What is a Late Checkout Fee? A Complete Guide

Staying a few extra hours past the standard checkout time at a hotel can provide some nice additional relaxation on your trip. But this convenience usually comes at a cost in the form of a late checkout fee.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: A late checkout fee is an extra charge hotels add when guests stay past the standard checkout time, typically anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on the hotel and length of the extended stay.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll explain everything related to late checkout fees including typical costs, how to request late checkout, and tips for avoiding fees when you need some extra time in your room.

Defining Late Checkout and Associated Fees

When it comes to checking out of a hotel, most travelers are aware of the standard checkout time. However, sometimes circumstances arise that may require guests to stay in their room beyond the designated checkout time.

In such cases, hotels may impose a late checkout fee to compensate for the extended stay.

What is standard checkout time?

The standard checkout time in most hotels is typically around 11:00 am. This allows the hotel staff enough time to clean and prepare the rooms for incoming guests. By adhering to the standard checkout time, hotels can ensure a smooth transition between guests and maintain the quality of their services.

When does a late checkout fee apply?

A late checkout fee is applied when guests exceed the standard checkout time without prior approval from the hotel. It is important to remember that hotels have busy schedules and need time to clean and prepare the rooms for incoming guests.

Therefore, if guests overstay their allotted time, they may be subject to a late checkout fee.

However, it is worth noting that hotels understand that certain situations can arise, such as delayed flights or unexpected circumstances, which may cause guests to require a bit more time. In such cases, it is always best to communicate with the hotel staff and request a late checkout in advance.

Many hotels are accommodating and may waive the late checkout fee under reasonable circumstances.

How much do hotels usually charge?

The late checkout fee can vary depending on the hotel’s policies and the duration of the extended stay. Some hotels may charge a flat fee for each hour past the standard checkout time, while others may have a fixed fee for a specific period, such as half a day or a full day.

It is essential to check with the hotel beforehand to understand their specific late checkout fee structure.

Keep in mind that the late checkout fee is not intended to be punitive but rather to compensate for the inconvenience caused to the hotel, as well as to ensure a smooth and timely turnover of rooms for incoming guests.

Understanding and respecting the hotel’s policies regarding late checkout can help maintain a positive relationship between guests and the hotel staff.

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Requesting Late Checkout at Hotels

When it comes to requesting a late checkout at hotels, there are a few different options available to guests. Whether you need a few extra hours to sleep in or you want to make the most of your last day of vacation, here are some ways to go about it:

Ask at check-in about late checkout options

One of the easiest ways to inquire about late checkout is to simply ask about it when you check in. While not all hotels offer this option, many do, and it can be a great way to extend your stay without any hassle.

The front desk staff will let you know if late checkout is available and if there are any associated fees.

Call the front desk to request a late checkout

If you forget to ask about late checkout at check-in or if your plans change after you’ve arrived at the hotel, don’t worry. You can always call the front desk and request a late checkout. They will let you know if it’s possible and if there are any additional fees involved.

It’s always worth asking, as hotels are often willing to accommodate guests when possible.

Book late checkout ahead of time online

Some hotels allow you to book late checkout ahead of time when you make your reservation online. This can be a convenient option if you already know that you’ll need a late checkout and want to ensure that it’s available.

When booking online, be sure to check the hotel’s policies regarding late checkout and any associated fees.

Remember, late checkout is not always guaranteed and availability may vary depending on the hotel and its occupancy levels. It’s always best to inquire about late checkout options as early as possible to increase your chances of securing a later checkout time.

Late Checkout Fee Policies at Major Hotel Chains

Marriott late checkout fee policy

Marriott Hotels is known for its customer-friendly policies, and their late checkout fee policy is no exception. As a member of their loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, you can enjoy a complimentary late checkout until 2 PM (subject to availability) at most Marriott properties.

If you wish to extend your stay further, Marriott offers a tiered fee structure based on the time of checkout. For instance, if you check out between 2 PM and 4 PM, you may be charged 50% of the nightly room rate, while a checkout between 4 PM and 6 PM could incur a charge of 100% of the nightly room rate.

It’s always a good idea to check with the specific hotel you’re staying at for their exact policies and fees.

Hilton late checkout fee rules

Hilton Hotels and Resorts also offer a late checkout option for their guests. Hilton Honors members, depending on their tier status, can avail themselves of a complimentary late checkout until 2 PM. If you’re not a member or wish to extend your stay further, Hilton may charge a fee for late checkout.

