Always Bolt the Door! Hotel Where Room Keys Open Every Door

Choice Privileges members, beware the Rodeway Inn in Gallup, New Mexico where every room key was opening every guest room:

Choice Hotels responded on YouTube:

A commenter on Reddit suggests this has been an issue at the property for three years.

I found this comment interesting,

I worked at a hotel where they did that after they had to change out the door lock (or even just replace the batteries on the locking mechanism). It’s easier to code a keycard as master than to set the door lock to recognize the room number. Just hope nobody tries it on a different room and apologize if somebody does. Somebody on staff here wasn’t smart enough to play dumb!

I suspect you’d find this far more frequently at a small family-owned property than a corporate-owned full service hotel, but it could happen anywhere by mistake perhaps not for every room but for a given room — the one you have.

And even when the issue isn’t so extreme as every room key being coded as a master key, or every door accepting any key, hotel front desk staff can assign someone to the wrong room or give out a key to someone they shouldn’t.

When you’re in your room, always use all of the locks afforded to you — dead bolt, door latch (I’ve seen hotel employees open rooms that were latched, though this takes a certain skill and a latched door would at least deter someone entering your room in error or who didn’t want to be seen doing it).
(HT: Tocqueville)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Happened to me at the Boston airport Hilton, where I’d been put up overnight after giving up a Delta econ seat to London in return for Business class the next day + $500 cash. I waited in a long line to check it and went up to room, opened the door to a very startled and large naked lady. I backed out apologizing, went back to the desk, cut the line and asked for a manager. Was upgraded to a Suite and given nice restaurant voucher in addition to all the food vouchers Delta had given me.

  2. What about when you are not in the room? You can’t bolt the door then. It is much more likely for someone to try to take your stuff than for someone to try to assault you and that would obviously happen when you are not there. If this was an issue at my hotel, I would ask for a refund and go somewhere else.

  3. @John the hat tip is to the person and the site identifies them i didn’t mean to suggest they had written about this

  4. That is scary because you can open those u bolt safety locks with a brochure or a do not disturb card.

  5. Yes even in hotels you have to be safety conscious. Once we were in a hotel in a small hotel in Colombia. The hotel was very quiet. It felt like we were the only ones there. Something just did not feel right to me. Something told me to put one of the heavy chairs behind the door. My hubby thought I was crazy. But later that evening while we were watching tv someone opened the door and shut it quickly. Object behind the door definitely threw them off cuz they did not come back. As we were leaving next morning we did not say anything but it was creepy snd strange that i had this sixth sense that night. There was a real story once of a woman i think in Mairitius that was murdered on her honeymoon. She went back to her room to get something during the day to find two hotel staff digging through her stuff. She confronted them and they murdered her. Also there was a story of two airhostesses in i think asia that were tied up by some crazy guy wondering around the hotel. He forced them to go into their room with a knife. You just never know. Be safe. You even have to be careful about reporting it if it is a small hotel cuz the staff might be in on it.

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