And The “Hotel Check-In Line Cutter Of The Year” Award Goes To…

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotels

Last night we had a one night stay at the Hilton Rome Airport before returning to the US. We got to the hotel in the afternoon, and there was a bit of a queue for check-in. There were two people in line ahead of us, and within a few minutes there were several more people in line behind us as well.


Suddenly a guy traveling with a group of about 10 people (most seemed to be his family) showed up and cut the line, standing immediately to the right of the first guy in line. The guy who was legitimately first in line looked at him and said “there’s a line, and you’re not in it. You’re not going before me.” The guy didn’t respond.


The two people in line in front of me were helped, so we were next in line. I looked at the line cutter (who hadn’t moved) and said “just so you know, we’re next.”

When the next associate became available, the sneaky guy pushed his way to the counter. Of course I followed him there, and informed the associate that the guy had cut the line.

The line cutter’s response? “It will take just one minute.” He said that as he literally placed five separate key envelopes down, so clearly he had five rooms he wanted to check out for.

Seriously? Usually I’m pretty mellow, but my inner Larry David came out.

“First of all, checking out of five rooms isn’t going to take a minute. Second of all, there’s a line, and you’re not in it. You can’t just cut everyone.”

“Just one minute.”

“No, I’m checking in and that will also just take ‘one minute.’ So get in line behind all the other people who need help for ‘just one minute.'”

The associate looked at the guy and asked “did you cut the line?”


At this point there was a near revolt behind us, as the other people were catching onto what had happened, and started yelling.

Eventually the associate said “you need to get in the line.” After several people screamed at him he eventually got in the back of the line, and fortunately at this point there were about a dozen people queuing to check-in (it’s not often I’m happy about a long line, but this was one of those instances, because I knew he’d be in the very back of it).

Once our check-in was complete I could see him in the back of the line giving us an evil glare. I just waved.

It blows my mind how some people lack common decency to wait in line. This situation was especially egregious, as the guy was trying to check out for five rooms, and pretending it would only be “one minute.”

Have you ever dealt with a hotel line cutter, and if so, how did you handle it?

  1. If it is a genuine 1 minute query, such as the key card does not work, thats fine and even then when it happens to me, I stand to one side. I have to admit I have been very lucky and not really had a problem with hotel line cut in. Now at airports and Rome in fact, thats a different story

  2. I’m a quiet liner upper but as I have a platinum card for MLife I stood in line for priority check in (it’s a small but clear sign). One of the ladies in the regular line saw me at the front and tried to call me out (I look young and dress not quite priority!), I told her I was priority. And was delighted when one of the supervisors not only gave me priority check in but walked me past the line and escorted me to my room! Ha!

  3. Keep an eye out for a nasty TripAdvisor review from this guy about how the check-out took forever and how everyone there was just “so rude”.

  4. My family have a running inside joke whenever we see something ridiculous like that from other travelers, they must be Chinese…..I can say that because I’m Chinese American.

  5. Perhaps he was in a rush, just like Daniel when he tried to cut in line for a flight a few weeks back 😉 I kid of course….

  6. Sounds like an OMAAT article I read recently about complaining about people not letting you guys push in line for a flight your late for! 😉

  7. Normally, this would be considered rude and obnoxious. But this was a special case: you were in Italy. 😉

    I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve experienced this with Italians. But I don’t blame them, it’s a genetic thing. Italians seem to lack the “queue-ing” gene.

  8. After waiting almost 2 hours for my number(yes they had numbers) to be called at the Alamo/Locato car rental counter at FCO in July, the clerk that should have called on me began helping a walkup without a reservation. I went to the counter and complained that there were numerous people waiting and this party was a walk up who did not take a number. The clerk told me to be patient while she waited on the line busting customer. After about 10 minutes with the line jumper, the transaction failed when they could not produce a valid credit card.

  9. I loooooove when hotel clerks or airline agents send people back to the line if it is not their turn/boarding group.

  10. I normally have a look at the situation when I check in, if the line is long I do not bother checking out at the counter. I call down and say I’m checking out and that’s it. Keep in mind I usually also block all room incidentals. But even if you don’t, if you ask for the bill the night before, you can check out the same way without clogging up the counters. I did it last at Hilton Garden Inn at FRA which btw was a horrible hotel compared to the Hilton (same building) the front desk is always busy and long lines.

  11. Interesting how one of your bloggers cut in front of a longer line and thought it was ok, yet you here are condemning it. Very hypocritical, clearly you seem to think you’re above everyone else

  12. Funny how you’re complaining about a line cutter when your boy toy Daniel cuts lines at airports and possibly makes other people miss their flights. Hmph, the hypocrisy.

