La Quinta Makes Negative Change To Pet Policy – Properties Can Now Charge A Pet Fee

La Quinta has announced a change to their policies and it’s a negative one if you ever stay at their properties with your dog.

Truffles Pepper

No more guaranteed free stays for pups like ours

One of La Quinta’s unique selling points has long been that it’s a pet-friendly chain. Not only that, but they didn’t charge a pet fee.

That can offer huge savings, especially if you’re traveling with a dog and just need somewhere to stay for one night. I’ve found that the majority of Hyatt Places are pet-friendly, but they tend to have a $75 pet fee when staying 1-6 nights. Pet-friendly Marriott properties are usually even more expensive, charging $100 regardless of your length of stay. That’s not bad if you’re staying a week or more, but is prohibitively expensive for a one night stop.

Seeing as many La Quinta properties can be booked for $75-$100, having your pet stay free effectively means you’d be getting the hotel room free when comparing prices to the pet fees Hyatt Place and Marriott pet-friendly properties charge.

La Quinta was bought by Wyndham about a year ago and they unfortunately appear to have followed Marriott’s lead in introducing a new customer-unfriendly policy while dressing it up as an enhancement that’s there for our benefit. Hidden in a recent email, they advised the following:

La Quinta by Wyndham has always been one of the pet-friendliest brands in the hotel business – we know pets are beloved members of the family, and we love welcoming and hosting them. As of January 2019, select hotels may now implement a small fee for guests staying with their pets, helping our hotels to continue providing the best possible experience for guests and the extended members of their families.

When checking their new pet policy, the following term has been added:

An optional pet fee may be charged at check in ($20 per night for maximum of $40 per stay per room). Authorized service animals are not subject to a pet fee.

Yep, charging guests $40 is providing them with a much better experience than when they were charged $0. And think of the poor dogs – that’s $40 less that can be spent on Kong toys and Greenies.

To be (slightly) fair to Wyndham, this isn’t as bad as it could have been. $20 per night with a maximum cost per stay of $40 is still far cheaper than the majority of pet-friendly hotels. However, when one of your brand’s USPs has been to offer pet-friendly accommodation with no fees, it’s not going to be the kind of change that enamors loyal La Quinta Rewards members to your takeover of their chain.

The good thing is that this change appears to have been left in the hands of individual La Quinta properties, so they’re free to continue not charging a pet fee if they wish. I imagine that customers with pets will have a lot to say when checking in if a pet fee isn’t prominently featured when booking, so it’d be interesting to know if feedback reverses a property’s decision to implement a pet fee.

Even if a pet fee is made clear when booking directly, many customers book their stays through an OTA. Hotels.com does a fairly good job of listing pet fees for properties, but it’s located at the bottom of the page. It’ll therefore be easily missed by guests who are used to there being no pet fee at La Quinta properties, as there’d be no reason for them to check for a fee.

We’re traveling full-time with our dog, so I’d been hoping Wyndham would follow La Quinta’s lead and eliminate pet fees from all their brands. Sadly, it’s gone the other way. That leaves Red Roof Inn and Kimpton as the only two hotel chains (that I’m aware of) that are all pet-friendly and don’t charge a pet fee.

Question

If you ever stay at La Quinta hotels with a pet, would a pet fee like this affect whether you book there? Let us know in the comments below.

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

About Stephen Pepper

Stephen Pepper is on a 5 year, 50 state road trip with his wife Shae and their dog Truffles. Finding opportunities to earn miles and points is one of the ways they can afford to do this, so he'll try to help you do the same for your own travels.

More articles by Stephen Pepper »

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Luke Vader
Guest
Luke Vader

We had a GSD rescue dog for almost 9 years and took her with us to two hotels: Kimpton and Red Roof Inn. As I recall, the Red Roof Inn had Pergo-type flooring, which would have made any spills or accidents easy to clean. For carpeted hotel rooms, I can definitely see how a hotel needs to assess a fee to cover extra cleaning that may accompany a pet [incident]. The thing is, it will vary from pet to pet. Most are well-behaved and house-broken, but pet-friendly hotels probably take a big gamble from guest/pet to guest/pet. I’m sure (some) hotel cleaning crews have encountered pet messes requiring serious cleanup, resulting in higher pet fees for everybody else.

