I was in the middle of cleaning my house one afternoon when I received a phone call. The woman on the other line started speaking to me in Spanish and asking if I enjoyed my stay at the (unnamed) hotel a few weeks ago. I asked her where she was calling from and she told me she was calling on behalf of a major hotel brand's housekeeping staff who had been laid off during the pandemic. While I found this odd, it was also intriguing, so I sat down and had a conversation with her.
She went on explain that the hotel has yet to rehire any of the housekeeping staff now that the hotel is open at full capacity. Her and her fellow housekeepers were told they would be rehired, and are now struggling to find work elsewhere while the hotel has removed daily room service for "safety" purposes...and still charging travelers top dollar.
The conversation got me thinking about my recent hotel stays. I definitely noticed a difference in staffing. While the rooms were fairly clean, staff was severely lacking. There were issues keeping up with the breakfast rush at one hotel. Two employees at the front desk were handling everything from check-in to running up room requests for bathroom amenities at another. Our stay at a 5 star hotel was much better, even though the electronic door lock died while we were out and we were displaced until the technician made his way to us and figured out how to get in.
Travel complaints are going beyond the hotel industry. Restaurants have slow service due to a lack of employees, flights are being cancelled at an alarming rate, and travel restrictions are still changing daily. What is one to do?
Right now, the only thing I can do is to guide my clients to the best venues based one their expectations and budget, as well as setting realistic expectations based on what I and my fellow travel advisors are experiencing ourselves. We must also keep the employees' situations in mind as we hit little road blocks on our travels.
Remember...a cancelled flight is not the fault of the worn out flight attendant and a hotel not checking you into the right room category isn't the front desks fault. Try to stay calm and try not to let it ruin your trip.