Honeymooners Turned Away From Hotel For Being Too Young

Imagine you’re an 18-year-old bride who has had to plan your entire wedding and honeymoon on your own because your groom has been away at Marine boot camp. And then you arrive at the hotel after the ceremony and find out that there’s no room at the inn because you’re under 21.

That’s what happened to a pair of young newlyweds in California, who had made reservations to stay at the Padre Hotel in Bakersfield.

“I was so upset,” said the bride. “I planned the wedding, so I felt this was my fault. It was all just falling apart. In the car, I just broke down. I thought, ‘Here I am looking for a place to stay on my honeymoon.'”

“I just wanted to be in a room because I was so tired and… my husband, he was in his dress blues and I think that’s what got me the most,” she told a local TV station. “He was in his dress blues and he’s going to put his life on the line for these people and they won’t even offer us a room.”

The owner of the hotel says that the staff was just following a long-standing hotel policy. “We use it at our other hotels as well. And it’s more to limit our liability when it comes to the liquor license and serving minors.”

However, in light of the PR nightmare that has ensued since local media got a hold of it, the owner says he is “ashamed and deeply saddened” about the incident.

“An exception should have been made. If you show up in a military uniform and a wedding gown — sure, we’ll give you a room,” he said. “When I found out all the facts, I was sick to my stomach. This should have never happened.”

After the newlyweds were given the boot from their preferred destination, they landed at a local Doubletree hotel, where the bride says, “They had a military discount… They were very sweet. We even got a free breakfast.”

No room at the inn for too-young Bakersfield honeymooners [L.A. Times]
Padre apologetic after turning away newlyweds [Bakersfield Californian]

Thanks to Alice for the tip!


Edit Your Comment

  1. Runner says:

    Damn right they should be sorry. In my opinion, no Military personal should ever be turned away due to age on something like this. If they can give their life for this country, they can get a hotel room at the least.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      If a company has such a policy, I will not object. That’s their busines decision. But if they have this policy, they need to confirm the age of the person making the reservation at the time the reservation is made.

      The proper process would be to ask if there will be a person over 21 present, and if not refuse the reservation. But once you MAKE that reservation, you should face whatever consequences arise. You shouldn’t cancel the reservation when they get there.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        Well said.

      • macoan says:

        That is exactly what I was thinking. I respect our military men, but it has no bearing on this story. Neither does an “emotional” woman after her wedding (just makes for better news stories)

        Bottom line – if a hotel has those rules, then they need to confirm those rules when the reservation was made.

        I understand the hotel’s rules of renting out to underage people when the hotel offers in-room liquor service – but once the reservation was made, the hotel should have kept it.

        • outlulz says:

          There’s no way to 100% confirm someone’s age when they reserve a room online. By your logic they would have to rent a room to anyone of any age with no recourse.

          • coren says:

            No, but there’s an easy way to put a checkbox on the reservation thing that says something to the effect of “I acknowledge that I, or the person I am making the reservation for, is age 21 or older.” If someone does that and isn’t 21 (or the person the room is for isn’t) then it’s their own fault, as they were informed and lied about it.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        I agree 100%. The onus is on the business to make sure that the customer meets the business’s requirements BEFORE finalizing the reservation process. Once a customer has a reservation and shows up, let him or her have the room.

      • NightSteel says:

        I had this very thing happen to me with a rental car once. I made the reservation by phone, and when I showed up at the counter, they refused to rent to me because I was under 25. All they would have had to do is ask while I was making the reservation. I ended up paying twice as much to rent from a competitor, because I *needed* a car, I had no choice.

      • PsiCop says:

        Just what I was thinking. Why not warn people that you have a “no one under 21” policy when they book? Why drop it on them when they show up?

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          It’s a lose-lose, since the hotel loses a reservation that they unlikely can fill on such a short notice, just as the couple might not be able to book a reservation on such a short notice.

          Always painful to watch businesses shoot themselves in the foot.

      • kujospam says:

        I totally agree with this. Personally I think it is age discrimination, and I’m not sure if that hotel falls under a club to disallow people like them in the first place.

      • c!tizen says:

        this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this!!!!

    • ccooney says:

      Um, what? Our military are generally decent people, but they aren’t gods – why are you lionizing them?

      • Alvis says:

        It’s easier and more comfortable than considering that some of the people fighting in the country’s name are very, very bad people.

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          So because some soldiers are bad, all of them are bad? Okay. Interesting take on logic there.

          • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

            Oh, no no, see, between “that” and “of” is the word “some”. Some.

          • MB17 says:

            Not as interesting as your take on logic. Read the post again. Reassess your assessment.

      • uberbitter says:

        I think it is completely fair to say that if you are old enough to serve your country, you are old enough to enjoy all of the comforts and privileges of adulthood. This is not nearly the same as elevating them to a god-like status.

        • ccooney says:

          That includes dealing with dbags at a hotel. The fact that the hubby is military should be irrelevant – turning away newlyweds on their honeymoon is a dick move.

          And it isn’t so much you as a weird national obsession with calling every soldier a hero that bothers me.

          • Verdant Pine Trees says:

            Thank you! My spouse and I agree with you heartily! For the record, he’s a veteran, and we first married while he was in the service. Possibly because we actually know people in all of the five services, we have no illusions about them being more heroic than everyone else. Some are, but some are complete dirtbags.

            The hero talk is to cover over the fact that most people aren’t doing crap as far as making their country a better place – which does not require military service, just service.

      • Megalomania says:

        The argument is not that “a soldier is inherently a great person, therefore they should not be restricted by their age”, but that if you are old enough to BE TOLD TO KILL PEOPLE then nothing else should be restricted based on your age.

        If you’re old enough to be forced to serve in the military, old enough to vote, old enough to be considered a rapist for having sex with a 17 year old, then it’s ridiculous to be told you’re too young to do something else.

    • Groanan says:

      The marine is not the reason why they were turned away, it was the 18 year old girl and the fear of her getting intoxicated under the age of 21.

      It is a stupid law that needs to be repelled; if 18 is old enough for the combat zone it should be old enough for the Four Loco, either she is an adult or she is not.

      I don’t care what your military status is, you should not be above the law; the laws should be changed to make sense for everyone.

      And if the hotel manager does not want marines/soldiers with young girls in their hotels, they should have the right to say no – anyone who reads a police blotter near an Army base knows what constantly happens at hotels near military bases.

      • borgia says:

        In part I agree with you, but, I think the continual association of if you can fight kill and die you should also be responsible enough to drink is a falsehood. 18 year olds in the military have very little choice about what they do and when they do it. They do not choose to kill they are ordered to by a superior officer. If we strictly applied this to the drinking age they are old enough to have a superior officer tell them exactly when and how much to drink. All 18 year olds serving in the military have proven is that they are old enough to follow orders.

        • MauriceCallidice says:

          “They do not choose to kill”

          I think most members of the military, old or young, don’t particularly “choose to kill”. They choose to be in the military. Like every member of the military, they may be ordered to cause the death of others, either directly or indirectly. It’s a big part of what the military does. But age has nothing to do with it in an all-volunteer military.

          Whether or not you do any of these,
          if you’re old enough to die for your country,
          if you’re old enough to vote in a national election,
          if you’re old enough to serve on a capital murder jury,
          then you’re old enough to choose whether to drink alcohol.

          • borgia says:

            All the things you listed are about making good reasoned choices. Alcohol Impairs your ability to make reasoned choices. At eighteen we have decided that you are now barely able to make these choices. Making good choices sober is one thing making them drunk or impaired is different thing. In other words you need more experience than “most” eighteen years have.

            • Groanan says:

              Yes, but you make the good reasoned choice, whether or not to drink alcohol, before you take the first sip (while you are sober).

              Perhaps the choices made after a few drinks are not that wise, but it is not like 25 year olds make the best of decisions after a few drinks either.

              The 21 year old age limit is a number based on what is thought to make the highways safer, tied to Federal funding for roads; it ignores personal liberty for the common good.

              I am okay with giving children less rights than adults, but once someone is an adult they should no longer have to visit their parent’s house or a church to be served alcohol.

              And it is not like kids are not drinking; the law only makes it so that people who sell alcohol, like this hotel, have to worry about liability.

