Is it “walking” if done 2 months in advance?

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Jul 26, 2018
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#1
I would like to know if you think my situation fits the definition of “walking” because I do not think it does. I made a reservation in December 2017 at a Hilton in Evanston, Illinois to move my daughter into Northwestern University. I was told this week that the hotel is not honoring my reservation (and supposedly 30 others) because another large guest (they claim the guest has booked 150 rooms) has notified them that they are extending their reservation. I know the rules about a hotel not being able to force a guest to vacate a room that they already occupy but that is not this situation. The hotel is claiming that the rules are the same and that they were legally obligated to let this client extend their reservation even though the hotel did not have the rooms available. I think they should have told this (admittedly large and I suspect important) client that they were sorry but they could not accommodate their request.

The hotel manager eventually offered to pay for the first night at a different hotel - but only after I pushed - and so far whoever responds to tweets at Hilton corporate is being worthless. Thanks to your website I now have the names and emails and phone numbers of those up the corporate ladder - I’m emailing them next!

Thank you again - your website is awesome!!

Amy Heath
 

Neil Maley

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#2
I have never heard of a legality that someone wanting to extend a stay that they contracted for legally gets the room if it wasn’t in their contract.

What I see is a hotel that is getting more money for those rooms and canceling anyone paying less. I call it poor hotel management for not telling the group that they only contracted for x number of nights and they couldn’t extend.

I absolutely agree that you should go through corporate. Are you only staying one night or did the Manager day you could go back to the hotel the next day for the rest of your stay?

This would be an interesting case on the blog. I
am not sure of it being legal. My wife has a friend that is a hotel manager and I’ll ask her to ask her friend.
 
Likes: AGHeath
Jul 26, 2018
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#3
Thanks Neil! I’ve always heard from friends in the travel industry (but never actually researched the law) that if someone occupies a hotel room and chooses to overstay their reservation, a hotel cannot force them to leave. But I do not think this is the same situation since the party is not yet occupying the room. I completely understand that the manager made a business decision to not anger a large corporate client - but I feel that having made that business decision he should pay for more than just my one night elsewhere. We had a 2 night reservation and I was asking him to pay for both nights at the other hotel. We specifically choose his hotel because it was walking distance to campus and had a secure guarded parking lot. Everything my daughter owns will be locked in the car overnight so that was very important to us. Now we are staying at a hotel 10-15 drive to campus (everything in Evanston has been booked for months due to Northwestern move-in) with an open unsecured unguarded parking lot which I find unacceptable. And in answer to your question - no we were not given the option of returning to the hotel for the second night.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond!
 

Neil Maley

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#4
I agree with you and I’m glad you pushed for that resolution. Make sure you have it in writing too.

You are correct, this isn’t the same situation as someone refusing to vacate an already occupied room so I am not sure of the legalities.
 
Likes: AGHeath

Neil Maley

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#6
So here is what her friend said - the additional date depends on if the hotel made an error in the dates on the contract for the group, or if the group simply added an extra day. Plus - the manager of the hotel may owe you more than what they are offering.

"When the hotel overbooks the rooms, it has the legal responsibility to find alternate accommodations for the guests that can't accommodate at a comparable brand or higher. The hotel must pay for their stay at the other hotel, arrange transportation to the other hotel if needed and a free long distance call if needed. Then they have to make arrangements to return back to the original hotel if there were additional dates booked.

Yes they have a legal responsibility to the group if they messed up on the dates of stay but not if the group just added dates.
None the less they have the above legal responsibilities to all other transient guests."

So perhaps you can use this to go back to the hotel manager. And by not offering you the alternate hotel and you having to beg for it is apparently a violation of the overbooking policy. If you really want that room there you might ask the manager if the original date was on the original contract with the group.

Or if you are ok with the move for the night, you can write to the Hilton contacts we have in our Company Contacts and let them know you've done your research and ask the question of the contract to them.

You just need to decide how much you want from the Manager is he doesn't cancel you stay. Update us on what you decided to do.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#7
@AGHeath Boy does this stink... Short answer is the hotel thinks whatever big group they have is worth more in the long run than you. Its probably a group that stays there repeatedly (Alumni assoc, Greek org, etc). Given the choice, they'd rather annoy the person that's going to stay there once than the person that's bringing in hundreds of room nights annually. Its the same way the TAs that are part of a large agency can occasionally get things someone who booked on the website can't.

I don't think that you're ultimately going to get what you want especially this close in. The odds are the group under contract has already gone passed their cancellation window and they're probably under contract for the added night.

Instead of accepting the hotel they suggest, I'd go find a hotel within Hilton that meets your requirements and request that the hotel walk you there. After all, you have to drive anyway.

After check in is completed, its time to have fun ... First, go to the hotel to see if you can find the organization that kicked you out. If its one that might look for money from you our or your daughter, make sure they know how you feel about them making a last minute decision that put you on the street (nicely) and ask them to find a different accommodations partner in the future (since the hotel could do the same thing to them). If the hotel is listed anywhere on the campus or a suggested move in hotel, figure out which office controls that at the university and work to get the hotel removed from the list.

