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Who to complain to re: Hampton Inn airport shuttle issue?

Who to complain to re: Hampton Inn airport shuttle issue?

Old Jan 29, 13, 2:10 am
  #1  
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Who to complain to re: Hampton Inn airport shuttle issue?

I had a recent one-night stay at the Hampton Inn - Tampa Westshore. It was a perfectly adequate hotel, about what one expects from HI. But getting there was another matter.

Hotel shuttles don't circulate at TPA so you have to call. Finding the phone number was a bit of a challenge since it was not in the hotel info on the reservation. (Strike one!)

Calling was another matter. I won't whine too much about the phone tree, but when I did reach the front desk, they immediately put me on hold. For 27 minutes. And then told me that it would be at least a half hour for a shuttle. In addition, the clerk seemed entirely unfamiliar with the layout of the airport. I was at a sign that said "hotel courtesy shuttles" (among other things), which had an enclosed area saying "Ground Transportation Waiting Area" and the only other sign identifying the area said "Blue 1." This was not apparently enough information for her, as she added "if the shuttle isn't there in a half hour, you are waiting at the wrong place." The shuttle did actually show up in 20 or so minutes, so it worked out, but I was still peeved.

I understand the hotel was fully booked and the front desk is understaffed, but it should be simple enough to find out why somebody is calling and do some sort of triage.

I don't particularly want anything (other than to avoid that hotel on any future trip to TPA, which is easy enough since it isn't a frequent destination for me) but I would like to make the corporate powers that be aware of the need for improved staffing and improved training. Who best to contact?
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Old Jan 29, 13, 5:32 am
  #2  

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Originally Posted by mhnadel View Post
I had a recent one-night stay at the Hampton Inn - Tampa Westshore. It was a perfectly adequate hotel, about what one expects from HI. But getting there was another matter.

Hotel shuttles don't circulate at TPA so you have to call. Finding the phone number was a bit of a challenge since it was not in the hotel info on the reservation. (Strike one!)

Calling was another matter. I won't whine too much about the phone tree, but when I did reach the front desk, they immediately put me on hold. For 27 minutes. And then told me that it would be at least a half hour for a shuttle. In addition, the clerk seemed entirely unfamiliar with the layout of the airport. I was at a sign that said "hotel courtesy shuttles" (among other things), which had an enclosed area saying "Ground Transportation Waiting Area" and the only other sign identifying the area said "Blue 1." This was not apparently enough information for her, as she added "if the shuttle isn't there in a half hour, you are waiting at the wrong place." The shuttle did actually show up in 20 or so minutes, so it worked out, but I was still peeved.

I understand the hotel was fully booked and the front desk is understaffed, but it should be simple enough to find out why somebody is calling and do some sort of triage.

I don't particularly want anything (other than to avoid that hotel on any future trip to TPA, which is easy enough since it isn't a frequent destination for me) but I would like to make the corporate powers that be aware of the need for improved staffing and improved training. Who best to contact?
The general manager of the Hampton Inn Tampa Westshore. Most Hiltons are franchised owned so no real reason to contact anyone other than the hotel directly.
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Old Jan 29, 13, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by mhnadel View Post

Hotel shuttles don't circulate at TPA so you have to call. Finding the phone number was a bit of a challenge since it was not in the hotel info on the reservation. (Strike one!)
That's why it's a good idea to carry a copy of the res. confirmation .....

pretty hard to blame anyone else if you didn't do that.

Also, it's possible that the shuttle just left the airport, has to go to the hotel then come back again .... so a 30 minute wait for a hotel 10-15 minutes away isn't that unusual.

Bob H
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Old Jan 29, 13, 7:36 am
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1. Always have contact information for the property in your schedule, whether it's on paper or a calendar app / Outlook or whatever you use.

2. My assistant double checks ground transportation. When I'm traveling on leisure, I always do this.

3. As to the specific, whether the 20 mins is reasonable depends on how far the property is. At a large property with an on-airport or next-to-airport 3-5 minute ride, 20 mins. seems a long time. If it's a 10-minute ride and the shuttle just left the airport, it's gonna be 20 mins. before it gets back.

4. No way would I wait 27 mins to beat a couple of buck cab fare.
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Old Jan 29, 13, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
1.

