Q – You probably get this question quite often but we’re rather new to the idea of international travel as my husband is about to take a comfortable retirement next month. Although we live outside of Charleston and could just enjoy the city we love so much, the world seems to be calling. At your suggestion to previous writers, we’ve established a relationship with a travel agent we think will take good care of us. But we keep hearing about hotel upgrades and we would appreciate it so much if you would just list a few steps we might take to be in the best position for these hotel upgrades when we travel. We certainly will be staying at the very finest hotels. Thanks so much for all your kind advice.
A – Well thank you. A case of your best sweet tea from time to time is all we ask in return.
Here is our quick list to secure the best upgrades:
01 – Become a Rewards Club Member with all the top chains and particularly Starwood through Marriott and the Ritz Carlton.
02 – Make certain that your travel consultant is a member of Travel Leaders, Signature, Virtuoso, Ensemble, or American Express to receive complimentary upgrades not available to those who book directly with the hotel or online. This is your single best strategy.
03 – Guests who arrive later in the day and who are only staying for one or two nights are often upgraded. Let the hotel know you are in their loyalty club.
04 – When you are upgraded always send a thank you note to the General Manager and, possibly, the reservations room manager. Very few guests do this and it means a lot.
05 – Never loudly complain about any issue or try to make the problem seem more than it is to get an upgrade (I know your southern temperament would never allow that) Hotels can easily mark your profile. Most guests do not realize that hotels write behavioral comments about their guests and that information can be viewed the next time you check in.