          • El_Fez says:

            And the military does what again, exactly? Did they switch to an organization based on flower arranging and basket weaving?

            No – the military does one thing: kill the enemy. That’s it.

            • Not Given says:

              Ours was lost in the mail and we had to get an official certificate from the courthouse. We never found the one our friends had signed as witnesses. Possibly because a guy with a similar name to my husband lived outside the same town we lived outside of.

          • NewsMuncher says:

            Old enough to drive a rental car.
            I had to get a waiver to rent a car when I first joined the military because the rental car places wouldn’t rent to under-21’s.
            When I turned 21 I think I had one drink, and when I told people I was 21 I said, “Yes! Now I’m old enough to rent a car!”
            If it weren’t for the waivers, I think many young military personnel would be unable to meet some of their obligations, as renting a car in some of the more out of the way places is the only option.

    • spamtasticus says:

      It’s rather simple really. It’s called age discrimination. A business can server whomever they want so long as they don’t turn people away due to their sex, religious beliefs, race, sexual preference and age. (I may be missing one or two)

      • lockdog says:

        The Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act only applies to person over age 40. Also, sexual orientation/gender identity are not protected at the Federal level, so your luck there is going to vary by jurisdiction. As it turns out, a whole lot of discrimination is completely legal.

      • borgia says:

        you just made up something that doesn’t exist. Even in employment people under forty are not protected against age discrimination.

      • Chaosium says:

        “It’s rather simple really. It’s called age discrimination.”

        Too old, not too young. Sorry bud!

    • RandomHookup says:

      As a veteran myself, I can think of plenty of reasons to turn away soldiers. We can appreciate their service, but they can do hellacious damage to a motel room.

      • SixOfOne says:

        You aint just whistling dixie. I spent a couple of days with some Marine friends while they were performing at a gig in VA Beach. Those boys partied until 6am.

      • c!tizen says:

        more so than a civilian? My problem is this: “She was told the room was not yet ready, but no one asked about her age or informed her of the policy, she said”

        Her Mom rented the room for her, but if this policy is such an iron clad “no exceptions” type of deal then it should have been mentioned and made very clear.

        I can understand if a bunch of rowdy 18 year old military guys tried to rent the room, but this situation is just wrong.

        • RandomHookup says:

          Probably, but that’s because they are more likely to be male and perhaps a bit more hopped up on testosterone than the average guy that age.

    • tundey says:

      Should they also be allowed to drink before turning 21? Please! How can you say “I give my life to defend this country” but then want to not have the rules apply to you?

      • sonneillon says:

        yes. Yes they should. It is silly that we give them the expectation of defending our freedoms and hand them a weapon put them in danger but we don’t trust them to drink responsibly. It’s just silly puritanical crap. Religious extremism.

        • rayblasdel says:

          And how is that issue relevant to the hotel owner? You can wish for what ever you want but that doesn’t supersede reality.

          • Gulliver says:

            Because the hotel owner is STILL responsible for a drunken married marine who is under age. The hotel staff did the right thing, and the right wing nut jobs who think the military can do no wrong are the problem. Nobody forced them to get married, nobody forced them to join the military. It was the JOB they made a choice to have., These are federal employees PERIOD. They do not deserve special rights

            • sonneillon says:

              And nobody is forcing them to do business with these two people, but all decisions have consequences and the possibility of a drunk marine looks like will be far less of a risk than people portraying this place as anti-military anti-marriage, because that is what is happening.

            • chaquesuivant says:

              Nice trollng brah….Of course, I never troll.

            • c!tizen says:

              So when did getting a hotel room become synonymous with getting drunk? If the hotel had a liquor cabinet in the room, room service can take it out of the room. If they go down to the bar, they get carded. I don’t see the problem here.

              And where the hell do you get that the hotel owner is “responsible” for a drunken married marine? The man is an 18 year old soldier, he’s responsible for his own actions. The only thing the manager is responsible for is NOT serving him alcohol. At 18 he’s an adult, a young adult; yes, but still an adult. And moreover, Military personnel isn’t necessarily considered a “federal employee.”

              And I hate to tell you this buddy, but they do have special rights complete with their own police and justice system. They operate under a different set of rules and guidelines than a civilian does. That’s not to say that civilian laws don’t apply to them, but it isn’t against the law to rent a room to an 18 year old, it was against the hotel’s policy, and all policies have exceptions, as the manager said.

              As for your “right wing nut job” comment goes, I don’t know what to say there. That’s just an idiotic, generalized statement with no basis and it seethes internet troll-ness. A political affiliation doesn’t make someone an idiot, the stupid crap that comes out of their mouth makes them idiots, your comment proves that.

            • StoicLion says:

              THIS, more than anything I’ve read today, is the most idiotic comment. It’s early so I hope other idiotic comments supersede yours but I doubt it. Congrats!

      • failurate says:

        How about we just raise the age at which a person can join the military? Would probably be easier than lowering the drinking age.

      • crunchberries says:

        And how do you know they were going to drink at all? It sounds more like the owner said that more to, shock and gasp, cover his ass in the face of controversy.

      • Mr.Grieves says:

        Yes they should be able to drink before 21.

        One of the highest drinking ages in the world breeds a culture of binge drinking when kids finally hit that “magic” number”. They feel they have to make up for all that time lost. And that’s besides the common counter point that IT IS retarded that you are free to sign up to get shot at but not be old enough to buy a beer legally.

        • MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

          “One of the highest drinking ages in the world breeds a culture of binge drinking when kids finally hit that “magic” number”.”

          Where are your facts on this? Those kids were drinking before they were 21, and in more dangerous situations. Yeah, there are a lot of people who go nuts when they turn 21, but I would guess that a great percentage of them slow down afterwards. I say raise the enlistment age and keep the drinking age at 21.

      • c!tizen says:

        Yes, they should be able to drink before 21, especially if they’re in the service. The rest of world seems to think that 18 is a good age for you to be considered an adult. If they can hand you a rifle and point you toward a fire fight, then they should also be able to hand you a beer and point you towards your buddies.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    To paraphrase, when the hotel owner discovered the massive negative PR, he said “I was sick to my stomach.”

    • oldwiz65 says:

      Exactly the only reason the owner even gives a rats tushie.

    • dohtem says:

      Fuck him and his hotel. If someone can look at a bride in her gown and her groom beside her in full military dress and turn them away because of policy, they deserve the backlash.

      Fuck them.

      • Kryndar says:

        Sorry but no, it really really depends. If I were in that position and didn’t have a superior available to defer to I very well might follow policy for the simple fact that I wouldn’t want to lose my job. I obviously would extend sincer appoligies, as I would to anyone in this situation, and make sure that knowledge of the situation was moved up the chain of command but if it is between my job security and anyone’s reservations I’ll pick job security. If I were on the opposite side of the situation I might be pissed off but I’d recognize that, unless the person behind the desk had the option of defering to a manager but didn’t, that there is very little they can do.

  3. MaliBoo Radley says:

    Be a fucking person. That should be the new rule.

    That is all.

  4. banmojo says:

    Damn. That’s messed up. I’m glad the owner realizes the mistake and I hope he takes pains to insure it won’t happen again. I also hope he offers some kind of free weekend package to this couple.

    On a side note, of a snarkier tone, BAKERSFIELD? For your HONEYMOON? dude, kudos on planning your own wedding/honeymoon on what is most likely a seriously shoe-stringed budget, I wish I had the money to send you to freakin’ Hawaii or something. Sounds like your husband deserves at least that much what with his service to our country. Any philanthropist gonna come through for this newlywed couple?

    • MaliBoo Radley says:

      I’m going to guess that there is Marine base near Bakersfield.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      My parents spent their honeymoon night at a Motel 6 outside North Platte, NE.

      Some people just don’t have the budget.

    • macoan says:

      The couple already have young twin children at home, so my guess is they don’t have a lot of money in the first place, so staying close for a honeymoon night is a great choice.

      Me & my wife also stayed close to home after our wedding. Why? Because there was a lot of people from out of town, so after the wedding & reception – later that night we headed to my parents (where many were staying & chit-chatting) and went to visit for awhile.