Edit: A lot of pet-friendly hotels already have weight (i.e. size) restrictions on pets, typically around 50 pounds, which is a bummer if you have a large-breed dog.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Good Honest Post I Love dogs and they love me too..I have built many hotels with OSB board floors once pets do it u really can’t get it out .It’s just like a Sponge so No dogs for me But kids can be Worse.
CHEERS

pssst3
Guest
pssst3

A surprising number cap the weight ta 20 pounds, disqualifying my 14 year old 24 pound Lhasa (Tiberan terrier). She is a better house guest than most children. As a responsible owner, when I travel with her by car, I bring with everything I would need for first aid and to clean up if she ever had an accident.

I love dogs of all breeds, but each has its own unique set of issues. Large breeds, bless them, are short lived and while they will put up with a lot to stay near their people, they aren’t well suited to living in small strange boxes.

If you think that staying at a hotel with a dog is a bummer, try flying commercial with one. Dogs on plane are treated like hazardous baggage. All they get is air to breathe, and it isn’t “conditioned” until the plane is powered up at a gate and ready to take off. If you do fly, your first stop has to be for stuff that you can’t economically take as checked baggage.

As far as passing on high cost for dog messes to everyone else., every hotel can by law charge a guest responsible for damage for the full cost of the repair. It doesn’t matter whether they charge extra for a pet or require a deposit, that law covers them.

IMO Red Roof has the right idea with low maintenance rooms. We car-travel with bedding for our dog- fleece blankets, a sleeping pad and puppy pads to put under her water and food bowls.. All I need is a room with good lights, a good bed with clean linens and a bathroom where I don’t need to squat to use the toilet. I wouldn’t mind if every room in every motel (or my home) had hard floors, if they would copy the Japanese and provide each guest with a pair of disposable/recyclable slippers.

Linda L
Guest
Linda L

After staying at LaQuinta for a week of hard work out of town and constant dog noise I will never stay there again!!!

Pssst3
Guest
Pssst3

No one should needlessly suffer because of other guests at a badly managed hotel, or stay there for a week. Did you contact La Quinta Corporate or silently suffer amidst barking??

LQ’s pet policy is that guests are not to leave dogs unattended. Each guest at signin who travels with a dog is given a copy of the policy/terms. Often guests are required to sign a copy.

Hotels like homeowners are subject to “rightful enjoyment” laws. You have a right to privacy and not be disturbed unless your safety is endangered. If a nearby homeowner has barking dogs, you can summon the police. If the barking is persistent and chronic, you can demand that the dog be removed. In some localities the dog will be confiscated..

SImilarly, if a guest, child or dog acts in a manner that disturbs the privacy and right to peaceful enjoyment of other guests in their rooms, the offending guest can be required to leave.

If the hotel does not respond in a timely manner, you can summon the police.

MFB123
Guest
MFB123

I consider anything under $25/night ($100 for extended stay) to be reasonable..although I still contend that my dog is cleaner and more quiet than many people’s children. Overall, I don’t think it will make a big difference if I stay with LQ but Westin and Sheraton still have some properties that do not charge fees and those would probably be my preferred brands, even at a higher price point.

trackback

[…] La Quinta Makes Negative Change To Pet Policy – Properties Can Now Charge A Pet Fee by Frequent Miler. I can see why they made this change, but if you want to be seen as pet friendly then it’s really useful to have all properties under your brand accept pets. […]

Pssst3
Guest
Pssst3

Most hotels are independent and have a lot of latitude in what kind of services they provide. Only when they provide a service does it fall within a franchise agreement’s conditions. The LQ pet-friendly policy changed only slightly to reflect that some properties have different physical and competitive requirement that affect profitability.

All hotels accept human guests, but some don’t accept pets.. Accepting human guest doesn’t mean you don’t charge them for a stay. Accepting children doesn’t mean you don’t charge for them as added guests. Accepting pes doesn’t mean you don’t charge for them as added guests.

byw: There are pet motels (kennels). None of them accept human guests. Few of them charge a not-to-exceed charge of $40/stay. It’s more like $40/day.

Crazy Dog Lady
Guest
Crazy Dog Lady

This makes my wyndham points have even less value. Hey if you can find a decent Motel 6 they are pet friendly and will even leave the light on for you.

JESSIE2F
Guest
JESSIE2F

Totally agree. A bad business decision, as far as I’m concerned.

