Our Fabulous Fridays topic this week is about a machine that can help travelers making last minute (emergency) purchases of electronic gadgets at the airport hotel.
It’s easy to forget or lose a charging device or headphones while traveling and if you arrive at night stores are often closed so it’s good to be independent of shop opening times if it’s really urgent.
I can’t count the amount of cables, chargers, sunglasses and other gadgets I’ve misplaced over the last decade of traveling and changing hotels frequently certainly doesn’t help. I’ve come to accept it as part of the game but it’s nevertheless annoying and inconvenient if it’s a charger and your computer or cellphone goes dead when you need it.
When staying at the Hilton Madrid Airport hotel yesterday I saw this vending machine which sells adaptors and charging devices in the hotel lobby, admittedly at pretty hefty (insane) prices. I walked around a bit and found that the two shops inside the hotel were closed very early and the airport terminal is a 15 min shuttle ride away.
Often hotels offer such devices at the minibar for even higher prices but that’s mostly the case in Asia and wasn’t available here. I also called the guest services hotline and was told the hotel could borrow me an adaptor plug but doesn’t carry chargers just to see if this vending machine doesn’t just extort guests for services that should otherwise be provided by the hotel.
Vending machines such as these are also popular in the U.S. and those branded by BestBuy often carry a wide range of electronics including Apple products. I’ve never seen them at a hotel though, mostly at Airports.
It’s always good to give the traveler additional options even if they come with a premium. Sometimes it’s better to eat an additional fee and move on with your life especially since losing or forgetting your item was the guests fault to begin with – no choice there!
It’s reasonable that a hotel doesn’t carry chargers for computers and cellphones though I previously took pictures of the charging stations that some hotels have now installed in the lobby. Adaptors should be the standard inventory of each hotel though, especially an airport hotel, and those should be borrowed to guests free of charge as was the case here.