      We ended up taking a trip to Florida a couple of weeks after our wedding as our “honeymoon” – but the break in between the wedding & honeymoon was very nice – it allowed us to actually enjoy our honeymoon instead of feeling rushed and such.

    • MrEvil says:

      My sister didn’t get her Hawaii Honeymoon until her 7th anniversary.

      • MrEvil says:

        Just saying, sometimes young folk can wait till they get on their feet before spending a fortune on such things.

    • Zibodiz says:

      Our ‘honeymoon’ was a one-night stay in a local hotel in the city we lived in. Two days later, I was back at my 9-5. Gotta love us highly-paid ‘middle’ class!

  5. grapedog says:

    How they were dressed, and what the occasion was, should not be relevant at all.

    • Doubts42 says:

      Wrong. Hotels have that rule to protect themselves from legal liabilities, and their guests from having to deal with disruptive teenagers. However thinking reasoning adults should be able to discern that the serviceman and his new bride are not throwing a party in the room and be able to make an exception.
      With 20 year old Jim Bob and 19 year old Mary Sue walking in off the street there is a >90% chance the police will be there later breaking up a party and making several Minor in possession, Contributing, and intoxicated minor arrests.

      • Dover says:

        Citation? I don’t think nearly that many young folks who desire hotel rooms plan on throwing parties. If the hotel is concerned, they can require a deposit.

        • Dover says:

          And/or limit the number of people in the room (I bet the fire code would even give them cover for this).

        • Mom says:

          Really? You’re kidding, right? When I was in college, partying was the whole *point* of what hotels were for.

          On the whole, I’m all for the policy. Now that I’m older, I don’t want to stay in a hotel full of partying kids. In this case, however, the hotel should have made an exception on the spot.

          • partofme says:

            Thanks for ruining hotels for the rest of us.

          • Suburban Idiot says:

            And I was 18 and 19 and 20 years-old, if I was traveling at all, it was with my then-wife and small child (or was being flown somewhere for job interviews).

            I’ve also been in situations where if my hotel reservation had been denied, I would’ve been stuck sleeping in my car (there are times and places when it’s damn-near impossible to get a hotel room without prior reservations. It’s rare, but it happens).

            I had an apartment complex tell me I couldn’t rent an apartment there because I didn’t turn 21 for two more months. i guess their theory was that some under-21s are destructive, so it would be better for society if they were all homeless.

      • partofme says:

        Then make sure there is a line of credit on file and do what my college dorm did: lay out a schedule of fees for legal issues. So, not only will you have to deal with the cops for your possession charge, but we’ll also be taking a $500 cut from your line of credit for our trouble. This way, the responsible percentage (methinks >10%) can actually live life. Make it expensive for idiots, not impossible for the rest of us. Hotels would probably make a killing, too.

    • Dover says:

      I agree, they should honor the reservation and change their process/training to prevent such a reservation from being made in the future if they so desire (though IMHO, it’s a stupid policy).

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      You clearly haven’t worked in the hotel industry. If you make a reservation for someone and then they show up with a couple cans of gasoline and clear intentions to do harm to the room, then you turn them away. Underage people are the same problem. If the hotel is going to get fined for serving to underage guests, then it is in their best interests to avoid letting them stay there. Sure, there should probably be a box on their website or some other safeguard to make sure this isn’t discovered right as the guest shows up, but the policy is completely understandable.

      (cue the “The situation was nothing like someone burning down their rooms” comments now)

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        How can the hotel be liable for underage drinking if they are not priving the liquor? Removing the mini-bar, and required an in-hotel bar card for a drink (which should be state law anyway).

        Beyond that, they can’t be held liable if guests bring in their own liquor. Your argument is fallacious.

        • Murph1908 says:

          You remember this is America, right? It’s always someone else’s fault.

          There was the story about an 17 year old girl. Her parents left her alone for a weekend. A couple of friends come over, and they bring alcohol. One boy who brought the booze gets into an accident on the way home.

          So the parents of the boy sue the parents of the girl. Because it was obviously their fault since the booze was consumed in their house, regardless of
          a) who brought it
          b) who drank it, and
          c) who decided to drive home afterwards

          The hotel CAN and WILL be sued by the parents of an underage couple who brought their own booze, got drunk, and got pregnant/injured/killed.

          Until personal responsibility is no longer transferrable in the court of law, we’ll continue to have stories such as these.

      • Dover says:

        So because they’re under 21 they clearly have the intent to do harm? The situation *isn’t* like someone burning down the room in the slightest. By your reasoning, they shouldn’t rent to anyone because anyone could break the law while in the hotel.

        • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

          It’s the “those damn kids” logic. You get lessons in it when you turn 40.

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        “Underage people are the same problem. If the hotel is going to get fined for serving to underage guests, then it is in their best interests to avoid letting them stay there.”

        Um…they could alway, y’know…check ID when serving alcohol. Just a thought.

  6. NotYou007 says:

    All this BS because he is a Marine. If he was not in the armed forces nobody would be making a stink about it. Besides, those in the military are not supposed to receive special favors while in uniform. One would think a Marine knows how to follow and obey the rules.

    • pop top says:

      If he wasn’t in the armed forces, they probably wouldn’t be getting married so young either.

      • LadyTL says:

        Anyone can get married young as long as they have the right paper signed. Hell, I would have married my husband sooner if our families would have let us.

        • pop top says:

          Yes, I understand that. But it’s very common for young couples where one or both of the people involved are in the military to get married before they ship out.

        • Not Given says:

          My dad said to my mom,
          ” She’ll wait a month and do it anyway, go ahead and sign the paper.”

      • jnads says:

        -1 RTFA

        They are parents of 9 month old Twins. Wrong assumption for motivation.

        • pop top says:

          Yes because everyone who has kids before marriage always gets married. You could be wrong or I could be wrong but there’s no need to be an asshole about it.

        • MaliBoo Radley says:

          You’re making an assumption. Plenty of people have children together, yet remain unmarried.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          That’s a ridiculous assumption to make. Plenty of people are married and have no kids; as with other reasons, it is a choice. People can have kids and not be married. Having kids doesn’t mean you need to get married. Not having kids doesn’t mean you have to be single forever.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Funny, I just saw an article on CNN about how marriage is dead.

          I think military couples get married so that the non-enlisted spouse gets death benefits should their spouse die in combat. Not to mention health benefits.

          • RandomHookup says:

            The military does bestow more benefits on the married, so there are, it seems, always some troops who get hitched just to get out of the barracks.

        • coren says:

          His checks go way up for having two kids and a wife compared to being single, at least that’s how I hear it from quite a few friends who got married younger than normal.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It’s the new rule that applies to all of humanity: it’s called the “Be a $@#*&? Human” rule. She planned her wedding, planned her honeymoon, and got married. They have a family together, and this hotel wants to deny them a stay at their hotel because of their age? I mean, the hotel didn’t even take the effort to understand how the booking happened in the first place, or the circumstances involved.

      • LadyTL says:

        When I got married, I wasn’t old enough to rent a car by myself. There is no such thing as a “married” exclusion that require people to give things to married people that they wouldn’t to someone single. You can get married at 18 but that won’t let a store sell you alcohol until you are 21.

        • hotcocoa says:

          I agree with this. Both parties suck at not doing their due diligence. She should have been familiar with laws about renting rooms and the hotel should have double checked with the reservation (I don’t know if they did it online or over the phone, I didn’t RTFA and I don’t care enough to). But this whole “we just got married! He’s in the military!” BS is just that…bs. Laws don’t cease to apply to you just because you got married. People don’t have bend rules for you, just because you are in the military. What other professions would get a “aw fuck it, go on ahead” treatment because we appreciate their service? Doctors? Teachers? Social workers? Tomato pickers? Garbage workers? Please. The hotel dropped the ball, but I’m tired of people using “but it’s my X Day” or “but s/he’s elderly/young” or “I’m in the X!” to garner sympathy and attention. Sheesh. If a person shows up in their mining gear (another dangerous profession) and expects special treatment they’d be regarded as ridiculous, I don’t know why certain other jobs are treated differently.

          • synergy says:

            You voiced exactly what I rant at the screen every single time this type of story shows up. Thanks.

