I got bumped yet again last night (more on that later), and was put up at the O’Hare Hilton. I’ve gotta say, it’s a hotel I have wanted to stay at since I was a kid, since the views seem to be incredible… and I’m a nerd. And the hotel is very convenient, given that it’s connected to the airport. It even took a supervisor to “authorize” my stay at this hotel, since it is reserved exclusively for Global Services and 1K members when United is paying for it, apparently.
But gosh, was I disappointed. I wouldn’t even return if United paid for it. While the hotel itself was nice enough and the room was fine, I was shocked, and I mean shocked, by their prices and their nickel and diming practices.
I don’t mean to sound like someone on Trip Advisor that complains about having to pay for internet at a Ritz Carlton, while it’s free at a Hampton Inn, so hear me out.
I checked in, and the very nice agent said something along the lines of “Mr. Lucky, do you have a room type preference? High floor or low floor, double bed or king bed, close to the elevator or far to the elevator, facing the airport or not?” I thought that was awfully nice, so I expressed a preference for a high floor room with an airport view. Now unlike a stay in Maui where everyone wants an ocean view, I assume not everyone wants an airport view, since it’s likely a bit noisier. So I was a bit surprised when the agent responded with “certainly, I have a lovely room for you on the 9th floor with a great airport view. It’ll be just $15 extra, please.” Wow, really? I ended up getting a 5th floor room with a view of the parking garage.
Then I ate in their “fancy” restaurant for dinner, and the waiter kept referring to me as “man.” C’mon, dude!
And I’ll be the first to admit that I have no problem paying for internet. In Asia and Europe I even expect to pay around $20USD if I’m staying at a hotel that I don’t have elite status with. But in the US I’ve never seen internet cost more than $12 at a “major” chain hotel. But at the Hilton O’Hare it was $17.50 plus tax. As a matter of principle I decided against it.
Yet again, I’ve never been to an airport hotel that didn’t offer free toothbrushes and toothpaste, or basic toiletries. I thought it was awfully generous of the Hilton to have a plastic package containing a low end toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, and very basic razor. Fair enough, I figured it was easier for them to do that than have guests constantly coming to the front desk for it. But nope, it cost $7 plus tax and a 17% “service charge.” Unbelievable.
Compare that to my stay at the InterContinental O’Hare, also paid for by United.