5 Worst Hotel Guest Behaviors
In April, Expedia released its 2018 Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Study, tallying the behaviors of more than 18,000 travelers across 23 countries in North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific combined. The survey uncovered that hotel guests around the globe are most likely to request a room change because of unsanitary conditions such as discovering bed bugs, used condoms, cigarette smoke or foul odors upon checking into their hotel room, but their fellow hotel guests’ behaviors can also be the cause of irritation for hotel staff.
The worst offenders are inattentive parents, as well as “in-room revelers” and “hallway hellraisers” and complainers, also “party-goers” and “the bar boozer.” For hotel staff, these usual suspects are also likely to be the source of annoyance as hotel employees are usually called upon to rectify these situations.
But these aren’t the only types of guests who will put the proverbial bee in the bonnet of hotel staff. Following are 5 more guest behaviors that get under the skin of many a hotel employee:
1. Trashing the room. There are those guests who will either take advantage of housekeeping because they feel that their room rate compensates for a total lack of respect for other people or because they assume there won’t be repercussions. But depending on the extent of the mess left behind – stains on the walls or carpeting for example – the ‘hold’ put on guests’ credit cards upon check-in can be charged for both the amount of the stay, as well as an additional cost to cover damages.
2. Threatening bad online reviews. Well-seasoned travelers know that they only need to voice their discontent about an issue in a clear and calm manner and hotel staff well make every effort to correct the situation. If it goes uncorrected by the time of check-in, they’ll decide if it’s worth their time to write a negative online review. But there are nevertheless unscrupulous guests determined to get something for nothing and threaten online retaliation if they are not immediately accommodated. So make an effort to be patient and ask the guest for details of the situation to ascertain if there’s a legitimate issue to resolve or if the guest is out for a freebie.
3. Insisting on room availability. Believe it or not, there are still guests who walk into hotels, without a reservation, seeking a room for the here and now. The problem is that they don’t always believe the front desk staff when they’re told that the hotel is full because there is a belief among certain travelers that a number of rooms are always left intentionally unoccupied (in case George Clooney suddenly shows up in need of accommodations). So you can try to explain the economics of vacant rooms on the bottom line, tell them George isn’t prone to staying in a standard room or politely tell the traveler that there’s a group in house, even if that isn’t necessarily the case.
4. Multiple dietary restrictions. There are those chefs who embrace this as a challenge to the boundaries of their culinary creativity and those who view it as an insult to the menu that they’ve labored over creating. But those restaurant or room-service guests who are gluten-free pescetarians allergeric to shellfish, who don’t eat anything spicy, including onions and garlic, and avoid all produce with a high Vitamin C count as well as anything green and mushrooms, can be a nightmare for wait staff, especially during busy hours. So be sure to reiterate those specifications back to the guest before putting the order in, otherwise the repercussions could cost you your job. Also, clearly communicate any delay this may cause in preparing their meal so they have realistic expectations for the service they're getting.
5. Putting trash in the hallway. Hotel guests may assume that the nightly rate guarantees beautiful room aesthetics, even when the unholy mess is of their own making. So they leave the remains of their day’s shopping expedition or take-out in the hallway without considering that their trash heap is now on display for other guests to view. Room service trays are acceptable to leave in the hall, which actress Drew Barrymore has mastered the art of, having said “I still, at hotel rooms, I do this sort of not-so-cool thing: continually shoving my room service tray in front of someone else’s door. Because I don’t want the remnants. I don’t want to be caught, like, being like the pig that I was at two in the morning.”