Check-in time is the time that is stated by a hotel after which the guest is expected to check in. You will be required to sign in, which will involve providing your private information and providing your signature. You may be required to handover copies of your identification documents, passports, your driving license so that the hotel can have them on record. Again, you may be required to provide a credit card guarantee to cover probable costs such as room service.
Check-out time is the specified time by which you must officially sign out of a hotel without having to pay for extra amounts for a delay. Every hour after the check-out time might count and may be charged according to the hotel’s charging policy.
In general, the usual check-in time in hotels is from 3:00 pm local time on the day of arrival and a check-out at 12:00 noon on the departure day. This is just a standardized time. This time differs from hotel to hotel. Some hotels may have a check-in time as from 2:00 pm and a check-out of 11:00 am. Certain hotels will also allow early check-in and a late check-out possibly at an additional charge.
Check-in and check-out times are designed to keep business on schedule allowing time for chambermaids to clean the rooms and finance managers to maintain a controlled stream of people in and out of the rooms.
Early check-in is a situation where you may need to occupy the hotel room before the hotel’s check in time. Here, the hotel will charge you for an additional day or may treat it as a previous day’s stay as compared to occupying the hotel room after the check in time. However, most hotels will allow you a grace time of about 30-60 minutes on your request without any additional charges if you wish to take the room before the check in time. Early check in allows you to check-in as from 12:00 noon (normally 3:00 pm)
Sometimes you may wish to stay in the hotel room for a little longer and to extend your stay. This could be due to among the following reasons;
Your flight has been cancelled or delayed
Your flight is scheduled to leave later in the day
You are exhausted and you need extra hours to relax.
This will call for an additional charge. Most hotels will charge you half the amount for a full day.
Most importantly, most hotels are doing away with the traditional check-in and check-out times. Some hotels have a flexible timing for check-in and check-out and without tracking on additional half-day rates. Imagine you have been travelling for say 14 hours and you arrive at 7:00 am, the last thing you would want to do is to wait until 3:00 pm to check in.
It is therefore important that before you make any reservations in a hotel you clearly understand their check-in and check-out times and what allowances they are giving to the times and possible considerations.