The same way a flight can have an array of airfares, hotel rooms are also rented out at varying prices. Even if you can't get a lower rate for your room, you may be able to negotiate free local phone calls, free parking or other perks
Lower prices, free amenities are there for the asking at hotels -- if you know what to ask for
April 27, 1998
Web posted at: 12:02 p.m. EST (1702 GMT)
ATLANTA (CNN) -- Think you're stuck with the room rate a hotel quotes you? The art of the deal -- knowing how to negotiate -- can land you a better price on a hotel room, or sometimes free extras.
"Everything is negotiable at a hotel," says The T&E Group's Gerard Smith.
Maybe true, but most travelers aren't aware deals are theirs for the asking.
"There's an array of different rates for any one particular room the same way
that there's an array of different airfares for one particular flight," says Conde Nast Traveler Magazine's Wendy Perrin.
Even if you've already booked the room, ask at check-in if a lower price, such
as a special weekend or holiday rate, is available. You have a better chance of getting a deal when hotels aren't sold out -- and if you bargain at the right time.
"Walk into the hotel just about after dinner time when the front desk knows they're not going to get many more," says Perrin. "They know how many rooms are empty that night."
Memberships in some organizations like AARP, AAA or Sam's Club can also help lower the bill. But if a hotel won't budge on price, try for free amenities such as room upgrades, a shoe shine, or a discount coupon for dinner.
"If there's a parking charge, automatically ask that it's free parking," says Smith. "Same is true of fitness club or the in-room movies or local calls can be free."
All of which could give you a break on the bill at check-out time.
Based on a report from CNN's Business and Travel and Beyond. The segment appears weekdays on Early Edition at 7 AM (ET) and on Morning News at 10 AM (ET).
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