Pssst3
Guest
Pssst3

Finding a “decent Motel 6” requires more effort than finding a decent La Quinta Inn, because you also need to find a decent place to eat breakfast at extra cost. Some of us don’t like eating breakfast at a burger chain, prefer a buffet before hitting the road.

The “and we’ll leave the light on for you” catchphrase means as little as “and we are stil in business and have rooms for rent to you”. Leaving the lobby lights on doesn’t cost more than they’d lose by turning them off.

trackback

[…] La Quinta Makes Negative Change To Pet Policy – Properties Can Now Charge A Pet Fee by Frequent Miler. I can see why they made this change, but if you want to be seen as pet friendly then it’s really useful to have all properties under your brand accept pets. […]

Rusty
Guest
Rusty

Motel 6 is still pet fee-free, right?

Seth Yoder
Guest
Seth Yoder

My job involves a ton of travel — around 90% — so I stay in hotels most nights. I chose to stay at La Quintas mostly so I could build up points and bring my 2 pups along whenever I travel for fun. But now that this policy effectively means that La Quintas are going to end up being no different from many other hotels, I may have to re-evaluate my hotel chain of choice.

Toby
Guest
Toby

It would affect my booking. I travel with 3 dogs…and would probably search for the ‘no charge’ rooms before returning to Laquinta. Especially. if this was an extended road trip.

Shelley Winsworth
Guest
Shelley Winsworth

We are part of a large dog sport community that travels frequently (sometimes every weekend) with their dogs. We have always stayed at La Quinta because of their pet policy. Sometimes we host dog events where we could bring 20-30 + guests that rent a room for the weekend. Many of these people do not have $ 40.00 extra to spare, so I am quite certain they will be looking for alternate lodging where possible. I realize that there are not many hotels that are reasonable, but we are still very disappointed that the one hotel we could count on to stay with our pets has changed their policy.

Pssst3
Guest
Pssst3

I wonder how much you spend per dog per year for the other stuff it actually needs?

Pat S
Guest
Pat S

We will not be staying at La Quinta any more. Our dogs have traveled with us for years and never damaged anything or bothered anyone. We will find another place to stay as my opinion is that an extra $20 per dog on an $80 room is way too much. In the past we did enjoy our stays and we are “leave no trace” people, unfortunately we saw a lot of evidence that others do not understand the responsibility of having a dog.

Pssst3
Guest
Pssst3

$40 would be for a 2 dy of longer stay. Your dog isn’t worth 1/4 of what you you spend on yourself for a place to sleep?

World traveler
Guest
World traveler

Good! When we travel we DON’T want to hear barking dogs when we try to sleep. Dogs at breakfast! More than two dogs in a room! Read YELP, one woman boldly posted she brings in 3 dogs! There is NO way to get pet urine, pet hair, pet smells out of the carpets and what about humans who are sensitive to pet dander? Yes! Charge a fee! Charge it per pet! I’m tired of people dumping their dogs in the room and going out for the evening leaving the dogs to bark their hearts out. People should be more important than dogs.

Jerry
Guest
Jerry

Dont stay at lq then I have to listen kids yelling and running down the hallways at all hours and my dog is better behaved then a lot of kids.

Pssst3
Guest
Pssst3

I travel with a dog. I agree with all you wrote. I’d pay another $20 if it meant that my DOG could stay and sleep at a motel and sleep without being disturbed by bad owners with untrained dogs.

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[…] on Frequent Miler wrote about the change that LaQuinta hotels is making that allows individual properties to charge a pet fee. Before we started staying at the Candlewood Suites in New Braunfels, TX. the local LaQuinta was […]

Dotti c
Guest
Dotti c

Yeah good for them I stayed at one 2. Weeks ago and 2 digsnear me barked all night !! Not a good experience thryneed a separate dog section

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

I only stay at this hotel brand because of their pet policy. I’ve always been satisfied with the accommodations. If this were to change I sure as heck would not go out of my way to find a La Quinta .

Chris Magee
Guest
Chris Magee

We are Elite LQ members and the only reason we have been loyal Laquinta customer is because they did not charge a pet fee , nor did the biggest majority of them have any size issues/ restrictions. Which has been a life saver when you travel with big dogs. The addition of a pet fee in addition to the downhill slide of the cleanliness in the rooms ( which we have noticed in the last several LQ’s we have visited lately) will really make us look twice for another hotel chain that is more will to accommodate our needs.