  13. Did you similarly call out the kid who blogged here a few weeks ago, trying to cut in line because of his poor planning when checking in for a flight?

  14. When a person is being being a jerk, I support calling them out! – Well done! especially the wave 🙂 Plenty of line cutters out there.
    Your post does not does not say if this was a frequent traveller – However on a general note: After travelling 220 days a year for 4 years in a row my observations show that the behaviour of frequent travellers in general has gone down the drain. Normal courtesy and respect for people around them seem to have evaporated complete. Yes, I do see exceptions to the rude behavior, but it is getting more and more difficult to find those exceptions.

  15. With Daniel’s recent blog post about his attempts to cut the line, I still can’t figure out whether you’re serious about your own blog post today or just trying to be funny…

  16. Good for you standing up to this guy. So many people back down from people like this that they learn to just keep doing it.
    Good thing this was at a hotel. If this was an airline counter they would have pulled you aside and voiced concern with you about how you are upset and how they don’t think you should board the aircraft because “you” might become a problem for the flight crew in the air. Believe it as it happened to me with AA recently.

  17. Good on ya for calling him out!
    I was waiting in a long line to pick up my Boston Marathon race packet when a couple went under the rope and stood in front of me. My heart pounded as I was in disbelief but I had no reservation telling them to get to the back of the line. They did nothing but ignore me and those behind me until I kept repeating KARMA IS A BITCH….then they left.

  18. LOL!!

    So this blog is pro line cutting when they are the ones cutting. But it’s a huge deal when they are the ones cut

    What a hypocritical joke

  19. You people are not going to let up about the Daniel thing are you.. sure if you wanna keep doing that when he posts so be it, but let’s just not doing whenever anyone posts anything.. it is getting tiresome.

  20. I always call out line-cutters. We even met and befriended a couple on holiday at Lizard Island who later tried to cut in with us at the Cairns Airport; we were horrified by their action and told them so, but they didn’t budge and the people behind the, didn’t say a thing. They basically told us their belief is if you can get away with t, why shouldn’t you do it–that made me truly furious with them. In the end, we never bothered to keep in touch. We don’t need friends like that.

  21. I am now very curious as to Ben’s reaction to the post detailing Daniel’s self-justified line-cutting at the airport check-in.

  22. @Alex As a Chinese, I’d have to say:

    Chinese Americans are Americans. Just because your parents (grandparents?) are Chinese doesn’t mean that you get a free pass…

  23. I think this was handled perfectly. I get that there are times when we’re rushed and waiting in line will make you miss a flight or a train or whatever. If that was the case, the guy should’ve asked, with a super apologetic expression, someone in line if they would mind if he cut, as he’s about to miss his flight. Just walking up and expecting to cut in line is all sorts of wrong.

  24. I like when someone recounts their story and adds all kinds of zingers into it to show how they really stood up for themselves.

    It’s nice to see folks are finally catching on to the blog’s elitist SJW, hypocritical, and condescending tone.

    Not long ago there was a post by lucky talking about a report released by an airline that the “average person wouldn’t understand” but he was able to enjoy reading it oh so much.

    This from the guy that carries more than one priority pass card (totally unnecessary), and then can’t keep up with which one to use to avoid being charged.

    Keep in mind these are purposefully written comments.

    Then with all the regular click bait content that adds zero value (unless you count to his page views) it’s pretty obvious he considers all of his readers “average”.

  25. “Josh says:
    September 18, 2016 at 1:52 pm
    I like when someone recounts their story and adds all kinds of zingers into it to show how they really stood up for themselves.

    It’s nice to see folks are finally catching on to the blog’s elitist SJW, hypocritical, and condescending tone.

    Not long ago there was a post by lucky talking about a report released by an airline that the “average person wouldn’t understand” but he was able to enjoy reading it oh so much.

    This from the guy that carries more than one priority pass card (totally unnecessary), and then can’t keep up with which one to use to avoid being charged.

    Keep in mind these are purposefully written comments.

    Then with all the regular click bait content that adds zero value (unless you count to his page views) it’s pretty obvious he considers all of his readers “average”.

    This is the bigger issue with OMAAT recently. There is a greater degree of unprofessionalism that turns me off. The zingers. The aside comments. Tidbits written then struckout. If anything, the level of maturity has dropped; I keep seeing a flash back to the 80s and Valley Girl speak. Like …. really?

  26. @Jay, it’s not like people are looking for a reason to bring up Daniel. Last week, Daniel made a post about how terrible it was that he wasn’t allowed to cUT a line, and cited that as proof of poor service. This post would appear to be directly contradictory.

