Don’t Make This Costly Hotel Mistake (I Did!)

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There are some things I know better that to do – and yet I do them anyway:

* Keeping my cell signal on after the plane has left the gate (long taxi/wait times get the best of me)

* Looking at my 401k balance weekly

* Eating too close to bedtime

* Leaving a hotel without checking out

That last one just bit me on the butt at the Aloft Las Colinas last week.

I booked a hotel room for the night and ended up not needing to stay the night after all (the fun of going out far enough from home where a hotel room is cheaper than an Uber round trip) and so I never returned to the hotel after my initial check-in that afternoon.  I didn’t feel like driving all the way back over to check out the next day so I figured I’d just let the folio hit.

I watched for it and watched for it – and when it finally came across three days later, I realized I’d been charged for three nights.  I checked my card statement and yep, there it was – three separate charges for the same amount – three nights.

Oh no!

Had I messed up my reservation?

Nope.  It was definitely for one night.

So I called the hotel.  They said they showed me staying three nights.

Nope.  Not true.

I explained to the clerk that I had left without checking out but that my reservation was for one night – and I had definitely only stayed the one night.  I urged him to check the key entry records if he didn’t believe me.

He put me on hold and  told me he’d look into it.  And finally he came back and told me he’d credit the two extra nights.

So now I’m waiting for the credit to show up.  And eventually I’m sure it will.  But it’s still an annoyance to have my funds tied up and to have had to chase down the overcharge.

Its good that I review my credit card statements at least twice a week – I can imagine this one being much more difficult to rectify if I’d waited until my statement closed – and that’s assuming I would have noticed the overcharge among all of my other travel charges, especially at this time of year.

You can bet I will never make THAT hotel mistake again!

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last nineteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Once an "every week" road warrior, she now only travels around 100 days a year. She resides in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and playing with her Border Collie/Great Pyreness mix puppy Harley Quinn.

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  1. Interesting I’m staying at Starwood hotels (which Aloft is part of) almost weekly and never check out. Never had any issues. I think what you experienced is a freak incident and the hotel realized that they made a mistake and refunded you the two nights.

    • I’m inclined to believe they would not have caught it since it had already been closed out and charged. (It wasn’t merely a hold – but an actual charge on a closed folio.) I do agree it was a freak occurrence – but it warrants always checking since it can apparently happen!

    • But this was the first time this has happened to me – and that’s after a decade as a Starwood Platinum – so its not common.

  2. You think that’s a pain? Try booking a paid-in-advance rate at a Canadian Holiday Inn Express, and then having to get the double charge lifted after being charged again post-checkout. (The folio said zero at checkout.) The hotel said that they only charged me once; Citi MasterCard said twice. Several phone calls ensued. It finally took pressing my phone’s “conference” button with both sides on the line to clear this up. Ugh.

    So there are worse things on the bogus room-night charge front.

    • Ugh. I had that prepaid double charge thing happen a couple of times a few years ago so I stopped booking prepaid rates after that. I feel your pain!

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