Last Minute Hotels?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by 455 Bravo Uniform, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    What is your preferred way or app to use to find a hotel when you’re traveling by GA and won’t know if and when you’ll get to where you’re going until you actually arrive there?

    I’m not talking about sleeping in the plane or on an FBO couch; I’m talking about a hotel at the final destination.

    Whereas hotels used to have a “cancel before 4p on the day of arrival” policy, now they have 48-72 hour cancellation policies. Been burned twice now.
     
  2. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Download the hotel tonight app. I’ve also had good luck with hotels.com
     
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  3. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    We traveled a week ago and the hotels were all allowing canceling the day before. I did see some previously looking for more, but the ones we were staying at (Hilton and Hyatt brands) were the day before.

    Often the FBOs can tell you about deals. My youngest and got stuck in Jacksonville one night on our way to Ft Lauderdale due to t-storms across Florida from the gulf to the Atlantic. The FBO had info for a good rate and even gave us a ride there and back again in the morning.

    After that hotels.com or Travelocity to find options. Another option is to call the hotels directly, sometimes you can get a good deal that way.
     
  4. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    It depends when, where, & what’s going on in the area, time of day is big too.

    With G.A., I like max flexibility. May have a few ideas, but I’m hesitant to set to many reservations. Looking at 4 in the afternoon is much easier than 10 at night. I called at 1:00 A.M., & got a room.

    I’ve landed(passenger) at 09:30 in Munich, zero reservations, didn’t miss a beat.
     
  5. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Call the hotel directly? Not the national number. They know how many beds they have available and they're interested in filing them for whatever they can get.
     
  6. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Some of our best hotel/condo stays were found by just driving up and asking. We got great rates since the property was going to be empty. Stayed at a two great condos one in South Padre and one in Honolulu. On the Honolulu one we had a condo rented and when we showed up it had a great view of the brick wall next door, not an ocean view as advertised. We were able to get our money back and went to another company and found one with a great view. That was before the internet. Unless there is a shortage of rooms I have no problem waiting until the last minute. For the last 12 years I have had access to Marriott's employee's rate so we almost allays stay in a Marriott property.
    IMAGE56.JPG
     
  7. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Why not just book it when you land or are sure you will be there? I pull up that hotel chains app and book it direct less than an hour out all the time. Ive also walked into the lobby with no reservation a few times. It's not like most hotels are typically operating anywhere near capacity at this point.
     
  8. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Air nav can be helpful the day of the flight,I also have good luck with the FBOs at major cities. I also carry business cards from hotels I have stayed at ,so I can call direct to the hotel.
     
  9. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    Similar to but not exactly the same is traveling on a motorcycle. With the kind of riding we do (often 20 hours a day for multiple days in a row) we never really know how far we will be able to get each day before we hit a wall, so to speak. For that I have the Priceline app installed. Keep it updated and you can get some pretty good deals. When we stop for fuel, we assess our condition. If either of us are ready to call it, I fire up the app, make the reservation at a nearby hotel, and motor on over. Sometimes we get there and have to wait a few minutes for the reservation to show up locally, but it has never failed to work.

    Additional Pro-Tip: When stopping around larger metropolitan areas, do not choose the chapest hotel on the list unless you are on a VERY tight budget. We have found that the cheapest ones are also usually the sketchiest ones in the sketchiest neighborhoods.
     
  10. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    See below ....

    My best deals EVER were having the FBO set up the hotel and check on rental cars (like Wayne said above). Was able to knock 50% off the Glendale rates for hotels prior to NHL games there ... also called one hour prior to a July 4th trip with my son to San Antonio and Stinson got us a room that was going for $350 on web and walk up for $89 (this was in 2010).
     
  11. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Wow. Multiple days of four hours available rest, driving a two wheel death trap. You should be an outlaw trucker, pays better!
     
  12. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    Watch out, your bias is showing.
     
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  13. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    +1 on hotel tonight. it's about 95% less BS than the other booking sites and I hope it stays that way.
     
  14. aterry1067

    aterry1067 Filing Flight Plan

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    Same. I used to ride a motorcycle all over the country. I started using the Hotels.com app early on an just stuck with it. Every 10 nights a year you get a night free, so that worked out to a couple free nights per year for me. And I can always find a room available. I once went in to the Outer Banks and the first hotel I stopped at told me there was no vacancy and I probably wouldn't find a room anywhere. I opened the app and booked a hotel right down the street in a real nice hotel on the beach. That was when I started using the app full time for bike travel.

    I have yet to start my airplane travels, but those are coming soon. I have Marriott membership and try to do that if I can. But if there is no Marriott in the area then I will go back to the Hotels.com app if I need to. I have zero experience with an FBO yet, so that may be a better option....if they are open.


    And just for argument, a motorcycle is perfectly safe if all the other idiots would put down their phone and get off the road. :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
  15. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted Management Council Member

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    We have the Hilton and Marriott apps and use those. Availability, maps, and book right on the ap. Easy.
     
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  16. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    I also suggest asking the FBO, if that doesn't work, any of the apps will work as well.

    And doing anything for 20 hours a day for multiple days in a row is insane, let alone operating a vehicle. But whatever happens will definitely be the fault of the car, not the motorcycle.....
     
  17. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    It is good to know one's limitations.
     
  18. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted Management Council Member

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    Sanity and I have never gotten along too well.
     
  19. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    Well, when you guys plow into the back of a car at 95 mph in a school zone, don't blame them for "texting and driving".
     
  20. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    Hahaha.... Project much?
     
  21. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted Management Council Member

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    @smv curious the kind of motorcycle trips you’re doing. Iron Butt runs or the like?
     
  22. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Let’s not assume all motorcycle riders are wild teenage kids...or that airplanes are too dangerous. We were talking about hotels, lol.

    Thank you all for your input. Lots of great ideas.

    I realize I’d gotten to the point in my life where I don’t do spur of the moment stuff. Partly because of my business travel, partly because we had younger kids and couldn’t/wouldn’t risk no-vacancy. I also realize we’re in a pandemic where there are lots of vacancies. I just need to chill...and I will thanks to you all.

    Now rental cars, that’s a different story, and I learned a lot from a recent thread here. I found the Enterprise has an FBO services phone number, and that makes it easier, but also I could call the FBO. But I think that’s one that I can’t always call last-minute, but there’s also Uber in larger towns.
     
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  23. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    Yes. We do single and multi day rallys and a certificate ride here and there. For me, over half a century of ~4 hours of sleep a day has finally found a practical purpose beyond winning "how long can you stay awake" contests with my brothers. :D
     
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  24. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Loophole to that problem that is still a thing....there is typically a fee if you CANCEL within that 48-72 hour window but there is NOT a fee to CHANGE your reservation within that window...so if you are within that window just change your reservation to +72 hours out...THEN call back and cancel!

    But to answer your question I am in that same scenario all the time for work. I just call ahead and check to see if the hotel is likely to have availability when I arrive of if being sold out is a risk, then if available and I know I need to confirm I book online or through their app as soon as I know I actually need the room.