J Stevenson
Guest
J Stevenson

We just stayed at our first LQ that charged us a pet fee – I just cancelled tonight’s reservation at another LQ that was going to do the same – we made reservations at another motel that does not charge the fee. If this was being done to give the maids a raise I might be okay with it since they are the ones that must do more work to clean a room of pet hair etc. but after talking to maids that is not the case. The LQs that are charging the fees are simply finding a way to put more money in their pockets. Very disappointing. The LQ I canceled even tried to tell me they had no choice since Wyndham bought them out – that is an out right lie- so I cancelled.

Diane Wheatley
Guest
Diane Wheatley

Yes a pet fee will absolutely effect my choice of hotel. We just stayed at a La Quinta in Corpus Christi Texas and we’re surprised when we were charged $23 for our dog. We’ve stayed at LQs across the country BECAUSE our dog stayed free. I will now be shopping for alternatives due to this change.

Bobi
Guest
Bobi

We have two small well behaved dogs and we stay at La Quinta when we travel BECAUSE of the no fee pet policy. I made a reservation tonight and heard about the policy which the clerk mistakenly said was in place but actually will start in April at that LQ. I made my reservation but that is the end of me and LQ in the future, sadly, I liked them and I liked them because they were good to me and my dogs, but I can’t afford to pay $20 per dog per night and I am a returns member, and I am totally disappointed.Now it will have to be Red Roof for us….

DogLover
Guest
DogLover

Just checked in at LQ in Little Rock. Have stayed here before since we found out they were pet friendly. No size limit. We have a Great Dane that weighs 188 lbs. At check in they said there was a 75 lb limit. Or a $50 fee. I told them I would be looking for somewhere else next time. And elevators are supposed to be only for dogs small enough to be held. Very disappointed with these changes.

JESSIE2F
Guest
JESSIE2F

In my opinion, a bad business decision by corporate and an even worse decision by owners that implement this charge. Will be looking at other properties that do not charge for pets. If I do pay a separate charge for my small dog, it will be at a hotel that offers more than LQ.

Pssst3
Guest
Pssst3

An overnight extra fee of $20 for a pet or a child isn’t a deal breaker IF there is SERVICE provided for that fee. A property that does NOT provide basic facilities for pets and does NOT do extra after-visit cleanup to assure the next customers have sanitary conditions does NOT deserve paying customers, human or otherwise.

Owning a dog and properly caring for it costs more than $800 a year. Professional services for dogs aren’t cheap, a bath can cost $20, grooming more than twice that for a long haired dog.

We expect a hotel to provide a safe and healthy room, clean, in good repair, and vermin-free. We have a reasonable expectation that a room will be free of bedbugs and fleas and have no roaches or conditions that would attract and nurture them,

If a previous guest was ill, we expect that extra care was be taken to clean and disinfect the room. If there was any kind of accident, we expect that there would be no trace of it when we checked in.

Every hotel that I’ve ever been to has a policy that allows them to charge for any kind of damage or excessive soiling caused by a quest. Many of those that allow pets require a deposit against pet damage that’s refunded after a checkout inspection. Only a few provided obvious extra service for the fee. (Some didn’t provide decent basic service for humans or pets).

We stayed at a LQ that was immaculate and well managed several times each year for more than a decade.. After I suggested that a small investment in putting aside an unused part of the landscaping as a low maintenance pet privy and providing waste bags, they did. Every time we returned, that hotel had been improved in one way or another. By late 2017 that property was beautiful. La Quinta sold it last year. (The new chain owners are maintaining the pet-friendly-no-fee policy for now.)

A La Quinta near my home where we would direct visitors to stay was well maintained and managed. We never stayed there but during my walk through it looked like a place I would enjoy staying. It was sold.

We stayed at another LQ whose idea of pet-friendly was tolerating them. They did nothing to accommodate pets. That property wasn’t well maintained for human guests. We only returned there once by necessity. Each time we saw a more empty parking lot. Soon afterward it was closed, sold and rehabbed.

Another LQ continued to book guests in rooms as those rooms were being remodeled, while fire doors were left open 24×7 and key access exterior security doors couldn’t be locked.