    It’s not crazy to suggest that this post maybe shows that Ben, as operator of this site, should have a word with his teenage protégé about manners and ethical behavior, which reflect poorly on the blog.

  27. Thanks for posting this– cause reading the comments brought me to spoiled brat Daniels post of a few weeks ago (I had missed it originally while traveling).

    Shaking my head at the arrogance of Daniel, and the resulting foolishness of this post.

    I know you like to share– but not every incident in your life needs to be a blog post.

  28. We stayed there back in march, Line Cut or not , I can tell you there is nothing at the desk there that takes “Just a Minute”, and I had to go down to the front desk more than once.

    Kudos for Calling him out, that the other people backed you and that there was a huge amount of people behind you.

    Interested to see the Trip report – we were upgraded to a big suite there, but the internet there was slow and confusing to get logged into.

  29. Lucky you are either totally have no self awareness or you don’t care ( as in you got your money already) how your once good blog has become crap.

  30. That’s nearly as good as one I had for a boarding queue a few years back. F/C boarding just called by the gate agent, jerk pushes past, quite physically so. Conversation thus:

    Me: “Excuse me, is there a problem?”
    Cutter: “I’m flying Business Class.”
    Me: “That’s terrific, I’m flying First Class.”

    Resumed my place in the queue.

  31. It’s just not going to happen. People will try it, and my response is not pleasant. They never get away with it!. Now if someone truly has a quick question, I’ll let them jump ahead…and it better be quick hah!

    I tend to do most of my checkouts from the room over the phone or utilizing the TV option. I rarely go to the front desk…it’s a waste of time, unless I need something. Most of the time they can have it ready for me at the side and I pick it up on my way out.

    Most folks probably do not need to go to the check-out desk and hotels should do a better job of educating guests on their check-out options upon arrival…and that bills can be emailed.

  32. This post would have had a much bigger impact if you hadn’t allowed Daniel to post that ridiculous garbage about…cutting in line.

  33. According to past OMAAT blog posts, line cutting is perfectly acceptable if you are important or running late. You of all people should have understood this and let the guy cut.

  34. “It blows my mind how some people lack common decency to wait in line.”

    Me, too. Including the people you hire.

  35. Ben –
    Loving you for this. All too often people don’t want to create a scene, so they let this kind of selfish, narcissistic behavior occur. Good for you for standing up and telling the guy that he’s no better than anyone else.

  36. At Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, there’s a separate line for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, so my mom and I were in that line to check in for our flight. The line behind us had grown substantially long, all consisting of senior citizens and those in wheelchairs. As we were being helped by an associate, one couple about ten spots behind us stepped out of the line and asked the associate if this was the line for senior citizens. The associate responded, “Yes, so you don’t have to fall into that line,” referring to the regular check-in line a few steps away. The couple misunderstood that to mean that they didn’t have to fall in line at all, so they stood right next to us and asked, “So, that means we’re next?”. The entire line of nearly 25 people revolted as well, and I told him that we’d waited patiently for this kind associate, so what makes them so special? I’m surprised the other passengers even let them back into their original spot in line.

  37. The commotion was perhaps unnecessary because most Hilton hotels, in fact, most hotels in general, have express check-out that allows one to simply pack and go without stopping at the front desk to physically check-out. Undeclared mini-bar items will simply be added to the final bill, so when I am pressed for time, I just go.

  38. @Tummy

    Thanks for the link, I heard about that blog on other site but had trouble finding it. It’s a good read…in the comment section

  39. Senator John McCain. He went to the line to get on a plane from PHX to D.C. He acted like he was greeting his constituents, walked up the check-in line introducing himself and shaking hands. When he got to the first spot, he just stayed there.

  40. How about this one?
    We are trying to leave Beijing last June. Our flight gets cancelled after about 5 hours of delays. AA puts us all up at a hotel and arranges busses to take us to the hotel. We get on the third bus, so when we get to the hotel about 9:30 pm, there are about 80 people ahead of us in line. Resigned to a very long wait, we are about 15 minutes in when a youth group of some kind (about 30 of them) that was also supposed to be on our flight arrives. Apparently, they couldn’t manage to get them all together any sooner. The chaperone then proceeds to pass the roughly 100 people waiting in line and demands that they be served immediately. Many people call him out from the line and he just yells back that he has a lot of people in his group and he needs special treatment. He then proceeds to tell the hotel staff that not only do they have to serve him immediately, but they need individual rooms for each kid. Not a happy ending, the hotel acquiesces to his demands and the rest of us spend another hour checking in.
    Perhaps karma, my family ends up flying home in EVA Royal Laurel class (we were business class on AA) the following afternoon. The last we heard, his group is looking at spending at least another 4 days in Beijing, despite a lengthy session of him yelling at the AA staff too.