          • NotYou007 says:

            Thank you for saying it as well. Remove the fact that he is a Marine and this would not be a news story at all. People are only getting their undies in a bunch because he is a Marine.

            • partofme says:

              They should. The fact that he’s a Marine is why this gets publicity. But tons of regular people get screwed over every day by ridiculous policies like this that could be formulated in a way to allow responsible people to do responsible things like punishing idiots.

            • Verdant Pine Trees says:

              No, I would be offended hearing that this happened to two civilian kids on their honeymoon. The blather about the hotel bar is a red herring. Haven’t these people ever heard of, you know, carding?

          • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

            “She should have been familiar with laws about renting rooms and the hotel should have double checked with the reservation”

            You should be familiar with the fact that this isn’t a law – it’s a policy. And, obviously, not a clearly stated one or she would have reserved a room elsewhere.

        • MaliBoo Radley says:

          But what you’re talking about there is a law. It’s illegal to sell alcohol to those under the age of 21. This story is about a hotel policy. They wouldn’t be breaking a law to let the people stay in the hotel, they’d only be fudging their in house policy.

      • grapedog says:

        how about a new rule instead, “being responsible”?

        • ophmarketing says:

          They’re 18 and already have kids. I think “being responsible” went out the window, oh, about a year and a half earlier.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            I’m not saying having kids at 18 is exactly the best example of responsibility, but I just wanted to point out that you could have kids at the ripe old age of 45 and not have a responsible bone in your body. Age isn’t the definitive guideline for who is responsible, it’s just a very loose standard we go by to make general assessments.

          • mythago says:

            They’re together, marrying and raising their kids. How is this irresponsible?

          • Invalid_User_Name says:

            Gee, I would think getting married and raising the kids together is taking responsibility.

      • Gulliver says:

        How about if she had tried to rent a car? Should the car rental place change rules because she got married and he wore a uniform? How about paying for the alcohol at her wedding (legally if she gave one dine to the vendor she broke the law)? Should we suspend laws for military and girls who have babies or get married? How about if a 16 year old gets married (it happens in some states). What would you do then? The hotel as a PRIVATE business does not have to allow anybody to sleep there if they do not satisfy certain criteria. Age is something that CAN be discriminated against . What happens when a 17 year old decides to put on moms old wedding dress and her bf puts on dads old marine outfit.
        If you CHOOSE to join the service or get married at 18, you should learn that you need to check what you can and can not do.

        • Alexk says:

          Can’t agree with you. It should be the business’ responsibility to put their limitations up front. People shouldn’t have to discover them by accident.

    • Bodger says:

      ‘special favors’? Huh? Since when is having a hotel honor a reservation they made a ‘favor’? I didn’t read anything in the story about the Marine demanding any sort of favor because he was in his dress blues (wedding, dress uniform, get it?) What he did receive was a screwing, not of the wedding night sort, because of an idiot rule made by some faceless entity — a rule which should not have been made under any circumstances and should certainly not have been enforced in this case. I would urge anyone unfortunate enough to be staying in Bakersfield to avoid this hotel and after they are bankrupt and taken over by new owners they may be more reasonable.

    • Thebestdudeeverr says:

      I don’t think you should have any special favors either- like free speech, the right to vote or freedom of religion.

  7. topcad says:

    Makes you wonder if there should be a simple age of consent for everything. Alcohol, renting a car, voting, military duty, gambling, etc. Let’s split the difference between 18 and 21 and just say 20 for everybody.

    • NewsMuncher says:

      It’s a nice round number, too.
      So does that mean we add another two years to secondary education?
      2 year community college degrees and part time jobs, perhaps? [I wish I had done that in my intervening years before I turned 18.]

  8. NotYou007 says:

    All this BS because he is a Marine. If he was not in the armed forces nobody would be making a stink about it. Besides, those in the military are not supposed to receive special favors while in uniform. One would think a Marine knows how to follow and obey the rules.

    • not-gonna-tell-ya says:

      says who? You can’t just make up statements and hope it to be true. I served in the Marine Corps for 6 years, and NEVER was a statemtent made that this was a rule.

  9. jp7570-1 says:

    Just another example of companies blindly following policies without considering the unique circumstances. (Some might try to blame the OP for not checking on the possibility they might be too young to check into a hotel, but that does seem to the last thing that would be on her mind.)

    This is just another example of an employee that does not “get it”. The hotel manager, however, did the right thing. It is just too bad he wasn’t around to settle the dispute. At the least, he should have tried to contact the young couple before they were forced to go to another hotel.

    If I am ever in Bakersfield, I will avoid staying at the Padre Hotel.

    • crashfrog says:

      To be fair – employees aren’t really allowed to deviate from the rules. If the owner believes exceptions should be made then he needed to train his employees to make reasonable exceptions, not say (as my old hotel boss) “this is the rule, there are no exceptions, it’s an important rule for our insurance liability and if you deviate from it you’ll be fired.” For instance, that’s what I was trained about our hotel’s pool – it closed at 10 PM, no exceptions, because that was the conditions specified by the hotel’s insurance and someone injuring themselves in the pool area after it had been officially closed could have sued the hotel, which would have had no insurance to absorb the liability and been put out of business.

      And, sure, I turned people away from the pool area, even people who asked me to open it “as a personal favor”, people who offered a cash bribe (never large enough for me to risk my job), and especially the people who said “no, the owner/manager said he’d make an exception for us when we booked our reservation.”

      And in at least one case it turned out the manager had promised that; but the manager didn’t tell me that, so what was I supposed to do? “Be a fucking human being”? Sorry, people, this fucking human being needed to keep his job to pay the rent and buy groceries a lot more than you need to play late-night kissy-kiss in the hot tub. And I was told – without any ambiguity – that no exceptions were to be made to the “no pool after hours” rule.

  10. Skellbasher says:

    How would the hotel have liquor license problems by selling a room to an 18 year old?

    If they go to the hotel bar, you ID them. If they sneak in alcohol from outside, the hotel cannot be liable for anything unless they know about it and don’t throw them out.

    Seems like an overly paranoid policy to me, but then again I don’t run a hotel.

    Glad that the newlyweds found someplace to stay though, and that the owner is at least showing some contrition, albeit after the fact.

    • Grungo says:

      Perhaps each room has a mini-bar with alcohol in it.

      • Dover says:

        Don’t most minibars require a key? Just don’t give it to them.

      • Skellbasher says:

        I hadn’t considered that possibility.

        I’ve seen different types of minibars. Some have keys, others just have a zip-tie style tag on the door, and you get charged for the entire fridge if you opened the door. Some places have it wide open but charge you for anything inside that is moved, even if you didn’t eat/drink it.

    • DanRydell says:

      I thought it was a pretty common policy at hotels.

      • Not Given says:

        I was 17 when I married. We didn’t have a problem checking in. My husband was 23 though. It was the 70s and we chose the hotel because it had water beds.

  11. Doubts42 says:

    I spent a long time as a hotel front office agent and manager. Every decent hotel i ever worked for had a no one under 21 rule. I also would have suspended/fired anyone who didn’t have enough functioning brain cells to realize that newlywed couples (especially with one of them a service person in uniform) were an exception to this rule.
    It really sounds like someone at the front desk failed to think or show any initiative.

    • JiminyChristmas says:

      When things like this happen I think you need to look past the front-line employees. The problem could be THE POLICY. Some companies set policies and empower employees to apply common sense when the policy doesn’t seem right. At other companies, employees are told to enforce the policies or face consequences. In other words, they could get written up or fired for making an exception they didn’t have the express authority to make.

      Who knows what the management style is at this hotel. Obviously, the person who turned away the honeymooners thought they were doing the right thing. In how many other business contexts have you heard someone say “I can’t do that because I could lose my job.”

      • chocolate1234 says:

        Exactly. I had a job like that for a few years, and it sucked because I was on the front line and was always made to look like the jerk when I had to enforce policies when an exception clearly should have been made.

        The front line employee here probably felt s/he could not make ANY exceptions, even if the situation obviously warranted it. That’s on the management for not conveying to their employees that life is not all black and white.

