*grins* Finally got around to penning a complaining letter to the hotel by the airport in Liverpool regarding the prices and customer service / relations!
To whom it may concern.
I feel I have to say something about this, so here goes.
We had the misfortune of encountering one of your hotels, The Crown Plaza, John Lennon Airport, Liverpool,
Uk, to be exact. in the first week of this new year. Let me paint you the picture.
I am a British man, who has married a dutch lady, and subsequently moved across to Holland. Having spent the last 3 new years in The Netherlands, we decided to head across to my home country in order to give an impression of British hospitality to my wife. As it happened, the weather had other ideas, and kept us mostly snowed in for the time of our visit.
Upon our leaving date, the snow was particularly heavy. All public transport was cancelled. All planes, cancelled. We were stranded. As Liverpool airport is approximately 8 miles from the city center our options were limited. Stay at the airport, or find a hotel on foot. We chose the latter, and ventured out into the snow, which was now several inches deep. Having attempted to book in two hotels we passed along the way to no avail due to, of course, the many passengers who had been foiled in their attempt to fly, and the other hotel’s close proximity to the airport. Eventually we arrived, tired, bedraggled, and cold in the afore mentioned hotel of your chain.
Now, I am a man of natural good spirits. having just carried our luggage and attempted to maintain my wife’s humour and mine near the surface, the toil we had just been through had taken its toll. Suffice to say I was glad to be in the warm. The queue for the booking in desk was impressive, but was dealt with succinctly enough from all which I could gather from the peoples reactions. The came our turn, to-whit when inquiring as to room availability my wife was told a flat out "No. We have no rooms!".
You can imagine our surprise, ney our outrage, at the serendipity of such a remarkable coincidence that, we had landed at the hotel at the exact same time that they had run out of rooms. My wife, was suitably upset, having trekked so far in such conditions. She made it known to the person behind the desk that she was at breaking point because of our ordeal, which seemed to bare no weight with the delightful young lady serving us. The idea of returning outside to temperatures surpassing -10c was not an appealing one.
Now it just so happened that, a young presumably aspiring manager overheard our plight, and took the young lady to one side. Mysteriously between them, having seen us to be desperate, they managed to conjour forth a room which presumably had just been built, and so the young lady was not aware of it. I would hate to think that, because of our rather worse for ware appearance she had decided that we were not, "desirable". That would be awful now wouldn’t it? The young lady returned, and exclaimed "we do have a room for you… if you’d just like to sign here here here.." etc whilst neglecting to mention the price. Being a frugal sort of chap, and having worked in The Grand Hotel in Brighton, one of the top 5 hotels in the country whilst I was there, (although I would never express any kind of linkage between the two), I thought I should ask about this semantic kind of detail, and was duly started at the £120 price tag, which was for room only.
Having absolutely no option but to take the room, we went directly to it to change, and then returned to the bar, where by, fortune would have it, we bumped into another person who had been waiting for the same plane as ours. "Found your way here too? ", he jovially inquired. I assumed, due to our obvious being there, that this was rhetorical and trundled across to discuss quite what we thought would happen to our now rescheduled flight. Remarking upon costs incurred imagine my surprise when the figure of £69 was thrust upon me for how much it had cost this man for his lady and himself. I smelt a rat, and not one which you would keep as a pet either.
As it happened, we had yet to check the checkout time of the hotel, so, after having partaken of our drinks, we ambled back across to the front desk, where we were veritably astounded to see that people were still wandering in from the airport, and rooms were available for them, when, at least an hour earlier, the young lady had so abjectly stated that available rooms were something of an extinct commodity. I wonder if I can get away with calling a commodity "extinct"? Anyway, I digress and I’m sure you can ascertain exactly that which it is I am trying to portray to you.
I believe the word "incandescent" can be applied to someone who is cross, as well as some form of lighting equipment. I feel, were I to apply that descriptive to both myself and my wife, you might be missing quite some of the vehemence I wish to share with you. However, we were inside, it was warm, we had a bed, and indeed a good one at that, and access to a tv, whereby we could watch and wait to learn news of outbound flights for the morrow.
That is the story of our experience with your hotel. I’m sure you will be pleased to know that, we did make it home. Our flight was cancelled again and so using my initiative we secured transport in the form of a coach.
In summary, your hotel was excellent at actually accommodating us, i.e. providing shelter etc, however, I find both the treatment of ourselves initially, in denying us a room, and then the sudden manifestation of rooms, at vastly inflated prices, quite contemptible. The ethics demonstrated there are particularly awful. I find it highly unlikely that the young lady on the front desk forgot about the rooms which were still being sold at least two hours after we arrived, and I find the discrepancies in prices basically a way to take advantage of people who are within the grip of situations beyond their control. I can but wonder if the extra profit made really did justify quite how the hotel went about making it. I suspect not.