Door latch
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Stupid Tip of the Day: Use the Door Latch of Your Hotel Room

“I magine waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of your hotel room door flinging open and footsteps inside. That just happened to me last night.”

This potentially frightening recent experience was recalled in this article written by Matthew Klint of Live and Let’s Fly pertaining to not using the door latch of a room at an upscale hotel property in Germany when a member of the hotel staff entered the room without knocking at 3:10 in the morning while his family was sleeping.

Stupid Tip of the Day: Use the Door Latch of Your Hotel Room

That entire situation could have been avoided with the simple use of that device known as a door latch.

Door latch
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Door latches come in a number of varieties. Some are in the form of a bar; while others are chains. Rarely is a hotel room door not equipped with a latch or chain — although I did encounter such a room in Riga recently where the door lock using the key from inside was the only method of securing the room.

One negative aspect of using the door latch is something completely avoidable but yet can happen anyway: when your hands are full with luggage as you attempt to leave the room and hearing that loud kerunk as your body is jolted from trying to open the door while the latch is still engaged…

…so include disengaging the latch of the door of the hotel room as part of your checklist of leaving the room when you are checking out of the hotel before grabbing your luggage to leave.

“I see the light. From this point on I will always engage my deadbolt. But I am curious…was I the only one who rarely bothered to use it?” is the question posed in this article written by Matthew Klint.

Unfortunately, no. There are plenty of discussions posted on FlyerTalk over the years recounting people entering hotel rooms who should have not have had access or who have walked in at inappropriate moments — such as this one launched by FlyerTalk member ConfusedInJapan, who posted that “the house keeping staff entered my room. I’m 99% sure they didn’t knock first (there is always a chance I didn’t hear them, but actually I was within a few feet of the door at the time so that is unlikely).”

FlyerTalk member Dr. HFH chastised ConfusedInJapan, stating back in 2013 that “Given all the relevant posts on FT, I’m surprised that you hadn’t double locked the door using either the chain or loooped bar thingy. That’s what they’re for, — to prevent prople from entering when you don’t want them. That said, yes, of course housekeeping should always knock/ring the bell before entering.”


No, I am not calling Matthew Klint stupid — far from it, actually. Rather, the Stupid Tip of the Day series of articles is about what Edward Pizzarello of Pizza in Motion describes in this article as “It’s a simple enough question, but not one I’ve given much thought to.”

As for me, I have always used the latch to the door of a hotel room, as it is the best method of ensuring my privacy. Even a member of the housekeeping staff cannot enter my room when the latch of the door is used — easily, anyway.

The second or two to use the door latch can potentially save you time and aggravation in the unlikely event that someone other than yourself gains access and entry into the room in which you are staying.

After all, I have yet to hear someone say that an unknown person has entered his or her room with the latch engaged — and I know that I have never had this issue in the years in which I have been staying in hotel and resort properties…

All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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