The value of being honest when asked “How was your stay?”

Recently, when I stayed at the Westin Los Angeles Airport hotel for LAX Appreciation Day, I had almost no hot water when I woke up in the morning. Although I didn’t expect to be compensated for this, I mentioned it to the hotel’s staff when I checked out, and not only received an apology (which is often enough for me), but the hotel team member also comped my parking — $25 per night.

Like I said, I’m not one to demand compensation for things that, for the most part, are out of a hotel or airline’s agent’s control. If the airplane you’re flying on breaks down, whose fault is that? It’s certainly not the gate agent’s. If the boiler at the hotel breaks down like in this case, it’s certainly not the maid’s fault, it’s not the bellhop’s fault, it’s not the front desk’s fault — so why get mad?

Instead, I casually mentioned it to the hotel’s team member in a non-accusatory manner, and he comped my parking. $25 that I didn’t have to pay was certainly enough to appease me and buy me a cup of coffee on my way out. So, next time you’re inconvenienced by something, don’t get visibly annoyed — smile, and just be honest. It might save you $25.