So, perhaps this mattress run was just meant to happen???

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by Global Explat, Dec 31, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Global Explat
    Original Member

    Global Explat Silver Member

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    314
    Status Points:
    470
    Late Friday night I was trying to figure out how to qualify for SPG Platinum for the first time. I was at 22 stays, 3 stays short of the required 25 stays. Plenty of Starpoints in the account, and some big potential plans for 2013, where Plat status could be really handy.
    I'm in NYC until after the New Year. Anyhow I searched the SPG site for availability in the New York area. I was looking for some low category cash plus points rooms which often represent the best value without making too big a dent in your points balance (and from earlier this year, up to 3 such nights at a time also count for stay credit). Anybody who has ever tried to find a cheap hotel in NY knows the task here was not straightforward; 3 stays in NYC could require a small mortgage.
    The most convenient locations options came up at 10+ thousand points for a single night, or many hundreds of dollars cash.. Ouch! But I paged forward and found availability at the Sheraton Edison NJ for three rooms at 3000 points each. 9000 points (plus $40 transport to and from checkin) didn't sound too bad an outlay to qualify for Platinum status. So I booked the rooms for the next night, this past Saturday. I'd never been to Edison NJ, and just quickly checked it out on a map before booking, to make sure the commute was possible.
    On Saturday I got on a train from Penn station to get out to Edison. But by the time I got on the train, the snowfall had gone from a gentle dusting into a heavier affair, and the trip into NJ from the comfort of the train actually turned into a picturesque journey through a beautifully snow covered townscape.
    I found a car service at the station and got to the hotel without any issues. Checked in, opted for points as the Gold amenity for one room, internet for one (I quickly wanted to log into internet on my foreign smartphone) and a free drink for the third. Thought I'd better at least have a beer at the bar before turning around and heading back to NYC...
    With my 3 required stays now in place, and after little more than checking out the rooms, and had that beer, I requested the front desk order a car back to the station.
    Ten minutes later the driver showed up and we headed out to the car. There was a little confusion at first as to whether I was the correct passenger for his particular order, so we took a little time before I was able to climb in the front passenger seat and continue on our way. When the driver, a man of about 30 I'd guess, got back in the car he turned to me and apologized for the confusion, saying "Thank you for being so nice- I've had a really tough day". He went on to tell me how he'd misplaced his money clip earlier in the day, which had his week's wages in it, and was going to have to sleep in the car that night. (The rest of the conversation got the cynic in me comfortable it wasn't just a story told every trip to try to encourage a large tip).
    Anyhow, I had three keys in my pocket, one of which I handed him. He seemed a little confused, like questioning whether there was something dodgy about it. He wanted to make sure he could call me if he were questioned about being in the room, which I assured him he wouldn't, but gave him a number anyhow. By the end of the trip he seemed so happy, and told me about how he'd had to tell a white lie to his worried mother (a few states away) that he had a place to stay that night... "Bless you man, God bless you."
    Called him yesterday morning and he was just checking out, and still very appreciative.
    It felt good to have a real purpose for a room rather than just a mattress run. It was snowing out there- I really wouldn't have wanted to sleep in the car if I was him.....
     
  2. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,038
    Likes Received:
    2,757
    Status Points:
    1,445
  3. uggboy
    Original Member

    uggboy Gold Member

    Messages:
    50,182
    Likes Received:
    133,438
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Ditto! + 1 !
     
  4. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,531
    Likes Received:
    61,942
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Wonderful story for any time of the year. Especially nice for the holidays.
    Thanks for gifting your rooms and thanks for sharing the story.
     
    sobore, IDGflygirl, KathInJax and 2 others like this.
  5. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    440
    Status Points:
    500
    You rock.

    That is all.
     
  6. Global Explat
    Original Member

    Global Explat Silver Member

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    314
    Status Points:
    470
    :) thanks for the kind words. But I think it was a fairly basic human response to the situation. Just nice, really, that I was in a position to help out when it mattered..
     
  7. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    440
    Status Points:
    500
    I agree with you that it was a fairly basic human response to the situation.

    It deserves kind words because, in my experience, such responses seem to be rather rare. I'm glad you were there to help out.
     
  8. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    The story continues:

    A few days later, the OP received his credit card bill for the stays. He was surprised to learn that the minibar's contents had been completely consumed, a 197 minute call to South Asia was placed (conveniently billed at 200% of operator-assisted dialing rates) and a breakfast comprising 15 Belgian waffles, three orders of turkey sausage and a small pot of coffee was delivered by room service at 7:54am.

    ;)

    It was a thoughtful gift...but beware of the risks.
     
  9. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    And the room was rockstar-trashed.

    I agree thoughtful and admirable, but not at all without risks.
     
    MSPeconomist and Global Explat like this.
  10. KennyTheBull

    KennyTheBull Active Member

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    30
    Status Points:
    95
    If we based all of our decisions on what "could" happen, we wouldn't leave the bed in the morning. Anything worthwhile involves risk, and I think I would have done the same thing as the OP.
     
  11. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,531
    Likes Received:
    61,942
    Status Points:
    20,020
    The fact that there were risks in trusting a stranger makes Global Explat's actions more admirable. Bravo!
     
  12. Global Explat
    Original Member

    Global Explat Silver Member

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    314
    Status Points:
    470


    OH NO!!!.

    I just checked my cc statement and had to call the hotel about an "unexpected" charge to my account.



    Spoke to the front desk, who agreed with me that the $9.95 I'd been charged for the internet service should have been complimentary, and put me through to accounting to reverse it....

    No other unexpected charges.

    ;)
     
  13. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    This is what I was thinking, but without the imaginative details.
     
    Global Explat likes this.
  14. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I'm willing to accept risk - but not stupid, downside-only risk. I know two families that were abused "couchsurfers" - long distance calls and pay-per-view on in-home cable. I recognize this is the minority of the outcomes, but it shouldn't be overlooked.

    The OP could have achieved the same generosity yet protected himself with a call to the desk limiting charging/calling privileges.
     
  15. Global Explat
    Original Member

    Global Explat Silver Member

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    314
    Status Points:
    470

    & thats precisely what I did check.... Turned out that because the room wasnt the "primary room" out of the three, it automatically had no rights to bill to the room (room service or phone) Must be a regular thing with multiple room bookings? Doesn't protect from someone who is intent on stealing the towels and the bathrobe, or smoking all night in a non-smoking room, but ensures at least some protection ...
     
    OceanBreezes and NYBanker like this.
  16. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Interesting. I've never heard of this designation. Helpful.
     
    Global Explat likes this.
  17. Global Explat
    Original Member

    Global Explat Silver Member

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    314
    Status Points:
    470
    Neither had I...
     
    NYBanker likes this.

Share This Page