W Hollywood hotel won't let you in the pool? How to get what you paid for from hotels and airlines

Get the hotel or airline amenities you paid for
Get the hotel or airline amenities you paid for

During a recent stay at Starwood's W Hollywood hotel in Los Angeles, despite the fact I was paying $230 a night for my stay, I was denied access to the pool. It was listed among the amenities I was getting for my top dollar, but because the W makes money by contracting with a Vegas-style promoter that devotes the pool deck to hipsters from the outside world, I was stopped at the door.

I wrote in detail about the W Hollywood insult on our sister site devoted to smart travel, Gadling.com. That post captured a fair bit of media attention from the likes ofThe Economistand Consumerist.com.

I call this getting "ripped off." And there are ways you can protect yourself from it when other hotels and airlines try it.