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Don’t Be Me – I’m Out Over $50 Due to This Travel Fail

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Hotel Airport Shuttle

Hotel Airport Shuttle Mistake!

I opted for a bit of additional Memphis sightseeing after our recent MtM Diamond meetup.  With an early Monday morning flight, I decided on a quick, one-night hotel stay close to the airport.  The property I chose clearly advertised as an airport hotel, with a nearby location and an available hotel airport shuttle.  I also hold top-tier elite status with this chain, so staying here was an easy decision.  But upon arrival, I quickly learned of a mistake I made which cost me.  Here’s what happened.

Check-In

Everything was going great at the front desk.  I received a solid upgrade, the room was ready early, and most importantly, I received my warm chocolate chip cookie.  I just had to follow up on the airport shuttle for the next morning.  But the otherwise-helpful front desk agent broke the bad news to me.  The hotel airport shuttle ran 6 am to 10 pm daily.  And another agent later advised that the shuttle is only by request within those hours.  That’s not very traveler-friendly.

Hotel Airport Shuttle

The Problem

I pride myself on being fairly organized in my travel planning.  But nobody’s perfect, and this was one of those times for me.

I had a 5:25 am flight.  Due to its schedule limitations, the hotel airport shuttle was useless to me.  Looking back, I recalled researching the availability of the shuttle and confirmed that the hotel had one.  I don’t remember checking the exact hours.  More likely, I assumed that the shuttle would already be running.  Glazing over the details here cost me.

My Solution

I fixed this with nothing fancy.  I booked an Uber ride in advance.  The cost of my error was a bit steep – almost $53 (including gratuity) for a ten minute or so ride.

Perhaps I could’ve looked at other options, but I didn’t care to.  The problem just needed to be fixed, and I wanted to do so as quickly and easily as possible.  I just wanted it to be over so I could pretend it didn’t happen.

The Bright Side

I’ve chosen a bit of optimism in looking back on this experience.  I really didn’t lose $53 in cash money.  Luckily, my ride was on the first day of the month, and I had a fresh allowance of Amex Uber credits.

I learned my hotel airport shuttle lesson without any penalty, really.  Perhaps the only effect this month is my family and I might eat lukewarm Panda Express a bit less.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Hotel Airport Shuttle

Conclusion

Many of you probably know what happens when you assume.  It makes an… oh, you get it.  I primarily blame my last-minute trip prep for glazing over the details of the hotel airport shuttle.  That said, it’s also just another example of pre-pandemic standard services still not returning to normal.  With every passing day, it seems less likely some will come back.  Hotels and other travel entities continue to advertise traditional services, but meanwhile, they’re obfuscating the terms.  That means more work and less room for error for travelers like you and me.

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I’m sorry that happened but glad everything worked out! As you said, many hotels aren’t clear with that info, which sucks. But the ones who do accommodate early morning travelers are to be commended. I recently stayed at the Holiday Inn Express right outside Glasgow airport and had to be at the airport by 6 am. I figured I would have to grab something to eat once I checked in, but luckily the hotel offered a free continental breakfast beginning at 4 am, and a free cooked breakfast starting at 6. That hotel was wondering and I’ve raving about it ever since. Hopefully most hotels will go back to the old-fashioned idea of good customer service.

  2. No one wants to be out $50 but it could have been worse. Considering it as cheap tuition for a lesson that saves you from a much bigger loss.

  3. Just had the same in MAN…shuttle contacted to third party ( but operating hours dictated by HGI). Arrived at 3:05 and shuttle PM hours are 4:00 too !0:00 PM. Have stayed many times at property. Conundrum is that taxi cost less….

  4. I had the same thing happen to me in Osaka last month. I had a 7am flight and needed to leave around 5am but the hotel shuttle didn’t start till 6am I think. I ended up taking public transit and it ended up being fine

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