A hotel in North Carolina is apologizing after a desk attendant turned a U.S. soldier away due to his age, affirming its support for the military and pledging never to allow a similar incident to unfold in the future.
Cpl. Hayden Harrington, who was reportedly on his way back to base this week in Oklahoma after spending a few days with his family in Danville, New Hampshire, found himself stranded in Charlotte, North Carolina, after his flight was cancelled.
So, with the help of the USO he reserved a room at the Baymont Inn And Suites near the airport, but when he arrived at the hotel, Harrington, 20, claims that he wasn't allowed to officially book the room due to the fact that he is under 21, WPVI-TV reported.
The staffer at the desk was reportedly unaware that active military personnel are not held to the same rule that those booking rooms must be at least 21 years old, according to the Army soldier's mother, Pamela LaPrell.
The hotel manager has since apologized, claiming that the staff member wasn't aware of the exemption for military personnel and issued a written response that was addressed to Harrington to WBTV-TV.
"Recently you were declined a stay at our hotel. Please accept our sincerest apologizes for this inconvenience," wrote general manager Nita Shah. "However, exceptions are made in specific instances (i.e., flight cancellation, Member of the military, etc.). The employee that declined your request was following our company policy, but he is new and was not aware of the permitted exceptions."
Shah went on to note that the hotel will ensure that this issue doesn't happen again and profusely apologized over the incident.
"We appreciate all of our customers especially the members of our military who serve our country. There are many other hotels in the area and we are honored that you chose ours. We only regret that we did not honor you in return," she wrote. "We hope that you will accept our apology and provide us the opportunity to serve you in the future."
LaPrell, who contacted media after the hotel turned her son away, said that she believes that anyone who is old enough to serve his or her country "should be able to stay in a hotel and not be turned away on the street."
Harrington ended up staying at a nearby hotel that allowed him to check in despite his age.