Please see here for an update.
Morning everyone. I’ll hopefully be back to posting regularly soon – I’m almost recovered from a bug/flu/bad cold that I picked up on the flight back to Kazakhstan last week (Turkish Airlines are sadly not alone in the pitiful amount of fresh air (as opposed to the germ-laden recycled stuff) used on their flights).
Anyway, onto the reason I’ve made this post. First, please read this story from the BBC website. A brief summary is that a member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces was refused a room at a hotel in Woking. Apparently it is the management’s and/or hotel’s policy not to accept military personnel!
As long term readers of this blog will know, I am not a supporter of the war in Iraq or Afghanistan per se; however, when it comes down to the lives of those individual people who voluntarily sign up to protect their country, I believe we should show some respect. Support the personnel, even if you don’t agree with the politics. I can only guess that the policy of the hotel has come from previous problems they have experienced with squaddies relaxing a little too much. If so, I can understand how large groups of physically fit men who are trained to fight would not be ideal guests. This does not appear to have been the situation in this case though. One lone man, who was on leave from Afghanistan due to an injury, and was in the area to visit another injured soldier friend needed a place to lay his head and rest for the night. Having been refused a room, Corporal Tomos Stringer had to spend the night in his car.
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(I believe the hotel is located in the centre of this map.)
I would ask all readers (especially those in the UK) to consider calling the hotel to register a complaint about this incident. If you live outside Britain, but still feel strongly enough, I can recommend using Skype (and purchasing some credit) to call the hotel – assuming your normal phone has high international call rates. This is what I did, and left a message for the duty manager. The lady answering the phone behaved in a professional manner, and I would ask any callers to remain civil and simply ask that their disgust with the management be registered and passed on to them.
The hotel’s phone number is (01483) 727100 , or if you are dialling internationally, +44 1483 727100 . Should you live in the Woking area, and have a few minutes spare to actually complain in person, their address is
The Metro Hotel, Gwent House, Crown Sq, Woking, GU21 6HR. There are two different addresses listed by Google, with the same phone number, so I’m not sure whether one is simply a correspondence address.
If your job happens to include arranging overnight stays for staff in a hotel, then I would ask you to consider not using this hotel in the future.
If you do not feel anything wrong has occurred, I obviously respect your right to hold a different opinion, but thank you for taking the time to read this message.