TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Travelers are thinking twice about security measures after a jury reached a landmark decision in a Nashville courtroom Monday. The jury awarded Erin Andrews $55 million in her lawsuit against a stalker and hotel ownership group.
Hotel guests told News Channel 8 Tuesday they’re concerned with security measures when booking a room.
Linda Majewski is in town on a business trip from New York. She travels frequently, meaning she spends a lot of time in hotels.
“As a preferred member of a lot of the hotels, I try to leverage that to make sure I’m in a secure part of the hotel and set my expectations,” Majewski told News Channel 8.
The trial was an eye-opener for her. “It makes you think of the possibility of what can happen,” Majewski said.
She considers her own safety but also, the safety of her clients, who she’s responsible for booking rooms for. Majewski said this goes to show anyone could be watching you.
“Like in the Erin Andrews case, they knew her,” she said. “It could be someone who sees something in a lobby, that has nice luggage, nice jewelry.”
The general manager for the Epicurean Hotel, Tom Haines, said guest safety is always a priority – but so is customer satisfaction. “The challenge for us in the industry is that we train our employees to say yes to guests. It’s part of being service-oriented and helping a guest,” Haines said.
But now guests will have to understand when services can’t be granted. “Where we’ve trained our employees to say yes to guests request, we have to now retrain them to make sure they know this is the one instance, it’s OK to say no to a guest,” Haines said.
That’s something Majewski sees no problem with. “The property that we stay at to make ourselves feel safe and secure has to own how they manage and process or maintaining the safety and privacy of their guest,” she said.
Hotel experts said it’s a matter of reinforcing hotel policies so guests feel secure.