Does Anyone Use the Hotel Check-Out Process Anymore?
Where: Various Locations
We saw earlier this year that hotels' self service/automated check-in is gaining popularity in an effort to keep pace with time-crunched, no-nonsense guests. We get it, you just want to get to your room, to hell with the pleasantries and to hell with the front desk. Fair enough. But while opinions vary about the value of interaction upon check-in, one thing that's not being discussed is the automation on the other end.
Seriously, does anyone use the check-out process at hotels anymore?
We admit we rarely stop at the desk on the way out. Most times the receipt is under the door, and when it's not, we give the hotel the benefit of the doubt (but check our credit card statement a few days later just to be sure). Some hotels let you call down or check out via your television. And when you're in a hurry to get going, nothing is worse than standing in a line to say all was well with your room..and "please come again". Uh, yeah. We gotta get going.
Here's the thing: We feel torn. Assuming it's an organized process, we think human interaction upon check-in is a positive thing. Most times, it's one of the first exchanges with a local you'll experience, and if you're staying in the same hotel for a number of nights, making a personal connection with the staff can enhance your stay. Check out, however, is a much different story. We are, indeed, fans of the Irish goodbye. There's nothing worse than dwelling on the bill upon departure. Unless you got funky with that automatic mini-bar, and in that case, yeah, you best make sure all is OK before jetting out the door.
What are your thoughts on the check-out process? Do you find value in visiting the front desk on your way out? We know it makes it easier for the hotel to start the turnover process when we let them know we're leaving, but we suppose that's just a little revenge for all the times housekeeping has bothered us before checkout.
[Photo: Noel Douglas/USA Today]