Any of you parents ever have problems getting your cadets a hotel room???

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by goaliedad, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Interesting story to tell that fortunately worked out well, but I was wondering if I am the only parent who has a problem getting my cadet a hotel room while in transit back and forth to school?

    So last week, I book my daughter a hotel reservation on a well-known travel site (the one that uses the famous sci-fi series actor as its spokesperson). I put in my daughter's name in the reservation area and filled out the credit card stuff etc. not noticing the little issue of being 21 or over as one of the rules. Got the reservation at a national chain hotel.

    Well, she set out this morning at 8 and 600 miles and 9.5 hours later, I get a call.... Dad... They won't rent the room to me. I'm not 21...

    So, goaliedad gets on the cellphone with the hotel...
    Hotel Manager: Corporate policy, no reservations to anyone under 21...
    Goaliedad: But she's got military ID and is on her way back to school for ROTC. You mean that someone who is signed up to defend her country can't get a room????
    Hotel Manger: Nope, we have problems with kids from (large city 100 miles away) coming here getting drunk and trashing the place.... You'll need to call (reservation website) to get a refund.
    Goaliedad: Trust me, if she got drunk and trashed your room, she'd have a lot more problems from the Army than you could ever give her. So you mean that you don't rent to Active Duty soldiers on their way to (military base within a couple hours) who are on their way to deploy?
    Hotel Manager: No. Doesn't matter. 21 and older.
    Goaliedad: So where can my daughter get a hotel room at her age in the area?
    Hotel Manager: The only place anywhere near is (local no-name hotel) over in (town 20 miles away).
    Goaliedad: Funny... She was able to rent at (very well known national chain) in (next town 3 miles away) this time last year. Well, can you call your corporate office and ask for an exception for this girl who would like to serve her country. Meanwhile, I'll call (hotel mentioned by manager) and (reservation website) and see what their refund policy is.
    Hotel Manager: OK. I'll call you back after I talk to them.

    End of phone call

    Goaliedad goes on search engine and researches hotel mentioned by hotel manager in previous call. Looks at reviews... Dirty, disgusting. Other review mentions roaches.... OK, goaliedad thinking... Let's hope we can fix this with (reservation website)...
    Goaliedad then calls well-known reservation website phone system on land line, goes through operator menus, tells the agent everything possible about the reservation (to verify identity) and asks about the 21-year-old policy.
    Website customer assistance: I guess you didn't see it on the page?
    Goaliedad: No. I guess I didn't. Put it this way... My 20-year old AROTC daughter who has never had a problem renting a hotel room, even in this town now suddenly cannot rent a room and is 600 miles from home and 300 miles from her destination. What can we do about this.
    Website customer assistance: I can get you a refund and see where else we can book her...

    Website customer assistance starts clicking away... Got you a refund.. $x.xx will be credited to your card. I need to forward you to our reservation agent to book you a new room. Please hold...

    Goaliedad's cell phone starts ringing - Hotel calling back...

    Goaliedad (to hotel manager calling back):Hello?
    Hotel manager: Mr. Goaliedad. We're going to rent your daughter the room.
    Goaliedad: Uh, I'm on hold with (reservation website). They just cancelled my reservation. Let me talk to them to see if I can get it put back... I'll get back to you in a couple of minutes. They just came back online.

    End of call to Hotel Manager

    Goaliedad (talking to reservation website booking agent): Hello? I was just on the phone with the hotel and they decided to rent to my daughter.
    Reservation booking agent (with customer assistant agent online as well): Mr Goaliedad. Unfortunately, we cannot put your reservation back.
    Goaliedad: OK, can you make me a new reservation?
    Reservation booking agent: Let me see. (clicking away on computer...) Uh, we don't show any more rooms available at that hotel tonight.
    Goaliedad: Uh oh! Well let me call the hotel and let them know...

    End of call to reservation booking agent.

    Goaliedad thinking to himself... Now you've gone and done it. First you couldn't get her a room because you didn't read the website carefully. Now you've gone and cancelled her out of the only room you would want her to stay in. Now you are going to have to tell her to suck it up and drive another 4 hours to her apartment at school...

    Goaliedad (calling the hotel manager again): Hello? Uh, I'm sorry, I couldn't get (reservation website) to reinstate my reservation. How much would it be for me to book her a room tonight?
    Hotel manager: How much were you paying for the room?
    Goaliedad: $x.xx
    Hotel manager: How about $y.yy ($12 dollars less than original reservation)? And I'd like to apologize for all the trouble.
    Goaliedad: You don't have to aplogize. And really, you only need to charge me $x.xx (original price).
    Hotel manager: No, it will be $y.yy. But I would like you to email me a fax or email me a note authorizing her as a minor to stay at our facility. (Gives me email address and fax number)
    Goaliedad: I'll send you an email. Starts tying email...
    Hotel Manager: I called (other well known national chain in next town where my daughter stayed last year). It is one of the properties this company manages. There wasn't a problem with her. I'm sure she is a good kid. Someone at that hotel didn't check her ID and is probably going to be in a little trouble.
    Goaliedad: You should have the email now.
    Hotel Manager: Yes, thank you.
    Goaliedad: Is everything set?
    Hotel Manager: Yes.
    Goaliedad: Thank you! I'll call her now. She is sitting in her car in the parking lot.

