For bonvoy hotels, are you more likely to get an upgrade if you check in very early online, or if you wait until you’re in person?

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I don’t think it matters tbh; I’ve gotten upgrades both ways. Even if you check in online and have a mobile key, it’s worth going to the front desk to ask when you arrive

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Do both. It’s 2 chances to get upgrades

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Haven’t seen any correlation with lots on both this year

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Probably hotel dependent. Regardless if you’ve checked in or not, they have usually already assigned each reservation a room before the mobile check in time. Oftentimes when I go check in on my bonvoy app I notice that the room type has already switched to something better.

If you ask for an upgrade at the front desk they may give it to you if they have open rooms, but they may also have already given all the upgrades away as well.

TLDR; it honestly probably matters very little

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Usually in person if you’re friendly

The best way to get an upgrade is to have high status and a brief stay that doesn’t require them to take the better room out of bookable inventory for too long. Especially for suites. Your chance of a really good upgrade is much greater with a one night stay than a 3-4 night stay.

Hotels also do preliminary room allocations before check-in time (assuming you can get into your room by 3pm, these allocations may happen as early as the prior evening/overnight). If you are a frequent guest and aren’t a pain in the rear, they may give you an upgrade at that point; you’ll find out when you get there or perhaps in their mobile app.

You can always try chatting up the front desk but they will likely be limited in how much they can do on busy nights. However, they may get you some nice upgrades late at night if there have been no-shows or they have good rooms left as there is little chance they’ll be sold at full rates.

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