from Atlanta, Georgia
Submitted on 28-07-2016
My wife and I stayed at the Hilton at terminal 4 the night before our return flight to the US. We were on a cruise that docked in Southampton mid-morning, and arrived at the hotel around midday. We asked if our room that I paid to upgrade after receiving an emailed offer was ready, and we were offered an interior-facing room that was available. At the time of check-in, I asked about transportation to Terminal 3 the next morning to catch our American Airlines flight. In the past, we had staye...
My wife and I stayed at the Hilton at terminal 4 the night before our return flight to the US. We were on a cruise that docked in Southampton mid-morning, and arrived at the hotel around midday. We asked if our room that I paid to upgrade after receiving an emailed offer was ready, and we were offered an interior-facing room that was available. At the time of check-in, I asked about transportation to Terminal 3 the next morning to catch our American Airlines flight. In the past, we had stayed here and simply walked to Terminal 4 nearby because our flight left from there. I thought that the hotel might have a shuttle van for guests, but the desk clerk told us that it was a "5 minute taxi ride . . .no problem." We went to our room and found it to be fairly basic and a bit tired-looking. We used the free Wi-Fi, relaxed most of the day, and slept quite soundly in the comfortable bed. The next morning we arose and gathered our luggage of 4 checked bags and 2 carry-ons. We went down to the lobby to ask for a cab as directed at check-in, and a supercilious young man at the bell stand told us that we "should have put our name on the list" the night before. He said that there were a lot of people needing taxis, and a shortage of taxis. This was very unwelcome news, and I wondered why the desk clerk had not made this suggestion when we checked in. The bell stand man also told us we would need a van for all our bags, and that he would "put us on the list." We had anticipated a relaxing morning, having taken to heart the information given to us that it was an easy 5-minute taxi ride to the terminal, and now we were worried about this unexpected obstacle interfering with our catching our flight. There were signs near the check-in counter attesting to a Hilton pledge to "make it right" if there were problems, so I shared this experience with the desk clerk on duty. She expressed sympathy that we had not been informed about the need to reserve a taxi in advance, but this was the total extent of Hilton Hotels' effort to "make it right." I thought that a taxi would be along shortly, but then discovered another problem that would have been comic if not for the time that it wasted. The bell stand apparently ordered us a van / taxi, but this was not communicated to the woman assigned to the hotel driveway who was putting guests in each taxi as it arrived with no reference to whom it was intended for. In other words, whoever was standing outside the doors of the hotel was put in the next taxi regardless of whom it was intended for. I tried to bring this to the attention of the bell stand and the woman in the drive several times to no avail. Eventually, the concierge got involved and a van was ordered that we boarded, 35 minutes after we first requested a cab. As I got into the van, I was subjected to the Hilton employee outside lecturing me about her taking exception to my expressing my frustration to her (politely and calmly but firmly). Yes, we made our flight, but it was rushed and very stressful. While we were riding to Terminal 3, our taxi driver received a call from the hotel asking what room we had been in, and we gave him the number to share with the hotel person who called. I (stupidly, it turned out) thought that perhaps an adjustment to our bill would take place to "make it right," but I was mistaken. It is baffling to me how this astounding lack of attention to detail, and apparent poor training and inadequate communication among staff, exist at a hotel property whose guests uniformly go to Heathrow Airport. This is not an inexpensive hotel, and I expected better.