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Hotel Check-In 101: Things Every Traveler Should Know

Dear Rudy,

I work in a Las Vegas casino, and I have some tips for your listeners on checking in and out of hotels to make life easier on you and front desk clerks.

1. Most hotels require valid photo ID to check in. Usually this means an UNEXPIRED driver's license or passport.

2. In most places, the minimum age to check in is 21. That means your 21st birthday -- not 20 years and 11 months.

3. When booking reservations online, make sure you are booking the correct hotel and location. If the web site gives a phone number, write it down and call after you book to verify your reservation.

4. Remember: smoking, nonsmoking, king, queen, double, view, high floor, low floor, near elevator, etc., are requests and only requests. If just one room in your hotel has a strip view, only one reservation can get that room.

5. Most hotels drop reservations a few days before the check-in date if you do not provide a deposit or credit card number.

6. Most hotels accept a maximum of five people in a room with two queen beds and a roll-away. Some hotels may charge for each guest beyond two and for a roll-away. Do not try to cram the entire family tree into the room. This is unfair to housekeeping and crowded for you, too.

7. If your reservation was botched, it was NOT the front desk clerk's fault. He only checks you in. And if the clerk says a nonsmoking room with a strip view on a high floor near an elevator with pink carpet is not available, DONT ARGUE. The clerk is only telling you what the computer system is telling him.

8. Do not make demands. Good manners are far more effective. If you say, "I want an upgrade!" chances are you won't get one. If you politely ask, "What are the chances of an upgrade?" you stand a better chance of actually getting one.

9. When travelling in a group, only one person needs to stand in line to check in - not the whole family.

10. If the front desk clerk bends over backward to give you excellent service, then by all means, show your appreciation with a gratuity. Comment cards are great. Ask for them at the desk or look in your room. Good comments reward good employees, and bad comments hasten the departure of bad employees so others don't have to deal with them.




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