I am traveling for business next week and made a reservation a few weeks ago for a wheelchair accessible room with a king bed and a tub (“KAT”). I am a Marriott loyalist due to their website being the first that allowed me to guarantee an accessible room (I hate calling and dealing with CSRs who are just reading a script and are generally not very helpful). Usually, I have no issues. This time was very different. My original reservation was for a KAT with a city view (accessible rooms almost never have the preferred views – they are usually the crappiest locations the hotel has to offer – see NYC Marriott Marquis accessible rooms). Here’s what the email said (note the date I made the reservation):
Today, I go and check the reservation online and see this:
WHAT????? How did this happen?
I called Marriott and they said I was “upgraded” to an executive level room with a river view but that there are no accessible rooms that meet my requirements on that level.
OK….so why did you move me? Did you really think that I would prefer a nicer view and a non-accessible room?
I appreciate the gesture, but how is it possible that Marriott has a reservation system that would move someone out of an accessible room into a non-accessible room?
The first rep was at a loss to figure this out and transferred me to the “special services” line. They called the hotel and told me that the reservation was “fixed” and that I now had a KAT despite what the website said. Not being the trusting type, I called the hotel directly. They said the room was accessible but had a roll-in shower. So the rep at the hotel transferred me to their local reservation person who said that they only had two KAT rooms and that because a room number was not assigned to me when I made the reservation (is it ever?), I was not put in one. Ummm…..sure…..OK….but then why does my confirmation email say that a KAT is guaranteed? While all this was going on, I made another reservation for the same night for the exact same room and received an email confirming that my request for a KAT was guaranteed.
I went back and forth with the reservation desk at the hotel trying to find out why I was upgraded and why my email told me my room was guaranteed when it in fact was not. She could not answer that question and said her manager would look into it. Ultimately, she confirmed that I was in a KAT and apologized that it was on the third floor.
What would have happened if I had not checked online to see that my reservation was still in good shape? How can Marriott allow this to happen? I stay almost exclusively at Marriotts due to the consistency of their accessible rooms and that I don’t have to call to make or change a reservation. This is very scary because this isn’t just not getting the bed you prefer – an accessible room is a necessity for me.
I look forward to seeing how Marriott handles this matter. Stay tuned.