Sometimes just being personable and friendly can go a long way in scoring a free hotel upgrade. But for times when a nice smile and pleasant demeanor is not enough, Amy Chan, director of marketing for Kiwi Collection has some other tricks to try.
1. Timing Check in later (between 4-6pm) as the front desk can see the cancellations and no-shows of that day. Also, if your dates are flexible, don’t book on busy holiday times as upgrades cannot be given if a hotel is at full occupancy.
2. Book a room in the middle price range It’s not impossible to get upgraded when booking the cheapest room category available but it doesn’t help your odds. Book a room that is in the mid range for better chances.
3. Be nice It’s that simple. Front desk staff and hotel managers deal with a lot of people and handle a lot of problems and stress during their day. Sometimes, just being personable, and friendly can go a long way.
4. Ask It doesn’t hurt to ask, and the worst thing that can happen is that you get declined. Ask if an upgrade is available. If it’s a special occasion, it doesn’t hurt to volunteer that information either.
5. Hotel mistake? Sometimes a hotel’s mistake can work to your advantage. Perhaps your room wasn’t ready upon check-in, construction causing loss of sleep – you can always address a hotel issue with the management in a nice manner and see if they will do something (like provide an upgrade) for the inconvenience.
6. Where you book matters If you’re booking a standard room, a hotel actually can give you a different room just based on the booking source you made the reservation on. Ever experience a really crappy room right by the hotel’s laundry area when booking on Expedia, only to find that your friend who booked elsewhere paid the same price but got a better room?
7. Loyalty You’ll have better chances of a free upgrade if you are loyal to the hotel and provide repeat business. Hotels know that it costs a lot less to keep a repeat customer happy then it is to acquire a new one, so often they’ll give special treatment to return customers.
8. Title drop There aren’t any guarantees, but you may find that title dropping can increase your chances of special treatment and upgrades. Hotels may want to impress you more because they know you’re an important businessperson, someone who can refer new business or have blogging or press power.