A woman confirmed a TikTok hotel hack that has been circulating the platform: how to get free upgrades at hotels.
TikTok user Sara’s (@the3.mouseketeers) video starts off with a stitch from TikToker @couponwithKayla about how to snag free upgrades at hotels.
“If you’re ever at a hotel or going on a plane, go up to the desk and ask if they have any free upgrades available,” @couponwithKayla says.
Sara says as the wife of a hotel general manager “for a very large brand,” she confirms that simply asking a hotel whether they have any upgrades available almost always gets you a free upgrade. Sara later confirmed in the comments section that her wife works for Hilton hotels.
However, there is a flaw to it, Sara says.
“You cannot book through third-party sites like Expedia or hotels.com,” Sara explains to her viewers. “It has to be directly through that hotel.”
Ultimately, this was “up to the front desk’s discretion” whether or not someone is able to receive free upgrades, she clarifies.
One of the examples she provides was if a customer “comes in hot and bothered” demanding a free upgrade, “they’re not going to give it to you.” However, if you’re nice and ask the same question politely, “they’ll probably give it to you,” the TikToker says.
Sara wraps up the video by stating that hotels typically price match. If you find the same or better deal through a third-party site, the hotel might charge you the same rate if you “call the hotel,” “tell them the rate you saw” and “provide proof.”
@the3.mouseketeers #stitch with @couponwithkayla #savemoney #savemoremoney #waystosavemoney #frugallivingtips #frugalliving #frugallivinghacks #hotelhacks #hotelupgrades #freehotelupgrades ♬ original sound – Sara
The Daily Dot reached out to Sara via email and TikTok comment for more information. The video racked up over 242,000 views as of Monday, where alleged former and current hotel workers emphasized booking hotels directly through the hotel’s website.
“Worked at Hilton, never 3rd party, also be nice to everyone, you mean to some one in house keeping everyone knows,” one alleged former worker wrote.
“As someone who works in hotels this is true,” a second agreed.
“Former shift lead here. Expedia and Agoda etc almost always have hidden fees too. BOOK DIRECT CALL IF YOU HAVE TO,” a former hotel manager urged.
Others shared their experiences with getting free upgrades by simply being nice to the hotel front desk and staff.
“I had a nice woman upgrade my hotel in NYC because I told her I was bringing my friend for the first time. she gave us a better view on a higher floor,” one person shared.
“This happened to me once, just because I was nice and understanding the front desk lady upgraded me for free,” a second stated.
“The worst they can do is say no! It has almost always worked for me kindness is key,” a third confirmed.
Sara wasn’t the only one to go viral about this trick. In December 2022, a former hotel worker issued a public service announcement about booking hotels through third-party websites. User @danibeeating warned her followers that booking through third-party websites are scam. Instead, customers should contact the hotels, and more often than not, they will get a better deal.
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*First Published: Jan 9, 2023, 4:00 pm CST
Melody Heald is a culture writer. Her work can be found in Glitter Magazine, BUST Magazine, and more.