“You’ve been upgraded to…”

I’ll be the first to admit that this ranks just slightly above the relationship status of the Kardashian sisters on the list of things that matter in life, but I figured I’d mention it nonetheless.

I had my first Starwood stay of the year last night at the Westin San Francisco Airport for a quick overnight layover, and at check-in was informed that “as a Platinum member we’ve upgraded you from a traditional room to an accessible room.” Let’s compare the descriptions:

Same price, same square feet, but one has safety bars in the bath and a visual alarm clock. Also of interest is that the “visual alarm clock” went off three times during the night, hence the crankiness.

But here’s a question for you guys — the beds here are definitely NOT Heavenly Beds. Could it be that the accessible rooms don’t have Heavenly Beds, while the others do? I realize it’s not in the description, but I figured that was to save space.

On one hand I actually have to give the front desk agent credit. He wanted to make me feel like I got upgraded, unlike many Starwood front desk agents that pretend there’s no such thing as a Platinum room upgrade.

But please, if I’m not getting an upgrade, just say “we’re fully committed tonight and while we value your Platinum status, unfortunately we don’t have any rooms to upgrade you to.”

Rant over…

Comments

  1. welcome to sf. and you got no sleep, that’s awful! next time splurge a bit and relax in peace at Four Seasons!

  2. It’s not an upgrade and it’s arguably a downgrade. Many people don’t want accessible rooms. The light switches are in weird places and sometimes the bathrooms/showers are worse. At some hotels instead of a proper bathtub or enclosed shower stall the accessible rooms just have a sloped shower area to roll a wheelchair into and a curtain.

  3. Not an upgrade! And really, since the Westin SFO probably has fewer than 10 accessible rooms should they be giving them out un-requested?

  4. It’s definitely a downgrade. Depending on size between 4 and 10 percent of the rooms must be accessible. You are also more likely to encounter pet dander/hair in an accessible room, in case you happen to have an allergy.
    They shouldn’t be giving them to platinum members.

  5. Sure seems like Starwood has trained all front desk staff to tell Platinums that they have been upgraded even when they are just given a standard room. When I question it, sometimes I’m told that the upgrade is lounge access – of course that’s a separate benefit.

    Wish Starwood would make breakfast a benefit at hotels that don’t have a lounge.

  6. Wait… what did you have booked? 2 Doubles? I would have argued that is a DOWNGRADE and demanded to get what you booked. If you didn’t get what you booked are you entitled to points, like Hyatt?

  7. Maybe the front desk agent saw something about you that made him feel as though you needed the upgrade 😉

  8. Coins, the online world of SPG/AA etc are aggressively going after bloggers in a negative way. Can I prove it? No. But if I continue reading how ‘they’ take care of you and other bloggers, what else can I conclude?

    jk of course.

  9. I don’t know about you but I feel like a king sitting on a throne when sitting on a toilet in an accessible room.

  10. Funny you mentioned it. I had similar treatment last week at a Sheraton in Minneapolis. I asked if they have any upgrades and I was told I have already been upgraded and the key holder has my name with embossed letters “you have been upgraded’. The room its nothing but a std room and I called front desk to inquire about it and was told that the room is in club level which is an upgrade.

  11. I just turn down the accessible room when they offer it. It has never seemed to be any more comfortable than what I was expecting from the room I originally booked.

    After all, you should be able to get the original category booked as part of your Platinum status right? Make them give the “upgrade” to someone else.

  12. I’d agree an accessible room is a downgrade

    @ikonos – club level rooms generally go for more so that is an upgrade

  13. @Phil Yes but they sell for more because they have club access. As a Plat member you already have club access, I think it’s a stretch to call it an upgrade if the room is identical. Granted for a non-elite it would be an upgrade.

  14. I usually don’t care for accessible rooms either – too many weird bathroom/shower setups, stuff in the wrong location, etc. I’ll turn it down if given one… plus the one time I was assigned one and kept it, I felt like I must be cheating someone who really needed it. Though I would hope the hotel wouldn’t have given it to me if that were the case

  15. @phil possibly but I am a platinum preferred guest and my corporate rate gives club access as well so what they thought was an upgrade wasn’t an upgrade at all for me.

  16. I had the same thing happen to me at the ORD Hilton as a Diamond a few months back. I was told that I was “upgraded to a corner room” which was just the regular King Acccessible. I complained and was moved to a Junior Suite.

  17. I can think of few things that bother me more than the non-upgrade upgrade. On a recent stay, I was “upgraded” to a first floor room that overlooked a giant tree trunk at the Hyatt Sarasota.

    I wish I could communicate to hotels that I don’t need to be made to feel special when there is nothing about which to feel special. I do appreciate a good upgraded room as much as the next guy, but unless it is to a suite, the concierge floor (which has immediate access to said lounge, but also sometimes has upgraded appointments, such as a bathrobe not found in other rooms), or a room with a substantially better view….save the marketing speak. All you’ve done is raise my expectations and then disappoint.

  18. Hi Lucky, asian chinese, being superstitous, seem to have a notion that in each hotel, there might be rooms that are haunted, and are normally not put up for stays. However, if a guest insists, or is being an sss, that room might be released to him. What do you think?

  19. The Westin SFO is pretty bad IMHO. They seem to get good business from air crews laying over meaning less available rooms for upgrades. I concur about the bed being less than heavenly. My bathroom would not drain and it took two calls to get someone to take a look. Maintenance pulled out what looked like a 2lb hairball. Yuk.

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