Skift Take

Loyalty pays, as Kimpton has shown. But so does customer service that goes beyond the basics.

One of the bigger complaints of travelers today is that they’re being nickel and dimed for everything along the way from point A to point B.

From ticket surcharges, to food and drink on a flight, to resort fees, to Wi-Fi fees, to the minibar, the extras travelers pay for along the way often define their journey more than what happened there or how they made it there and back.

That’s why this insert card at a Kimpton hotel goes against the trend:
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If Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary¬†saw this list he would only see dollar (or Euro) signs. Forgotten toothbrush? $3. TSA took your contact lens solution? $6.50. Need a plastic baggie to get past the TSA with your approved liquids? $1 each.

When you check in at a Kimpton these days you can be reassured that you won’t be paying anything extra unless you make a deep dive into the minibar.

Individual Kimpton hotels have greater autonomy than most properties that are part of a chain. Design is different from property to property, and local managers can decide to add their own touches, whether that be Nook e-readers in New York City or goldfish in New Orleans. But they do stick to the basics when it comes to customer service.

As the placard demonstrates, if you’ve forgotten just about anything, they’ll get it for you. And if you join the hotel chain’s loyalty program, you’ll have your Wi-Fi and a $10 reduction in mini-bar charges taken care of. Like other hotel chains that have realized they can buy loyalty by waiving surcharges on Wi-Fi, Kimpton sees this as an easy win.

But they don’t go to too far. On a recent stay in a property by a Skift staffer, a request for a DVD player was met with an apologetic, “we don’t have those.” So using Netflix to stream a movie was required.

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Tags: fees, kimpton, loyalty

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