NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Aaron Howard was looking forward to getting some rest.
He and some friends decided to make a birthday trip to see the Arctic Monkeys in Nashville. They left work at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, drove through the night, went to some bars, and hoped to check in at the La Quinta Inn near the Grand Ole Opry around 4 a.m.
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The problem was that no one was there to check them in.
“We get in and sit down at the front desk for around 30 minutes, and nobody was there,” Howard said.
The only non-guest to show up was a police officer to investigate a noise complaint.
“So as the police officer was leaving, we asked him, ‘We just want to check-in. Can we just go back there and try to check in ourselves?” Howard said, “He said ‘I’m leaving, do what you gotta do, it’s not on me.’ So, at that point, we hopped behind the front desk, and as she was trying to check us in, we started answering the phones; they were ringing off the hook.”
Howard and his friends all work in the service industry, so they answered phones while waiting.
“That went on for about an hour and a half,” Howard said.
The friends answered questions from guests, booked airport shuttles, and handled disgruntled callers who did not believe they were not employees.
“One woman did not want to believe us; I said I do not work here, I’m down in the lobby at the front desk across from it, I’m not an employee--- she demanded to speak to my supervisor,” Howard said.
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Howard ended up giving that call to his friend.
He says their labor continued around 6 a.m. when guests arrived in the lobby looking for breakfast.
“There was no breakfast put out, so we tackled that as well,” Howard said.
The friends would find a key in the back that opened the cafeteria.
“When we walked in, there were muffins, cereal, and all that bread. So we put that out first, and it was starting to go quick,” Howard said.
It wasn’t until 8 a.m. that an employee finally did arrive and had some issues with the system.
“It was his first day, so I think he had about as much experience as we did,” Howard said.
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The group initially received keys to an already occupied room. When they returned to the lobby, a manager from a nearby Holiday Inn helped get them some comped rooms at his hotel as he tried to help the new employee.
“La Quinta actually called us the next day telling us that you didn’t show up for your reservations, and we said we did show up; y’all did not show up,” Howard said.
Howard says La Quinta has worked with them, refunding their stay and giving them thousands of hotel points to make up for the mistake.
Howard says an executive from the hotel initially asked him to take down a TikTok of their experience.
The executive looks to be employed by 24/7 Hotel Management.
Channel 2 Action News reached out to the management company but has not received a response.
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