Travelling incognito: You’re doing it wrong
Every now and then, we will get guests who request that we do not tell anyone that they are staying at the hotel. Sometimes we get the reason, sometimes we don’t – either way, it doesn’t matter to us, we have to respect the guest’s wishes.
A couple of weeks back, I come in to the morning shift, to get an… interesting… handover from my night staff.
There had been a domestic disturbance – honestly, these are more common than you’d think – and the cops were called. But in this case, the hotel didn’t call them – this particular couple were fighting amongst themselves, and the female called the cops. Screaming took place, and the police took the male guest away. We still don’t know the full details, except that they were travelling together and staying in the same room.
Now, the room was booked under the male guest’s name, for the sake of this story, Mr Smith. The female didn’t wish to continue to stay with him, and wanted to stay somewhere else.
So she ended up booking another room. In the same damn hotel.
She asked us not to tell Mr Smith where she was staying. Okay, fine, we’ll do that. But, if she happens to run into him in the lift? There is not a damn thing that we can do about it. Thankfully, this never happened, or if it did, neither of them made a scene.
Later that afternoon Mr Smith came to the reception to ask about the female, and whether she was okay. We advised him that we couldn’t pass any details of her, and were unsure as to her whereabouts. To his credit, he didn’t press the issue, and genuinely seemed to want to make sure that she was okay. During this conversation, he also told us that supposedly this girl was his girlfriend, and the incident occurred because she was drunk. To be honest, at this point we didn’t really care which story was correct, as long as it didn’t result in further scenes.
The guests were both due to check out of their individual rooms on the same day. Again, I came in on the morning shift to get a handover from the night guys – the female had been trying to confirm her flight back home (domestic, then connecting to an international flight), and she was getting conflicting information – the airline said it was cancelled, but then her mother, back home, called and was told it was still scheduled. She wanted us to call the airline to confirm her flight.
Now, apart from the fact that the airline will not discuss the details of a passenger if we are not them – we logged onto the airline website to find out it was cancelled. Also checked with the airport website it was flying out of – flight cancelled. Logged into her online booking – flight cancelled. At this point, we are 100% certain that her connecting international flight? Was cancelled.
We called the guest to let her know, she came down to reception, and refused to believe us. Lady, it does not affect me whether you listen to me or not, sadly my powers do not extend so far as to forcing the airlines to fly an 18 hour international flight just for one person.
And then the kicker. When we finally convince her that yes, the flight is cancelled? She asks if she can call up to speak to Mr Smith. Yes, the same person that we are not meant to advise of her whereabouts.
My colleague accidentally gave her a weird look, whereupon she answered, ‘Oh, I’m allowed to call him, he just can’t call me.’
She left the hotel separately, he came down to check out later. I honestly have no idea if those two worked things out, or what happened to their flight.
But, seriously. If you’re trying to avoid someone, it’s generally not the brightest idea to stay in the same hotel as them after you’ve called the police on them. Just saying.