Hotel Travel Tips: Nine Tips to score an Upgrade at Check-in - Via

Nine Hotel Travel Tips to Get an Upgrade at Check-in

Don’t leave it all to chance, use these hotel travel tips to increase your odds of getting a suite upgrade!

After traveling all day, there is very little as rewarding as checking into your hotel and finding you’ve been upgraded. Whether you got moved to a suite, up to a Club Floor, or just around to a room with a view, it’s always appreciated. But why leave it all to chance?

Nine Hotel Travel Tips to Get an Upgrade

It’s important to remember that complimentary upgrades are at the discretion of the hotel. The quickest way not to get one is to assume – or demand – that you deserve one. There are no guarantees in this game, so be appropriately appreciative should you be deemed worthy.

Our Stay at Limerick Strand Hotel on

Check In Late in the Day

Sometimes, checking in early is a wonderful thing. You can drop your bags, freshen up, maybe even grab a quick nap in your new destination. What the early bird generally doesn’t get, though, is an upgrade. Later in the day, the hotel has a better idea of how many, and which rooms will go empty that night. That means you have a better chance of getting one of those empty rooms.

Be Loyal

Have you joined the loyalty programs for your favorite hotels? Loyal guests, especially those with “status” in the program, are more likely to be upgraded at check-in. Again, there’s no guarantee, but it’s one of the surest ways to move on up.

Stay Often

If there’s one person more important to a hotel than a member of their loyalty program, it’s the person who stays frequently. While it seems nice to “spread the love” around a city’s hotels, once you find one you like, stay there every time you’re in town. The more you do, the more likely they’ll thank you for your continued business.

Nine Hotel Travel Tips to Get an Upgrade at Check-in, via @TravelLatte.

Travel Off Season

Your chance of a complimentary upgrade during the busy season is significantly lower than the off season. It makes sense; not only are there more rooms available, the hotel will also try harder to convince you to come back.

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Stay at Newer Hotels

Many times, new hotels have excess inventory (not all of their rooms have been booked) and they are eager to build repeat business. This basically compounds your chances of getting an upgrade! Of course, it’s not always easy to know when a hotel is new in a city, so a quick phone call may be in order. While you have them on the phone, you might also ask how full they are during your target dates. (Remember, more empty rooms mean better odds of an upgrade.)

Be Vocal

Just remember to also be positive. A thank you email or tweet after your visit will be remembered. Mentioning a hotel in your social media channels builds goodwill. (Pro Tip: Brands love it when you drop their name, but tweeting about your experience at a specific hotel often goes further.) It may not get you to the penthouse, but you may find extra amenities in your room.

Be Helpful

Less than perfect stay? Something gone awry? Follow up with a personal letter or email to the hotel manager. Politely point out what went wrong versus what you expected. Your helpful feedback may get you an invitation to give the hotel a second chance, with an upgraded room. If their performance improves, tell them so. Building that relationship will work in your favor.

Send a tweet or email - Nine Hotel Travel Tips to Get an Upgrade at Check-in, via @TravelLatte.

Just Ask!

You might be surprised how frequently you can get an upgrade just by politely asking. Don’t limit it to just a better room. Want those club level robe and slippers, or maybe free wi-fi? It never hurts to ask.

Be a NAG: Nice, Appreciative, Genuine

Nobody’s going to upgrade a Grumpy Grumperson with a sense of entitlement who complains about everything. So be sure to be nice when dealing with hotel workers (and everyone else). When you talk with or tweet about the hotel, be genuine. And whatever they can do for you, be gracious and appreciative. That may not get you upgraded, but it will leave a positive impression, and that might do the trick next time.

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We’re curious about your travel tips! Please share your tips to get an upgrade. We’ll re-post the best, so be sure to include your Twitter handle and a link to your blog, if you have one. Or click for more #Travel140!

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35 comments on “Nine Hotel Travel Tips to Get an Upgrade at Check-in

  1. Great tips! I’ve been offered upgrades without asking but I wouldn’t think to just ask! Having a hotel loyalty card is another tip. That’s how I’ve been offered free breakfast, room upgrade, good view just by checking in.

    • Thanks Sharon! Free breakfast is fantastic, and a good reminder that a bigger room isn’t always the best upgrade you can get. Thanks for your comment!

