10am check-in for IHG Spire Elites

Last week, IHG sent out an email to Spire Elite members advising them of a new benefit of the program: 10am early check-in based on availability. That’s a nice benefit to have if it works out, though it seems that this is going to be up to the hotel’s discretion — which isn’t much of a change in reality.

This new benefit is included in the chart of elite benefits at IHG’s website:

And here is what the website says in those two superscripts (3 and 6):

  • Subject to availability.

  • Spire Elite members may check in as early as 10 a.m. Please select early arrival as a stay preference in your reservation confirmation.

Based on those two statements, I’m not sure that this benefit is really anything new at all in the sense that a hotel has always been able to let you check in early if a room was available. I think the biggest benefit will be in getting this confirmed in writing before arrival. If you can receive confirmation from the hotel at least a few days in advance, you can plan accordingly rather than merely hoping you can get checked in early when you arrive.

Bottom line

I think it’s nice to put the policy in writing, though in practice I rarely have trouble with early check-ins with any chain when there is availability and I have booked directly. The only times in recent years when I haven’t been able to check in early were times when I’m fairly certain that the hotel was full and there just wasn’t an available room yet.

That said, I’m sure I’ve been somewhat lucky and there are likely some markets where early check-in just isn’t normally offered. In those instances, having a policy in writing may turn out to be a benefit. Furthermore, it says in the details that you can request the early check-in ahead of time and the property will confirm or deny the request a few days before arrival. Assuming you are notified before the end of the cancellation period, you would at least have the option to contact another hotel and consider changing your reservation.

H/T: Loyalty Traveler via Larry K

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Comments

  1. WHOOPEEE! I have never had a problem checking in with any hotel in any part of the world, as long as a room was available. I can recall having to wait only once in the last 7 years, and it was because the hotel was fully booked.
    I am a Spire Elite Ambassador and the benefits are worth very little to me.

  2. They need to give free breakfast. I can get free breakfast and lounge access with spg, marriot and hilton, but not with them…

  3. I was a Spire Elite and tried early check in (noon) at InterContinental Paris (Le Grand) last year. Despite having given them a heads up – sorry no room available, but maybe in an hour. No biggie. We went sightseeing instead. Went back two hours later at the standard check in time… still no room available! WTF? I mean, at this time they should’ve had the room for any customer, and the front desk was well aware that a Spire Elite had been waiting for two hours! We went for another long stroll, came back, oh sorry just a few more minutes… in the end we were allowed to get to the room 1.5 hours AFTER the standard check in time.

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