beautiful little perfect blond-headed grandson, seeing our son holding his first child up for us at the nursery window, AND it was my husband's birthday that day to boot. So...after it was all over and and we were checking in at the hotel, the front desk clerk very innocently asked, having no clue just how humongous our day had been..."So have you had a nice day today?" I was bursting and chatty, "Oh have we had a nice day...our first grandchild was born this evening AND this is is my husband's birthday. It's been a beautiful day!"... All he said was "Congratulations!"...haha...do ya think he could have offered us an upgrade for all that? But then...neither did it occur to me to ask or even expect one, if such a thing exists at Amerisuites...I was just bursting to share our great day with someone else. Actually had he offered, I'd have been floored and declined, insisting "no, no..that's not what I meant, I only wanted to share our news with someone!"
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Old Aug 4th, 2005, 06:17 AM
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Yes, OO we hear it all the time, and the reaction is similar to what you received. "Oh really? Gee, Happy ______!"

Sometimes you can sense that something really is special - as I'm sure your clerk could. But you can't displace paying customers from those better rooms - maybe the clerk had no choice, or he just thought, "oh sure, right!".

Births, deaths, weddings: to me those are special. Birthdays, anniversaries: like a certain oriface, everyone has one; no big deal. We seem to get a lot of people coming to our hotel for funerals - you recognize the name - and those are the ones I tend to favor the most.
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 10:31 PM
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I was just wondering about slipping a $20 to the desk clerk for an upcoming special overnight stay. I almost started a post and ran across this thread first. I wondered how it would be perceived in a non-resort/gambling town. Is it akin to slipping a $20 to the Matre 'd? Is that a bribe? If not, how is it different? Not being obstinent --- I really want to know. Does anyone want to weigh in again? I am inclined now to believe it is not a great idea but would still like to see what you guys have to say since this thread was started nearly a year and a half ago.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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Diart, those who work in the industry say such bribes aren't helpful and will usually be rejected by ethical employees. Most places have policies against this for their employees.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 06:56 AM
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I can't imagine that a clerk in an upscale hotel would accept such a bribe. However, a great suggestion for being upgraded is to book through American Express Platinum. They are almost always able to get you an upgrade and usually other goodies as well. Recently at the Savoy in London I not only received an upgraded room, but they also included breakfast each day (not a cheap proposition at the Savoy) and afternoon tea.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 07:10 AM
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We are Starwood platinum members, which probably isn't that different from gold. The company prides themselves on automatic upgrades. It is certainly not obnoxious to ask.
We always ask politely when we check in, and are rarely disappointed. We always get upgraded if the hotel is not sold out. Once we were so disappointed to not get a suite and my husband later called the hotel to see if he could "get a room tonight" to see if they were REALLY sold out. They were.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 08:35 AM
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For the benefit of prospective visitors who may be planning a first trip to the USA, I think a couple of notes are important:
First, the comments above are mainly about traveling in hotels of the Starwood chain which is a limited part of the hotels available in the US.
Second, paying (bribing) the clerk for a larger or better room isn't expected in the US.
Third, a smile and an explanation will usually be your best bet to obtain special services. Explaining about a wedding trip, traveling with children, etc. will almost always get you specail attention.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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Thanks for your replies this a.m. I am soooooo glad that I searched for this info before I offended any hotel personnel. I have slipped $20s to the desk clerks in Las Vegas twice but I do not even know where I got that idea.

I would be interested to know what you guys think about slipping money to a matre 'd to get better seating. I do not go to places where they have Matre 'd's but you guys probably have some opinions about that. Just curious how it is different. Anyone? Anyone?
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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Bribing maitre'ds works in movies, but not in real life.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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The difference is pretty simple: seats in a restaurant do not cost money other than the price of your meal. The owners of the restaurant get the same price for your meal no matter where you sit and what you paid the Maitre d' to sit there.

Hotel rooms all sell at different prices. The rooms and what they sold for are tracked by the hotel, and in turn, by whomever owns the hotel. 9 times out of 10 the operator of the hotel (be it a Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, whatever) is not also the owner. Front desk, in taking your bribe and giving you a room he could have sold for more to someone else, is taking money from the ownership group as well as the operator's pockets.

Other than that, you are right...they are both bribes.

Yes, if caught they can be fired. Staff gets ethics training all the time. You'd like for that not to be necessary, but...there are those who try to bend the rules and a refresher course is sometimes necessary.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 09:47 AM
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That is what I started to mention before, I have only seen that on t.v. but I have seen it so many times I thought it was pretty common. (This is why you should not rely on television for your education. {

I read an article several years ago about the Mansion in Turtle Creek (Dallas), actually I think it was just a feature on the Matre 'd and it was revealed that he made either $80-90k or $90-100k per year. I thought the range implied the amount of tips he received which would fluctuate a little each year. The job must involve a lot more than I realize.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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I have a trick that works all the time for this. If I want a better room that is more expensive I will make a reservation for the better room and pay for it.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Cole,
Do I know you?
Great response.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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Cole, I guess that works for gas, too, huh? $3.59 for $2.20 per gallon????? LOL!!
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 05:00 PM
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For those curious if the $20 trick works there is an easy way to test it.

Slip a highway patrolman the $20 during a traffic stop.
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