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Second Floor Is First Choice

, , , | Right | March 26, 2019

(My parents and I are on a trip through the American southwest. We have arrived at our hotel for the night; it’s unique in that it’s built into the side of a cliff overlooking a scenic valley area. Because of this unusual setup, the floor numbering is a little different than normal. We are in the lobby to check in, waiting behind an elderly couple at the front desk who is also checking in. We witness this exchange.)

Clerk: “…and here’s your room key. Let me know if you need anything else!”

Elderly Man: *looking at the room key number* “Wait, this says it’s on the second floor. We need a room on the first floor! My wife has trouble using stairs and you guys don’t have an elevator. We specifically requested to be on the first floor when we booked this place!”

Clerk: *very politely* “We are on the second floor now, sir. Since the hotel is built into a cliff, you would actually have to take stairs down to get to the first floor from here.”

Elderly Man: “We don’t want to have to use stairs! We specifically said we wanted a first-floor room in the booking!”

Clerk: “I remember seeing the notes on your reservation. You specified that you didn’t want to have to use stairs. In order to accommodate your needs, we booked you on the second floor, which is the street-level floor. The floor we’re on right now.”

Elderly Man: “But my wife can’t use stairs!”

Clerk: *finally giving up* “Okay, sir. I’ll change your room to the first floor; here’s your new key”

Elderly Man: “Finally!”

(The elderly couple walks off to find their room and we approach the counter.)

Me: “Wow, that was something. Does that happen a lot here?”

Clerk: “Yeah, but I’ve figured out a way of dealing with it. I didn’t even actually change their room in the system, just gave him a different key with a first-floor room number on it. Once they figure out they’re going to have use stairs they’re going to come back and ask me to change to a room on this floor. All I’ll have to do is give their original key back and they’ll be all set.”

(Sure enough, after we finished checking in and started heading to our room, we saw the elderly couple making their way back to the front desk with a look of defeat on their faces.)

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