Hotel Pet Peeves: Guests Shut the Door on Wi-Fi, Outlet Shortages

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3.) Cigarette Smoke Odor

Here’s where things get shaken up a bit.  This bronze medalist, elegantly summed up by ANC as “non-smoking rooms that smell like an ash tray,” is a new contender in our survey, and has taken the spotlight away from the usual suspects.

Whether travelers are allergic, sensitive, or just put off by the smell of cigarette smoke, it’s clear that, while indoor smoking may have been legally eradicated years ago, its odors continue to negatively affect hotel guests.  FlyerTalk user timfountain hypothesizes that many smoking rooms “were converted to non-smoking by unscrewing the placard on the door designating it as a smoking room!”

A hint of residual cigarette smoke odor can be disruptive for some, but that pales in comparison to cigar smoke, according to FlyerTalker Jasatt.  He recounted a recent experience in which, due to a late arrival, he was forced to stay in a smoking room despite his non-smoking preference.  The stench was so bad that Jasatt set out to deodorize it with expensive perfume, and even that failed to alleviate his discomfort.


Hotels continue to undergo multi-million dollar renovations, adding more rooms and offering new amenities, but often overlook some of the fundamental needs of its guests.  Providing reliable Internet and putting new outlets in guestrooms, for example, would be a relatively inexpensive and quick way to improve the quality of a hotel stay.

The need for (Internet) speed is only going to increase in years to come, and hotels need to catch up by offering the fastest Internet connection possible at a reasonable price.  With connectivity becoming increasingly important for the mobile worker, hotels that offer reliable Internet are gaining a leg up on other hotels that are lagging behind.


Results for this Frequent Business Traveler poll are based on online surveys conducted between February 6 and March 14, 2014, with a random sample of 1,521 adults, with an average age of 44.1 years.  Of that group, 74.6% reside in the United States, 6.5% were in Canada, 11.1% are in Europe, and 2% are in Asia/Pacific.  All 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia were represented.

For results based on the total sample group, one can state with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2.1 percentage points.

The survey was designed by Basex, a market research firm.  Through organic and viral contact, we received 1,521 complete responses from frequent travelers.

The respondents to the 2014 Hotel Pet Peeves Survey are highly educated.  Within the pool of survey takers, 44% completed college, 33.1% earned a masters degree, and 12.9% have a Ph.D.  In this group, 84.5% were male and 15.5% were female.

While this group is not at all reflective of American society as a whole, it is reflective of a population that travels frequently.  Underscoring that, 93% are members of more than one hotel loyalty program and 90.1% are members of more than one frequent flyer program.

Karin Sun contributed to this article.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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