The Way You Lock Your Hotel Room Door Isn’t Safe [Roundup]

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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. The American obsession with “safety” from invited, fear-mongering threats is absurd and out of control.

  2. try that in my hotel room and you’ll lose a hand. That has got to be the dumbest thing I have seen yet oin this blog.

  3. @Gary – You used to hand out a lot of awardwallet (I believe) codes but you haven’t done so in quite some time. Do you not get the upgrade codes anymore or feel there’s a better product available?

  4. This is significantly overblown. I have stayed in a hotel for about 230 days the last 3 years and have yet to have a some boogeyman breaking in and trying to attack me in the middle of the night. Plus, if I have a medical emergency, I’d prefer them being able to access me without having to break down the door. Honestly, if one is this afraid of travel, then maybe they should just stay home. This applied with covid too.

  5. I don’t know that I would go this extent in a hotel room, however, the other commenters talking about paranoia of travelers all seem to be men. As a female traveler who has *actually* experience hotel staff *accidentally* entering my room in the middle of the night, it is quite unpleasant. This happened to me in a resort hotel in Banjul, the Gambia as well as in another upscale property in KL, Malaysia. I was on business on both these trips.

    Female travelers, are always a target for attacks and one just needs to be both aware and take precautions. It doesn’t stop me from traveling but most men, including my own husband, don’t appreciate the kind of hyper-vigilence women have to maintain on a daily basis, especially when traveling.

    So be nice in your comments guys.

  6. @mwac

    I get you think you need to be hypervigilant, but in reality it’s unnecessary worry. That’s not to say don’t use the tools provided, but going to extreme lengths to prevent the above is excessive. If it makes you feel better, then by all means, do so. However, if someone wants in, they will get in. It’s just a matter of time until they get in. When my industry builds vaults, they do so based on time to breach. If you use the built-in tools provided, it will stop 99.9 percent of the those looking to do nefarious things.

  7. 1. Presumably you are in the room because how would you even have that lock engaged from the outside. So maybe grab that hand and start snapping off fingers
    2. Your bigger question would be why anyone can even open the door to begin with. I’m pretty sure I would be asking for a new room if anyone besides staff can open the door. And I’m not worry about the staff given the thousands of hotel nights that I have spent in the past.

  8. Easiest and unbeatable is a rubber doorstop. I traveled with one for years, after a friend of mine saved his life by using one at the Taj in Mumbai.

    Then I realized I was much more likely to get killed jaywalking than by terrorists, but this video might get me carrying one again.

  9. The only trouble I’ve had was the cleaning staff coming in while I was gone and throwing away something I needed. Luckily I found it. It’s scary to see how easy it is to access this particular lock. I have heard of a person entering at night through the old key locks. Hopefully the card entrance is better. A maintenance man entered what he thought was an empty room and was accused of robbing and killing a woman. A flight attendant was killed in her room. Safety is definitely a priority for me-at home or traveling-but it hasn’t stopped me from traveling.

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