Allen On Travel

A 30 year veteran of world travel (but knows nil about Orlando-area attractions), Will Allen III writes about his weekly odysseys by air on business and how the airlines rob him--and you--of time, the most precious commodity on earth. Time: It's all we have, and the airlines routinely take it from us. This blog challenges the airlines to keep their basic promises.

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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

Born 1948 in Kinston, NC and raised there in beautiful eastern North Carolina, I now live in Raleigh and commute around the country and the world.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"Out of Service" Hotel Industry Codeword Bought A Few Hours Sleep Amidst O'Hare Chaos

Chicago O'Hare - After sitting on the tarmac at Raleigh/Durham on a recent Sunday night for 3 hours on account of horrific thunderstorms pounding Chicagoland, my American Airlines flight arrived O'Hare just before midnight Central Time. I was astonished to learn in the chaos of O’Hare that my AA Eagle flight to Columbus was still operating. I ran over to the G concourse only to find no aircraft at the gate. It finally got diverted to Fort Wayne at 2:30 AM, and I was stuck with no hotel room.

As a Hilton Diamond member, I thought I’d get a break, but not so. Only rooms were at the Embassy Rosemont, and they had stupidly stopped their supposedly 24-hr shuttle service at midnight (and they call that “service”).

There were hundreds of people waiting for nonexistent taxis, so I walked over to the Hilton O’Hare, which I’d been assured was out of rooms. Sure enough, the desk clerks said they were sold out. I knew to ask for the night manager on duty; when she came around, I showed her my Diamond card, and quietly mentioned a hotel business buzzword I learned from Joe Brancatelli years ago: that I would gladly take an “out of service” room for a few hours.

She immediately understood the code and put me in a large conference room with a Murphy bed for $275.81 with tax, which I was glad to pay under the extreme circumstance. I even got my Diamond breakfast before dashing back over to Terminal 3 to stand by for 3 CMH flights Monday morning.

I sliced open my left foot on the metal ends of the Murphy bed getting up that morning, which bled profusely, and I was utterly exhausted. Of course my client expected a full day’s output no matter how late I was, as clients have a right to do, so it was a very long day and evening.

But, thanks to the using the hotel industry's “out of service” code, I had enjoyed at least a few hours of rest.


Blogger Entrecomputer said...

OK Great, a new code term!


So give me some more of those gems so we can all sleep better or more from point a to point b better.

Also, why not just carry a pack of 50 ml. shots in the coat pocket every time?

6/27/2006 11:02 PM  

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