TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Challenge to Hospitality: The ID Check in the Lobby

Re: Challenge to Hospitality: The ID Check in the Lobby
1 Feb 2006 10:16:13 -0800

John Levine wrote:

> That's ridiculous. In that case, I would have pulled out my mobile
> phone, called the hotel, and asked to speak to the guest.

Yes, you could've done that.

> Of course, any ID check where they aren't checking the ID against a
> list of known good or bad people is completely pointless anyway. And
> as we've seen with the TSA no-fly list, even if they do have a list,
> that often doesn't help.

That is not the only purpose for checking ID and recording those who
come in.

From the point of view of the hotel mgmt, the ID check serves as a
way to legally keep undesirables -- homeless and criminals -- out of the
hotel. Frankly, in NYC it is in the interest of the hotel and its
guests to do so.

If the hotel attempted to eject a homeless person sitting quietly it
could get into discrimination trouble. Most homeless people either do
not have IDs or wish to be challenged, so this helps keeps them out.

A criminal might have ID, but obviously would not want a record of his
or her presence made. Again, this check helps keep them out.

I don't care for such intensive ID checking and surveillance.
However, such public places in some cities, like NYC, are prohibited
by law from using common sense to keep undesirables out and they seek
alternative legal ways to do so. A few people think undesirables have
as much right as anyone else to sit around lobbies and such. As a
user of public transit, my own experiences have been most unpleasant
with undesirables and I am very glad transit agencies are finally
getting rid of them. I object to those social activists who think
otherwise; I believe they are clueless. My fellow transit riders and
I have rights too to a safe and clean environment and the activists
refuse to recognize that.

Herb Stein wrote:

> "NOT a public place" would imply that the no-smoking ban in NY is a crock.

I have no idea what the terms are of no-smoking ban which is a
different issue. But any property owner may ban smoking on their own
property if they so choose. The govt for many years has banned
smoking in some places, such as the inside of a transit bus.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: A 'public place' is wherever police
> decide it is. If someone has a thing against another person smoking
> somewhere, I am sure they will be able to find a judge to agree with
> them if they look for awhile. PAT]

In this context, my usage of "public place" was a public sidewalk vs.
the interior of private property. Once you leave the public sidewalk
the laws and rules governing behavior differ.

Some private property, such as a store or restaurant, is defined as a
place of public accomodation and there are laws regarding the rights
and responsibilities of the owners of such places. The most obvious
example is prohibiting racial discrimination. However, beyond certain
explicit situations, the owners of private spaces may make and enforce
their own rules (e.g. dress codes and conduct.) A supermarket
theorectically could require every shopper to register before entry;
they don't because there's no need to and it would discourage business.

However, some very high end stores do do that for protection.

I note all of this because while we may be offended by this photo ID
requirement, it is the owner's right to do so. There are two
important points to remember: 1) why has the owner been forced to take
the expense to require IDs and 2) many people think "big brother"
watching us is the government; we forget the private sector does it

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: What I could never understand is how
stores such as Walmart on the one hand want to encourage shoppers
(although I do not personally care for the chain) yet on the other
hand they can claim that someone is 'tresspassing' if the person comes
in their store. Ditto with public transit. If it is a public place,
which is claimed, then how can a member of the public who chooses to
go inside or upon the property of the store or the transit agency get
arrested by police for trespassing? Yet CTA does that all time; so
does Walmart. Seems to me like Walmart and transit agency want to have
things both ways at the same time. PAT]

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