On December 9th I stayed for one night in the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center that is attached to Frankfurt's Airport in Germany. I knew it was expensive, but I weighed the pros and cons of my need to be close to the airport for my flight the next morning and I consciously made the decision to pay the price. I also was aware that breakfast was not included in my quoted rate and that it would probably be expensive.
By expensive I mean that I expected to have to pay about $15 for breakfast. In the morning I went down to the breakfast restaurant. There was a woman at a counter who inquired whether I wanted the cost added to my room bill or if I wanted to pay separately. I opted for having it added to my room tab.
The buffet was large but in no way spectacular. In fact, although it covered a large area, the food was all spread out quite a bit to make it look like it was larger than it really was. I had cereal, yogurt, something oatmeal like that wasn't oatmeal and one small roll with Jam. To drink I had a small glass of orange juice, one coffee and a small glass of water. I thought about eating more to get my money's worth, but elected not to because I really wasn't hungry.
So imagine my utter shock when I checked out a bit later and saw that the actual cost of my breakfast was not the expected $15 but 32 Euros which translates to approximately $5o! I was so incredulous I was dumbstruck. I mean, even if I had gorged myself on piles of cheese, a dozen rolls, a half pound of parma ham, and filled my pockets with snacks for later I could not have possibly come close to consuming $50 worth of breakfast. I was in the restaurant for exactly 15 minutes and had one server pour me a cup of coffee and I am sure the server didn't see much of my $50.
I know that the Sheraton gets away with this airport robbery because the majority of their customers are business people on expense accounts, but why should this make it OK? Why not just charge what the food is worth with a normal profit margin? It is not like the rooms are cheap. I paid 194 Euros for one night. In my opinion, this price should have included a continental breakfast.
And Sheraton Hotels, in these current economic times, you should be trying to win over customers not alienating them. At the very least, if I stay with you again, I will eat at the airport next time and if I have the choice, I will stay with another hotel that doesn't view its customers as pick-pocket opportunities.
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