    • crashfrog says:

      “I also would have suspended/fired anyone who didn’t have enough functioning brain cells to realize that newlywed couples (especially with one of them a service person in uniform) were an exception to this rule. “

      I spent a long time as a hotel front desk employee – maybe working for you! – and I’m curious: did you actually train your employees to make reasonable exceptions to the rules to serve customer needs, or did you train them never to deviate from the rules and promise that if they did, they would be fired?

      I mean, you can’t have it both ways.

  12. Harmodios says:

    This needs a Hotel California tag!

  13. jp7570-2 says:

    Shame on the Padre Hotel

  14. dragonfire81 says:

    I am glad to see few comments saying this couple is getting married too young. It really is more about maturity than age (to a point anyway) I know a 17 tear old guy who recently proposed to his 16 year old girlfriend. Both families are in favor (girls mom is actually thrilled). They know it will be hard but they both seem to have their head screwed on straight.

    • MaliBoo Radley says:

      This is a very difficult judgment call to make. My feeling is that if this young man is old enough to fight (and possibly die) for our country, he’s old enough to get married.

    • pop top says:

      As I said above, this is a very popular practice for young couples when one or both of the people involved are in the military and are shipping out soon. Their age shouldn’t be a surprise at all when you know the circumstances of the situation.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      In this case, they already have kids together, so the maturity argument ship has totally sailed. I mean, if having kids doesn’t smack you upside the head and make you grow up quick, I’m not sure what will. It seems these two have their heads on straight and understand the responsibility.

      Heck…I’m in my mid-20s and I still encounter some people who seem flabbergasted that I’m married. It’s like “what, did you want me to start social security first?” – there is no ideal age. If you want to get married, the only question is when is the right time for you.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Having seen some of the people with kids that I’ve seen – I don’t think any smacking upside the head is done. In some cases, it makes them even LESS mature O_o

      • c_c says:

        Based on some people I knew in high school that had kids early on, I’d say the maturity ship most definitely doesn’t automatically sail once you squeeze out a couple youngins’…

      • roguemarvel says:

        I know how that goes, I’m 24 (granted many people say I look 18-20) and when many people find out I’m married they think I’m too young or must have kids, because everyone think no one gets married under 25 these days unless they are in the military or have an out of wedlock baby

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        Having kids makes you grow up and take responsibility? Someone needs to inform my sister-in-law! She’s three kids behind on the whole ‘acting like an adult’ thing.

    • Dre' says:

      I have dibs on 4.5 years in the Divorce Deadpool.

    • Jevia says:

      Not to mention she obviously got pregnant when they were both 17, which isn’t necessarily the best argument for maturity.

  15. The Cynical Librarian says:

    Note to high schoolers; show up at this hotel in some military garb and a wedding dress from Goodwill and, presto: PARTY!

  16. outlulz says:

    Hm, look what I see when I look at information to make my reservation on the website?

    Rules & Regulations
    * Guests of the hotel are required to be 21 years of age, unless accompanied by an adult.

    Serving in the Marines doesn’t give you the right to step all over a private business’ policy. Plan your honeymoon better next time.

    • jnads says:

      And it’s their right to publicize said asinine business policy.

      And it’s everyone else’s right to cancel their reservations and refuse to do business with a hotel that will treat them like suspects.

      • NeverLetMeDown says:

        That “asinine” business policy is extremely common. For example, from the Hyatt website:


        Generally, the minimum age to reserve a guestroom at Hyatt is 21 years old, however this age may vary from hotel to hotel. Please check the specific policy of the hotel you plan to visit. A person of the minimum age requirement must be present at check-in time and become a registered guest in the room.”

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      You know, I just read the article again…and I’m not sure she made a reservation. The hotel is newly renovated and in Bakersfield (which isn’t exactly the most popular place to be) so it’s very possible that she didn’t make a reservation because it wouldn’t have been necessary if the hotel was not going to reach full capacity.

      • selianth says:

        The second linked article has a couple more details. I don’t know if the bride’s mom made the reservation by phone, but if so, and assuming the mom doesn’t sound “young,” it might explain why the hotel employee doing the booking didn’t bother to make it clear that guests needed to be accompanied by someone 21+:

        “Hillary’s mother had reserved the room, but on the morning of the wedding, Hillary went to the Padre to see if she could get early access to the room so the couple could leave their luggage inside.

        She was told the room was not yet ready, but no one asked about her age or informed her of the policy, she said.”

    • Dre' says:

      If you’re 18-20, you’re an adult in the USA. Problem solved!

    • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

      That’s a funny way of wording it, though. I thought one was an adult when they turned 18.

      Maybe it should say something along the lines of “at least one person in the party needs to be 21 years old or older.”

  17. The cake is a lie! says:

    So he is of the proper age to kill and die for his country, but he can’t stay in a swanky hotel because he isn’t old enough to drink. gotcha… Yeah, that makes sense.

    I understand the policy. I mean, if they let just any age stay then they might get 17 year olds getting rooms there and then getting knocked up… oh, wait… I guess that happened anyway to these two. Swanky hotel not needed I guess.

    I’m glad they recognize that an exception should have been made. So not shame on the hotel, but shame on the asshat working the counter who couldn’t bend the rules and call someone for an exception. Morons… I just love those people who hold to the rules like it was the Bible and they will go to hell if they show even the slightest bit of compassion in the situation. Those people should definitely NOT be working in any customer service business. Especially in a hotel!

    • crashfrog says:

      ” I just love those people who hold to the rules like it was the Bible and they will go to hell if they show even the slightest bit of compassion in the situation.”

      Well, I was one of those people, and I held to the rules like they were the Bible because I was trained that if I ever deviated from the rules – even where it seemed reasonable – I would be fired on the spot.

      So, yeah, I upheld the rules. Sorry, buddy, but resolving your little situation isn’t worth my job. You don’t get fired for following the rules and doing as you were trained to do. The problem isn’t the people who follow the rules. The problem is the managers who train their employees to follow the rules as though they’re Holy Writ on pain of being fired, instead of training them to make reasonable exceptions when conditions warrant. Until then – sorry, I’m not risking my job just because you’d like me to.

      • The cake is a lie! says:

        “I was just following orders” didn’t hold up at the Nuremberg trials and it doesn’t hold up today either. It is called using your humanity to call someone who has a spine and can exercise a little front line authority to bend the rules that are not actual laws. I’m not asking you to turn the other way when you see someone being murdered, but you can know the difference between company policy and federal regulations, right? Or is that beyond the limits of your programing?

        • crashfrog says:

          “I was just following orders” didn’t hold up at the Nuremberg trials and it doesn’t hold up today either.

          I guess if I had ever been asked to gas Jews as part of my duties as front-desk clerk and night auditor, you’d have a point, you stupid fucking jackass. But thanks for implying I’m a Nazi just because I refused to expose my company to enormous insurance liability just because some drunk asshole asked me to.

          It is called using your humanity to call someone who has a spine and can exercise a little front line authority to bend the rules that are not actual laws.

          Uh-huh. And who’s gonna pay my rent and buy my groceries when I get fired for “being a fucking human being?” You? Oh, no, wait – “being a fucking human being” is just for the guy behind the desk you want to bend the rules for no good reason, it’s never for customers.

        • crashfrog says:

          Flagged, but thanks for calling me a Nazi. “Be a fucking human being”, indeed!

  18. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    My husband and I married when we were 18 and my mom had to check into our hotel for us. They said no one was allowed to check in under 21. Thankfully, we were staying in our city that night so it wasn’t as big of a deal as it could have been if we had traveled.

    I think that is insane, no matter who you are or what your job is. Supposibly you’re an adult when you turn 18, but no.. not really. I guess you’re not “really” an adult till you hit 25, when you can rent a car.

  19. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    You can’t rent a car if you’re under 25 without a substantial fee and I know a lot of places that won’t take a credit card (hotels, mostly) if you’re under 21. Sucks, the guy should’ve been nice about it at least.
    My dad was in the military, and I’m really grateful for all their service, but this is, once again, pulling the “my husband / brother / other relation is in the military and I should get special treatment” card. Not cool.

    • Skellbasher says:

      The car rental issue is different. Allowing anyone under 25 to rent a car would substantially increase the insurance the rental company would have to carry, and make the rentals prohibitively expense.