Pressure is a wonderful thing :)
 
Likes: AGHeath
Jul 26, 2018
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#8
Thank you!! I was told that the other client called and told the hotel that they were extending their stay - NOT that there was a mistake in the original contract. This is great information. I will contact Hilton corporate now, I don’t think this manager will budge if not forced to. I really appreciate your help Neil - I’ll keep you posted!
@AGHeath Boy does this stink... Short answer is the hotel thinks whatever big group they have is worth more in the long run than you. Its probably a group that stays there repeatedly (Alumni assoc, Greek org, etc). Given the choice, they'd rather annoy the person that's going to stay there once than the person that's bringing in hundreds of room nights annually. Its the same way the TAs that are part of a large agency can occasionally get things someone who booked on the website can't.

I don't think that you're ultimately going to get what you want especially this close in. The odds are the group under contract has already gone passed their cancellation window and they're probably under contract for the added night.

Instead of accepting the hotel they suggest, I'd go find a hotel within Hilton that meets your requirements and request that the hotel walk you there. After all, you have to drive anyway.

After check in is completed, its time to have fun ... First, go to the hotel to see if you can find the organization that kicked you out. If its one that might look for money from you our or your daughter, make sure they know how you feel about them making a last minute decision that put you on the street (nicely) and ask them to find a different accommodations partner in the future (since the hotel could do the same thing to them). If the hotel is listed anywhere on the campus or a suggested move in hotel, figure out which office controls that at the university and work to get the hotel removed from the list.

Pressure is a wonderful thing :)
Thank you John! I like the way you think!! I did find another Hilton property but at a minimum I want the original hotel to pay for both nights not just one. My biggest concern is that the original hotel has secure, guarded parking and the other hotel does not and given that we are moving our daughter into college she is going to have basically everything she owns in the rental car. And, while I agree I am not as "important" as a big corporate client, my daughter will be at Northwestern for 4 years - thats 4 years of visiting, move-ins, football games, graduations, I would have been a repeat customer.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#9
Thanks Neil! I’ve always heard from friends in the travel industry (but never actually researched the law) that if someone occupies a hotel room and chooses to overstay their reservation, a hotel cannot force them to leave. But I do not think this is the same situation since the party is not yet occupying the room. I completely understand that the manager made a business decision to not anger a large corporate client - but I feel that having made that business decision he should pay for more than just my one night elsewhere. We had a 2 night reservation and I was asking him to pay for both nights at the other hotel. We specifically choose his hotel because it was walking distance to campus and had a secure guarded parking lot. Everything my daughter owns will be locked in the car overnight so that was very important to us. Now we are staying at a hotel 10-15 drive to campus (everything in Evanston has been booked for months due to Northwestern move-in) with an open unsecured unguarded parking lot which I find unacceptable. And in answer to your question - no we were not given the option of returning to the hotel for the second night.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond!
This issue about forcing someone to leave often has to do with local laws and whether there is a tenant - landlord relationship vs. an inn keeper -- but given that no one is even there yet, it is hard to give them the protection of any laws.

Do not leave things in a parked car, even if it is secure and guarded. People still look for things and break into cars at hotel parking lots
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#10
Likes: AGHeath

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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#11
I'm glad you got some notice, even tho the situation is annoying. As a business person, I can understand the hotel GM catering to the big group ... as John says it's probably an annual booking. I see the packed car situation as far more worrisome than having to find a different hotel. All your daughter's belongings overnight in an open hotel parking lot is NOT a good situation. I would ask the Hilton to find you alternate accommodations. I'd park the loaded car in their secure lot overnight and have them call a taxi to your other hotel.
 
Jul 26, 2018
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#12
I'm glad you got some notice, even tho the situation is annoying. As a business person, I can understand the hotel GM catering to the big group ... as John says it's probably an annual booking. I see the packed car situation as far more worrisome than having to find a different hotel. All your daughter's belongings overnight in an open hotel parking lot is NOT a good situation. I would ask the Hilton to find you alternate accommodations. I'd park the loaded car in their secure lot overnight and have them call a taxi to your other hotel.
Thank you! I agree - I thought of asking for them to at least let me park the car in their secure lot and send me in a taxi to and from - I really appreciate all of these ideas!
 
Dec 26, 2014
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#13
Since the parked car with belongings is an issue, you might consider a search for an Air&B or VRBO, etc. with parking on premises.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#14
Thank you! I agree - I thought of asking for them to at least let me park the car in their secure lot and send me in a taxi to and from - I really appreciate all of these ideas!
The problem with this is that if you aren't on property - nothing is really secure. The secured parking can be a lot with a fence or a lot that they have someone walk or drive around every few hours. And regardless of it being secured, you will see signs that say the hotel is not responsible for stolen or broken into cars. So you are better off keeping the car with you in a spot visible from your room.