Grrr … Hotel Reservations

These are so easy to make online.  My family said the annual get-together is on for the same weekend as always.  So, I made the reservations.  We drive the ~2400 miles round trip, so it does require one night’s stay in either direction, and a few more nights when we get there.  For years, we’ve stayed in the same places on the way, once there, and on the way back, with one exception, for a place that had gotten a little shabby on the way there, so I found another place nearby that’s better for ~the same price.

So far, so good.  Then we got a text from my in-laws asking everyone to make the whole big shindig a day later than usual, so they could be there, too.  The hosts agreed, so I had to try to change reservations for two of three hotels/motels I’d booked.  Couldn’t really do that online, so I had to call the front desk clerk at each location, give them my name and reservation number, then ask if they could change my reservation for me.

In one case, it was “I’d like to change that reservation from that night to the next night, if I could.”  The 20-something woman who answered the phone pulled up my reservation, and changed it for me, no problem.  It was a non-refundable reservation, so they were going to get the $ either night, both of which were weekdays.  She was fantastic about it, and gave me no hassle.  It took her all of two minutes.  Same room rate I’d originally booked.

In the other case, I wanted to add one extra night to the three I’d already booked.  The 20-something sounding guy who answered the phone gave me a bit of a song and dance about how I’d have to go through Expedia to do that, but I was having none of it.  I didn’t use Expedia to book the room in the first place.  He told me it could cost me as much as another $40 over my previous nightly room rate if he booked the extra night for me himself.  So, I told him, “Well, if you can find us a room for that one extra night, great.  If we have to pack our bags after night #3 and move down the hall, or to the motel next door, we can do it, but it’d be preferable if we didn’t have to.”  Bingo-bango. He typed away on his reservation machine, and came back to tell me that we could stay in the same room for the fourth night, and the room rate would be the same as the one we got for the previous three nights.  Of course I thanked him for his assistance.

It pays to be polite.  Well, it saves money, anyway.  The guy could have been a hard-ass about jacking up our room rate for the one extra night, but if he had been, he knew we could have packed up and gone next door to another motel.  *shrug*

Yes, you can negotiate for hotel rates.  It’s kind of a pain in the ass, though.

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