What a $20 Tip Gets You at a Completely Sold Out Casino

In the past, I tipped pretty heavily at the Mirage and got a sweet suite.

But one important thing to look at when searching for an upgrade is whether or not one would be available.

The Mandalay Bay was pretty sold out and when I pulled up the website, it showed only two room types were available.  The most basic kind.

vegas strip view

But I like testing things out.  And I wanted to know–what would happen if I slipped the clerk a $20 and asked about an upgrade when I knew none were available.

I handed the clerk my card with the $20 bill and asked about upgrades. I could tell she couldn’t see the denomination what I gave her (even though it was facing her).  So she placed my card down, fanned it out, and nodded as she noted the $20 bill.

She started typing like crazy.  She finally gave me two offers.  She could give me the absolute nicest view the have left or try to see what she could do about the Delano.

I told her the nicest view was fine because that was actually what was most important to me on this trip.  And she delivered.

vegas strip view

The room is high up, but also in the center of the hallway with a complete view of the strip.  Not only that, but this plane spotter could see the airport from the room too.

vegas strip view

A few other people staying at the hotel stopped by and commented on how much better my view was.

Sometimes some types of upgrades are more important than others at times.  And all I really wanted was the view, anyway!

But this brings us back to the question, is front desk tipping ethical?

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. Nice view! Did you get to watch any of the Janet flights go by?

  2. Hmm I had exactly the same view on my last stay at Mandalay. Didn’t do the $20 trick and never thought it aa an upgrade either because I got the regular room. However even their regular rooms are pretty neat and very close to most junior suites.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      They tend to put people in the best room and only pull out the worse views in case of a total sell out. In this particular case, the chances of getting an awful room were really high.

  3. For $20, that is pretty awesome! Great job! Do you think you would have gotten the same outcome had you tipped $100?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Yes, because it was totally beyond sold out at that point. I knew there was no chance of a suite. I just didn’t want that left over room that they only pull out when they are totally full.

  4. Nice view! Although I have to say I am really curious about the Delano. Good to know that Mandalay Bay agents possible have access to Delano inventory….

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