Confirmed Reservation (Sheraton DUS), but still turned away

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  MartynSinclair 17 Feb 2014
at 14:54

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  • Anonymous


    This was a brand new experience for me.

    I had a confirmed reservation last night at the Dusseldorf airport Sheraton, which was checked by the Westin Frankfurt staff before I left Frankfurt.

    Arrived at the hotel to a line of guests at check in, with only 1 agent checking in.

    My turn came, “sorry you have no reservation”

    I said it must be a mistake, but the check in agent said my reservation had been cancelled in the morning. I suggested this was an error, as the Westin staff had checked at midday and all appeared ok.

    I asked to see the manager on duty, who confirmed the same thing… and they were full!

    I took her card and that the GM (who “wasn’t in house, as it was the weekend”) – I noticed the title of the Manager on Duty – she was an Executive Secretary….

    What concerns me besides the fact that I got turned away with a confirmed reservation, is hotel management seem able to leave their hotels in the hands of completely inept staff over the weekend. They may argue its the weekend, but a full hotel clearly needs an effective duty manager.

    The other concern is that the hotel didn’t even appear to care, no real apology, no email – nothing!

    Amazing experience…………… just waiting to see if anyone contacts me off their own backs to apologize, before I make a posting on the SPG website….


    This was all you needed after a long day! Dreadful service. I would have thought they would have arranged for a room at another hotel (with some form of compensation) as sounds like a straightforward overbooking situation. Who did they say cancelled it?


    If it was a guaranteed reservation, with a credit card, then they have a duty to accommodate you. They should be able to show how the reservation was cancelled.

    It it was on a 12noon release(a rather old-fashioned way of booking rooms) then you would not have any comeback as the reservation is on the basis that it will be reconfirmed before that time.

    But I actually can’t see any rate like that for that hotel.


    NIRScot – it was on a guaranteed basis & late check in was confirmed by the Westin staff earlier in the day.

    The Executive Secretary did confirm that the person who cancelled it can be ID’d, but as it was the weekend, nothing could be done until Monday.

    No alternative hotel was offered due to a Messe in DUS. So I turned around and went back to Frankfurt…


    Hello Martyn

    I wonder what time you checked in ?

    It shouldn’t happen, of course, but this reader was overbooked by the Marriott Courtyard in Hanover during a trade fair in 2010.

    It happened even though he had pre-paid a hefty Euros 310 “event rate” which, knowing how hotels work at trade fair time, was probably non-refundable.

    He only discovered the fact when calling en route for directions to this particular hotel.

    But in this case, Marriott had switched his booking to another, albeit not of the same standard, hotel.

    In the end, Marriott resolved the matter to the reader’s satisfaction.


    You should have stood your ground Martyn rather than be inconvenienced by a glorified secretary. Some years ago this happened to me in Germany (can’t remember where but could well have been DUS) and I refused to leave till they gave me a room. Same excuse, manager off duty when asked.

    In the end they called the “Polizei” who came with their blues and twos blaring and threatened me with arrest if I did not leave. I asked for the name of their commandant as I wished to report a case of fraud. At first they laughed at me then I showed them my confirmed reservation in which I had pre-payed for the room and which I was being denied access to.

    I maintained this was taking money by false pretences and now the “duty manager” was seriously worried as the police were taking my side saying this was giving Germany a bad name as the hotel seemed to be cheating tourists and if the booking wasn’t honoured they would allow my complaint of fraud.

    End result, real manager turned up, my room was upgraded to a suite, I received a free dinner with wine, breakfast and a full refund with a voucher for a complimentary stay!!!

    Moral of the story. Don’t give in especially if you have a guaranteed reservation 😉


    1. the reservation was made by the Sales Director at the Westin, first night FFM & the second night DUS. I am a regular guest at the Westin FFM

    2. I received a Sheraton confirmation email and reservation number

    3. A member of the Executive Club at the Frankfurt Westin, called the Sheraton at Midday day Saturday, to confirm the larger sized room and that I would be arriving ca. 6pm. The room was guaranteed against my Amex card for a late arrival… (i.e. I would be charged for the room, if I didn’t turn up).

    4. attempted to check around 6.30pm and turned away as the room had been cancelled at 9am Saturday morning (!) by an hotel agent, who was identifiable (no reason given for the cancelled reservation)

    5. The most senior person at the hotel on Saturday night was an Executive Secretary (that’s what was printed on the business card handed to me)

    6. I didn’t stand my ground as I had a client with me and we were going to eat…

    I still find it astonishing, that a full hotel can be run by an executive secretary on a Saturday night when the hotel is turning confirmed reservations away…

    Oh… I am Plat Spg, (with Ambassador status)…(but that didn’t seem to throw any weight)…


    Please to confirm that the GM has now called me and discussed the events.

    Whilst it is fair to say, our versions do differ slightly, we have agreed to put closure by having dinner next time I am overnighting in DUS…

    To provide fair reporting:

    1. I had assumed my booking, made through the Westin was a guaranteed booking against my credit card – apparently it was not…. but the GM confirmed the reservation was cancelled by “human error”

    2. the duty manager was indeed an Executive Secretary (the GM’s secretary), but I was assured she was a trained and knowledgeable duty manager. I explained the contradiction of a duty manager presenting a business card with the title Executive Secretary.

    3. I still don’t quite understand how my booking was cancelled and the reservation was confirmed by a member of the Westin team after the event…

    On a positive note, the GM did follow this thread on BT Forum and I have encouraged him to contribute….

    I am looking forward to having dinner…………… and I will not be ditching my SPG card……….. yet 🙂 !!!


    A fair and balanced report Martyn, thanks for closing the chapter for us and good of the GM to contact you. I’m glad it was resolved to your satisfaction though it must have been a bit of a long journey from DUS back to FRA?


    MS – I’m glad you got this sorted out, and I’m sure the GM will look after you very well on your next visit.

    Btw, and for what it’s worth, I often had members of the team in the role of Duty Manager, many you would perhaps not expect to perform that role; e.g. the Executive Secretary – A GM’s secretary usually knows everything that’s going on in the hotel! We would have had the Head Housekeeper, and sometimes even the Maintenance Manager step into the Duty Manager role, but usually only with a “quiet” hotel and also with other departmental HODs at work to call upon if necessary.

    We had a daily brief to discuss the business in the hotel, with all managers and heads of departments, and every one of them would attend and be in possession of the events/business of the day.

    I used to love being the Duty Manager when I was a mere Sales Manager, they would give me a big bunch of keys, I could make decisions I wouldn’t normally get involved with, and I loved it! I could rake around the hallowed office of the housekeeper and find out where she would hide the pillow choccies! Access all areas! I suppose that’s what made me decide to take the job as GM ….. then reality hit ….. LOL!

    I do hope your GM contributes, it would be great to have input from a current hotelier.

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