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Paying For Preferences

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 15th May 2014 2:55pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 13


These days, I check hotel rates via aggregators, not directly from the casinos themselves. Call me lazy for not prowling 73 websites to get the "Best Rates, Guaranteed". Or stupid for not using casino comp club cards. Or impatient for not standing on line getting my card replaced.

Anyway, I was looking at rates for Bellagio for an upcoming trip (yay!) and saw something that I don't recall seeing before - a $30 per day up charge to guarantee hotel room preferences.

For $30 you can guarantee three of these following preference - king bed, queen bed, high floor, low floor, pool view, proximity to elevator, various connecting rooms or a non-connecting room. There is some javascript in there that removes various options as they are eliminated, for example selecting "Non Connecting" removes all the connector options on the next drop down menu. Who books these preferences?

King/Queen connecting, low floor... family of 5+.

Low floor, near elevator... impatient.

Non connecting, high floor... paranoid.

Queen/Queen connecting... party bro.

Low floor, pool view... pervert.

What was once standard hotel courtesy, is now an opportunity for monetization. Couple this with early check in, late check out, line hopping and resort fees, you're adding an extra $150 per night for your hotel stay. Bonkers!

Tagged: bellagio   booking   fees   


Comments & Discussion:

What was once standard hotel courtesy, is now an opportunity for monetization. Couple this with early check in, late check out, line hopping and resort fees, you're adding an extra $150 per night for your hotel stay. Bonkers!

I wonder if the above-mentioned list of charges (I also note they are on a website) are prime examples of a hotel/casino responding to the "new order" of things: online rather than social interaction? If you can reserve all the goodies on line, don't need to lift your face from the cell phone as you approach the reservation desk and merely flash a credit card and ID, then, departing as you arrived with a vacant stare you have saved yourself from the horror of interaction with another carbon-based unit; provides lots of time for LOL and BRB..

Interesting thought. So these charges are for misanthropes, nit pickers and incompetence avoiders?

Hotels are really giving airlines a run for their money when it comes to fees.

Maybe. Or for those whose ability to request certain amenities is limited.

Mini-Bar, where if you even pick something up to look at it, automatic charge... Over-priced room service with automatic gratuity added. Room Tax, Resort Tax, Entertainment Tax. The list is endless on creative ways they come up with, to take your money.

I'd never pay for this, but I'm not offended by this move. Why? It's an opt-in charge, unlike resort fees (which aren't even opt-OUT charges).

Also: Some people exist who DO care where in a hotel they're placed. The family of 5+ mentioned by Chuckmonster is one such example, though I care less about the pervs and paranoids getting what they want.

I call BS. Asking for a non-smoking, King Room should be free. They are in the hospitality business. I'm tall and my wife is allergic to smoke. Marriott and Hilton both offer this at no charge via their website.

This game works great once someone is in Vegas. But too much of this crap will drive potential visitors away.

I really hated this when MGM first started it. However, I now use the early check-in on most trips. If I drive in from SoCal at 9am, its nice to know I will have a room immediately available for the day. Also, many of these options are considered room upgrades with differing rates at other MGM properties. For example, high floor rooms and queen beds cost more at other places.

Does this apply to rooms booked via travel sites because they tell you what kind of room you are getting when you book it so it's not as if i picked the room. The established check in is 3pm but a few times I got to the Trop early and they gave me the room key anyway. This does seem like a new way to fleece a guest.

"Low floor, pool view... pervert." Bwaa ha ha ... nailed it!

I assume the early check-in/late check-out fees are one-time costs. If that's the case, I can see how that can be justifiable. The other stuff, forget it.

If a hotel ever can't find me a non-smoking king bed without an extra shakedown, it will be the last time I ever stay there.

Two things:

#1 - this is just to GUARANTEE what you asked for. You can still ask for two queen beds (etc) without paying a fee, and whether you get that or not will depend on how many rooms are available when you get to the front desk.

#2 - Tons of friends/coworkers have said they will never ask for a higher floor, near elevators, or the like. If they specified bed preference in the reservation, they won't bother to ask again when they get to the front desk. "I already told them once I wanted two queens, why should I have to ask again? Especially since asking again means talking to someone face-to-face and possibly risking deathly embarrassment, cooties, or a disgruntled employee pissing in my bed." Hell if I know what their problem is, but they won't ask.

The flip side is these clowns will then leave a bad review. "I was hoping for a high floor but instead they stuck me with a view of the garage. They didn't read my mind like any decent hotel would do!" which is a bit of "every single room this hotel has should be a high floor, close to the elevator, quiet, and with a stellar view."

I am willing to ask for what I want, so for me? meh. Whatevs.

Which of these fees will they charge next?
Guaranteed sheets $37.50
Guaranteed running water $29.55
Guaranteed free of strangers lurking in your closet when you check in $8.99
Guaranteed TP $99.99 (first square folded to a point is a $10 up charge)
Guaranteed batteries in the TV remote $4.88 per battery

MGM Mirage has had this for maybe a year or so? Here is the golden rule of fee's in general, "If the public keeps paying for them more and more will find their way to the surface" - Airline Baggage Fees and Hotel Resort Fees are their answer to the constant demand of free things - if the hotel can make money, they are going to do it - it's American Business.

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