Early check-in is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. Don't get me wrong, if I have a room free and you come in early, you can have it. We don't make people wait till 3. But when people make a reservation, my hotel chain gives them to option to check early check-in as a request. This is a request. It's not guaranteed. Additionally, so many people check off this request and then don't come early that it's essentially useless. I usually ignore it unless the person has called in to request early check-in. And then there are the ones who do neither.
I checked in a woman last week. Comes up to the front at 11:30am.
Woman: Checking in.
Me: Your name? (she gives me her name, and I pull up her reservation. The room isn't ready, and since she's part of a wedding group I'm not moving her to a higher floor so the non-wedding guests can be disturbed at 2 in the morning. I look for other rooms on that floor, nothing). I don't have any rooms available just yet. I can check with housekeeping, hopefully I can have something ready in about an hour?
Woman: Well, why isn't the room ready now?
Me: Umm, check-in's at 3. I have housekeeping working on early check-in rooms (which I did, for people who had requested them), but we don't have you here as requesting an early check-in.
Woman: I didn't know I needed to request an early check-in!
Well, then how are we supposed to know you're coming early? I'm sorry, my psychic abilities aren't working today, try again tomorrow. Yesterday a woman (who had actually checked off that early check-in request) came in at 8:30am, and my manager fell all over herself apologizing that we didn't have any rooms available because we had sold out the night before. Don't be sorry, it's 8:30 in the morning! Check-out isn't even till noon!
I love it when people come in so early (before 12, I would say), and I go: Let me see what I have available. They think I'm talking about reservations, and say: No, I have a reservation. Me: Yes, I see that, but check-in's not till 3. Them: But I requested an early check-in.
Early check-in is never, ever, GUARANTEED! Especially if you have a request for connecting or side-by-side rooms. If you call to confirm your connecting request and I say we have one set of rooms in the hotel that can accommodate that, do not traipse in with five suitcases at 11am unless you've called to confirm. Because I can practically promise it won't be ready.
And don't even get me started on the people who won't give me the time they want (probably because it's ridiculously early and they know I won't do it), but instead turn it around on me. I originally wrote the below conversation as Joe Smith, but then changed it because it is invariably a woman who does this.
Jane: Hi, this is Jane Smith. I'm coming in this Friday, and wanted to request an early check-in.
Me: Okay, let me put in that request for you. What time did you want to arrive?
Jane: Well, what's the earliest time I can check-in?
For those who really want to know, I would consider an early check-in 12pm. Not before.