Q: My friend and I were staying in a two-star, but not inexpensive, hotel in Paris. We each asked for separate 6 AM wake up calls (we were staying in separate rooms). Mine came at 8 AM, his never came. As a result, we missed our onward flight, had to eat the cost of the non-refundable fares, and buy new fares, costing us about $800 total. Shouldn't the hotel compensate us? By the way, there were no alarm clocks in the rooms.

A: Ideally, yes, but you should never, ever rely on a hotel wake up call! What if the power goes out and the automated system is down? Or the front desk forgets to call, which has happened to us in the past. Always, always travel with a lightweight travel alarm and bring extra batteries for it just in case. As for compensation, the most the hotel might offer, if you ask, is a free room night or two on your next stay, so I would go that route. But do you really want to stay there again?

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