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Overstay checkout: One hotel chain reimagines the 11 a.m. checkout

Posting in Technology

Ever wonder why you have to check out of your hotel room at 11 a.m. when you're practically the only person in the hotel? It doesn't make sense to the Art Series Hotels chain either.

"Overstay. You're welcome." That's the thinking behind a new innovation in hotel checkout from the Australian-based chain. Starting in December guests will be allowed to stay in their rooms as long as they like (as long as nobody else books their room).

Here's how it works: On the morning of your departure, call the reception desk and ask for an "overstay checkout." If the hotel isn't busy you can checkout later -- at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., or even the next day depending on the demand for your room. The best part? There's no limit on how many days you can overstay. If there's no demand for your room you could end up staying an extra week, for free.

The idea was developed by the firm Naked Communications, whose founder, Adam Ferrier, spoke with Fast Co. Create about the overstay concept:

"For 'Overstay Checkout,' we began by looking at customer grievances--an obvious one being having to check out of a hotel room early, typically by 11 a.m. When we asked hotels why, if no one else was immediately booked in, no one had an answer. It seemed we’d stumbled across one of those sacred cows--a thing you do but don’t know why," he adds.  "Better still, the hotels in effect will give away something of value to the consumer--late checkouts and free overnight stays, at no cost to the hotel as it’s all unsold inventory."

The only things the hotel can't do? Rebook your flight home and give you more vacation time.

Hate Checking Out Early? A Hotel Chain Rethinks The 11 A.M. Rule With "Overstay Checkout" [Fast Co. Create]

Photo: Screenshot from Art Series Hotels promo video

— By on November 26, 2012, 10:49 PM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure