Do you have to ask for upgrades?

 
Old Sep 10, 17, 2:04 pm
  #1  
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Do you have to ask for upgrades?

I am a Marriott/SPG Gold, Hilton Silver, and IHG platinum, all from credit cards. Yes, I pay to stay in these hotels too, but not enough nights for status. I have never been upgraded without asking "can I get an upgrade?" I haven't been always asking, just assume they will give it to me. Is this the case, or do you have to ask? I suspect I need to be more assertive.

I'm also noticing that with the exception of Hilton (where ironically I am the lowest level) nobody ever welcomes me as an elite. Can they tell somehow that I got status from credit cards? Or are they typically lousy at welcoming elites?
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Old Sep 10, 17, 2:08 pm
  #2  
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I have always been acknowledged as an elite at Marriott and SPG family properties.

I find the "upgrades" for Gold are not really worth anything. All you get is a "better" location (in the hotel's opinion, which may not match yours), not a better room.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 2:23 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by qofmiwok View Post
I am a Marriott/SPG Gold, Hilton Silver, and IHG platinum, all from credit cards. Yes, I pay to stay in these hotels too, but not enough nights for status. I have never been upgraded without asking "can I get an upgrade?" I haven't been always asking, just assume they will give it to me. Is this the case, or do you have to ask? I suspect I need to be more assertive.
This question gets asked at least every week here, and what you'll hear is that different people handle this differently.

I will occasionally ask if there are any upgrades available. I certainly got upgraded as a Marriott and Hilton Gold without asking.

Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
I find the "upgrades" for Gold are not really worth anything. All you get is a "better" location (in the hotel's opinion, which may not match yours), not a better room.
That's really not true with Marriott and Hilton (though perhaps SPG). I got some very nice upgrades as both Hilton and Marriott Gold . . . suites, ocean views, etc.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 4:13 pm
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I don't think the people running room upgrades in the back or the associates at the front desk give a hoot how you earned your status. But as a lower-level elite member in any program, your upgrades are going to be rare. As Kacee said, they can happen, but if you're not staying in hotels enough to get status EXCEPT because of credit cards, you're simply going to hit the jackpot less often (less play = fewer wins).
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Old Sep 10, 17, 4:50 pm
  #5  
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Which all equates to asking if you are not offered one. Forget the whole status thing, just ask.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 5:06 pm
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This recently came up on the SPG forum, in this thread, starting around Post 95 or so: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starw...-thread-7.html

My take:
I know others do this, but yes, IMO, standing at the front desk groveling for an UG is unseemly. In fifteen years as a Marriott Plat/PP/LTP I have never done it. It would never occur to me to demand a better room I didn't pay for. While I appreciated UGs and twice in fifteen years, way over a thousand stays, called ahead of time to see if I could get one, I would think a hotel wouldn't be bending over backwards for a guest after the guest made such a demand at check-in. One is both claiming importance and accusing the FD clerks of fibbing. Maybe they are, but to actually accuse them of this short of 100% proof is wrong, IMO, since you do not know for sure. And claiming self importance is just beyond me.

BTW, my UG rate is pretty high even without having to ask.
Others will obviously disagree, and those that ask and get the UG are entitled to the UG and don't have a problem asking, but that's my $0.02.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
Others will obviously disagree, and those that ask and get the UG are entitled to the UG and don't have a problem asking, but that's my $0.02.
I will occasionally ask at check-in "is there any chance of an upgrade?" But I do that less these days, and I've never argued (or groveled, I hope).

If they give me a crappy room, I will often call back down and ask if they have something better. In my view probably the number one benefit of status is they shouldn't give me a crappy room.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 5:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
In my view probably the number one benefit of status is they shouldn't give me a crappy room.
Agreed and have done this. Once, the Columbia SC FS put me on the top floor directly under all the hotel's air conditioners. The room vibrated. A maintenance man was dispatched to the room to see if he could do anything. His comment was along the lines of, "I don't know why they give this room to a paying customer. It should be turned into a storage closet." The hotel wouldn't move me, so I called Marriott and was moved. I think I would have complained about that room even without status but I remember asking the manager why they would put a Plat in that room.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 6:11 pm
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I never asked for an upgrade except in London if someone sharing the room with me not when I'm alone ,most of the time they upgrade me especially in Asia and Middle East ..
by the way one time in China Marriott hotel in Shanghai I was alone they upgrade me to a huge suite I come back and ask for normal room because I was going for business and I just need the bed ..
If the upgrade is something very important to you show them that a bigger room Is empty the time of your booking in a nice way they well not say no ..

