This is a new series called Whine Wednesdays that is not about me whining about wines (maybe if an airline serves non-Champagne sparkling wine as champagne), but rather some travel related issues that annoy me. These semi-forced donations that some hotels (mainly SPG ones in Asia) try to automatically collect is 3 on the 1 to 10 annoyance scale.
Hotels outside of the Starwood ones in Asia don’t normally do this, but I came across this last week at the Hilton Aberdeen TreeTop hotel in Scotland. They had this display on the front desk that they were automatically adding a pound to each hotel folio to support Hilton Foundation.
It would be fine IF they would ask at the time of check out for a pound donation for this foundation, but it is not ok that they add it automatically to each and every bill and you then have to ask them to remove it at the time of checking out.
Normally, you could just leave the hotel, but now you are required to stop by the front desk to have it removed for those that decide not to participate.
This same happens with the UNICEF and SPG in Asia. The donation is usually added to the bill and not by request but usually automatically. You have to request to have it removed.
Let’s think about this for a moment. Both of these hotel companies get free positive publicity by forcing these donations down their guests throats. Asking for the donation at the time of checking out instead of adding it to each and every folio automatically would be ok, but obviously wouldn’t be as effective.
I treat this the same way as I treat seat switcheroos in the airplanes. If you are already sitting on my preassigned seat and request me to switch seats with you, I always decline (unless it would be an upgrade). If you, however, ask me to switch seats with you and the other seat is equal or better, I usually don’t mind switching.