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with the point about staying at newer hotels. We once stayed at the Upper House in Hong Kong in their most expensive suite. While we didn’t do it on an upgrade we got a super deal because the hotel was brand new. Nowadays the same suite costs several thousand dollars a night.

  3. These are all really good tips. I find asking is a great way to get an upgrade. It helps better if you are behind a “negative influence” in the queue for service. For instance, if the person in front of you gives the desk staff a hard time, commiserate with the staff when it’s your turn and it will pay back in spades. I was once upgraded to a upper level corner room looking out over Times Square in NYC using this technique. And, the staff asked if I’d like free breakfast. All I had to do is say “Yes, please”. That covered the first day. On arrival at the breakfast restaurant, the patron in front of me was a handful. Sympathise with the host and I got the second day free as well.

    • Great point, Rhonda – we should add that as a tenth tip: Make up for Grumpy Grumperson! Everyone appreciates that nice person in a day full of foul ones, and hotel staff may say thank you with an upgrade. That was a nice one you got in Times Square! The power of being positive in action. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story!

  4. We got upgraded a couple of times, without even asking. It’s just the best. Last time was in Athens, as somehow it had ended up in their system that we had children with us. This wasn’t the case, but with me being 6mth pregnant I was absolutely overjoyed with the extra space of the suite.

    • You have to love that! We had a glitch work in our favor once when the hotel’s computer didn’t show any clean rooms in the category we reserved, so they put us in a suite. Heaven! Thanks for sharing your story, Esther!

  5. Some really great tips there Rob and Ann. I definitely agree that positivity is important in any travel scenario like this and it’s funny how simply asking for it often doesn’t occur to people. Always a nice little surprise when you do get upgraded isnt it. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  6. All great and helpful tips for that much appreciated upgrade. We’ve been pretty lucky with upgrades by checking in late, traveling off season and being loyal to a brand as a status member. We’ve found that European hotels seem to be more willing to upgrade than here in the US. We’ve loved out suite upgrades as a traveling family of four.

    • Thanks for your comment, Mary. Interesting observation on European vs US hotels and upgrades. We’ve also noticed that boutique or stand-alone hotels are often more likely to upgrade than large chains. I suppose it’s easier to bend the rules when you’re the one who makes them! 😉

  7. So helpful. I’ve only been upgraded once, in Palm Springs. It was off-season and the cleaning staff didn’t want to haul all their stuff up to the third floor, so we got a ground-level room that walked out onto the pool!

    • Score! We love those unexpected upgrades that aren’t just nice rooms, but have serious benefits – like a pool right there! 🙂 Thanks for you comment, Staci!

  8. These are seriously some great tips, some of which I never thought about for example checking in later. We like to get to the hotels asap to drop off luggage, but we also sometimes get in late. But we’ve never asked and I rarely think about it. #TheWeklyPostcard

  9. Very useful tips, Rob. I guess the loyalty program is the key ‘ingredient’ if you want to score an upgrade. In my experience, getting an upgrade has a lot to do with how busy the hotel is and also how much the receptionist likes you. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  10. Good ideas. The only times I have gotten upgrades have been when I had status. I have gotten some pretty nice suites. Too bad I don’t have status anymore. I will have to be better about asking. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • We need to get better about asking, too. When we do, it’s usually in an offhand, joking manner – and sometimes it works! My biggest surprise was when I jokingly asked if my Presidential Suite was ready. The desk agent said, “We don’t have one, so we put you in the Executive Suite.” And she wasn’t joking!!! She was my best friend for the whole visit. 🙂 I guess if you don’t ask, you never know. Thanks for your comment, Anisa!

    • Being in a work environment where we only had certain chains to choose from showed us the value of that loyalty. But it’s hard – we really do enjoy exploring different hotels! Thanks for reading, Goblins!

    • If at first you don’t succeed… 😉 We’ve gotten a few, but more often get additional amenities instead of an upgraded room. Sometimes, they’re better than the bigger room! (Thinking of the yummy plate of chocolates in Limerick 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Bea!

    • Thanks Wendy – We hope the tweets help you score those upgrades! And we love reading about your hotel experiences. 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

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