Five Helpful Tips to Get a Hotel Upgrade

Some people live by the motto, flattery will get you everywhere. While this may not work in all situations, it helps when traveling and actively seeking out an upgrade. Especially if you’re on the road a lot for business, every little comfort and consideration can go a long way in helping you feel more comfortable and relaxed.
There are ways to get an upgrade to your hotel, your flight, or your rental car when you’re traveling. A lot of it is just a matter of asking, or remaining loyal to your different travel companies.
We share these with the following caveat: If you try to get a hotel upgrade using any of these methods, you should exercise the utmost courtesy and expect nothing. Upgrades are a gift, and not done in exchange for your niceness.
The hotel front desk at the JW Marriott in New Orleans, LA.
Loyalty does have its privileges, but what if you’ve become a regular at an independent lodging establishment that doesn’t have a rewards program? Send an email to the owners to let them know how you found their hotel and what you enjoy about staying there, or write an online review of your experience.
When you’re traveling in order to celebrate a special occasion — a milestone birthday, an anniversary, your honeymoon — invite others into your party by mentioning it as you check in. You might also call the hotel and tell the reservations person instead of making your reservations online. Special notes don’t always get shared with the individual hotels, so you’re more likely to get that hotel upgrade if you call your hotel directly.
For example we know some newlyweds who reserved their hotel room with reward points and arrived to find themselves upgraded to a honeymoon suite larger than their apartment back home. They hadn’t said anything, but the bride’s mother had called and mentioned the nuptials when she confirmed the reservation.
Speaking the language may net you an unanticipated upgrade. Language fluency is appreciated when used appropriately, but should not be used to try to ingratiate yourself to the staff or to communicate some expectation. It is simply a demonstration of appreciation for the culture of the place you’re visiting.
Finally, it’s a well-known, yet little talked-about, fact: money talks. Especially at higher-end hotels, sometimes travelers may slip a $20 bill under their credit card when they arrive and ask if there are any better rooms available. This is not something everyone is comfortable doing, and is not something we advise or condone, but it’s not unheard of. Read the situation very carefully, and above all, be respectful.
Have you ever been gifted with an unexpected hotel upgrade? Or do you know a couple tips for getting on a hotel staff’s good side? Tell us about it in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.
Photo credit: Prayitno Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 2.0)