Guests Are Standing In Line 3-4 Hours Just To Check Into Las Vegas Hotels

A guest checking in at Caesars Palace Las Vegas gave up when faced at a 3 to 4 hour long line at the desk. They left, with their luggage, and enjoyed Vegas returning shortly before 2 a.m.

Still faced with impossible check-in queues, they report giving up – and managing to get into a different hotel at 4:30 in the morning.

Caesars had been overbooked, and there were no more rooms left by the time they got to the front of the line. Altogether, venture capitalist Benjamin Lee notes, “it took..9.5 hours” to get a bed.

Some people in social media assumed that this was because a woman had been taken hostage inside a room at Caesars Palace, but that actually occurred several hours after these photos were taken.

Caesars properties do seem to generally be worse at check-in than MGM properties. Indeed, judging by comments online, people seem thrilled when they only have to stand in line half an hour to check in at an MGM hotel.

Some suggest using a chain’s mobile app or kiosk for check-in, but reports are that those assign the worst rooms (low floor, view of the HVAC), whereas when you check in with a person they’ll usually try to give you the best thing they can within your category (and you have the opportunity to slip them $100 for an upgrade).

Status helps. A Wyndham business card still gets you status that matches over to Caesars Diamond (mid-tier). You will still wait in a line but you will skip this mess. That, and waived resort fees, are the reason that the end of MGM-Hyatt status matching is disappointing.

Las Vegas has interesting economics. They could charge you more, and provide proper staffing, but then they wouldn’t fill the rooms. And filling rooms is the goal, more than the rate, in order to earn off you because you are there in their complex – from shopping and dining to gambling.

That’s also why it makes so much sense to shift room rate into resort fees, to make it look like rates are low since that helps them fill the rooms And for guests booking through third parties, comparing properties, it makes the hotel look cheap relative to other hotels, plus they don’t pay commission on the resort fees to online travel agencies.

Yet hotels have probably made a mistake in the shift in recent years to charge for parking, which discourages driving, which depresses people coming from short distances mostly Southern California.

A check-in experience like this one may help contain costs, but in the long run surely it costs the hotel revenue? It’s a good reason not to return to a hotel, and indeed when guests share what check-in is like it’s a reason for others not to book in the first place. But since it’s infrequent guests bearing the brunt of this check-in process, perhaps the bet is there’s not much future business to lose?

If you’ve made the trip to Vegas, maybe you’ve paid to park, and you’re faced with a super long check-in line my advice is:

  1. Use a mobile kiosk for check-in
  2. Take the keys to the inferior room you’re probably assigned
  3. Then call down from the comfort of your room to complain.

You may have to wait on hold for a bit, but that’s far better than standing around like a schmuck in the lobby.

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. I’ve been in Las Vegas over 25 years. Stay off strip or you will get stripped of your money. Uber is a lot less expensive than strip hotels.

  2. This happened many years ago. We checked in and they had no rooms even though we had a reservation. They had us split a suite with strangers, where they got the bedroom and bath, and we got the living room pull out and powder room. Try washing your hair in a powder room sink. We were there on convention and had to change hotels after breakfast.

  3. I stood in line for 40 mins at an MGM only to find out my top tier Hyatt status was meaningless-and I was in the wrong line. So I went and stood in the other line for more than hour, got impatient with the desk clerk because she was trying very hard to upsell me on a room, tickets to shows and other nonsense, so I ended up with a tiny crap room right off the main gaming floor. It was right next to the mechanical room. The room smelled like perfumed covered up smoke. I opened the curtains to glass window with brick right behind it. Not only did I not get my Hyatt points (even though i booked it through Hyatt) I also didn’t get a receipt. I had to call (and wait on hold for quite awhile) and eventually got them to email it to me a week later. They successfully concinced me never to darken their door ever again.

  4. He did not mention exactly what day he tried checking in. There was a 5+ hour barricaded hostage on July 11, 2023. Not sure how many rooms or floors were on lock down by LV mtro.
    Could have contributed to guest not being able to cgeck in and rooms not available.

  5. Stood in line for 2 hrs at the Golden Nuggett awhile back only to get a shifty room in the old tower. Never again….Las Vegas has become LAs Cesspool

  6. Go off strip? Come on now, there’s nothing off-strip. Why would anyone leave the strip? That would be like going to the Superbowl and watching the game on your phone in the stadium bathroom.

  7. Checked in today at Caesars, and while the room is lovely, the checkin process was a nightmare that took well over an hour—and all I needed was keys because I had already checked in online. I have no idea how only getting keys can take so long. Really poorly done. I won’t be back.

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