Double-Checking When Making Reservations

A quick observation and a word of warning... calling a hotel to book a room will not always yield the cheapest or most accurate results.

Last week I starting planning a trip to visit a client in Richmond, VA. My plan was to stay at a Sheraton hotel by my client's office. I first went to the web page and found that the hotel had plenty of rooms and rates ran around $199/night. My client had discounted rates but I couldn't access them through the web page so I called the hotel to line up the reduced rate.

When I called, I was told by the reservations agent that the hotel didn't have any rooms and I was referred to a different Sheraton location. I told the agent that there were several rooms on the web page so there should be something available. She said that the web page pulled from different rooms and I responded, "This is Sheraton, right? Shouldn't you have access to all the rooms?" She then said that she would try a different code to look up the rooms. Voila... rooms were "suddenly" available and I was able to secure a club room for $129.

Moral of the story - verify what you're told, especially when you have conflicting sources of information. If you have to use a reservation agent, first check the hotel's web page to see what is available. The rates may be lower and you might be able to negotiate a better rate, too.

By the way, this has happened to me with flights, too when I found the flight I needed via the web page and literally had to walk the agent through the process to find a reward seat.

No comments: