Hotel employee tells negative reviewer she should be 'put on a diet'

When you're faced with a less-than-desirable hotel on vacation, it can only be described as one thing: disappointing.

It's not unusual for people to leave negative reviews on hotel booking sites to let others know that the hopefully idyllic stay may not be so dreamy after all.

One mom did just that after she booked a two-night stay at a budget hotel in Blackpool, England, to celebrate her second wedding anniversary, finding that the room left much to be desired.

Paying an admittedly small sum of the equivalent of $50, Emily Chance still wasn't pleased to find that the property needed a lot of maintenance.

"The smell is horrendous when you walk in and it lingered in my clothes and belongings," Chance wrote in a review on Booking.com.

"The shower had grime in the corners and a big chunk of the plastic covering was missing. The towels weren't changed either so basically you were expected to use [the] same towel. ...

"The overall decor is in a bad way from the carpets to the windows. ... Very disappointed considering the high living standards and environment I and my husband are used to living in. Having OCD, I suffered badly in Nelcon Hotel's environment."

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Airline horror stories
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Airline horror stories

United Bans Leggings
Two passengers were denied boarding because they were wearing leggings in March. According to United, the airline had a right to deny boarding based on dress code because the girls were using “buddy passes” and were, therefore, representing the airline when they fly, similar to employees.

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David Dao
Definitely not an employee, David Dao was forcibly removed from a United flight in April after he refused to give up his seat on an "overbooked flight," resulting in a serious concussion, a broken nose, and two lost teeth. Video of the incident went viral, causing United to change their policy and get slapped with a lawsuit that was quickly settled.

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Giant Rabbit Dies
United also faced another controversy when a giant rabbit being transported on one of its planes died in the cargo during a flight. According to The Sun newspaper, the animal, named Simon, was the son of the world’s largest rabbit -- a four-foot long continental rabbit called Darius --and was expected to have grown larger than his father.

“Something very strange has happened and I want to know what. I’ve sent rabbits all around the world and nothing like this has happened before," said owner Annette Edwards.

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Bride and Groom Booted From Flight 
A bride and groom traveling to Costa Rica for their wedding in April were escorted off a United Airlines flight after they noticed a man sleeping in their seats and decided to move up three rows as to not wake the passenger. However, it was an "Economy Plus" seat and although the passengers said they complied to return to the seats, a U.S. Marshal removed them.

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Altercation Between American Airlines and Mother
American Airlines suspended a flight attendant while investigating a scuffle between him, a mom and two babies. In a viral video, a woman is seen hysterically crying while holding a toddler, with a male flight attending yanking away the stroller for her second child.g a scuffle between him, a mom and two babies. In a viral video, a woman is seen hysterically crying while holding a toddler, with a male flight attending yanking away the stroller for her second child.

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Delta Removes Passenger After He Used the Bathroom
At the end of April, a man was removed from a Delta flight after he used the bathroom while the plane awaited takeoff on the tarmac. 

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Delta Worker Threatens Passengers With Jail Time
Early May, a Southern California family said they were kicked off an overbooked Delta flight because they refused to give up a seat they had bought for their young son sitting in a car seat. They were asked to have their son sit on their lap for the duration of the flight. They refused, saying they paid for the seat, to which the airline staff threatened the family with jail time.

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Spirit Airlines Riot
In May, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport descended into total chaos after nine Spirit Airlines flights were canceled, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded and increasingly irate in the terminal. The cancellations were the result of a legal dispute between the budget airline and the Air Line Pilots Association International. 

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Teen Trapped in Airport Alone Overnight
According to CBC News, a 15-year-old boy was "trapped" overnight in an airport alone when Air Canada rebooked him on another flight after he missed his original one. However, the flight was almost 24 hours later and the airline did not offer him any accommodation or vouchers for food. Because he is a minor, he could not get a hotel room, he says.

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Passenger Forced to Pee in a Cup
Also in May, a passenger claimed she was forced to pee in a cup aboard a United flight after flight attendants told her she wasn’t allowed to use the lavatory until the pilot had turned off the fasten seatbelt sign.

The woman, who had an overactive bladder, was told the flight attendant would be filing a report about the incident.