    End of call.


    Happy ending to this story. I was wondering if any of you have similar troubles getting your young folks back and forth to school or other similar stories?
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I just gave him a Tent.

    Just kidding, what a story, glad it worked out. We have not had that problem since school is only 5 hours away.

    I am wondering one thing though, when my son went to Airborne he was under 21, he had no problems with the hotel he stayed at. Come to think of it, the hotel was part of a chain but it was on base and the reservations were made by the Army, that probably made the difference.

    Hopefully she's 21 when she drives home at the end of school, at least now you know what your up against.

    Good luck to her on the rest of her trip.
     
  3. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Thanks.

    Yes, she will be 21 before she needs to rent again.

    Funny thing is that for 4 years, I used to fly her as an unaccompanied minor several time a year back and forth from breaks at her boarding school and never had a problem putting her on a plane, although I'm told the rules have changed a lot since then.

    Her schedule was such that it was very rare that she wasn't on the last flight to our home from the airport where she would change planes. Seems funny that the airlines didn't care if your 14-year-old was stranded at a strange airport.

    I was a bit more cautious back then making sure to book her tickets to transfer either through a city where we had relatives or one where I could drive and pick her up in an emergency. Kind of limited my airline options. I can't imagine any hotel booking a minor stuck in bad weather...

    Interesting that the Army reservations were not questioned though...
     
  4. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I haven't been under 21 in a while but I do remember a trend my area regarding hotel rooms and age restrictions for booking. This trend must have started a couple years ago.
     
  5. jerryvedder

    jerryvedder New Member

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    Two weeks ago I went to book a room on same websight.I saw that he had to be 21.So I went to the websight of the motel that was quoted.I booked the reservation.There was a place for a short comment.I briefly explained that my son was attending Va Tech and was 18 traveling alone from Upstate,NY.He was checked in with no problem.It was the Days Inn,in Blacksburg.
     
  6. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Thanks GoalieDad for recounting the tale of bureaucratic nightmare. It reminds me of my recent frustrating experience at an airline ticket counter where I tried to reroute two legs of a flight. The agent persisted in telling me that because they had been made under separate reservations it was impossible to do anything and it was too bad that I would miss the second leg because of rain delays affecting the first. Eventually I made progress with another agent when I pointed out it was not as if I was asking her to violate the law of gravity.

    Anyway, last month I prepaid for a room for Cadet Delahanty and a buddy at a national chain and let him borrow my credit card which he may have used to check in. It was one of those chains where i have a frequent guest account (though at my present rate it will take another 20 years to earn a free night). There was no hassle though I'm not sure why.

    For various reasons I am counting down the days until he turns 21.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  7. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    The 21 year rule is normal here too. DS's National Guard armory is 4 hours away from home, in a small(like 2 stop light small)town. The closest hotel is a well known chain and trying to put 4 18 year old guys into a room takes an act of God and emails/faxes from all parents involved. We try to keep the guys together to keep the cost down. The hotel manager now seems a little easier on us, but then they stay there once a month in the summer. When school is in they travel from their dorm(and its only 45 mintues from campus) to the armory. We have warned all of the guys -- any screw ups at the hotel and they will be tenting it in the future :thumb:
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    There is a way around it, at least I have found it to work for me. If you can get to a computer, email/fax the reservation desk with your credit card info., their name and sign it.

    I guess what it does is by putting it on your card, you are legally responsible for the room and that takes them off the hook.

    I have done this with Best Western and Hampton Inns.
     
  9. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    That is the only reason we can get a room for the guys -- its on mom's credit card -- but they still wanted all parents to fax/email to confirm these guys aren't there to party...
     
  10. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Great Post

    Gooaliedad :thumb:
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Thanks for the story Goaliedad. It never occurred to me that it could be an issue. I'll keep it in mind as I'm sure it will come up sometime in the remaining 18 months before he crosses that magic threshold.
     
  12. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    We haven't had an issue at all with hotels. Just last week my DS, who is 19, took his 12yr old sister to Dollywood for some roller coaster action before he had to return to school. He made the reservation, checked in, paid with his card & used his CAC as ID, etc., and never had an issue at all. This was at a Hampton Inn - he is a Hilton Honors member, maybe that was the difference?
     
  13. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Based on the details contained in GoalieDad's original post, this is a local policy established by this particular hotel due to bad experiences with minors from a neighboring town renting and trashing hotel rooms.
     
  14. GemStateMom

    GemStateMom Member

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    We had the same type of issue when my son flew out to the CGA in November of 2010. I found out quite by accident the night before he was flying out that he could not check in without someone at least 21 years old with him (he was 18). The hotel clerk told me he thought the whole state was the same way (okay, this is when mom enters panic mode). Fortunately, he was incorrect and we found another last-minute reservation. It pays to check!
     

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