Question Of The Week: Can My Spouse Check In For My Hotel Booking?
Our question this week looks at whether your spouse can check in at the hotel without you or not. Got a hotel booking in your name? What if your spouse shows up first–can they check in? There are a few different reasons why your spouse might show up alone, so we’ll give a brief look at some of those then answer the question. Here’s what you need to know about if/when your spouse can check in alone for a hotel booking in your name.
Our question comes from Sean in our Facebook group:
When Would I Need This?
Aside from Sean’s situation, which is obvious, there are other times where someone else checking in could be useful.
- You and your significant other are arriving separately. Perhaps you are already in the city for a work trip.
- You’re meeting in the middle and the other person’s flight arrives first.
- The person arriving 2nd has higher status, so you want those perks.
- If you have free night certificates expiring, perhaps you’re booking a staycation for friends or relatives in their city. In this scenario, you won’t even be at the hotel. That’s a slightly different situation. In this article, we previously covered how to book flights and hotel stays for someone else.
- You want to earn nights for hotel status, so you book a hotel stay under your account as a “gift” to a friend. This still has some issues, but it’s better than booking a hotel and not even going (a bad idea, which we covered here) to try to get your elite night credits.
Can My Spouse Check In For My Hotel Booking?
In short: yes!
Different hotels have different policies on this, obviously. Some make it easier than others to accomplish. The experience of many people (myself included) is that it can almost always be done.
Here’s what you should do so your spouse or someone else can check into a hotel when the reservation is in your name:
- Online: IHG and Hilton allow for adding a 2nd guest’s name to your reservation online. This is pretty simple.
- Call the hotel program: find the reservations number for the hotel program and call them. Say your 2nd guest is arriving first, and you want that person to be able to check in on arrival.
- Call the hotel directly: you can also contact the hotel itself to leave your spouse’s name with the front desk, so they attach it to the reservation. For domestic properties, this is pretty simple. If it’s an international call, I look for other options.
- Twitter: this is my first stop whenever I need to add my wife’s name to a reservation or add my name to her reservation. Contact the hotel loyalty program via private message. State the reservation number, guest name, and hotel/check in date. They may ask you some further verification questions. After that, they should be able to add a 2nd guest’s name to the reservation.
While this is typically super easy, I would be remiss to not mention that you shouldn’t abuse this. If the reservation is in your name, you’re supposed to stay there. Hotels may or may not notice that you weren’t there. Or what if you book a stay in your name but it’s for a friend? And then your friend brings his wife? Now the hotel thinks 3 people are staying there. This could create extra fees or “maximum occupancy” issues.
I realize this isn’t Sean’s question or his specific situation, but be mindful of not trying to take advantage of 2nd guest bookings. In fact, Frequent Miler wrote about Hyatt contacting people they thought were abusing this policy. (Ex: If I booked a stay in my name to earn stay credits, but someone else is staying there without me) The lesson here is to use this policy when there really is a 2nd guest joining you (or planned, but then you can’t travel due to an emergency). Don’t try to exploit it.
Yes, your spouse can check in at a hotel without you. A tweet or phone call should easily set this up. This way, your significant other won’t get hassled at check in. “Hi, I’m checking in. The reservation is in the name of _____ but my name is listed as the 2nd guest.” That should be all it takes when your spouse arrives to check in. Waiting for you in the room is much better than waiting in the lobby for a few hours.