No single beds so I slept with my companion and I want a refund

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By Christopher Elliott

Jarrett Wilson’s Hotwire rooms have “guaranteed” single beds. Oh wait, no they don’t. What now?


I booked two rooms with Hotwire at the InterContinental Milwaukee that were “guaranteed room type” according to the itinerary and website. When I got to the hotel, they said there is no way for Hotwire to guarantee room type because Hotwire doesn’t have access to the hotel system.

The hotel only had two rooms available that had separate single beds. I called Hotwire to try to resolve the issue and was told they would call the hotel. They never did. I was humiliated because my traveling companions were not happy with the accommodations and were not comfortable sleeping in the same bed together.

At this point it was close to midnight and we had no other options but to try and make it work. Long story short, I would not have booked that hotel or with Hotwire if the room type could not be guaranteed.

They lie about the guarantee and I feel it is false advertising. When I sent an email to Hotwire, they felt that reasonable compensation was a $50 Hotdollar credit I could use on my next stay. I declined, telling them that was not reasonable and asked for a refund. They said the $50 Hotdollars was their final offer.

I would like a refund of my stay as they falsely advertised and didn’t deliver on their guarantee. — Jarrett Wilson, Garland, Texas


If Hotwire promised you rooms with separate beds, then it should have delivered rooms with separate beds. While Hotwire doesn’t have direct access to your hotel’s inventory, it can request — and because it’s a Hotwire, it can also receive — the room it wants. That didn’t happen.

Our advocacy team checked with Hotwire, and its records show that it requested the room, but the hotel wouldn’t give it to you.

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“Unfortunately, this is not uncommon when guests do not book directly,” an InterContinental representative told us. “In nearly every case, despite what the online travel agency has offered, the reservation is booked as a standard room.”

InterContinental says a representative from the corporate office spoke with the property and verified that the room you would have received through Hotwire would have been a “standard” room like the one you ended up in. You can’t always choose the hotel room of your choice, but there are guidelines on how to find the best rooms.

“Of course, the hotel would always do its best to accommodate requests at check-in based upon availability,” the representative added.

Let’s get this out of the way. The contacts for Hotwire and InterContinental are listed on this site. You could have appealed to them, of course. I’m not sure it would have changed the answer.

How about Hotwire?

“In this instance, Mr. Wilson booked a room with two single beds through our Hot Rate offering,” a representative agreed. “But when he arrived the hotel offered him a room with one bed. The hotel should have honored his original booking.”

There’s an awful lot of finger-pointing going on here, and you seem to be stuck in between. Is a full refund in order? Maybe, maybe not. You didn’t receive the rooms you wanted. Then again, you and your traveling companions did have rooms for the night.

Hey, I’ve been there. I remember checking into a hotel in Brussels several years ago with a colleague. We were attending a conference. We’d confirmed a room with two beds but they only had a room with one. Oh, and did I mention that my colleague’s girlfriend joined us? True story. (I know what you’re thinking. Nothing unsavory happened on my side of the bed, I promise.)

After reviewing your complaint, Hotwire disabled the feature that allows you to choose a room type for the InterContinental Milwaukee. It also refunded the $377 you spent on your accommodations.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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