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Readers Respond: How to Score a Hotel Room Upgrade

Responses: 9


Do you ask and receive? How do you score a room upgrade at a hotel? Share your best tips with us and learn from the savviest frequent travelers. (Registration is NOT required.) How do you get upgraded?

Be Polite

If you come up to me demanding an upgrade, telling me you're a such and such member and you travel 100 nights a year on the program and blah blah blah, I'm less likely to try to accomodate you. If you ask, and then understand if we're sold out, you're more likely to get something. I'd even offer some sort of alternative (like a snack or something) for the trouble of not being able to give you the upgrade. Treat the hotel staff like you would want to be treated.
—Guest FrontDeskGirl


Why you all always thinking of ways trying to get free upgrade while you should just get what you have pay for. It is not funny to ask for free upgrade, especially for those who making all the ridiculous excuse and being pushy in doing what ever possible to get free upgrade. This kind of people simply go to hell and if you are not willing to pay more then simply stays home.
—Guest Front Desk

Don't be a jerk!

I have worked in hotels ten plus years, and if you are a jerk or pushy, the desk agent will not do anything to accommodate you. However, if you're polite, and make a few jokes, or something of that ilk, you're most likely going to get something. You can slip a few bucks to them, which works as well! Also, if you've been denied at the Front Desk at Check-in, don't push it. There's a reason you didn't get the upgrade. All you can do is try...
—Guest Hotel Girl

Got it?

I am a Guest Service Manager, at the 4th hotel I have ever worked at. I love this business, that's why I have been a manager at several properties. I am here to tell you that whomever is working at the front desk, should be genuine and sincere in ACTUALLY accommodating the guest. I only hire Guest Service Reps that I know won't fake being hospitable or accommodating. If you are denied an upgrade, the hotel should be sold out or the agent suspended without pay to give them time on whether or not they deserve their job! Thank you!

Tips from the Inside - BE HONEST

Ask Around Don't limit your request to a single person or department. Different hotel companies have different levels of empowerment for their employees. A reservations agent may not be able to accommodate a request. Asking for a reservations manager may get you somewhere, but in many companies reservations teams are also in charge of revenue management for a hotel or region and so may be more apt to deny a complimentary upgrade. Front desk/front office teams, on the other hand, are more oriented towards maximizing a guest experience. BE HONEST This has been mentioned before, but I reiterate - honesty is key! Remember that hospitality agents deal with people day in and day out. If they smell a fib they may be turned off to helping you. As a front desk manager, I'd rather hear a guest tell me they would love a view room if one is available than hear a five minute story about how it is a birthday/anniversary if I smell untruth.

Plan ahead if possible

I'm a desk clerk with a limited number of upgrade possibilities at my hotel. Because of the size of our property we pre-assign rooms in the morning. Before assigning you a room we look at the special requests attached to your reservation. These requests could appear because you are a member of our frequent stay program or you've called ahead to let us know what you needed. We assign people with special requests first. However, as a common practice we do not upgrade someone in the morning. This is because we would rather sell that room at full price than give it away at a lower price. But if you are interested in an upgrade do mention it, because by check-in time we've given up on selling the room at a higher price. So, if you want an upgrade ask when you arrive. BUT, ask when there is no one around in the lobby area. As a desk clerk the last thing I want to have to deal with is the person behind you pitching a fit because he/she didn't get an upgrade like you.

Be Nice and Don't Lie!

Hotel clerks put up with a lot of people who lie and are rude and pushy to get what they want, when usually all you need to do is ask! Do so politely and don't lie! If it's not your anniversary don't say it is! If you lie to me - about anything - I don't want to help you and will not bend any rules for you - you will get the bare minimum! As I said, we're humans, just ask. If the hotel's policy allows the Front Desk Agent to give complimentary upgrades and it's available, you will likely get it. Most chains give upgrades to members of their loyalty clubs - become a member if the club does not have any fees. And, we don't want to be bribed (would you risk you're job to accept a $20.00 bribe? I wouldn't). If you're willing to bribe someone $20.00 to get an upgrade, you just paid for an upgrade. The cost for an upgrade may be less than that!
—Guest Hotel Clerk

If you are celebrating something

Don't keep it to yourself. The hotel industry is always looking for ways to bring guests back to their hotel. Some even have a fund for extra free amenities. If you are celebrating something, say so during the reservation process, or even at check in. Some hotel chains, for example, will generally set up some kind of amenity for you, a bottle of wine, chocolates, a hotel coupon, or maybe even a free room upgrade. The sweeter you are to the hotel employees the better. Wow them with a story and tell them about yourself in detail if there aren't more guests behind you. Even hotel employees love a mushy sweet story. If they do something special for you, don't forget to mention their name to a manager, or write it on the hotel evaluation, they will talk about you for months.
—Guest stuffuff

Slip the front desk clerk a $20

In Las Vegas while checking in to a few hotels I've used the trick of holding a folded $20 bill along with my credit card as I am speaking to the front desk clerk. While I don't go ahead and say I'm offering it to him or her for a room upgrade, I do ask for something specific (a view, a corner room) and if it's available. 3 out of 4 times they've come up with a better room than was initially assigned, and I leave the bill on the desk after I sign the card. If it doesn't work, no harm done and no embarrassment, I just put the money away.
—Guest Mr. S

How do you get upgraded?

How to Score a Hotel Room Upgrade

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