How to Land a Free Upgrade at Your Next Hotel

Audrey Fairbrother
July 9, 2013
How to Land a Free Upgrade at Your Next Hotel

Landing a free hotel upgrade is not as far fetched as you think. When hotels have unused rooms, upgrading at no expense to them only makes sense. Just be sure you take the right approach. Here are five of simple ways to get a better room:

  1. Frequent the same hotels: Hotels reward those who are loyal. Mention your frequent stays and they may grant an upgrade to assure it stays that way. Hotels know it’s more cost effective to keep a loyal customer satisfied than spend time acquiring a new one.
  2. Tell them what company you work for: It might feel pompous to take advantage of upgrades by name dropping your place of work, but hotels are eager to create relationships with you because of it. Yahoo contributor and former hotel front desk clerk Kileen Gonzalez explains “if I was trying to close a deal with the XYZ Company and a sales rep for the XYZ Company happened to wander into the hotel, he or she would get a free upgrade.”
  3. Be nice: It’s surprising what a little kindness can do, especially in the hospitality industry. Dealing with customers all day is exhausting at times, which is why a friendly attitude can be a breath of fresh air. Gonzalez says “I would typically give the free upgrades to those who were nice.” Approaching the front desk with a warm smile and cordial “How are you?” is appreciated more than you think.
  4. Always ask: Believe it or not, it’s that simple. Asking the front desk for any special rates or deals is commonplace and can easily lead to an upgraded room. At not so busy times hotels are willing to fill better rooms upon request. So don’t hesitate to ask next time you’re checking in, doing so can only help.
  5. Share special occasions: It’s important for hotels to create memorable experiences for their guests. So saying a minor detail like “It’s my first time in Chicago!” could make all the difference.  Communicate in advance what you’re celebrating, be it a birthday or a first time traveler. Hotels want you to feel special, especially when there’s reason to celebrate.

As you can see, free upgrades aren’t just reserved for the honeymooners and VIP guests. Try one of these approaches at your next hotel and you may just end up pleasantly surprised.

Featured image by Gary Bembridge [CC-BY-2.0], via Flickr

Audrey Fairbrother
Article written by
Audrey Fairbrother
Audrey Fairbrother is the Content and SEO Manager at Hotel Engine. She spends her days writing about all things business travel, researching topics that are important to Hotel Engine's audience and cultivating the company's brand voice.
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