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After leaving the review and giving the hotel a measly 3.8 out of 10 rating, Chance was surprised to see a reply from an employee that read, "Can I ask just what did you expect for what you paid? Most of what you describe I do not recognize as a matter of interest. I think you possibly were expecting a 4 star hotel. We are a budget hotel."

She was even more shocked to receive a text later that day (seemingly from the same employee) that read, "For someone who has never been away before, you do not come across as nervous. In fact, you come across as a nasty piece of work who probably should be put on a diet as you must hate everything and everyone."

Chance told SWNS, "I left an honest review about how bad Nelcon Hotel is, only to have one of the staff make it their business to go into my account and personally text me an offensive text from their personal mobile number to mine telling me I needed to go on a diet."

She continued, "This should not be allowed; it was a little too personal and they had no right making personal digs to paying customers. It is an outrage. They need exposing and people need to be warned how bad this hotel really is."

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Sneaky hotel fees and how to avoid them
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Sneaky hotel fees and how to avoid them

Hotel Occupancy Tax

Hotel occupancy taxes could appear on your bill under other names such as a hotel lodging tax, tourist tax, room tax or sales tax, according to Suiteness, an online booking platform with an inventory of luxury suites. These taxes, levied for each night’s stay in a hotel, funnel tourist dollars to state and local government coffers, and can add a little — or a lot — to your bill.

Pay Less on Your Trip: 20 Secret Ways to Save on Your Next Hotel Stay

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How to Avoid the Hotel Occupancy Tax

While hotel customers can’t totally avoid these taxes, there are ways to cut costs. Lodging tax rates vary by city and state, so travelers who are flexible about where they stay can shop around for lower lodging taxes.

For instance, 2015 tax rates in Chicago came in at 16.22 percent compared with just 9 percent in its suburb of Aurora, Ill., according to a report from HVS Convention, Sports and Entertainment Consulting. Likewise, the 2015 tax rate in San Francisco was 16.25 percent compared with a rate of 14 percent across the Bay Bridge in Oakland.

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Resort Fees

These fees can cover amenities that many frequent travelers consider standard, such as high-speed internet access or use of computers and printers in a property’s business center. Beyond the basics, resort fees might give guests access to everything from mountain bikes to mixology classes, as does the $50 per room resort fee levied for each night’s stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Arizona.

But what if you have no plans to go on a guided morning walk or try out a group fitness class at the property’s Movement Studio?

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How to Avoid Resort Fees

Tristan Seymour, managing director for the hotel and bed and breakfast reservation site Lodging World, recommends researching resort fees early in your travel planning process.

“When booking a room, make sure to find out what sort of fees are charged, and ask if you will be charged even if you don’t use them,” he said. “When you receive your bill, make sure you go through it entirely and dispute anything you don’t agree with.’’

The site ResortFeeChecker is a good place to start when ferreting out fees.

More Travel Tips: Don’t Make These Costly Mistakes When Booking Summer Travel

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Housekeeping Fee or Mandatory Gratuity

Some hotels and resorts automatically add gratuities to guests’ tabs. For instance, the Atlantis Paradise Island resort complex in the Bahamas levies a mandatory gratuity of anywhere from $9.50 to $50 per person, per day, depending on the guests’ unit type and location within the property. So it makes sense to check who gets paid from that pool of dollars. 

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How to Avoid Extra Gratuities

Seymour understands the desire to leave tips for hard-working housekeepers and other hotel staffers. “However, some hotels automatically add a 5 to 10 percent housekeeping gratuity onto your bill,” he said. “So, before leaving any tips, check your bill first.”

How Much Should You Tip? Get the Insider Secrets of Tipping Etiquette

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Early Check-In Fee

Many hotels will accommodate requests for an early check-in, but travelers shouldn’t assume that extra hour or so comes without a cost. For example, Treasure Island in Las Vegas offers priority check-in starting at 10 a.m. for $30 plus tax, according to the hotel’s website. It’s also worth noting some spots also levy a late checkout fee, with Treasure Island getting $30 plus tax from guests who linger past 11 a.m.