3. As to the specific, whether the 20 mins is reasonable depends on how far the property is. At a large property with an on-airport or next-to-airport 3-5 minute ride, 20 mins. seems a long time. If it's a 10-minute ride and the shuttle just left the airport, it's gonna be 20 mins. before it gets back.

4. No way would I wait 27 mins to beat a couple of buck cab fare.
Agree totally. I try to avoid the smaller airport properties. The FS properties tend to run more frequent shuttles. Often at HI, AFD agent or houseman doubles as van driver.
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Old Jan 29, 13, 10:30 am
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There is no excuse for being put on hold for that long.

If you are a diamond member, I would complain to the DD. The appropriate time to complain was before check out. I would have asked to speak to the hotel GM at check out and if he wasn't available asked for the manager in charge or an email address.

It is possible you could have enforced the guarantee policy put that is pushing it.
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Old Jan 29, 13, 10:57 am
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Why would you wait 27 minutes on hold instead of hanging up and calling back?

As to the wait, many Hampton Inn's including that one (according to their website) offer free local transportation. They could have been picking up another group someplace else and had to return to the hotel first.

As to where the pick up area is, front desk people (including many at airport parking lots) don't ever drive to the airport so they don't have a clue where the pick up area is. I remember once giving the person at the front desk of a lot I use on a regular basis a listing of the airlines and which terminal they were in, since she only knew terminal numbers, not airlines, and passengers don't know terminal numbers usually. It happens.

I'm not sure what contacting the hotel would accomplish.
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Old Jan 29, 13, 5:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
1. Always have contact information for the property in your schedule, whether it's on paper or a calendar app / Outlook or whatever you use.

2. My assistant double checks ground transportation. When I'm traveling on leisure, I always do this.
1) I had the contact info in my email on my tablet. I was just annoyed that I had to search for it, since every other hotel reservation I have made in the past 15 or so years had that information in the reservation confirmation (which is what I print out so I have the confirmation number handy).

2) I DID check the ground transportation - it said there was a shuttle. That's why I was calling for a shuttle. (And why I'd made the reservation there in the first place.)
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Old Jan 29, 13, 5:53 pm
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
Why would you wait 27 minutes on hold instead of hanging up and calling back?

As to the wait, many Hampton Inn's including that one (according to their website) offer free local transportation. They could have been picking up another group someplace else and had to return to the hotel first.

I'm not sure what contacting the hotel would accomplish.
That 27 minutes was divided between two calls - 10 minutes and 17 minutes. I believe that anything over 3 minutes requires triage.

The wait for the shuttle was the minor issue (though the shuttle driver did say they were just waiting to be called, not out on another run). It's the unacceptable telephone performance that is the main issue.

What I'd like to accomplish is having someone else not have to deal with that idiocy. I assure you that should I ever have to be in that area again, I will stay elsewhere so it makes no difference to me other than that.
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Old Jan 29, 13, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by mhnadel View Post
What I'd like to accomplish is having someone else not have to deal with that idiocy. I assure you that should I ever have to be in that area again, I will stay elsewhere so it makes no difference to me other than that.
In my twice a year trips to the Westshore area, I avoid that property. I have had problems as well. The Doubletree is not bad and about the same price with a descent EL and full BF for Diamonds. There is an almost new HGI, a Hilton in the International Center, and an Embassy Suites (average as ES goes) right on Westshore.

I also stay at the typical no surprises Hyatt Place that is behind the HI.

I always rent a car, so I can not help on the shuttle service.
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Old Jan 29, 13, 6:45 pm
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I'd frankly complain to the GM (his name is Paul Perez for convenience). Your experience would have me considering invoking the Hampton guarantee... (a few of those and the GM will find a lot of motivation to crank up the service / training). He also reads TripAdvisor, so...

100% Hampton Guarantee®
Friendly Service, clean rooms, comfortable surroundings, every time. If you’re not satisfied, we don’t expect you to pay. That’s our commitment & your guarantee. That’s 100% Hampton.

Our 100% Hampton Guarantee® is boldly etched on our front desk so that it is constantly visible to our employees and our guests. Our guarantee epitomizes the pride we take in our brand, our hotels, and our service to you, our guest. We'll do whatever it takes to make our guests feel welcome, relaxed, and completely comfortable.
I also recommend programming the number(s) of hotels, etc. where one is going into one's mobile / cell phone. Makes things easier.
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