With all the craziness going on with Airlines in the United States lately, my family and I opted to drive to Florida. Even though it was an 18-hour car ride, we thought it would be better than flying. We drove from San Antonio, Texas to Pensacola, Florida in one day and decided to stop and stay at a hotel. We were about 15 minutes from the hotel when we called to make a reservation. I would like to point out that many of the hotels were full and when we called this one they said they had rooms available.
Well, as it turns out, that was not the case; at least technically. The lady took our payment information and we made a reservation. You would think that would be the end of it, but you’d be wrong. So we arrive around 8 PM to the hotel and at this point, we had been in the car for approximately 12 hours and we just wanted to relax. My grandma gives them her name and info and the woman at the front desk says that there is a problem.
If you know me, I always use a coupon whenever possible. I found a coupon that would make our hotel stay $70 instead of $130 (the Saturday price). I would like to preface this next part by saying it’s not the first time I’ve experienced something like this with coupons. Logically, you would assume that if you make a reservation they have to hold the room. Apparently, this is not the case. The fine print on the coupon says subject to availability which is why I called to confirm they had rooms in the first place. I’m not a beginner at couponing by any means and I understand they have certain rules, but what happened next I was not expecting.
I don’t stay at hotels very often, but I always use a coupon. I’ve never had a problem with using one for a hotel even once. We walked in looking tired and completely disheveled and inform the woman at the front desk that we have a reservation. She goes on to explain that occupancy was too low (I think she meant too high because if it was too low they’d have plenty of room) to use the coupon. Basically, they want to save the last few available rooms for people who are willing to pay full price.
This is not the first time I’ve encountered a policy like this because this was a policy we had at the movie theater I worked at, so I can completely understand where they are coming. However, that is the exact reason I called ahead of time; to avoid this situation. Then, the lady says the policy works like an airline. She didn’t say these exact words but essentially if you aren’t willing to pay full price then you’re not going to get a room. That would make sense if I hadn’t called ahead and reserved a room. Apparently, that reservation means nothing, and it reminded me all the recent situations surrounding the airlines recently.
We got lucky, and they decided to honor our coupon despite repeatedly saying that they don’t normally do this. I thought it was ridiculous that they would allow us to make a reservation and take our payment info without informing us that something like this might come up. I haven’t been to a hotel in a long time, but as I stated before I’ve never had a problem like this before. If any hotel owners are reading this, heed this advice: Don’t compare your policies to an airline and if a customer makes a reservation you should honor it.