Where does the clever hotel wordplay cross the line?

The surcharge seemed like nothing to Andy Fixman — a “trivial amount” he says. But it meant everything to him.

Actually, it should to every hotel guest.

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Vampire bugs ruined my honeymoon

Rachel Meredith’s account of her honeymoon reads like a script from a National Lampoon’s Vacation movie — minus the funny.
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Is this enough compensation? They’re filming an action movie in my hotel, and it’s loud

My wife had an unusual experience this morning,” writes reader Kent Schaum. “Kathy was awoken at 6 a.m. to a film crew filming an upcoming shoot-it-up thriller next door.”

Who needs an alarm clock when you can be woken by the sounds of explosions and gunfire?

Problem is, the Westin Philadelphia, where she was staying, promises guests they’ll be treated to “comfort and style” when they stay at the hotel. Its 294 guest rooms and 19 suites are, “all beautifully appointed with welcoming décor and revitalizing amenities. Our signature Heavenly Bed ensures a relaxing night’s sleep, and the Heavenly Bath is the perfect place to refresh.”

The rest wasn’t exactly heavenly, according to her husband.

With guns blazing and hard knocks on the door to ‘take 505’ as they yelled out. (She is in 507) this needlessly scared the crap out of her, not to mention interrupting what little sleep she could manage before important meetings all day.

Does the Westin owe her anything for the inconvenience?
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‘Keystroke error’ turns $289 rate into $28

keyQuestion: I recently found a $28 per night rate at the Westin Imagine in Orlando. I was amazed. I booked the room, and several days later I called the hotel to ensure that it was a legitimate rate. They confirmed this, so I booked nonrefundable airfare, and have been happily anticipating my getaway weekend ever since.

That is, until this past Monday morning, when I received an e-mail from the hotel’s director of revenue management saying that the rate was caused by a “keystroke error” during data entry. The actual rate was $289. The Westin offered a rate of $99 per night as an apology, but refused to honor the original rate.

I contacted Westin at the corporate level, and the hotel offered to waive its mandatory valet parking charge of $18 per night, but insisted it couldn’t honor the $28 rate. Then the manager of the hotel responded, offering to throw in an extra 5,000 loyalty points.

I’m writing because I don’t think I’m getting fair treatment by this Westin hotel. If there is anything you can do to help, I would be extremely appreciative. — Terry Capps, San Diego

Answer: If you book a rate that you know is an error, then you shouldn’t expect the hotel to honor the price. But $28 per night wasn’t an obvious “fat finger” rate, and the fact that Westin confirmed it certainly didn’t help.

If the hotel had offered rooms at $0, then this would be a different story. Actually, it wouldn’t be a story at all. If a business mistakenly prices something at a rate no reasonable customer believes is valid, it shouldn’t be required to honor that price. But you can find hotel rooms at $28 a night.
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