      • Mom says:

        By the same token, I would guess that the hotel’s liability insurance rates would be significantly higher if they didn’t have the under-21 policy.

        • partofme says:

          So you’re saying that age discrimination is age discrimination. What people don’t seem to understand is that there is an easy solution to this. If you think that younger people are going to wreck more rental cars or destroy more hotel rooms, make them have a line of credit on file as insurance (of course in the case of rental cars you could just purchase their insurance instead). Note that this doesn’t actually cost younger people a penny more… until they wreck a car or destroy a hotel room.

          • evnmorlo says:

            Old people simply don’t want kids on their lawn even if they pay for the damage

            • partofme says:

              At least you’re speaking the truth. Everyone else throws out the fallacious “It’ll cost moar!! All they do is bring their alcomahol!!” arguments. Notice how no one has actually countered my rebuttal. Because when it comes down to it, your statement is all they have.

          • Mom says:

            Okay, I’ll bite. The amount of liability coverage (or “line of credit”) that a young person is going to need in that kind of situation is going to need to be the same as whatever the hotel’s liability coverage is, which is probably somewhere around $1M per incident. What 20 year old is going to have the financial resources to have either a $1M line of credit, or a personal umbrella policy with a $1M limit?

            Otherwise, you’re back in the same situation where if the hotel (or car rental company) changes their policies to not “discriminate” against young people, then it costs everybody else more. The bottom line is that, statistically, young people do stupid things more often than older people. Insurance companies know this, and charge more money when young people are involved.

            • partofme says:

              I think what’s missing is twofold: the type of incidents that everyone agrees is higher probability with 18-20 year olds and secondly, well, the idea of insurance.

              First, what is everyone complaining about, incidents-wise? Trashed rooms, alcohol/police involvement, and such. Commenters say that these would happen with a higher probability with the 18-20 group involved. They’re right. However, these are NOT the type of incidents that require a 1-100M insurance policy. They ARE the type of incidents for which we can likely recoup most of the value (and probably more) with a line of credit held. The “we charge you for damages” policy is known for all ages. Go ahead and rent a room to a 20 year old, but keep the line of credit and make them sign an agreement explicitly stating a fee schedule for such incidents. My college dorm did this. If you got busted for an MIP, you dealt with the cops AND you got a fine for a few hundred dollars from the res hall. Did it eliminate all problems? No. Does it provide a great mechanism for recouping money (or more likely, making money) from the idiots? Yes.

              Secondly, what does a 1-100M insurance policy intended for? Things like… the building burning down. These are already incredibly rare events. Given modern fire suppression systems, including the 18-20 demo would barely perturb the probability. I seriously doubt these high-dollar low-probability events are what would make such a insurance policy more expensive. It almost certainly is the accumulation of many low-dollar events. This is what ALWAYS makes insurance more expensive (why you can save a TON of money by hiking that deductible up just a bit).

              Rental car insurance makes even less sense unless you’re trying to bleed young people dry, because most places ALREADY force you to have sufficient insurance coverage. I can understand them saying, “If you’re under 25 AND buying your primary insurance for this vehicle from us, then we’ll charge your more.” They could even be a bit more strict about making sure that the coverage method you have (be it a part of your personal policy, or credit card based, etc) is sufficient. Notice how those solutions actually deal with the cost of insuring the younger driver rather than simply charging them all an expensive fee.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Same reason the hotel doesn’t let to anyone under 21. They have insurance too.

    • mythago says:

      So a lot of places have stupid policites; why does that make this hotel’s stupid policy OK?

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      I don’t think there is any ‘card’ being played, but I’ll tell you something, if I see a guy in uniform then I’m more likely to make exceptions for him. My job is to do what I can for my customers, but someone in a military uniform’s job is to do what they can for my freedom. Sure fighting for lower prices on oil seems kind of a waste of time, but I also know that uniformed soldier would take a bullet for me and my family if the fight ever came to this town. The least someone could do for someone like that is to look both ways and say “Look, don’t tell anybody I did this, but let me make an exception for you. Oh, and thanks for your service and congrats on your big day!” It is about being human once in awhile and forgetting the bloody rules!

      • Verdant Pine Trees says:

        Here’s my question – and I ask you this as someone who is a spouse, sibling, child-in-law, friend, etc. of veterans, and who spent a few years being defined as a “military dependent”.

        Do you do the same for military family members?

        How about cops? Firemen?

        How about teachers? Or linemen? Construction workers? Fishermen? Truckers?

        All those people put up with a lot of crap, too. In that group, only teachers are unlikely to risk their life or their health going to work – the rest do, routinely.

        I know veterans who have spent years on life-changing, life-risking assignments, and others who spent their entire career stateside, filing paperwork. I know a few guys who will be automatically assumed to be heroes because of their time served in the military, even though they have committed crimes like drunk driving and destruction of property, dereliction of duty, or assault.

        I *do* have a soft spot for people who serve, and I understand… I just believe you shouldn’t limit that definition to people in uniform.

    • chaquesuivant says:

      So what if a ‘card’ is being played. I’m fairly liberal – but I also know this country needs a military. Being in the military can be an excellent career, a good few years to keep you out of jail, earn money for college — or get you maimed or killed.

      The drinking age should be 18, voting age 16, the 21 rule certain hotels have is stupid, the car rental age is asinine, but, sometimes I think the driving age for a car should be 17 – except for certain scooters which should be 14 or 15.

      Although the drinking age should be 18 or 19 for everyone, if you join the military, a drinking age of 18 or 19 should be part of the benefits. To answer the question – no, I haven’t been in the service. Maybe I should have joined – don’t know. Too old now. If you flame me, please be gentle…sniff….

  20. banndndc says:

    Is this sort of policy even legal under common law? i though innkeepers could only turn people (adults at leasy) away for specific things (like reasonable suspicion of intoxication, inability to pay, conducting business of ill repute etc). a blanket age restriction against 18-20 year old adults seems to violate this.

    • outlulz says:

      Pretty much every hotel in Vegas has a 21+ reservation age so there must be some times when age is limited.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Vegas is different, though, because most of the hotels are also casinos and the legal gambling age is 21. The casinos in most of the Vegas hotels are in open areas (no doors) and it would be impossible to card or police that area to make sure that people under 21 were not allowed to gamble.

    • Billy says:

      Age-based restrictions aren’t normally violative of anything (except for discrimination of those over 40 via the EEOC).

      • banndndc says:

        Are you sure about that when it comes to common carriers and inns? They have different and special rules under the common law.

        • Billy says:

          What does common law have to do with this?

          If there ARE different rules, couldn’t you just find them? My guess is that there aren’t.

          The only anti-discrimination rules I’m aware of are derived from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and they apply to “public accommodations” which includes hotels. That act doesn’t speak about discrimination based on age, though. The only federal law that I’m aware of that speaks to age discrimination is the ADEA (relating to employment). Some states may have laws that speak directly to age of consent when renting a hotel, but that goes state by state.

        • Billy says:

          What does common law have to do with this?

          If there ARE different rules, couldn’t you just find them? My guess is that there aren’t.

          The only anti-discrimination rules I’m aware of are derived from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and they apply to “public accommodations” which includes hotels. That act doesn’t speak about discrimination based on age, though. The only federal law that I’m aware of that speaks to age discrimination is the ADEA (relating to employment). Some states may have laws that speak directly to age of consent when renting a hotel, but that goes state by state.

  21. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    Well, the idea of denying a paying customer the use the room they reserved because they were only 18 never occurred to me. They can vote, go to war, marry, leave home, drive, fly a plane, but not sleep in a hotel room they pay for with their own credit card. Something in this system is broken. I’m hoping they fix it, but I’m not holding my breath.

  22. lettucefactory says:

    Wow. That stinks. My first husband and I were 18 and 19, respectively, when we got married. Nobody gave us any grief about being “too young” to book hotel rooms.

    But I guess it was a different world in the late 90s. As I understand it, this is not an uncommon policy these days, though who the hell wouldn’t use discretion in a case like this?

    All that said, I’m not sure this demands an outraged uproar from the masses. I mean…just about every responsible young adult ends up dealing with these kinds of hurdles through no fault of his or her own. Welcome to life as a very young married person.

