Ever heard a fellow traveler boasting about their free upgrade? For many vacationers, the process of landing one of these amazing hotel perks remains a mystery. In this article, we’ll uncover the top tips for getting a free hotel room upgrade. Though these methods aren’t guaranteed to help you get a bigger and better room, they will certainly increase your chances of enjoying a more luxurious hotel stay.
One of the simplest and easiest ways to get an upgrade is to mention the reason for your trip to the hotel staff. Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, a bachelor party or a wedding, the simple fact that you are celebrating something may make the staff more open to give you an upgrade. The reason for this is that many people look forward to these types of trips for months and want to savor the “experience” of their trip, including a great hotel stay. Plus, the employees also know that people who get a free upgrade on these special trips are more likely to mention their great experience with their friends and family.
If you want the possibility of an upgrade, forget about booking your hotel reservation online. Instead, make a call to the hotel to book your room. As you talk to the person on the phone, you can start by asking for a discount on a room. Get the names of the hotel staff members that you talk to – you may want to request to speak to them after you arrive to make your upgrade request.
Note that making a phone reservation also gives you the perfect opportunity to mention any special events or occasions that you’re traveling for. Many hotel staff members will make a note of this at the time of your booking to ensure that other employees will provide your group with high-quality service.
Timing Your Request
There are certain times when it’s much more reasonable to request an upgrade. For example, many hotels are full around the holidays, so asking for an upgrade may be a long shot. Weekends are also a bit busier, as are convention and special event dates. If you happen to be traveling during off-season tourist times or in the middle of the week, you’ll have much better odds when requesting an upgrade. Consider these factors when booking your trip.
Another issue with timing includes when to approach a hotel staff member about a potential upgrade. You can call up hotels beforehand to ask for an upgrade before you arrive, but it may be more affective to ask for an upgrade at check-in. Another potentially effective tactic includes getting to know hotel staff members a bit (especially the front desk clerk and the concierge) and tipping well for their help and services. This is a better option if you’re staying for several days and can wait until day two or three to make your upgrade request.
In addition to the key tips listed above, you can also employ these tactics to increase your chances of getting upgraded at a hotel:
- Dress nicely. It helps to look professional when requesting an upgrade. Presenting yourself well helps give staff the impression that you’re someone who will be a good guest (won’t be noisy, won’t trash the room, etc.) and therefore a better choice for an upgrade.
- Join the rewards program. Being a member of the hotel’s loyalty program lets the staff know that you’re a frequent traveler and someone who cares about a quality hotel experience. Plus, they’re more likely to give these types of perks to members than to non-members (be sure to mention your membership when requesting an upgrade).
- Know what to ask for. Do a bit of research about the hotel so that you can be specific when making your request. If possible, ask for a certain type of room or suite when talking to a staff member.
- Be positive. Never preface your request for an upgrade with a complaint. Instead, express your satisfaction with your experience, but mention that a larger or more luxurious space would certainly be appreciated. Happy customers are more likely to be happy with their upgrade, while the hotel staff view complaints as a sign that a customer will be unhappy no matter what, making an upgrade pointless.
- Be polite. Don’t get upset when a staff member tells you that no upgrade is available. These tips won’t work every time without fail, and sometimes there are no upgraded rooms available. Politely thank them for listening to your request and tell them to let you know if anything becomes available. Getting upset with a staff member will practically guarantee that you don’t receive an upgrade if one should open up.
Use the tips described here to increase your chances of landing a better hotel room. Remember to keep a good attitude and keep in mind that you can still have a great trip even if you don’t get the upgrade you’re looking for.