Posted on February 20, 2023 Updated on February 20, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. CST
A travel TikToker shared a story about Marriott nearly canceling her reservation after she failed to check in late in the afternoon, sparking another concern for other travelers who flocked to her page.
The video was posted Sunday to Rae Goes Global, the self-described “solo travel and lifestyle” TikTok account of creator Raeschel Kelly. The Marriott event has generated more than 665,000 views and 32,000 likes in its first day on the platform.
Most of the story is conveyed via on-screen captions while the creator sips a lemonade inside an elevator.
“The Marriott hotel gave me a new fear I didn’t even know I should be aware of,” it began.
@raegoesglobal I’m going to be nervous in hotels forever now #traveltok #traveltiktok #solofemaletraveler #solofemaletravel #travellife #travelersoftiktok #travelquestions #marriott #marriotthotel #hotelroom ♬ Confusion or something else – Ron
“They didn’t even call me an hour after check-in (4pm) to see if I was still coming or if they would give away my room. Excuse me. Give me a second bro, continued TikToker. “This has literally never happened to me before and I’ve checked a few places at midnight without notifying them in advance. Since when is this the norm?”
The caption accompanying the video took her anxiety beyond just the Marriott chain; she noted, “I’m going to be nervous in hotels forever now.”
TikTok also set off some alarms for commenters who responded.
“What if someone is on a plane and can’t answer the call?” asked one commenter.
“I’m always afraid this is going to happen to me,” said another commenter.
A number of people came in to claim that the hotel had overbooked and tried to find out who was really responsible for their reservations.
“Hello! I work for Marriott, claimed one commenter. “They were overbooked, so they booked out more rooms than they had available.”
“They overbook on purpose,” claimed another, responding to another commenter who worked for Marriott who made the same claim, “hoping to move guests into sister properties that aren’t full that night.”
TikTok also inspired some commenters to share stories of how they almost lost rooms they had booked after not letting the hotel know they would be checking in late — or, in one case, even if they had.
“Had this happened,” said one commenter. “Even called and said we would be in at this time as it was late. They assured us there was no problem. Got there and they said, “We’ve already gathered for the night.” I say, ‘Not my problem. We did our due diligence. Then we got a room. It was a ridiculous interplay.”
“My ex and I checked in late at a hotel in Colorado,” one shared. “The guy closed the lobby early and we had to sleep in the car. It was freezing.”
“This happened to me on my wedding night,” revealed another. “We went to check in after reception. The panicked look because I was still in my wedding dress.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Marriott’s public relations team via email.
Update 2/20 3:24 PM CT: Kelly, who responded to our request for comment, noted that the Marriott in question was the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square in Lancaster, Penn. She explained, regarding her communication with the hotel, “I actually missed their first call and called back, when the rep said they just wanted to make sure I was still coming and would flag me as a red-eye arrival.” She also added, to give “red eye” a side eye, “I was on my way; we arrived around 6pm.”
She said of the virality of her TikTok and the comments that accompanied the views, “I think the most surprising thing is the amount of discourse in the comments. For example, hotel staff who comment that this is normal and others who argue against them and say that it has never happened to them. Or individuals who say that one should always notify the hotel of a late check-in in just a few minutes, while others insist that this is never necessary.”
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*First published: February 20, 2023, 9:28 AM CST
Phil West is an experienced professional writer and editor, and author of two books on soccer, ‘The United States of Soccer’ and ‘I Believe That We Will Win’, both from The Overlook Press. His work has most recently appeared in The Striker, where he serves as managing editor, MLSoccer.com, Next City and Texas Highways. Based in Austin, he is also a lecturer in the writing program at the University of Texas at San Antonio.