Best Western Turns Away Family With Service Dog, Waits A Week To Fix Problem

We’re guessing that no one at Best Western is checking the hotel chain’s Facebook page today, as it’s full up with people angry that the company not only denied a room to a family with a service animal, but then waited a week to try to make good on its mistake.

WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge reports that a family from North Carolina had recently made a reservation to for a single night at a Best Western in the Louisiana city.

But when the mom took the unnecessary step of giving the hotel the heads-up about the service animal that accompanies their 13-year-old epileptic son, they received an e-mail back saying they could not be accommodated.

“He’s a seizure response dog for my son,” the mom tells WAFB, explaining that the teen has a rare type of epilepsy called Landau-Kleffner Syndrome and that the dog will alert others when a seizure occurs.

Hoping that the hotel had misread her message and thought she was bringing a pet, the mom — who happens to be an attorney — spoke to someone at the front desk to point out that turning them away would be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

She claims that the hotel worker said she knew about the ADA but that she couldn’t go against the orders of the hotel’s owner.

Her complaint to Best Western’s corporate office resulted in a response and a promise to honor the reservation, but the family had already done what any sensible person would do — take their business elsewhere.

“I don’t want to go to a hotel where I have to force them to follow the law,” says the mom.

Read Comments2

Edit Your Comment

  1. petepuma03 says:

    Yes, because the actions of a single hotel owned by an independent franchisee warrants the damning of every single Best Western there is. Should this one hotel be chastised– of course. Should every other Best Western, which are all independently owned, be damned for this? Of course not. The Best Western Facebook page is quite interesting– I’d like to avoid all of those people posting against BW for their offensive lack of common sense.

    • C0Y0TY says:

      It’s in Best Western’s best interest to educate its franchisees about ADA regulations to avoid future problems. If they had already done so, then good on them and bad on the clerk, but dealing with customers with special needs should be part of regular basic training for hoteliers.