  41. DCS, next time you breeze out of a hotel, check to see you weren’t charged for minibar items you didn’t consume or any movies you didn’t watch. Express checkout may be great, in theory, but waiting around to get a final bill is invaluable in case of a billing dispute.

  42. I really don’t think Daniel was the unreasonable with his line cutting, provided he really was very apologetic to the people while he was explaining. Where I live passengers that are late always get priority, so much that even airline employees will call them out when lining up “PASSENGERS FLIGHT 261 LEAVING AT 11.30AM TO SINGAPORE, PLEASE HEAD TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE”

    This guy on the other hand, was clearly a total asshole about doing it, and he deserved every bit of his punishment.

  43. Doesn’t that Hilton have online check in with digital key where you use your phone and bypass the check in desk? How about express check out on the TV in the room?

  44. @chancer,

    Going to the desk isn’t going to prevent them from trying to charge mini bar items later anyway. It’s not like they have inventoried your room before you get to the checkout desk. If you did go to the desk and lied about not consuming items, they should charge you later.

  45. Lucky, you haven’t spent much time in Italy have you? This is the norm. During my 14 years living in Rome it became sport to have these encounters. It’s just Italy. My old Italian boss once told me that the difference between Americans and Italians is that Americans all want to be equal and Italians all want to be special.

  46. And The “Airline Check-In Line Cutter Of The Year” Award Goes To…
    Suddenly, when you are a blogger at OMAAT, it is okay to try to cut the check-in line and then bitch about it on a blog.
    Kudos for shouting out in this case but Boo for not condemning your fellow blogger on the same matter.

  47. What amazes me is the lack of censorship in this blog especially since we are living in a time where SJWs are everyhwere.

    I personally don’t agree with some of your posts or the conclusions you write, but I love how you don’t censor comments and don’t create drama with people who posts negative things.

    So thank you Lucky. Hope it stays this way.

  48. The degree of line-cutting is linked to culture. On the psychological-side of the question, people who cut lines truly believe that that their personal importance or the criticality of their problem (or its simplicity) justify their actions. Do they believe that they are cutting the line? Not at all. They just check making the system work efficiently for them and everyone else. It is strange what goes on in people’s head.

  49. I literally laughed out loud when I read this post. I wonder if lucky has read Daniel’s gem of a post on this exact thing.

  50. I like how you’re referencing Larry David more often, but if you recall in the chat and cut episode, Larry permits the cut, so long as it happens behind him. He didn’t send the poor girl to the back of the line.

  51. Don’t forget your blog writer DANIEL was a cutter at an airport in Europe. You should CC him “It blows my mind how some people lack common decency to wait in line.” This will give this young lad a wakeup call.

  52. “I really don’t think Daniel was the unreasonable with his line cutting, provided he really was very apologetic to the people while he was explaining”

    Except, he really wasn’t.

    As for this guy…c’mon Lucky, you should’ve been more sympathetic. He and his group were probably trying to not be late for a flight to San Francisco via Doha and Columbo they booked for $650 per person. Or maybe there wasn’t an under 25-twink in the group, who knows.

    This post is a bit interesting, and seems like a call back to a recent post about a loud guy on his cell phone at the pool. Lucky trying to show us he isn’t doesn’t just comment in a passive-aggressive way about bad behavior, he has a spine, dammit!!!

  53. More stories like this. Less stories about shitty lounges. This makes me feel better for yelling at people who break basic rules of travel and politeness.

  54. Just leave the keys in your room if you are checking out while asking for the final bill the night before as that’s all you need. Your final bill will be slid underneath your room a few hours prior to your checkout schedule time. Don’t understand why that guy go through the hassle of waiting in line to checkout.

  55. Gotta love millenials.
    When they jump lines, it’s for a good reason.
    When it’s someone else, it’s just wrong.
    It’s probably best that most millenials stare at their phones all day. Otherwise we would have to actually listen to the nonsensical drivel that lives in their brains.

  56. Lucky, this is a great post as usual, thanks for sharing it.

    That said, it is a bad look considering the Daniel post in favor of line cutting.

    I get Daniel is probably just avoiding that issue and correctly figures most people will forget about it, but to me that just suggests he’s not taking anything away from the experience except “keep my line cutting practices to myself next time.” 🙁

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