Decisions, decisions, decisions….

I’ve been asking way too many questions on my blog lately, but I’ve received so much valuable help that I’ll do it one more time. Some of you may remember that back in December I asked how short of a stay is too short for booking a hotel room. Well, the trip where I have a 5.5 hour layover in SEA is this weekend, and I was planning on just camping out at the airport. However, I just caught a cold (although it’s not too bad yet), and since I’m not canceling the trip (it only cost about $30 after vouchers, and I wouldn’t get that money back), I decided I’ll get a hotel to at least get a few hours of sleep.

Unfortunately I have too many options, and in this case I’m far too indecisive to make a decision on my own, so I’m looking to you for help. My options are:

Priceline a hotel
Pros: The cheapest option
Cons: I could end up in any hotel, and as I learned the hard way last week, some hotels don’t have 24 hour shuttles. That means I might end up paying $50 in cab fares, if I end up in a hotel without a 24 hour shuttle. Also, I won’t earn points.

Book a Hilton family hotel
Pros: I’d earn points, stay credits, BMI miles, and even extra points thanks to the current double points promo
Cons: It’s about $110 with tax

Book a Holiday Inn Hotel using the Entertainment Card rate
Pros: The Entertainment Card rate is $75, and I might earn points to justify this solely as a mattress run
Cons: I might not earn points, since technically Entertainment Card rates don’t qualify. Furthermore, my Entertainment Card expired in November, and I haven’t renewed, although I have a feeling I could get away with it since the expiration date is hardly visible.

Book a Holiday Inn Hotel on a published rate
Pros: I’ll definitely earn points (and probably lots of them)
Cons: It’s about $110, which is a bit steep

So, wise people, what say you?

Filed Under: Hotels
  1. I’d say book a Hilton or Holiday Inn at the $110 rate. You’ll get the points, won’t necessarily have to worry about taxi fares, and if you’re sick and want to maximize efficiency and sleep time, I think having a more streamlined and explicit option is worth paying a bit more money. Pay for the relative convenience.

  2. Wow Gray, in the past hour the rate has dropped from $100+ to $84 for the Holiday Inn! I booked it, as it seems like a no brainer at that price (especially with your reasoning). Thanks!

  3. That’s an excellent point, First. I’m connecting via ORD. The rate I have booked at the Holiday Inn is flexible, so worst case scenario I can cancel it up until 6PM pacific time.

  4. Wow, a rate drop. ((thumbs up))

    FYI, I PL’d the 3* Holiday Inn SEA for $44 ($57 total) a couple months ago. I think the 3* offerings are pretty safe when needing airport shuttle.

  5. I’d book a free or close-to-free room from I still have one of those to spare (others were cancelled due to multiple registration of the $50USD/$25GBP offer). I did a quick check and those seem to be some low-end motels at the airport (with complimentary shuttle) for this weekend that will cost from nothing to a few bucks after the $49 credit. Shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to put this last account into use (before they cancel it too). That is, of course, if you are okay with one night (a few hours) in a low end motel around the airport area.

  6. Go over to 13 Coins for breakfast. I hear there’s one near the airport. Even with a cold — arrive at 12:30 am and out at 6:00 am. There really isn’t that much time. That’s my plan for a quick in and out on March 5th. Feel better.

    I think the Priceline rate at the airport could be in the 40s and maybe worth risking the lack of shuttle.

  7. Pay the $84 for the HI. Assuming that you’re signed up for all of the Priority Club promos, you should earn at least 5,500 points (maybe much more) and a qualifying night toward renewing your RA membership.

  8. I was just in SEA last Friday night, with a 6 hour turn and camped in the airport. 🙂 I was amazed at the number of people doing the same — there had to be two dozen people sleeping in check-in area! It wasn’t bad.

    The next night I had a 5 hour overnight in MHT. (Yes, it was a crazy trip!) For that night, I opted to use the Hertz one free weekend day and sleep in the car. I actually got pretty good sleep, and it only cost $3.91 in tax. Better than the airport IMO. Of course, I’m also a winter mountaineer, and had my 0 degree sleeping bag along to stay warm! If you’re used to Tampa weather, I might not advise that……

    I considered getting the rental car in SEA as well ($12 in tax), but the rules say one per month, and I couldn’t confirm if they enforce this. So honestly, I’d save the money, and sleep in the car. But then again, I’m cheap.

  9. What we’ve done in the past (HNL to LHR via LAX on a red eye – don’t ask) was to call the hotels nearby and ask if they have a day room rate – they may want to sell the rooms cheap rather than let it go empty. We got the Marriott near LAX for about $40.

    So, if you’re planning on staying in the airport anyway, then give it a shot.

    In any case, good luck.

  10. Thanks for all the excellent suggestions, and even the extremely generous offer, dave. I just wanted to provide a quick update — I’m sticking with the $84 rate at the Holiday Inn. Why? Most reports I’ve seen so far this year indicate that people have earned as many as 15,000 points for a single night Holiday Inn stay. Those 15,000 points are worth more than $84, so this seems like a relatively safe bet.

    Peter, the day room idea is good to know. I’ll definitely give it a try the next time when I’m feeling a bit better and looking for a place to stay.

    Thanks again, guys!

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