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The exact fee structure varies between properties, so it’s best to inquire at the front desk or check their website for specific information. Keep in mind that availability may be limited, especially during peak seasons, so it’s advisable to request a late checkout in advance if possible.

Hyatt late checkout fee information

Hyatt Hotels Corporation also offers a late checkout option for its guests. World of Hyatt members with Discoverist, Explorist, or Globalist status can enjoy a complimentary late checkout until 2 PM (subject to availability). Beyond this time, a fee may apply.

The exact fee structure and availability can vary depending on the specific Hyatt property, so it’s recommended to contact the hotel directly or visit their website for more information. Remember to check the terms and conditions, as certain promotions or special rates may have different late checkout policies.

It’s important to note that late checkout fees are implemented by hotels to ensure smooth operations and accommodate the needs of all guests. These fees help hotels manage their check-in and housekeeping schedules effectively.

However, if you have a specific reason for needing a late checkout, such as a flight delay or a special occasion, it’s always worth speaking with the hotel staff. They may be able to accommodate your request without charging a fee or offer alternative solutions to meet your needs.

Avoiding Late Checkout Fees

Late checkout fees can be an unwelcome surprise for travelers who want a little extra time in their hotel room before checking out. Fortunately, there are several ways to avoid these fees and make the most of your stay. Here are some tips to help you avoid late checkout fees:

See if your elite status waives the fee

If you are a member of a hotel loyalty program or have elite status, you may be able to avoid late checkout fees altogether. Many hotel chains offer perks to their loyal customers, such as complimentary late checkout.

Check the terms and conditions of your membership or contact the hotel directly to see if your elite status waives the fee. This can save you both time and money.

Use points to book a late checkout

If you have accumulated a significant number of points or miles through a hotel rewards program or credit card, you may be able to use them to book a late checkout. Some hotels allow guests to redeem points for extended stays, including late checkout.

This can be a great way to make use of your rewards and avoid paying additional fees.

Explain special circumstances

In certain situations, hotels may be willing to waive late checkout fees if you explain your special circumstances. For example, if you have a late flight and need a few extra hours to pack and relax before leaving, the hotel may be understanding and not charge you a fee.

It never hurts to ask politely and explain your situation to the hotel staff. They may be willing to accommodate your request.

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Remember, it’s always a good idea to check the hotel’s policies regarding late checkout before making your reservation. Some hotels have strict policies and may charge a fee regardless of your elite status or special circumstances.

By being proactive and exploring your options, you can avoid late checkout fees and enjoy a stress-free departure from your hotel.

Is Late Checkout Worth the Fee?

When it comes to deciding whether a late checkout fee is worth it, there are a few factors to consider. Let’s explore these factors to help you make an informed decision.

Consider if you really need late checkout

Before deciding to pay a late checkout fee, ask yourself if you truly need the extra time in the room. If you have an early flight or a busy schedule, it might be worth it to have a few extra hours to relax and prepare.

On the other hand, if you have a flexible schedule and don’t mind checking out on time, it might not be necessary to incur an additional cost.

Compare fee cost vs. staying another night

One way to evaluate the value of a late checkout fee is to compare it to the cost of staying another night. In some cases, the fee may be more affordable than paying for an entire extra night. However, it’s important to do the math and consider any other expenses you may incur by extending your stay.

For example, if you have to pay for parking or meals for an additional day, the overall cost may outweigh the convenience of a late checkout. It’s also worth checking if the hotel offers discounted rates for extending your stay, as this could be a more cost-effective option.

Value placed on extra time in the room

Ultimately, the decision to pay a late checkout fee depends on how much value you place on having the extra time in the room. If you have a lot of work to do or simply want to enjoy the amenities of the hotel for a few more hours, it might be worth the fee.

On the other hand, if you don’t anticipate needing the extra time or feel that it won’t significantly enhance your experience, it may be best to save the money and check out on time.

Remember, every traveler is different, and what may be worth it for one person may not be for another. Consider your own preferences, schedule, and budget when deciding whether a late checkout fee is worth it for you.

Conclusion

While late checkout fees can seem annoying, they allow hotels to turn rooms over efficiently while giving guests the option for extra time if needed. Understanding policies, requesting late checkout properly, and weighing the value of extra time in your room can help you decide if paying a late checkout fee makes sense for your situation.