Travel Tip: How to Drastically Increase Your Chances of a Room Upgrade

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This is a very simple and easy trick which you might haven’t even thought about it. It’s maybe natural for the Pros in the travel industry.

Let me share this little trick with you on how to increase your chances of a room upgrade drastically. This is not a guarantee and there are a lot of other factors in place as well to actually get these desired upgrades. Some of these factors are your elite status with a hotel or your “relationship” with a hotel. If you are a frequent guest at a hotel, even without elite status, they might also give you better rooms as you give them a lot of revenue. The little trick I want to share with you is also fundamental if you want to actually pay for a suite. 

This “trick” works with every hotel out there. No matter if it’s a chain hotel or a local boutique hotel. It works all around the world and can really help you to score an upgrade if used wisely during check-in. Again there is no guarantee that you will get the upgrade, but I guarantee you that your chances will skyrocket if you do this little trick before booking a hotel.

Key West Marriott Beachside Presidential Suite

Check for availability. Availability is key. Yes, that’s right. It’s very simple but often overlooked. You might want to just go with the cheapest room anyway and hope to get a complimentary upgrade with your status. Hyatt is pretty generous if it comes to upgrades. They almost always upgrade me when I check-in but also only because they have a better room or suite available. 

During the booking process, no matter if in the app or on the web, check if there are any better rooms available at this hotel for the same timeframe. It depends on the room what you can get as an upgrade. Some hotels only have regular rooms and suites, while other properties have standard rooms, junior suites, premier suites, and so on. Some have different versions of the standard room. For example one with a view and one with a bad view. So always check what’s available at the hotel for the time you are planning to stay there.

Intercontinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco - King Suite Living Room

This also depends very much on when you book. If you book weeks and months in advance, this trick might not be very helpful as they still can sell out. There is also the possibility if they are sold out of certain rooms during your planned stay, that people will cancel and better rooms get available. 

This trick works more on a last-minute basis. I usually never book my rooms more than a few days in advance. By a few days I mean two or three days. Sometimes I even book for the same night. The shorter the time between booking and check-in is, the more likely this trick will work. 

But even for last-minute bookings this can change if there is any special event going on in the city or a major event like weather is impacting the area and for example, lots of flights get canceled. Some hotel websites and apps, like the ones from Hilton and IHG, show you how many rooms of a certain category they still have available. 

Use the “Availability Trick” also during check-in. Get your phone out and check the hotel you are about to check-in, even with a confirmed reservation, again. Enter the same details as you have on your reservation and see if there is still a better room/suite available for purchase. If so, use this to your advantage during check-in. Ask if the hotel has any upgrades available. I sometimes even ask exactly what room I would like to get upgraded too. Remember to be reasonable, don’t believe you have high chances of getting upgraded to a Presidential Suite if you booked the cheapest rooms and the hotel offers smaller suites. You could get lucky, nobody knows but it’s very unlikely. 

Hospitality Suite at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco Union Square

Back to the upgrade process during check-in. Sometimes the agent will tell you that they are sold out and don’t have any suites available. That’s where you throw your ace in and tell them that you are still able to book the better room/suite online. Yes, there could be some issues with inventory and showing you wrong availability but the systems are that good nowadays that this is rather unlikely. 

Both of these tricks helped me to get amazing upgrades to better rooms and suites. Don’t forget to be always polite and don’t try to push your request. This will actually minimize your chances of a complimentary upgrade.

Don’t forget that elite status, the higher the better, really helps with this trick as well. If you have no elite status, chances are rather slim.

This tip is important to remember as many hotels try to get out of offering free upgrades to elite members which they actually should get because of their status. It’s always good to be prepared and this little trick helped me a lot. Guaranteed!

The photos of the suites in this post are all places I stayed before. For some of them I received a complimentary upgrade for others I paid a minor upgrade fee myself.

American Airlines Is Reinventing the Wheel on How to Earn Elite Status
IHG Is Extending Status until 2023

1 Comment. Leave new

  • […] My original booking for the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee was through the app and then by calling Hyatt to apply my Suite Upgrade Award. Unfortunately, because of some work emergency, I had to push the reservation for a few days. As I finished my work emergency earlier than expected, I had to rebook the hotel again and actually move the check-in date up. As I already had a reservation with the hotel, I called the Globalist hotline to have it changed to check-in “today”, the day I called them. As I also asked them if they could check to re-apply the Suite Night Award again, they told me it’s not possible as the suite is not available. At the same time, I checked the app and I saw the Executive Suite available for booking. I let the agent know and she told me it is probably best to talk directly to the hotel. Once I got them on the phone after the transfer, it took a while to explain to them what I wanted. They told me the same that a suite is not available for booking as they are sold out. I rechecked the app and the suite was still available for booking for the same dates. I let the agent of the hotel know and she did take a closer look and was actually able to change my reservation to my desired dates and also apply the suite upgrade award. It always pays out to double-check yourself and let them know. Sometimes, they just want to get out of giving you the upgrade and sometimes they just make a mistake. It happens. That’s why I wrote the ultimate travel tip on how to increase your upgrade chances. […]


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