Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Confirmed: $75 Fee to Check Into This Hotel Property Early

Find out which hotel property charges this fee.

That travel companies are attempting to recoup — and even take advantage of profiting — from the financial losses which were incurred during the height of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic in the form of extra charges for services and creative fees should be of no surprise to anyone…

Confirmed: $75 Fee to Check Into This Hotel Property Early

…but one hotel property has a policy of charging its guests $75.00 if they check in early — whether or not a room is ready and available; and despite the elite status of the frequent guest loyalty program of which the guest is a member.

FlyerTalk member jcresq recounts the experience in this discussion:

I booked a room at the Homewood Suites Atlanta Buckhead for tonight; I made the reservation about 1 pm. At a little after 2, I came to the hotel and asked if i could check in early. The desk agent said ‘We do have rooms ready, but it there is a $75 fee for early check in.’ I asked if that applied even to Diamond members; she said yes. I told her I travel a lot, I have never heard of such a thing. She said ‘it’s right there on our website.’ I asked if she would instead let me out of the reservation I had made an hour earlier; she said, yes but that will incur a $75 fee as well.

While she didn’t offer to let me sit in the lobby and use the wifi, I did so anyway. I checked the Hilton website and the hotel’s individual website; there’s nothing about an early check in fee. I called the Diamond desk; the lady who answered went through the policies she had as well as the website, and she couldn’t find anything about an early check-in fee. I asked if she would call the hotel for me and try to prevail upon the desk clerk (who appears also to be the manager) to let me into my room. I could hear the phone ringing from my perch in the lobby; it was never answered. The Diamond desk lady came back on and said they’re not even answering the phone.

Even in this era of reduced customer service in the hospitality industry, i’m a little astonished. You have a room ready; a good customer with a reservation presents himself, and you don’t let him into the room. And you make up a policy on the website (did she think I wasn’t going to look?) to try to squeeze another $75 out of me.

Perhaps I may have missed it; but I checked both official web sites myself — including that of the hotel property, which is located in an upscale neighborhood in Atlanta — and could not find anything which suggests that checking in to this hotel property early incurs a fee of $75.00…

…or of any amount, for that matter.

Confirmation of the Fee to Check In Early

I called the Homewood Suites Atlanta Buckhead moments before writing this article to find out for myself whether that fee to check in early was in effect at one time but was subsequently dropped — or whether it actually existed at all. After navigating through a couple of voice prompts, a woman answered the telephone and introduced herself with her first name.

“I have a question,” I said. “I might be arriving at the hotel property earlier than expected. Is there an extra charge for checking in early?”

“Yes, sir,” she replied — almost seemingly apologetic but politely and in a friendly tone in her voice. “We charge $75.00 for early check-in.”

“Thank you,” I said.

Final Boarding Call

The last time I checked in to a hotel property early was at the Saint James Hotel — which is part of the voco brand of InterContinental Hotels Group — and I was not charged an additional cent for doing so.

In fact, I cannot recall ever staying at a hotel or resort property which charged extra merely for the privilege of checking in early during all of my years of traveling worldwide — except, perhaps, if a guest were to check in so early that the extra time could almost be counted as an extra day or half day.

If the fee were prominently displayed somewhere either at the official Internet web site of the hotel property or during the process of booking a reservation — or, preferably, both — that would be somewhat understandable…

…but that does not seem to be the case here.

Have you ever experienced — or even heard of — a hotel or resort property which charges extra simply to check in early?

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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