  23. skapig says:

    Kind of lame, but not terribly unusual. However, the policy should have been clearly stated prior to booking.

  24. sumocat says:

    Our alcohol policy is completely out of line with our service and rights. If you’re an adult at 18, if you can serve our country in battle, you should be allowed to drink. Raise two or drop one, age for all should be the same.

  25. ckspores says:

    I worked at hotels in college and every hotel I worked at had this policy and it was enforced heavily. Now, maybe it being a college town had something to do with this but if I had violated this policy for ANY reason I would’ve been fired.

    I would’ve turned these two away unless they could produce someone in compliance with the hotel’s policy to check them in. I appreciate and am grateful for military service but just because you are military does not mean you are entitled to treatment that “normal” guests wouldn’t receive and that your bride can use your military record as a pass to whine and assume you’ll get anything you ask for. The hotel’s website clearly states the policy when booking. Too bad if she ignored it.

    Not to mention I would’ve just thought that baby bride was totally obnoxious.

    • Alexk says:

      I find that strange. I don’t doubt what you’re saying, but my experience is precisely the opposite. I checked into hotels on my own as young as 16. 38 years later, my daughter did the same.

  26. daemonaquila says:

    It’s time for all age-related restrictions – hotels, car rental, etc. – to be ended. When a person turns 18, they’re an adult, need to function in society as an adult, and should be treated equally with all other adults. If a person is old enough to vote and to die for their country, they’re old enough to rent a room at your stinking swanky dive.

    Undoubtedly there will be some squawking about how statistically young adults do more room damage, crash more rental cars, etc. Seriously, whether or not the numbers bear that out, it doesn’t matter. If that’s a valid reason to refuse business, then I suggest that those same businesses refuse to serve families (ever see what a bunch of toddlers can do to a room? and what about crashes caused by distracted driving with screaming kids in the back?) and anyone over retirement age (too much liability for falls in rooms, “everybody knows” older people can’t drive well any more), etc. I’m sure we can think of lots of other people who just should be excluded because it might increase some poor widdle business owner’s costs in some way.

  27. Jimmy37 says:

    You mean all I need are dress blues and I get special treatment? How much do look-alike uniforms cost?

  28. jake.valentine says:

    Yet another example of how our priorities are screwed up in this country. Sadly, the treatment of this Marine in the Socialist Republic of California is not even a little surprising. Too many Americans have forgotten that our country exists (and companies can earn a profit) because of the sacrifices of our military.

  29. esilvas says:

    First, the fact that he was in the Marine Corps does not seem to be used to get better treatment. It’s a statement of fact. Second, most eighteen year olds are not aware of what they can/can not do, especially when it comes to things like car rentals and hotels. The staff should have brought it up and mentioned it to her. Third, the owner is only relenting because of the bad press. It was a bride on her wedding night with her husband home from the military. The hotel couldn’t offer her an alternative like a recommendation to another property in town that could accommodate them? Everyone here complaining about the newly married couple is off base. Double so for the hotel employees hiding behind policy. Policy does not prevent you from helping them find another place for the night, does it?

    • ckspores says:

      Really, so just because she didn’t know means that she shouldn’t be held responsible or have to face the repercussions? Or, that is the staff’s responsibility to inform her? Nope, sorry.

      Honestly, if she isn’t old enough to do her research then I question her maturity level and ability to live in an adult world where, gasp, you are responsible for yourself.

      Ignorance is no excuse.

  30. synergy says:

    “An exception should have been made. If you show up in a military uniform and a wedding gown — sure, we’ll give you a room,” he said.


  31. tundey says:

    I suppose if you are in the military, the rules (as absurd as they may be) shouldn’t apply to you? Regardless of what the groom was wearing, an exception should have been made. But then again, who knows with all the rules we have about under-age drinking. Should a bar grant entrance to an 18-year old marine private?

  32. Brink006 says:

    “He was in his dress blues and he’s going to put his life on the line for these people and they won’t even offer us a room.”

    I’m tired of military people using their enlistment as a reason as to why they should receive special treatment. The reason they should receive admittance to the hotel is that not allowing young newlyweds is a silly practice, not because they’re military.

  33. maddypilar says:

    Maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to serve in the military until you are 21.

    • Groanan says:

      Can’t do, we need kids in the military while they still have cartilage in their knees and ankles.
      There is a lot of grunt work that needs to be done, and it comes at the cost of cartilage.
      18-21 year olds are nearly invincible compared to their elders.

  34. BitterBrian says:

    Working in customer service at a major city arena I have noticed that cops and military are the biggest beggars out of everybody.

    Example 1….

    ” Hey, buddy (opening wallet to show badge) I am Cop (or deputy) in blah blah blah and I was wondering if I could get another of whatever the free giveaway was for the night.”

    Ya, I am sure if this donut muncher pulled me over for speeding all I would have to do is show him my employee ID and I would be able to get a warning no problem.

    Example 2…

    “Hey, I’m active duty military and I was wondering if you do anything special for military guys?”

    Really? I didn’t know you joined the military to wore yourself out for swag and attention.

    Working events and running in to guys like this EVERY NIGHT makes me lose respect for military and law enforcement a little bit more every night.

    Isn’t recognition better when you don’t ask for it?

  35. sweetgreenthing says:

    I don’t care that the groom is in the military- you shouldn’t get different rules from anyone else. I didn’t make you enlist, you chose to. However, not allowing a legal adult to check into a room they were able to book with their own credit card is absurd. If an 18 year old is charged as an adult for any crime they could commit, why is there any debate as to whether or not an 18 year old is actually an adult when it comes to hotels, drinking, or renting a car?

  36. rayblasdel says:

    One can complain all they want about the inequality of age restrictions and liability, but that’s not the fault of the hotel owner or their staff. There is a legitimate reason for the age policy, one that can cost thousands of dollars in criminal fines and open up to civil lawsuits if not enforced.

    If you want to blame anyone, blame the lawyers and government officials who have turned this country into the litigious monster it is.

    I feel sorry for the couple, but its the reality of life. You pick yourself back up, learn from the experience and keep on moving.

  37. Draw2much says:

    She sounds like a girl who got completely stressed out.

    I didn’t know there was an age restriction. It’s a good thing that when I got married (at 19) my husband was 3 years older. Otherwise we’d not have been able to stay at any hotel on the 3 day drive to SD. Seems kinda dumb personally. What’s the point of being a legal adult at 18 if you’re not allowed to do anything adults can do? o_0

    Hm, I don’t know a lot of people who play the “military sympathy card”. The only thing we ever do is ask if there’s a military discount. And sometimes even knowing there is one we don’t always use it. (My husband–USAF–always gets this really awkward look on his face when someone does something for him because he’s military. He’s been in 8 years now and he’s still not use to that type of behavior from other people.)

  38. stegosaurus1 says:

    Just an observance…

    Doesn’t the douchebag-density seem awful high on this thread?

    Also, apropos of nothing in particular….18 year-olds (unless the rule’s changed) do not get posted to combat zones.

    In Vitenam, you had to be 19 to go over (unless you’d lied about your age).

    • stegosaurus1 says:

      If I’m incorrect on any point, no disrespect intended to anyone serving or has served..

      I was 18 myself when I went into the Army. :)

    • Groanan says:

      You are mostly correct, 18 year olds would be hard pressed get into a combat zone before they turn 19.

      Mostly because you have to be 17 1/2 to join, and then you have to go through basic training / boot camp, and then your specific job training.

      After that it is likely your actual unit will not want to take you until you have been trained at the unit as well.

      Sometimes though, units have to take everyone they can, or people adamantly volunteer to go.

      Regardless, I turned 21 in Baghdad in 2003, so I personally was allowed to be in a combat zone before I was allowed to purchase alcohol in America.

  39. DanKelley98 says:

    What did the hotel gain by this? A hotel run by idiots! Yeah for Doubletree….they rock!

