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Update on LHR Layover Hotel Issues

Date: January 5, 2018

During this past week there have been many questions and much discussion on events that occurred at one of our layover hotels in Kensington, London during the New Year’s Day holiday. (For security reasons, we will not make reference to the specific hotel.) At the hotel there were two issues – a break in of several rooms at the hotel and a burst water pipe.

As a result of the burst water pipe, two rooms were affected on the floor where the break occurred and all the rooms on the floor below.  Crew were moved from the affected floor into rooms that had been earmarked for the early morning arrival of other United crews. As a result, there was a delay in getting crew members into their rooms while housekeeping worked to prepare the rooms for the arriving crew. The hotel, recognizing the unusual nature of the water pipe break, has acknowledged their obligation to have rooms available within the parameters established by the Contract and expressed appreciation for the understanding of those crew members who were inconvenienced. 

In terms of the break-in, our MEC Hotel & Transportation Committee has been in contact with the buyer for this property and has kept a very close watch on the events of this past week. Because the break-in was the subject of an ongoing police investigation, we were constrained from addressing the issue until advised we were permitted to do so.

The break-in issue was not isolated to a single hotel and is believed to have occurred during the late hours of New Year’s Eve at unoccupied rooms. In fact, it is suspected that a large criminal syndicate from Europe had targeted a number of hotels that evening as other hotels in the Kensington area were also impacted. Without commenting specifically on the security tools available to hotel management, hotel security and local authorities were successfully able to identify the one male individual who is suspected to be the culprit in the incident. Not a stranger to police, this individual has a warrant out for his arrest. 

Hotel security has no reason to believe a similar event will occur in the future. However, as a precaution, the hotel has beefed up their internal security and are adding security personnel to do additional floor patrols at the hotel.

It is important for us to be situationally aware. Despite the security measures required at each of our layover hotels, the reality is that these kinds of events occur. Where there is a will, there is a way. The elevators in this building are protected by a key card system. When moving from the lobby to our rooms, we should always use caution to ensure anyone who tries to ride the lift with us has the appropriate authority to do so. Always be aware of your surroundings and following the hotel safety tips on our website. If you have concerns while a guest in any hotel, never hesitate to call the front desk to report unusual activity or to request an escort if you are uncomfortable.

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