I booked a room at a Super 8 hotel for myself and three other mothers who were attending a conference in Washington, D.C. We knew that it was cheap and would be a simple room, but we were OK with that because we would be arriving late and leaving early. Upon arriving at midnight, I was told that there was only one room left, and it was a smoking room. I insisted that I did not reserve a smoking room. The man at the front desk said that it was all that was available and he could do nothing.
We went up to the floor where the room was, and two of the moms could not get out of the elevator due to the smoke burning their eyes. The other mom and I checked out the room for about two seconds and realized there was no way we could stay there. I told the man at the front desk this, and we walked out. It was after midnight, and we had nowhere to go. I have since contacted Hotwire a few times about this. I was told that I should have used a filter online to determine nonsmoking from smoking. A side note: I am from Minnesota, where the Clean Air Act protects those of us who choose not to smoke or be affected by secondhand smoke, so this has never been an issue. Finally, a Hotwire rep said the company could do nothing about my claim because the man (the night-shift guy who was more interested in his phone) didn’t make a note of our not being able to use the room because of the smoke smell. I am a longtime Hotwire customer with no previous complaints, and Hotwire is siding with the night-shift employee at a Super 8 who didn’t follow-up by noting my complaint? While the amount I lost is not a lot, I am truly disappointed by Hotwire’s unwillingness to try to work something out. Is this something you can help with?
Michelle Palenschat, St. Paul, Minnesota
Email Christopher Elliott at email@example.com.