  40. GoSpursGo says:

    Same thing happened to me and a few of my friends when we booked a condo rental in Myrtle Beach, through Orbitz. We were 18-19 at the time, and would not have the condo’s definition of an adult (age 25) with us at any time. We repeatedly asked Orbitz when booking if the fact that none of us would be 25 at the time of rental would turn into an issue, and the rep told us it wouldn’t. Luckily, we called a few days before we left and spoke with the condo directly who in fact did have a problem with the situation. We called up Orbitz, ripped into them on the phone over the misinformation provided by the CSR, and had them call the condo to straighten it out. Losing a non-refundable deposit was unacceptable due to the misinformation. In the end, the condo allowed us to stay with a $300 cash deposit. And we received the entire deposit back in full, simply because we weren’t idiots and we acted responsibly.

    Her husband being a Marine has no significance to the article. He “puts his life on the line” because he voluntarily chose to do so, and is compensated for that choice with many benefits unavailable to others. If he wants my pity he can refund my share of my tax dollars that go to him. Just because you “serve” your country (for pay/benefits of course) doesn’t mean you should be allowed to be an exception. I work for pay and benefits myself, what makes him any different?

  41. Britt says:

    Kudos to Doubletree. I love the Hilton family.

  42. macruadhi says:

    Oh, quit your complaining. At least you got a honeymoon. Ive been married for 15 years and I’m still waiting on a get away.

  43. Dracoster says:

    Ok, so I read the article because I’m bored at 3:30 am. And I continued on to read the comments.
    Now, first I would like to mention that I’m not american. I am norwegian. We too have armed forces fighting your wars. Yes, war in plural. You people don’t even have enough soldiers to fight your battles, but you treat them as, well, second class citizens.
    If there wasn’t for these brave heroes (yes, they are heroes), you wouldn’t be sitting here mocking a soldier and his wife.
    You say that they shouldn’t get any special treatment just because he’s a soldier. Hell yes he should! You people should be on all fours licking this guy’s boots! Not only is this guy protecting your way of living by risking his life on foreign soil, he’s also making sure his kids has proper rights and policies as other kids. He’s making sure that his loved ones will be looked after economically if something happens to him. He’s making sure that his wife will be able to put food on the table when he’s out on missions.

    And what else? Oh yeah, he might have gotten the love of his life.

    “But, but, but they’re too young!” Not they ain’t, not a hundred years ago, 18 and newlywed was considered on the late side. Also, the guy got a job AND married his teenage mom of a girlfriend. If that’s not taking responsibility, I don’t know what is. This guy got what most of you are missing. Namely balls, a big pair of cast iron balls.

    • GoSpursGo says:

      America has been free since the American Revolution. No country has threatened America’s freedom in years. An attack does not constitute freedom being taken away. We’ve had freedom for over 200 years now.

  44. Jane_Gage says:

    Here in PA, if a clerk defends him or herself while being mugged or assaulted at a convenience store chain they get fired. Anyone working in retail, service, or food is treated like a second class citizen who doesn’t have the luxury of making educated exceptions to policy, no matter the circumstances. At will employment is even more cut throat in this recession, and I don’t think this hotel should blame the victim (employee) for trying to feed his or her family, not just for one night of magic but for the foreseeable future.

  45. Willow says:

    Wow the ‘military’ card. I hate that card, and my husband is military. I have not, ever, used that card and would be ashamed to use it for any reason.
    Military members are NOT above anyone else and therefore, there should not be special accommodations for them. What they do is important, yes, but they do it knowing their own age, surely.
    Playing this into media only does one thing, make military spouses in particular look whiny because THEY didn’t verify how old they needed to be to rent the hotel.

    This should not have been about him being military, them being on their honeymoon or anything. The hotel clerk was doing their job, plain and simple.

  46. AFSC8085 says:

    I feel so sad that Americans are so misinformed about our military. They are the most well paid military in our history. I retired from the military in the 20th century, and currently am a DOD civilian who works for the military. General Al Gray, a former commandant of the Marine Corps, briefly prohibited married individuals from joining the Marine Corps because they would spend, at least, their first two years away from home. He was almost immediately overruled by the president. The military is one of the last industries in America in which an unskilled person can make a middle class living. And that’s considering that less than a third of the active duty force has deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. In my military organization of more than fifty active duty members, less than a handful has ever deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. I could go on and on about this, but it probably would do no good. Today’s military has little in common with the military I was drafted into, or the one my father joined during World War 2.

  47. cecilsaxon says:

    Padre Hotel Staff: Do push-ups

  48. Emily says:

    The policy itself is nonsensical and shouldn’t have been applied to anyone, honeymooning or not.

    How about if you have people of younger than drinking age in your hotel, you card them when they order alcohol? Problem solved.

  49. ChoralScholar says:

    This happened to me down on the Gulf Coast. I had paid a 500 dollar deposit on a condo (I had to give my birthdate for the reservation) – and when we got there, my wife and I gave our licenses, and they wouldn’t let us check in because we weren’t 21. (20 actually)

    I told the manager – “It didn’t bother you that I was 20 when you took 500 dollars from me for a deposit, so you either need to hand me 500 dollars or a room key – that’s all there is to it.”

    They made an ‘exception’ because we were married.

    I think the whole thing was a ploy to keep out college spring-breakers (it was late March, after all)

  50. shufflemoomin says:

    I am sick and tired to my very stomach of people using their military job in order to get preferential treatment. Truly sick of it. Nowhere is worse for it than America. You act like their Gods among men. Few people in the military go into actual battle and even then, it’s not for long. What about police officers and firemen? These people risk their lives WAY more than people in the military and they do so without wearing their uniform everywhere looking for preferential treatment. They chose to go into their line of work just like people in the military have CHOSEN to do so. How about we tell soldiers to go fuck themselves and spend a bit of attention on the Police and Firemen who risk their lives every single day, eh?

  51. phonebem says:

    This has been in effect for a while. Back in ’98 when I was on a cross-country PCS (permanent change of station) in the Air Force I got to spend a night in my truck in a Wal-Mart parking lot because I couldn’t get a room ( I was 19 at the time).

  52. Phineas says:

    Do I give preferential treatment to military personnel? You betcha. It is something I’m glad to give.
    Do I give preferential treatment to military personnel who demand it because they are fighting for my freedom? Never. I don’t succumb to demands for people based on their status. Not for cops, pregnant women, firefighters, nor my mom. I will give it almost every time. But the second they feel they are entitled to something better than everyone else, they ONLY get treated as well as everyone else.
    (Maybe it is because my sister is teaching your children here while you are over there, my wife is serving your wife here while you are over there, and I’m saving your mom from a massive heart attack here while you are over there… but I never demand anything other than courtesy from our soldiers while in uniform.)

  53. odarkshineo says:

    “I planned the wedding…” without reading a single document I was signing.

    If you can’t make a simple hotel reservation are you really ready to get married?….good luck.

  54. Alexk says:

    How odd. I used to book –and get– rooms at hotels in my teens, back in the sixties. Moreover, my daughter, who is now 22, has never had a problem getting a hotel room in the last several years. This is not the norm.

  55. dush says:

    The hotel reservations didn’t ask the ages when they booked so that this wouldn’t happen?
    Is this owner so dumb that he doesn’t think people under 21 get married??

  56. ChuckLez says:

    I have run into issue everywhere where I got a hotel. One of the main rules was “had to be 21 or over”. I even remember getting a hotel reservation from Motel 6 online. Traveled 600+ miles only to be denied the room because we were only 18 at the time (no exceptions). One thing to note for kids now a days. We were lucky to get a room at the red roof inn at the time. However, nexxt year, they adopted the same policy (caught it before traveling out this time though).

  57. Not Given says:

    If I had been working the front desk I would have let them check in just because of his dress uniform. I appreciate his service.

    Also, I’m pretty sure in my state, getting married automatically makes you an adult for most purposes, contracts, etc.

  58. Kevinsky says:

    I don’t understand your drinking age at 21 thing. Just bizarre. It’s 19 here, I think it should be 18. Old enough to vote, drink and serve in the military.

    And no, I’m not 18, I’m 36.

  59. jaredwilliams says:

    If they’re old enough to hold a gun and decide to take a life, they are old enough to drink, they are old enough to make adult decisions. These people are douche bags.

  60. Chaosium says:

    For insurance purposes, I can see why they might reject 18 year olds as a matter of policy, married or not. No biggie, they should have verified in advance.