What hotel staff really think about their guests has been revealed in a tell-all book, Heads in Beds, by Jacob Tomsky, a hotel worker for 10 years.
Some guests revert to children when they check into a hotel, Tomsky observed, because it's the only time they ever get a servant.
Instead of demanding, he suggested, ask pleasantly. He likes to help people, he said, but he likes helping nice people most.
On arrival, stay off your mobile and treat the staff as people. It makes him sad, Tomsky said, when guests treat him as a check-in machine.
Don't name-drop. It's annoying, not impressive. Understand that if something has gone wrong, your anger may be justifiable, but the hotel staff may not be to blame. It could be a reservation agent back home who mis-handled your booking.
Tomsky also has this straightforward advice for how to score that upgrade. Offer a tip. It's a cut-through way to get on the staff's radar when they have booked in 400 people that day.