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Old Mar 2, 11, 12:45 pm   #1
 
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A rant about hotel shuttles (Portland Sable Oaks)

Last Saturday we flew into PWM late night and I called the Marriott while still on the plane to request airport pickup from the Marriott Sable Oaks (we fly with carry-ons) no checked luggage. As usual the clerk asked how many passengers and what is the last name. When the van arrived there was a rush by many people to board--of course the youngest families were at the head of the line and there wasn't enough seats for everyone. The three oldest persons were left to wait for the next pick-up (only one van running). If the hotel asks how many people are in the party and what is your last name--wouldn't it be appropriate for the driver to board the first passengers to call? When he came back to pick us up I suggested that he get the list from the hotel (names/number of passengers) so it's first call first served. When we arrived at the hotel 45 minutes after the initial call I asked the young man checking us in if I could make a suggestion--he said of course and I explained the situation about sharing the list with the driver so it was truly first call/first served. On Monday I e-mailed the general manager after getting his address from the front desk--gracefully asking if perhaps this should/could become protocol in the future. I then asked him if he could tell me if his hotel is one of those being upgraded from a category 4 to 5 (it is) per todays post by Marriott Concierge. I'm waiting to hear from him. I have a two night stay certificate earned and another $100 off certificate on two weekend nights that I plan/planned to use at this hotel this summer. Here's hoping that I get a response at some point. In the meantime thanks to Marriott for coming clean with the entire list--I can plan my stay before the deadline. It shouldn't be so difficult. Best of luck to all.
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Old Mar 2, 11, 1:07 pm   #2
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I think when asking for the last name they're just trying to confirm you have a reservation at the hotel. I know (in Vegas anyways) that folks would often time park at airport hotels & use the shuttles to avoid paying parking fees.
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Old Mar 2, 11, 2:21 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by bhatnasx View Post
I think when asking for the last name they're just trying to confirm you have a reservation at the hotel. I know (in Vegas anyways) that folks would often time park at airport hotels & use the shuttles to avoid paying parking fees.
I certainly understand your comment--however I've used my first name at this hotel--which obviously wouldn't show me as staying there with no problem at pick-up. Your comment is appreciated. Thanks and best of luck.
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Old Mar 2, 11, 2:54 pm   #4
 
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I understand your frustration with having to wait for the next shuttle. I'd be steamed, too. But I think you've got the wrong expectation of how the process works. It's very rare that a hotel shuttle takes reservations. Usually they work on the basis of first-come-first-served at the bus stop. If you were waiting at the bus stop longer than others who boarded, you should have politely asked them to wait for the next bus since you were there first. People pushing to the front of the line should not be rewarded for doing so.
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Old Mar 2, 11, 7:22 pm   #5
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There is no way I would wait 45 min for a van from this airport to this property. When the van left full, I would have called a cab....and taken it up with desk/ GM upon arrival. Late, tired, etc.....some things just aren't worth the hassle.

Of course to be honest, I hate getting on a packed van to begin with...so perhaps my view is skewed.
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Old Mar 3, 11, 4:02 pm   #6
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THOSE DARN KIDS!!!!

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Old Mar 3, 11, 4:26 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by annerj View Post
THOSE DARN KIDS!!!!

If we could just figure out what caused them, we could stop it from happening and not have all the bother
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Old Mar 3, 11, 6:10 pm   #8
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My rant is I'm getting tired of folk saying they have a rant w/ no details in the title of the thread, so the rest of us can determine if we want to bother reading it or not Not directed to the OP only, but others as well.

Cheers.
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Old Mar 4, 11, 4:38 am   #9
 
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Had this happen once at a TPA property, but it wasn't just kids, it was flight crews. The driver called into the front desk and they directed me to take a cab, get a receipt and they would take the charge off the room. (Long enough ago that he called in on a walkie-talkie type device.) At check-in, I thanked the manager on duty and said something along the lines of that it was handled so well that I didn't mind giving up the Marriott Points. Sure enough, they even gave me the extra points.

This was several years ago. I've stayed at the property many times since then, and even feel guilty when I'm in the area and stay at a different property. For the price of a cheap cab ride and a very small number of points, the Westshore SHS bought tremendous goodwill.
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Old Mar 4, 11, 8:59 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerj View Post
THOSE DARN KIDS!!!!

Kids? What kids? I said the youngest families--that could mean parents in their fourties with adult children. Truth be told when you wait for a shuttle at PWM you don't know who's waiting for any specific shuttle. There are several hotels involved. So you don't know who's first/second/third in line for any particular hotel. That's when the rush to (your) hotel van/shuttle occurs. No way of knowing who's first in line. I certainly will try the recommended plan of calling the hotel and requesting they pay for the taxi if this happens in the future.. Thanks very much for the feedback. By the way I still haven't heard from the hotel GM about my e-mail.
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Old Mar 4, 11, 11:53 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derby44 View Post
Kids? What kids? I said the youngest families--that could mean parents in their fourties with adult children. Truth be told when you wait for a shuttle at PWM you don't know who's waiting for any specific shuttle. There are several hotels involved. So you don't know who's first/second/third in line for any particular hotel. That's when the rush to (your) hotel van/shuttle occurs. No way of knowing who's first in line. I certainly will try the recommended plan of calling the hotel and requesting they pay for the taxi if this happens in the future.. Thanks very much for the feedback. By the way I still haven't heard from the hotel GM about my e-mail.
Then that makes it even harder for the hotel to manage....unless they are listening to the squawk box, for all they know, you ARE the only person. Doesn't make it right...just saying.

It is one of the reasons i never count 100% on those hotel vans, and rarely use stay, park, n fly. I have had situations where I was headed to the airpot to make a flight....and the van would have had to make 3 round trips before it got to me! Or the time I did use a Park n Fly, only to arrive back to find out the "shuttle doesn't run on Sundays...didn't anyone tell you?"

But again, for me, it is one of those things....I will trade off a few bucks on a cab ride to the hotel against 45 minutes of my life standing being aggravated. If the hotel pays me back, I am ahead on both counts. If not, well, lesson learned for next visit....where perhaps I will choose to stay in a different property!

I may have to be crowded onto a plane with a bunch of luggage toting crazies. A van? No. No. No.

Last edited by sophiegirl; Mar 4, 11 at 12:35 pm.
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Old Mar 4, 11, 1:34 pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
My rant is I'm getting tired of folk saying they have a rant w/ no details in the title of the thread, so the rest of us can determine if we want to bother reading it or not Not directed to the OP only, but others as well.

Cheers.
Fixed it. Good point!

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Old Mar 4, 11, 6:02 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiegirl View Post
There is no way I would wait 45 min for a van from this airport to this property. When the van left full, I would have called a cab....and taken it up with desk/ GM upon arrival. Late, tired, etc.....some things just aren't worth the hassle.

Of course to be honest, I hate getting on a packed van to begin with...so perhaps my view is skewed.
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