I’ve had good experiences in first class and great experiences in transcon in coach. The same holds true for hotel experiences. Mommy Points wrote a review of the Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village, which in my opinion is your average 2.5-3 star property. No frills, no lounge, nothing fancy, but good basic accomodations. Clean, working Internet, comfortable bed, and a hot shower; it meets my four basic needs for when I’m traveling. What made this hotel stand out was the level of service Summer received.
On the flip side, Ben over at One Mile at a Time wrote about an experience he had at the Park Hyatt Tokyo; a 5-star property where one expects a perfect experience in all aspects.
The best part about both of these stories is that neither of the reviews really had a thing to do with the quality of the room, or the comfort of the bed. They instead focused on the attention to detail of staff, and quality of service. Both of these properties have customers & fans for life with their dedication.
I wish I could have said I had the same experience two nights ago at my stay at the Westin Alexandria; my experience was good. As a Platinum with Starwood Preferred Guest I’m guaranteed the best available room up to a standard suite. Two hours prior to arrival I checked online and saw that Studio, Executive, and the Presidential Suite were all available; the most expensive at $450. Upon check-in I was told I was in a King Room on the Club Floor; certainly not a suite.
When I’m on the road I generally couldn’t care less about a suite, or a room with the view. I work in my room, I watch some TV, and most importantly I shower and sleep there. However, when I’m supposed to receive something as a benefit to my loyalty I don’t think I should have to ask (I pay my bill don’t I?). Well, I asked, and was put into a Studio suite. It was a pleasant stay and due to yesterday being MLK day I was able to park on the street for free. I’m headed back to this same property tomorrow; I wonder what’ll happen.
On the flip side, Sunday night also brought a great experience, and reaffirms exactly why I continue to fly Delta. On my flight from Atlanta to DC I was blessed to have an amazing flight attendant; let’s call her Marilyn. Marilyn, who’s been flying with Delta for almost 20 years, flew with Pan Am for 26 years. When Delta bought Pan Am, they also got Marilyn. I had my laptop out, but didn’t get much work done. We joked about travel and she had some great stories on how times have changed but she still loves it. I felt like I was talking to an old friend that I hadn’t seen in 15 years. We spoke about rescuing pets, donating blood / platelets, and how surgery is never fun. No politics or religion though
I asked her for a business card (which I’ll keep with my pile of favorite employee cards that I have), and gave her “a job well done” certificate from Delta. I’ll also write to Delta at Delta.com about the excellent service.
The best part, was at the end of the flight as we were waiting to deboard we exchanged hugs and I had made a friend.
I may never fly with Marilyn again, and it’ll be a shame. Give my post from December 6th a re-read and contact your airlines about those that deserve and extra Thank You.
Rick loves reading success stories; I love hearing about experiences where someone went above and beyond, or making a friend / travel buddy. Tell us a story you have and I’ll pick five random stories to each win a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate (so make sure you post your email too).
Here are links to Domestic US Airlines Comment / Feedback Pages in case you get inspired: