How Josh Flagg Works It for a Room Upgrade
Our own Eloise, Josh Flagg returns to divulge one of his closely-guarded hotel booking tips. While Amex is his main booking MO, this is a good tip to try on a lark but especially when you book packages that say, "Upgrade if available." Enjoy!
Do you ever feel as I do, that when you check into a hotel, you get the run around? Let me explain what I mean.
If you are an American Express platinum or Black card holder, or even if you are a Centurion card holder, there are certain advantages you get when booking through Amex's Fine Hotels and Resorts. For one, you get complimentary breakfast. Two, you get an added amenity with the hotel such as a massage or a facial or maybe a dining credit. But most important is number three and this is what matters most to me.
Say you are traveling and you book a one-bedroom suite. Assuming the occupancy in the hotel is not at 100 percent, then the hotel will upgrade you to a larger suite, just for booking through Amex. Sometimes, they will even upgrade you to a two-bedroom suite!
The same goes for a standard room. If you book a nice room, they will upgrade you to a junior suite, or if you book a not so nice room, they will upgrade you to a nice one.
Usually you will pay a little bit of a higher rate when you book through American Express Platinum or Centurion, however the added benefits make it well worth it.
Now you ask yourself, "Well what happens if the hotel is full and cannot upgrade me?" Sometimes this does happen. But unless you are traveling during peak season, most of the time there will be room for an upgrade.
However, I came up with a sure fire genius way to be absolutely sure the hotel can upgrade you and that they aren't just giving you the dreaded run-around so that they can sell the room to another customer (who is willing to pay full price for the nicer room.)
What I do is I call ahead of time, and in a very friendly way I ask the front desk person what the occupancy in the hotel is like at the moment. I will do it the day I am checking in. When I check in and present my Amex card, the hotel may try and tell me that there is no room for an upgrade, but then I will just say something to the effect of "Maybe you could check one more time, you see I happen to know what your occupancy is this evening." Believe me, you won't get the run around, and miraculously they will find a better room or suite for you.
I hope my tip is helpful but I fear I may have just screwed myself over because I really think I am the only one who does this now.
Hotel guests--what are your tricks for getting room upgrades? (But no folded up $20 bill stories please!) Share them in comments below!