When people have a hotel reservation and are checking in that day, not everyone arrives at the same time (and thank heaven they don’t…could you imagine the queue in they did?!?!?!).
Some will arrive hours before check-in time . They’ll either luck out with early check-in, perhaps leave their bags with bell services and come back later, or hang out in the lobby, with their bags, until check-in officially begins.
Others will arrive just as check-in starts.
Still others will get there the hours after check-in.
Raeschel Kelly, a self-proclaimed “Solo Travel & Lifestyle” person on social media, was recently one of the latter. She apparently had a room at a Marriott hotel, and was arriving after check-in. However, she says she got a phone call from the hotel about an hour after check-in started.
Kelly claims the Marriott rep asked if she was still coming, or they would give her room away. Here’s what she said about it in a 5-second tiktok video:
i’m gonna be nervous ab hotels forever now #traveltok #traveltiktok #solofemaletraveler #solofemaletravel #travellife #travelersoftiktok #travelquestions #marriott #marriotthotel #hotelroom
the marriott hotel just gave me a new fear I didn’t even know I should be aware of. they called me not even an hour after check-in (4pm) to see if i was still coming or they’d give my room away. excuse me? like gimme a sec bro 😭 this has literally never happened to me before and i’ve checked in some places at midnight without letting them know ahead. since when is this the norm?
The video gained over a million views and hundreds of comments in just the first week, with many of them explaining what likely happened:
- As someone who works in a hotel it usually means that they’re been overbooked and need to find people who aren’t coming to solve it — ktiswriting
- I worked for Marriott previously. They’ve oversold rooms & there’s probably none in the area to move ppl to so they’re trying to get cancellations. — Kiara
- where i worked, we called no-shows after 8pm. 4pm tho? they have definitely overbooked & are hoping for some cancellations lol — caoimhe
- I’m a prior Hotel GM & most hotels have on average an overbooking allowance of 2 rooms each night to ensure selling out. — Audrey M.
Others suggested it could have happened if she booked through a third party, like Expedia, hotels.com, etc.:
- Normally third parties like Booking. Com etc forcing bookings through when there is no availability. — ktiswriting
- 3rd party sites only know how many rooms the hotel has, not necessarily how many are currently available. If you call the hotel itself, they’ve be able to tell you if they actually have any rooms left of the type you are requesting. — Iris
Or if there was an issue with her credit card:
- They might have had an issue running your card. CC will decline if they see “unusual” purchases even though the card is good. — Iris
- As someone who works in hotels did your cc decline. If your cc declines the auth on day of arrival or if you booked a prepaid I can cancel ur res — Gel
A few people asked if she had prepaid for the night; it was never clear if she had. But here’s what people said regarding that sort of situation:
- If the room was prepaid then the Hotel pays the other Hotel, if it was not prepaid then the guest pays at the other Hotel. — user7925321760983
- Marriot did this to me. I said IVE PAID FOR THE ROOM. I don’t care how much more you can get for that room, don’t you date give away my room. — bonnietumbles1
- I prepaid for a room and Marriott gave it away because I didn’t check in until evening. I had to drive an hour to another hotel. F Marriott. — Genna K.
Others recommended calling the hotel if they were running late:
- I always let a place know if I’m running late. They can and will give your reservation away. It’s also just a courtesy thing as well. — highxbetch
- Most hotels have a disclaimer listed when you book your room that you must check in or let them know you will be late before a certain time. — Tay
- That’s just manners to let them know if you’re coming late? — Visu
- if I know I’m gonna have a late check in I just call ahead and have them make a note of it, never had a problem — cele
And still others recommend doing mobile check-in:
- I always do mobile check-in as soon as I can on the app and then just get there when I get there 🤷♀️ — hoosiermom03
(Or not. Reply to above:) I’m not doing mobile check in for something I already paid for. that’s ridiculous it’s not a flight where ppl have to wait for you — bonnietumbles1
- Check in online and indicate your estimated arrival time. — TeamHollywood
- It’s common to overbook because it’s likely someone won’t show up. Most hotel chains allow you to select your ETA via the app. Problem solved. — Megan
Finally, someone explained how hotels can profit from this (each of these was a reply to the previous):
- I’ve never not been required to give a cc when booking so what are they doing over booking? Double dipping? They’d still charge me if I didn’t show up — Nimleh
- Your card only holds the room. You aren’t charged until you check in OR audit happens for no-shows — Iris
- “No Refund for Cancelation” is always a factor in booking. So they call DAY OF, I cancel, they will charge me AND the person who was on the wait list — Nimleh
- YES double dipping!!! — bonnietumbles1
But conversation also occurred regarding having status:
- Interesting.. as a Titanium member I always let them know my ETA.. even if it’s past check in and I have never had a problem. — Ladiebaltimore
- It’s because you’re titanium. We NEVER called or gave rooms away if they were members because of priority unless absolutely had to — Jenni G.
Bottom line is, you never know when a hotel may be oversold and they may try to “walk” you (read: book you at a [hopefully] nearby hotel).. If you know you aren’t going to arrive by check-in, the advice given above can all help
- Book directly with the hotel instead of a third party
- Make sure your credit card went through
- Make sure to prepay/guarantee the first night (not just a deposit)
- Call the hotel to let them know you’re running late
- Check in via the app
- Book where you have status. Even if you don’t have status, at least sign up for the hotel’s loyalty program. You’ll still get some freebies and you’ll still be one step higher than someone who hasn’t signed up
There are a couple of other ways to avoid getting walked:
- Avoid getting the cheapest rate possible (this usually goes hand in hand with third party bookings but sometimes a hotel itself will have a great rate. Either way, when picking who may get walked, they’re going to go for the person who paid the least)
- Book a longer stay (hotels are less apt to walk someone if they’re going to lose out on a several-night stay, rather than just 1 or 2 nights. Again, they’re going to look at the people who paid less).
- If you’re going to be at the hotel for a certain reason (read: honeymoon, anniversary, birthday, etc., let the hotel know. They’ll be less apt to walk someone with a “reason” to be at their property
- Don’t show up late (if Kelly had arrived at or before check-in time, this never would have happened. Of course, sometimes things can’t be helped. But sometimes they can)
Feature Photo: Hashoo Foundation USA / flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
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