Door latch
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Stupid Tip of the Day: Lock the Door to Your Hotel Room

This is a simple reminder for you to remember to lock your door after you enter your hotel room — and not necessarily because someone nefarious may be interested in breaking in and robbing it.

Stupid Tip of the Day: Lock the Door to Your Hotel Room

Although not a common occurrence, having two guests accidentally assigned to the same room happens more often than you might believe — and by simply using the latch or deadbolt on the door to your hotel room, you can very easily prevent someone else with a key that can open the door from unexpectedly entering into your room.

A recent example is that of FlyerTalk member lotus918: “Totally out of our minds after being awake for nearly 20 hours, Mrs Lotus fell into bed and I was online trying to figure out how to get us back to LAX. About 1:30AM our door is flung open and there’s a guy looking at me in my underwear, and me looking at him asking what the hell he thinks he’s doing? I run to the door and push it shut and lock it (have no idea if he’s about to rob us or what’s going on). Call the front desk and they asked me if I was in the right room (you can’t make this stuff up I swear)! Said they’ll call us back, after ~15 mins I call again and they’re still being evasive until they finally said the person who checked us in didn’t complete the process and they assigned the room to the next person after us.”

Another more common reason to secure your room by locking the door is to prevent a member of the housekeeping staff — or other employee of the hotel or resort property — from barging into your room.


I have been fortunate in not recalling during my years or travel ever having some stranger unexpectedly enter my hotel room — or me bargaining into the hotel room of another guest.

Still, taking a few seconds of your time to prevent a possible intrusion — whether it is accidental or intentional — is so easy to do…

…so please: ensure that your room is secure before retiring for the night.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

  1. I was a flight attendant for 29 years, and yes this happens from time to time. Didn’t take more than once to convince me to bolt the door lol. I have both been walked in on, and walked in on someone. Also folks whether you are crew or traveling with another in separate rooms-please don’t place the deadbolt in between the door to keep it ajar while waiting for their arrival(even if rooms are close together or across the hall). To easy to get distracted among a group of friends bouncing in and out of each other’s rooms. Also just because you are on the 18th floor with a balcony room, doesn’t mean you can leave your sliding glass door unlocked/open. I speak from experience that people have been known to balcony hop!! Maybe I should write a book lol. Have experienced it all. Safe travels all!

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences and imparting some good advice, Scott.

      Safe travels to you, too!

  2. A few years ago this same thing happened to me at the Two ‘Tree’ hotel in Jamaica boulevard in Queens. Fortunately I’ve common sense and had used the latch and around 11 pm in the night I heard the door lock turning and a Latin looking family of 3 trying to enter the room!

    Check – in staff admitted it was their fault when i called them though.

  3. YES, having two guests accidentally assigned to the same room has happened to me.

    In Dallas on business I was staying at a major hotel property that one would assume that this type of an issue would be nonexistent, or at the least rare. It does happen.

    About 2:00 AM I awoke in a dark room only to see the shadowy outline of someone at the foot of my bed straining to see if there was indeed someone in it. Surprisingly, I calmly asked “Can I help you?” To the uninvited guest, this validated that there WAS someone in the bed and the unintended guest at the foot of my bed went into a panic-like fight or flight response and they flew out of the door.

    I understood this was probably little more than a mistake and calmly got up, closed and locked the door and returned to sleep. I dealt with the problem in the morning and was kindly rewarded with 5 days of non-expiring stay credits. I was happy.

    1. Although you were inconvenienced, Craig, I am glad to read that your experience had a happy ending.

      Thank you for sharing it.

  4. I have walked in on someone else before… Hilton Crystal City assigned me to a room another guest was already in. I opened the door and walked in surprising the man sitting in a chair…. The nearby Hilton Arlington (VA) also assigned me to a room someone was in, but they had the latch locked and I could not get in.

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