IMO, La Quinta Inns and Suites was a badly managed franchise and marketing company with some good ideas but not the capacity to execute them. If the new ownership can bring all its properties up to a uniform acceptable quality of service by managing them, not by selling them, then I will have no problem paying a little extra for my dog to stay with me.

liz walker
Guest
liz walker

I recently stayed at a Best Western with 2 dogs and 1 cat, no problem, no extra charge. The clerk said that Best Westerns were becoming pet friendly, I will check with them first over paying a charge. I travel cross country twice a year and its difficult finding a room at times, bring fido is an excellent app for finding pet friendly hotels.

J. Shugart
Guest
J. Shugart

We are on the road now with our dog and are planning to stay at a La Quinta for the night, as we usually do when we travel. We are very disappointed at this change in policy! We have been loyalty Member’s for a number of years, always staying at a La Quinta for this benefit. But no more. We will now be looking at other hotels to book on our trips. Too bad—— we liked La Quinta.

J&J

Betty P.
Guest
Betty P.

Yes, we travel across country 2X a year (WA to FL) and use LaQuinta, just starting out this trip Douglasville, GA no pet fee, West Memphis, AR $20. I was not aware of this change and not happy. I will no longer be a LaQuinta Elite member or will pick and choose where I stay.

Rebecka Quaid
Guest
Rebecka Quaid

Yes! The main reason we stay at La Quinta is their pet policy. Staying at one now and fell that Wyndham is leaving loyal customers of La Quinta with a bad taste in their mouths. Never received one email about my elite rewards status and what I should do. And the prices of the snack bar is shocking! $8 dollars for two can sodas a candy and crackers! No vending machines anymore so you are forced to go downstairs 8f you need anything. I’m sure my list will be growing

Jack
Guest
Jack

La Quinta just lost an 12 year patronising customer, Wyndham group is a bad decision. Good Bye La Quinta

Mom2LucyAbby
Guest
Mom2LucyAbby

I used to be a rewards member of the more upscale chains. The reason I switched my preference to LQ was precisely their pet policy. I recently stayed at an LQ in the Tampa area where the new policy was imposed. I was disappointed that I was not advised ahead of time when I booked the reservation. I booked on their web site, too. It won’t stop me from booking with them in a pinch but I am very disappointed. I am a responsible pet parent and I feel like my girls are very good, no barking, housebroken. I am sure, though, there are others who don’t give a rip.

Jenn Masfield
Guest
Jenn Masfield

I travel with a elderly cat that sleeps most of the day. I would think twice about staying with LA Quinta if they are going to charge a $20 pet fee per day. I have been staying at LaQuunta for the last 10 years. I will find a different hotel today in.

Noralee & Pete Storie
Guest
Noralee & Pete Storie

We travel a lot with 2 pets! We always stay at LaQuinta as they have almost always been “pet friendly with no fee”. Only rarely did we pay $10/pet! I recently tried to book a night at LaQuinta In Ardmore, OK, they no longer allow pets! I was told to call Motel 8, who also took no pets. Since we were using a small RV in spring, we chose a lovely RV Park. That would have been difficult in winter! Many RV Parks are seasonal! We have lots of LaQuinta points & would be willing to pay a small fee per night, $40 is high! We are senior citizens!! Having a number of years of experience at a senior management level, in the hospitality industry, I have learned in pain anything that makes a guest seek an alternative is detrimental to the properties revenues! Thanks for listening!!

fred
Guest
fred

i have been staying at LaQuinta the last 4 years because of the generous pet policy. I am responsible, keeping them quit and picking up the poo and not letting them leak on the columns or buildings. If where I stay starts charging a pet fee then I’ll just start driving straight through without stopping. I would leave a very nice tip because of no pet fee.

Max Kakaako
Guest
Max Kakaako

A deposit makes sense. If the pet causes damage, the customer pays. But a flat fee is simply a way to increase revenue for the hotel. Like the “mandatory” $1/night fee for a safe or the extra parking charge. I became a La Quinta member specifically because of its free pet policy. Sadly, IMHO, this is just Wyndham pumping fees to justify its acquisition. In the past, I didn’t even bother to check other properties when traveling. Now, however, I will take the extra few minutes to see if there are better deals, better properties and other options before defaulting to La Quinta.

Don Shepard
Guest
Don Shepard

I have been a LaQuinta customer for over 30 years. Always looked for the name when I travelled. That changes now. Now I will be shopping for hotels that allow dogs and comparing total cost/facilities. Thank you Wyndham!