Midnight Booking Meltdown: This Simple Trick Ensures You Never Get Turned Away By Your Hotel [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Don’t book a hotel room after midnight for immediate arrival without calling the property to verify availability:

    I think its commonly agreed that most travel agent website are a nightmare to deal with, between bookings not pulling through, or VCCs not working properly, or them advertising rooms that the hotel just doesn’t have.

    …If midnight has tolled, please, ring the hotel directly and confirm availability. The issue with booking online without contacting the hotel first is that these websites have no concept of what business day my system is on. I was faced with this very situation recently, the midnight bells had rung, every guest was checked in, the doors were locked, the paperwork was filled, and more importantly every hotel in the room was booked. It was perfect, and so I hit the night audit button, and set the system off on transferring us to a new business day.

    …An hour I spent with these guests explaining to them I didn’t have a room for them, and that their booking was due to arrive at 3PM that day.

  • Most people misunderstand what ‘deregulation’ meant (for the most part, government just no longer tells airlines where to fly and what prices to charge). Airlines remain one of the most heavily regulated and subsidized industries in the country. Their real customers are politicians, not passengers.

    Passengers are just the product United sells to advertisers, and top politicians receive a whole different level of treatment from airlines.

    United, which did lose the battle to create new beyond-perimeter slots at National airport, plays this game better than most. Their Executive Vice President of comms is Obama’s former Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

  • Marriott charity auction with some decent opening prices

  • For everyone that has a great time in Vegas, someone winds up epically ruined.

  • Australian woman who was left paralysed from the chest down when Singapore Airlines flight struck wild turbulence recalls her terror

  • American Airlines pilots say a majority have signed cards to support a move to ALPA to replace their standalone union, and DFW base pilots have elected a supporter of the shift as their President.

  • ‘Caring for people on life’s journey’ Oh, wait.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Former combat serviceman here . Fate deals the cards . SQ will , I am sure , try to financially assist those injured , and offer generous settlements , and perhaps insurance settlements as well . However , there are inherent risks when a pax thousands of feet in the air , and things happen . I know about the force of gravity , and I assume the risk of death when I defy gravity . Am I alone in accepting what nature brings ?

  2. Also , I accept that pax , as well as aircrew , assume risks when we board an airplane . We are lucky when we always land safely . Fate deals the cards .

  3. The US3 legacy major airlines are all into brown-nosing when it comes to the “ruling classes”. Not just politicians and bureaucrats but also corporate elites.

    It will be interesting to see what award availability will be like on DCA-ORD for those going to the convention.

  4. @Alert – agree completely. No one wants to accept risk or be accountable today and expects someone else to pay when anything bad happens. In this case if passengers simply had their seat belts fastened (as I always do when seated even after around 8 million miles over the last 40 some years) they would have avoided injury. I never understood why people feel loosely fitting the seatbelt around them when seated is either uncomfortable or encroaching on their freedom.

  5. @Gary – part of the fun of LV is sometimes totally letting yourself go. I’ve been somewhere between 100 and 150 times over the last 35 years and I don’t party as much now as in my youth (although still like to drink heavily in LV if not in a poker tournament or driving) but being so wasted you do something like this is perfectly fine and something the vast majority of people who go to LV (at least those that let go and have some fun) have experienced.

  6. @Alert – With you 100%. A few years back I broke my leg on a wet floor. I knew it was wet (well, it had been waxed, that part I didn’t know… but there was a yellow sign) and I was being careful but, well, it happens. I didn’t think to sue. I’d be ashamed to do so. I think the building owner was so shocked that I wasn’t that they did offer to pay my insurance deductible, which I took them up on so a couple grand which I thought was quite a reasonable gesture (and a small insurance claim for them).

    Isn’t there a parody scene in Airplane with a news talking head? “They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let them crash!”
    (which also, topically, had Pat Sajak basically playing himself as a Buffalo news anchor though I think that was the sequel)

  7. This is so true for hotels! Call first and if you are nasty to me/us I point out your reservation says check at 3 PM! It’s 1:15 AM. If you are nice I can do it but sometimes they still make you checkout at noon same day or I can set it to have you checkout noon the next day. Just call and be nice, The managers don’t care but if you are rude they will say 3pm like the agent said check in is at 3pm

  8. I get more price transparency at the supermarket or McDonald’s than from airlines.

    How can they be “more” regulated? That’s completely fake news.

    Get a grip.

  9. Exactly what Rozellvm said. Call and be nice!

    Also the real test of hospitality is arriving in a country you’ve never been to before and showing up after midnight to a hotel you haven’t booked — everything is about how you communicate. This happened to me first in Rwanda and years later in Senegal and then a week later in Mauritania. And I had great stays both times because it was all about positive attitude and proper communication.

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