Hotel Housekeeper Averts Mass Shooting Over 4th Of July. Why Are We Cutting Housekeeping Again?

Hilton is dropping daily housekeeping from U.S. full service properties, making those hotels no longer ‘full service’. You’ll have to request housekeeping if you want it. And with fewer housekeepers on staff, they may be stretched thin. This is part of the chain CEO’s strategy to charge customers pre-pandemic prices while giving them less.

This is an about face from three years ago when Hilton wanted housekeepers entering every room every day as part of the war on terror. The plan was not to honor ‘do not disturb’ signs for more than 24 hours, and followed a move after a Las Vegas mass shooting to make housekeeping the first line of defense.

That’s on top of the role that the Department of Homeland Security wants housekeepers to play looking for sex trafficking. They have a ‘you might be a sex trafficker if..’ list that includes bringing camera equipment and lots of electronics with you (bloggers), skipping housekeeping for several days (bonus points for ‘making a green choice’), and wearing low quality clothing (I’m not super fashionable). Paying with prepaid gift cards (for the miles) is another sign.

So when hotels drop daily housekeeping are they pro-sex trafficking and terrorism?

I’m generally skeptical of these efforts but apparently a housekeeper at the W Chicago Lakeshore may have prevented a mass shooting over the Fourth of July. (HT: Donald W.)

The housekeeper found “a semi-automatic rifle with a high-powered scope and laser left ‘in a very suspicious position’ in a 12th-floor guest room overlooking Ohio Street Beach” full of fireworks spectators.

Chicago Police recovered the rifle with a live round in the chamber, a handgun and several loaded rifle magazines on the window sill of Room 1208.

The incident was “obviously very concerning, considering the position of the W Hotel to Navy Pier,” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters at a press briefing yesterday.

…“This employee saw something by entering the room to clean it that likely prevented a tragedy from happening,” Brown said. “Thank God for that hotel worker who saw something, and said something, and I believe averted disaster.”

Eliminating housekeeping is bad for guests, but it is bad for hotels too. It eliminates part of what differentiates them from homesharing, gutting their competitive advantage. Given the role that hotels, and Hilton in particular, trumpeted in recent years playing fighting sex trafficking and mass shootings, how can they plausibly cut this from their budgets?

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. Good on this housekeeper. But this is one anecdote. There is no pattern of housekeeping preventing crime. And I dislike the privacy implications. If we sent police officers to canvass every private residence every night, maybe we would prevent more crime. But we have a principle of privacy that we cherish.

  2. The “war on terror” makes as much sense as a war on the color blue. You cannot fight a noun or a concept like it’s World War 2. And I find the idea of being watched by hotel clerks and maids to be somewhere between Orwell and the East German Stasi. I’m glad things worked in this case, but presumably the maid would have noticed a high powered rifle even without the help of bobble heads who call the U.S.A. a “homeland.” The alleged near shooter sounds like an idiot, not just for apparently planning this but for leaving evidence around. All the paranoid measures in the world won’t stop them, but fortunately such people sometimes make that easy too.

  3. Novel idea: Instead of housekeepers, how about having some gun control, like all other Western nations, to reduce our plague of gun deaths? Western countries with more gun control all have a lot less mass killings and other gun violence.

  4. @UA-NYC

    Proud Boyish for sure. Also I think he’s wearing an “I ATTACKED THE CAPITOL ON JAN 6 AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT” shirt.

  5. Just returned from a hotel stay in Negril, Jamaica. Was a breath of fresh air to have daily housekeeping, and I gladly tipped. W Chicago maid is a hero. Hotels must bring back daily housekeeping, Covid-19 excuse for cost-cutting no longer applies.

  6. @UA-NYC
    So he’s part of a girl that has never committed a crime and had only attacked antifa terrorists in send defense. Good.

  7. I don’t change my sheets or clean my toilets daily, seems this is a lot to do about nothing. Frankly, the way it existed before was such a huge waste of resources.

    Keep your room neat and tidy, when I glance in at how others live it makes me cringe. There is crap strewn about everywhere.

  8. Jeff we have gun control and regulations but the BAD GUYS do not follow the rules!!!

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