Re: [87attendees] Hotels and walking

Dave Crocker <> Thu, 15 August 2013 15:39 UTC

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Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2013 08:38:43 -0700
From: Dave Crocker <>
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Subject: Re: [87attendees] Hotels and walking
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On 8/14/2013 11:34 AM, Andrew Sullivan wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 10:25:12AM -0700, Dave Crocker wrote:
>> but a commitment for one, with the hotel suffering serious penalty
>> for getting things wrong.
> I used to work in hotels, when I was still hoping that them Corporate
> Philosopher job postings were going to materialize.  I can assure you
> that the hotel _does_ suffer a serious penalty.
> First, there is a significant cost in having staff running around
> trying to find rooms.

To clarify:

    1) The hotel should offset the inconvenience suffered by the guests. 
  This goes beyond paying for the room at the alternative hotel.

    2) There is a difference between hassling existing staff, versus 
hitting the bottom line.  Hassling the line staff is quite painful for 
them, but affects the folks who screwed up -- management -- little.  So 
when I refer to 'serious penalty', I don't mean making the life of line 
staff more painful.  (I'm not undervaluing your list, which I do 
appreciate as real and painful; it's simply not the 'venue' for the pain 
that I'm calling for.)

Paying for the guest's night at the alternative hotel shows up on the 
bottom line, of course, especially when it's on the scale of 25 rooms.

But, again, it has no compensatory value to the displaced and 
inconvenienced guest.  The cost that should be incurred should be to 
counteract the considerable inconvenience to the guest(s).  This is made 
a bit more interesting by the fact that business guests typically aren't 
paying for their room; so comp'ing them the cost of the room doesn't 
make /the guest/ better, it makes their company better.

> Moreover, they're _really_ costs that affect the front office manager,
> whose very job depends on skating exactly on the line of ensuring both
> high occupancy and high room revenue while not ending up with hard or
> soft costs (roughly, money to another hotel or a dissatisfied guest).

Fair point.  What's missing is counteracting the inconvenience to the 

>> That the error seems to be happening more than once suggests that
>> our contracts are not forceful enough.
> Actually, it suggests that we're paying room rates in the lower end of
> the scale.  Hotels are _always_ going to walk the people that
> represent the lowest likely overall room revenue, just like any other
> economic agent.

As I said, it sounds as if our contract doesn't establish incentives 
well enough.  In this case that means making sure the hotel doesn't 
evaluate failure to honor the reservation in the way you describe.


Dave Crocker
Brandenburg InternetWorking