The days of 11am check out at many hotels is starting to fade away, at the request and feedback provided by customers.
Last week, the Palms in Vegas announced that they will roll out a 24 hour check out at no additional charge. They are allowing guests to leave at the same time they arrived, meaning if you check in at 4pm on Friday, and are staying until Sunday, you won’t have to check out until 4pm on Sunday instead of the typical 11am or noon checkout.
Other hotels have adopted this new policy as well:
Westin Hotels & Resorts: “Make Monday Better” program allows for a free 3 p.m. checkout on Sunday
Hyatt Union Square New York: guests can stay for 24 hours from Thursday to Sunday
The Peninsula Beverly Hills: “Peninsula Time,” is a program that lets guests stay at the hotel for longer than 24 hours. Guests can check in and out at any hour of the day or night at no additional charge.
Why the change? Experts in the industry are citing that the standard 11am or noon checkout was created for the good of the hotels, specifically the housekeeping staff, and not the customers. With competition increasing, and customers making their needs and desires known more now that ever, hotels realized that they had to change their standards and make adjustments to keep their customers happy.
The “old way” of thinking was more of a benefit to the hotel and housekeeping staff. The early checkout allowed the staff to turn over rooms in time for the 3pm check in, and the majority of housekeeping staff may have been scheduled during these hours to accommodate the schedule. However, hotels are making changes to the way they do things in order to show their customers that they’re listening.
The late checkout policy is slowly being adopted and will certainly make hotels rethink what they do. Some have started rolling out a late checkout on Sundays, simply because it’s a slower traffic time and they can test the waters without becoming overwhelmed. Once it is implemented, hotels can re-evaluate and determine the next steps.
Actively listening and taking steps to make significant changes can be effective in terms of customer satisfaction and loyalty – not only are the changes customer centric, but they show guests that they really ARE listening to what they think about their experiences.