Hotel Thayer and Reservation Issues

Classmates, this is a letter sent to me from Carlys Lemler, a manager at the Thayer Hotel in response to the complaint placed on our class’s behalf Tuesday. esprit de corps

Hi Rich,

Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today. I am sorry that some of your classmates were inconvenienced by the wait times, busy signals and phone lag when they called in to make reservations for the Class of 1977 reunion. As a graduate and a Class Officer who also volunteers as the Class Reunion Co-Chair for my class, I know just how excited everyone is to get a room at The Thayer Hotel for a West Point Reunion. Unfortunately, when a Class chooses to hold off on opening the Class block until a specific date and time, and makes that public, building anticipation for that date, more classmates call than the number of rooms in the Class block and that high demand can result in the phone lines being busy, tied up, and folks being placed on hold while we answer the questions and take the reservation details down for your classmates that have gotten through to a reservations agent. We were prepared with 10 staff members working to ensure that the the reservations went smoothly, and had over 20 phone lines open. We also have a hold system with a que, but when the call que is full, someone won’t be able to get through. Therefore, similar to when people call in to buy tickets for a high demand concert, there may still be hold times, busy signals and disconnections due to the high volume of calls of having everyone call at the same start time.

After our call this morning, I took a deep dive into the calls from your classmates to further answer the questions about the reservations process for your class. The average length of call for your classmates, once on the phone with a reservationist, was approximately 6 minutes, the longest calls taking over 25 minutes. Since coming back to West Point and staying at the Thayer is such a special experience, your classmates and our reservationists spent time making sure that every detail was correct on the reservation. Our friendly and professional reservationists took the time to answer the questions of each person they spoke with: check-in times, check-out times, questions on parking, security and access to West Point, descriptions of each room type available with their respective prices, why the room block wasn’t opened earlier, why there weren’t more regular rooms in the block, why there isn’t a football game on the weekend any longer, and many more questions. Additionally, during this time, we also had people calling in for the second Class of 1977 room block, which was opened before your official class room block, by Mr. Engstrom. Folks who were on a waiting list for that room block were also calling in, and some folks who already had reservations within that block were calling in to confirm that they still did have reservations and to make additional reservations. We also had two of your classmates walk in to the hotel to make reservations in person.

I also noted the comments by your classmates in your email below regarding the room types available. The least expensive rooms were sold-out first, leaving the more expensive suites in your block for callers that got through later.

I am sorry that we did not have enough rooms to accommodate all of your classmates, we truly would be delighted and honored to host everyone from the great Class of 1977. I am also sorry that some of your classmates had to wait on hold longer than they would have liked, or had to call back to due to getting a busy signal or no answer, while we were making reservations for other classmates.

Again, I am sincerely sorry that some of your classmates were inconvenienced with the reservations process and that we could not accommodate all of the reservations requests for specific room types.

We are looking forward to hosting your class in the fall. Please feel free to call me anytime if I can be of assistance to you: 480-221-4941.