I recently stayed at the Sheraton Pentagon City, for an early departure from Reagan the next morning.
I arrived at the airport at around 10:25p, and was at the designated bus stop for hotel shuttles at 10:30.
The Sheraton Pentagon City phone line advises that their shuttles pick up on the :45 and:15 of every hour, so I knew that arriving at 10:30, I’d be able to catch a 10:45 shuttle. Ocassionally these shuttles can be a bit late, so I waited until around 11:00p before calling the hotel to see what was going on. No answer. After hitting “0” to talk to the operator, no one answered.
I waited a few more minutes before calling again. Still no answer. By this point, it was around 11:15p, and I decided to wait around to see if the shuttle would show up. It didn’t, and by 11:20, I was really frustrated. I called again, and there was no answer, soI decided to text the American Express Platinum Concierge to see if they could somehow get through, figuring maybe the problem was on my end. They couldn’t either, so I Tweeted SPG, who wasn’t very helpful either, who accused me of waiting in an area that wasn’t the shuttle stop, even though I was standing under the hotel shuttle pickup sign.
I called the hotel again – this time around my 10th call and finally got someone on the other end who said the shuttle would “be right there.” I know some hotels only offer on-demand shuttle service, and, for the record, this hotel was not one of them – the shuttle comes regardless. Another 15 minutes had elapsed and still no shuttle, so I called again, and spoke to the same gentleman who I had spoken with before who said the van was still coming. A minute later, true to his word this time, the van showed up, filled with people, and I was taken to the hotel. At such a late hour I’m surprised the van was filled with that many people, so I’m wondering if they had been waiting as long as I did.
When I got to the hotel, I mentioned the issue to the front desk. To be honest, I feel it was a valid complaint. If the hotel offers a free shuttle, and the shuttle doesn’t show – not once, but twice over two different pick up times, that’s a huge inconvenience to a guest so late at night.
A few minutes after checking into my room, I received an email from the on-duty manager who had refunded me for my stay in apology, which I felt was a generous, yet appropriate gesture, considering I wasn’t spending much time at the hotel with an early departure the next morning.
So, I’m wondering – just as a general question – what is fair compensation in this case scenario? If you’re waiting for a promised service that never shows, I’d think some form of compensation is due, and in my case, I received the best possible scenario. But, I’ve been in similar predicaments before and haven’t been as lucky – the van never shows, and I’m forced to take a taxi to the hotel with no apology. It’s hit or miss depending on the property, but if you’re ever in such a similar situation, I’d highly suggest letting the front desk know, and don’t just “suck it up.” Car services, taxis or even Ubers to hotels are an expense you shouldn’t have to incur if the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle and it doesn’t show.
What do you believe is fair compensation in this case?
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