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How to Avoid Early Check-In Fees

Keani Aabel, who runs the travel blog keanitravel, recommends asking about early check-in fees before arriving at the front desk. Even if staffers won’t waive an early check-in fee, many hotels will at least hold your bags for free.

“I would advise to call ahead to warn the hotel of your early arrival,” she said. “With advance notice, they can check if there is a room available for you. If all else fails, hotels can hold your luggage while you grab lunch or a drink for your room to be ready." 

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Hotel WiFi Fees

Although many hotels offer free in-room WiFi, guests shouldn’t take it for granted. For example, SIXTY Beverly Hills in California charges $15 a day for wireless internet access. However, that fee is waived for those booking their rooms directly through the hotel’s phone or online reservation system.

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How to Avoid Hotel WiFi Fees

Seek out special offers and promo codes. For instance, SIXTY in Beverly Hills during June was advertising a summer sale on its site offering potential guests a 15 percent booking discount and free WiFi if they book directly through the SIXTY site.

Many hotel chains also offer free internet access to members of their rewards programs. One example is Marriott, which gives its rewards members free WiFi when they book directly through the company or participating hotel website and mention their Marriott Rewards number when making a reservation. This perk is one of the reasons Marriott has one of the best hotel rewards programs.

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Room Upgrade Fees

Upgraded rooms or club access can offer premium perks for travelers who want to treat themselves. For instance, the Island Club upgrade at the Island Hotel at Newport Beach gives guests access to amenities in the property’s 20th-floor lounge, including better breakfasts, as well as free snacks during certain times. Other perks, such as a dedicated concierge and curbside check in, come with the Island Club fee of $50 per day for up for two guests.

National chains such Sheraton offer some similar services through club lounges, and those creature comforts can be worth the cost for many customers. But don’t get stuck with an unwanted upgrade, said Houston-based travel agent Michelle Weller of retail travel agency Travel Leaders.

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How to Avoid Room Upgrade Fees

Hotels will occasionally offer upgrades at check in, and it can be easy for hurried and harried hotel customers to assume they’ll be completely free.

“Sometimes you get offered a free upgrade, but when you go to check out, the room rate goes up,” Weller said. “Always verify rates.”

Get a Free Upgrade: Travel Experts Reveal Their Secrets to Scoring Free Perks

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Safe Fee or Surprising Minibar Charges

Some hotels charge a fee for guests to stash stuff in the in-room safe. This often hidden fee is sometimes bundled into the resort fee. When it appears as a separate item, it typically adds a couple of bucks a night to your room rate. Likewise, some properties charge guests for items they remove from the in-room “refreshment center" or minibar.

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How to Avoid Safe and Minibar Fees

The safe fee can be difficult to dispute at checkout, according to Olga Maria Czarkowski, who operates the travel and lifestyle blog Dreams in Heels. It’s important to educate yourself about the hotel’s fees and address them even before entering your room for the first time.

“If there is a safe fee, and you don't plan to use the safe, tell them to lock it to avoid the fee,” she said.

Similarly, guests might want to request the front desk cut off access to the in-room refreshment center to head off any headaches at checkout time.

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Hotel Parking Fees

Valet parking fees are the norm at many hotels, especially those in prime urban locations. But some charge stiff self-parking fees, too. For instance, self-parking fees at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch are $29 a day compared with $39 for valet service.

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How to Avoid Hotel Parking Fees

Hotel guests can rethink rental cars and opt for Uber or public transportation to avoid this expense. Shopping around for friendlier fees is another option.

For one, the self-parking fee at the Hilton at the Ballpark in St. Louis is $27 while the valet fee is $38. And nearby lots and garages offer significant savings to savvy travelers willing to walk a few extra blocks between their hotel and car.

Don't Miss: Worst Fees in America — And How to Avoid Them

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The male employee later said Chance's review was "a pack of lies," adding that he didn't "regret texting her at all."

"I don't have a problem with people reviewing us, but what she wrote was a pack of lies," he commented. "The hotel is not dirty and doesn't smell. She was looking for problems which weren't there. ...

"The review was disgusting and reduced a female member of staff to tears. This is a budget hotel but we are not dirty and don't deserve to be lied about."

Yahoo has reached out to the Nelcon Hotel for further comment.

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