No Room at the Inn.
Back in January, when I was planning my recent trip to the Rail Passengers Association meeting in Washington, I made a reservation for two nights at Maison Depuy, a nice hotel in the New Orleans French Quarter. They emailed me a confirmation.
Last Thursday, Train 19, the Crescent, was quite late arriving in New Orleans and by the time I arrived by cab at Maison Dupuy it was around midnight. I gave my name to a young woman at the front desk said I had a reservation.
After checking her computer she said, “I’m afraid I don’t have any record of your reservation, but in any event, we’re sold out tonight.”
I had a printout of the email confirmation in my luggage, but rather than rummage for it there in the lobby, I showed her the number of the reservation from my itinerary and, to make doubly sure, I spelled my last name for her. She went back to her computer, but again shook her head. There was no record of my reservation.
I was tired and by now it was well past midnight, so I had her call a taxi which took me to the Hotel Provincial where I have stayed several times on previous trips to New Orleans. They had a room and that’s where I spent my two nights in New Orleans.
This morning, back home and unpacking, I found the confirmation email I had received from the Maison Dupuy when I had made the reservation at the end of January. Clearly, my room had been given to someone else—someone no doubt without a reservation.
This afternoon I received an email from Maison Dupuy saying how pleased they were I had chosen their hotel for my visit to New Orleans and expressing the hope that I had enjoyed my stay.
I really hadn’t intended to make an issue of the incident, but now I’m pissed. I’ve complained by email to the manager and told him I want to be reimbursed for the $15 I spent on the taxi to the Hotel Provincial.
I’ll let you know if I hear anything.
Yikes, that’s scary. I once forgot to confirm a booking in Prague (fault lay with me), but they were so kind to help me search another one, and it was wonderful at the same price. That same trip, I booked on the day itself, I got a reply by mail saying they couldn’t honour my reservation with Booking… Luckily, I was flexible enough to be able to continue a few stations further and book another, but trains weren’t that frequent, what if I hadn’t checked my mail and gotten off at that station?
In many NOLA hotels people don’t pay until they actually check in. I imagine many make reservations and are no-shows for that very reason.
Should they have given your room to someone else…ethically, no but in their defense they most likely assumed you were just another no-show. A couple of things might have prevented this situation. They could have attempted to contact you to see if you were still coming, or you could have contacted them telling them you will be delayed but will definitely be there.
I was not aware of that practice. Two things: If that IS the practice, then weary late arrivals like me should have been alerted when we made our reservation. And to be told there was no record of my reservation, implying the fault was mine, was insulting. That said, what I SHOULD have done was call the hotel from the train to let them know I was going to be late. What the hotel should have done by now is email me with an apology. (Yeah, I’m still pissed.)
I am glad you found a room. It is why I carry printouts of all my reservations in a folder (in my shoulder bag so easy to reach) which gets lighter as I travel. I usually travel for 5 to 6 weeks (use to be 8 weeks but I am ageing) so start with at least 20 room bookings plus travel bookings. My relatives say why carry all that paper but I am not willing to rely on my laptop. My worst experience was in Rome. I booked 3 nights then, because the ferry from Dubrovnik did not run the night I wanted, I flew so arrived a day earlier. I emailed over a month before (no reply) then rang and was told ‘Si Si’ but when I arrived it was ‘Non Non”. Rome was booked out but the night manager made up the bed in her room for me, not very pleasant. It is why I make nearly all my bookings now with Booking.com, often I get a discount but also no language problems if I want to cancel or make changes. Also my relatives can go to the bookings online if the worst should happen.
Be sure to double-check your credit card account and make sure you weren’t automatically charged for a room you didn’t occupy. I had a similar experience once at the Izaak Walton Lodge outside Glacier Park. A confirmed reservation should mean just that, but that doesn’t seem to be how the hospitality industry looks at things.
Wow! That never occurred to me! Mahalo for that really good advice!