Last Updated on May 25, 2023 by James Huffman
I was taking a class to update my real estate license and the instructor, who knows a lot about real estate but nothing about hotels or hotel keys made some statements that were, frankly, absurd:
-You should never leave your key in the hotel room when you check out because it has all your personal information on it.
-If you lose your hotel key you should change rooms.
-Always put on your dead-bolt on to keep out the last guest out of your hotel room just in case they kept their key.
When I tried to set the record straight she turned a deaf ear. You see, her sister was told all of the above by a police officer! No offence to the officer or the sister but what a load of crap!
So please let me set the record straight for you!
“Never leave your key in the hotel room when you check out because it has all your personal information on it.”
Please leave your key! It costs the hotel money and you cannot use it for anything. That key holds only the following information:
- The Room Number Code
- The Date Of Activation/Check-In
- The Date It Expires
- Which Employee Made The Key
- The Key Number
In most cases the computer that makes the key is not part of the same system that houses your name, credit card information, address etc.
“If you lose your hotel key you should change rooms”
No change needed! If the desk makes you a “New Key” (not a Duplicate Key) it will deactivate the old key once you insert it in to your door and open your room. The “New Key” will have a higher number then the old key and the lock will know to void all lower number keys. In other words if your first key was “key number” 1001 and your new “key number” is 1002 the lock will no longer accept 1001.
“Always put on your dead-bolt to keep out the last guest just in case they kept their key”
Putting on the dead-bolt is a good idea but not because the last guest may come back and visit but 2 locks are safer than one. The last guest key does not work on your hotel door any longer because: It’s expired – Remember the lock knows the check-out date Your new key has a higher number voiding any keys with lower numbers I’m sure that there is a programmer for a key manufacturing company that could give me all the techno jargon but I am trying to put this in an easy to understand format.
I hope this will put your mind at ease if you’ve ran across any hotel key rumors. To quote one of my favorite shows “Myth Busted”!