This has never happened to me before. It feels like kind of a big deal (in a security issue kind of way), but maybe it happens all the time to other people and I just don’t know about it?
Here’s the story: I’m in Charlotte for the weekend. Since I am doing the Hyatt Diamond hustle (trying to rack up enough nights to requalify for Diamond status again next year), I stayed in the Hyatt in Center City on Friday night, then switched to another hotel for Saturday night. Hotel hopping is always kind of a pain, and it starts to get complicated when you layer in additional factors such as timing and transportation; since I was in the middle of a day-long conference without a car, both of these factors made the “hop” a little hard.
I decided to zip out during the conference lunch break. I got lucky and connected with a Lyft; there isn’t a huge network of Lyft drivers in Charlotte yet, so finding one can be a challenge. My Lyft driver was awesome as usual. During the ride, he and I had a superfan conversation about Led Zeppelin – he lost the hearing in one ear from a Led Zep concert in the seventies, while I walked down the aisle to a Led Zep song at my wedding. The ride was over in a snap.
Since we were having such a great conversation, my driver offered to wait as I checked in and tossed my bag in my new hotel room: that way, he could just drive me right back to the first hotel. I was thrilled to agree, and promised to be quick. I raced into the lobby and ran up to the counter. “Hi! I’ve got a driver waiting outside!” I told her. “I’m just going to check in and quickly run my bag up to my room.”
“Of course!” she said. “Last name?”
I told her, and she tapped a few keys before she had to call over a manager. “Can I put her in this room?” she asked him.
He looked at me. “You called earlier!” he said. Indeed I had, to ask if I could check in earlier that morning. “Welcome!” he said. Everyone is so friendly in Charlotte. “Put her in this room,” he told the clerk.
The clerk nodded, then slid a couple of room keys across the counter. I grabbed them with effusive thanks, then ran towards the elevator. Within three minutes, I was back down in the lobby. “Thanks again,” I told the clerk. “See you later.”
I was in the Lyft car before I realized what had just happened: I hadn’t had to show my ID or a valid credit card. I had simply breezed in on the basis of my name alone.
Rock star move? Security concern? Oops?
Has this ever happened to you?