I am a professional flight crew member. I and my fellow flight crews stay at hotels nearly half the nights in any given month in nearly as many different cities and states. I am certainly aware what a hotel chain's general policy in regard to checkout extension, checkout time, and several other details are.
We had just had a less than desirable encounter with a different hotel in Pocatello, next door in fact. It was a very busy weekend with most of the hotels in town being completely booked. The check in staff was very helpful and pleasant to talk to. However given the following events they are either unaware of their own policies or we were blatantly lied to.
As we checked in we directly asked about checkout policy and times. We were told that the normal time was 12:00 pm. We asked about the policy regarding extending this time for us out to 2 pm. We were told this would not be a problem, they would be able to accommodate our needs, and all we needed to do was remind the morning shift. I thought the need to remind them was a bit odd but we thought everything would work out fine.
In the morning when we called down, both of us individually and at different times, the story changed drastically. We were told at 11am that checkout was at 11am. We were told that there was a finite amount of late checkouts granted and they were unable to accommodate us. We were told that the housekeeping staff was overwhelmed and they were making this decision. After explaining that we, as professional flight crews, have legal requirements that must be met and that this was not the information we had both received the previous afternoon on check-in, we were told to wait a few minutes and they'd get back to us. This took nearly 20 minutes. During the wait I spoke with a member of the housekeeping staff who told me they had 16 rooms to clean. I am unclear if this was for the individual or if it was total. The parking lot was not exactly full so I just don't know if I buy the level of busy that was implied.
When the Front Desk called us back 11:20 am we were told that the only way we could stay was if we paid for another half day. Not only was this completely the opposite of what we had been led to believe, this is not a common practice at any of the hotel chains I usually stay at. I have never heard that there is limit to the number of late checkouts granted. When challenged on this policy the woman on the other end of the phone line became decidedly belligerent and argumentative stating, and I quote, "I stay in hotels too and this is normal at all of them." Nice try. We know better given how much we stay in hotels as part of our jobs. At this point there was no point in continuing the conversation with anyone so we told her we would be out in a few minutes, hung up the phone, checked out, and left.
On an individual note. A decade of staying in hotels anywhere from 5 to 28 nights in a month has educated me on general hotel policies. I know when I am being lied to or when I find a place that isn't following their own mission statement. Best Western is commonly one of the worst in this regard, which is why I avoid them when I can. Next time I will drive to a different town if a different hotel is not available.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Whether you're here with a job to do or visiting the nearby Idaho State University, or you're looking forward to an adventure at West Yellowstone National Park, you'll be close to it all at Best Western Pocatello Inn. Our amazing breakfast buffet includes biscuits and sausage gravy, fresh waffles, and more, and the coffee is always fresh and hot. We have a cocktail lounge, as well as a 24-hour heated indoor pool and hot tub. Business travelers can take advantage of our conference services and meeting facilities accommodating up to 35. Our hotel is 100% smoke-free for your comfort, and our rooms were designed to make you feel right at home. You’ll enjoy in-room Wi-Fi, a large work area, a spacious bathroom, and plenty of great amenities. Our spacious suites feature a microwave and refrigerator, and adjoining rooms are available. Come join us at Best Western Pocatello Inn for a memorable stay! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Plus Cottontree Hotel Pocatello
- Best Western Pocatello Inn Idaho
- Best Western Cottontree Hotel
- Pocatello Best Western