Upgrades in my opinion ..
USA and Canada.. hardest
Eeurope and Uk.. hard
Australia.. normal never say no by the way but you should wait for a room ..
Asia.. easy except Male
South America.. ?? Never been there



good luck
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Old Sep 10, 17, 11:46 pm
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My $0.02

Upgrades are a form of yield management. If the hotel has substantially more frequent guests aka "elites" than available upgrades, the hotel must determine what's the best way to allocate the limited resources, scarcity for you econ types.

One allocation method is how to disappoint the fewest people. I find that many hotels are quite happy to give you a meaningful upgrade... provided you ask. The theory being that a person who asks for an upgrade and is denied is more likely to be disappointed than someone who doesn't ask.

I also find that at these hotels, the upgrade is based on what you ask for. Ask for an upgrade and you land a junior suite. Ask for a one bedroom suite and you will likely get it...if it's available. Whether the hotel is following the rules or not is above my pay grade.

Accordingly, I ask, politely, for what I want. Generally, if it's available, most hotels oblige.
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Old Sep 11, 17, 1:06 am
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yeah, it's never hurt to ask but also make sure to book the room that you actually wanted in the first place. So treat upgrade as another bonus and if you don't get it, well you get what you've paid for
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Old Sep 11, 17, 3:34 am
  #12  
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I don't bother with upgrades when on single business travel. I always get at least a club level or "premier/deluxe" upgrade without asking and that works fine for me as I really don't need a suite for just one person. OTOH, when travelling with the wife or family, I'll ask for a suite and it's usually accommodated without any fuss. So like clarkef said above, makes sense that rev mgmt wants to please those who want to be pleased so ask when it makes a difference for you. That's a win-win all around.
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Old Sep 11, 17, 4:05 am
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Originally Posted by CommentatusMaximus View Post
I don't bother with upgrades when on single business travel. I always get at least a club level or "premier/deluxe" upgrade without asking and that works fine for me as I really don't need a suite for just one person. OTOH, when travelling with the wife or family, I'll ask for a suite and it's usually accommodated without any fuss. So like clarkef said above, makes sense that rev mgmt wants to please those who want to be pleased so ask when it makes a difference for you. That's a win-win all around.
Plus one, for myself alone, who cares, with the family I mostly get upgraded but if not no harm to politely ask, I would say 50/50 sucess.
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Old Sep 11, 17, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by BRITINJAPAN3 View Post
Plus one, for myself alone, who cares, with the family I mostly get upgraded but if not no harm to politely ask, I would say 50/50 sucess.
I agree with this completely. Sure, if traveling for business and I land a nice upgrade, I am happy. But I never ask for one. I did recently get a horrible room in LA and was told it was due to the bed type guarantee. It was the only King bed left. I said I don't care what type of bed I have and they moved me to a giant 2 Queen bed room overlooking the pool, with a balcony.

But when I am traveling somewhere out of the ordinary with Mr jtwiz, then I may call/email in advance asking for an upgrade. For example, when we went to The Glasshouse in Edinburgh (on a paid stay), I asked for an upgrade as we were there on my birthday and got an amazing suite.
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Old Sep 11, 17, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by jtwiz View Post
I agree with this completely. Sure, if traveling for business and I land a nice upgrade, I am happy. But I never ask for one. I did recently get a horrible room in LA and was told it was due to the bed type guarantee. It was the only King bed left. I said I don't care what type of bed I have and they moved me to a giant 2 Queen bed room overlooking the pool, with a balcony.

But when I am traveling somewhere out of the ordinary with Mr jtwiz, then I may call/email in advance asking for an upgrade. For example, when we went to The Glasshouse in Edinburgh (on a paid stay), I asked for an upgrade as we were there on my birthday and got an amazing suite.
We encounter the same. When travelling with our son, I always book a two bed room. There have been times when I was told an upgrade was available but with a king and a pullout. If its a suite with a separate bedroom, we take it. If its just a larger room with a sofa bed, we decline it. My son doesn't love sleeping on a pullout (can't blame him) and it ends up eating up the larger area anyway.

It seems most of our upgrades are in the form of a better view, which I do appreciate.

A couple of times, we were offered upgrades in the form of "an upgrade is available but your current room is truly better because of X, Y, and Z"

Maybe its when and where we travel but we only got a truly "Wow" upgrade a handful of times - Renaissance Baltimore comes to mind when we were upgraded to a massive suite that was bigger than some friends' apartments.
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