On December 11th, 2018, AFA and IBT representatives, Horizon Management and the Ruby River Hotel management met onsite to address numerous complaints from Flight Attendants about the hotel, namely cleanliness.
AFA addressed each complaint with HZN and Hotel management and their plans for the hotel to resolve the issues.
Onsite Hotel Inspection: We toured rooms throughout the property that were selected by AFA/IBT. Our primary focus was on specific rooms that had generated complaints. We observed improved cleanliness and were able to point out some areas that could use some attention. We tested the door locks and thankfully found no failures. There were signs of wear and plans for renovation of all guest rooms is going to be done in stages with an unknown timeline. We also saw random guest rooms in each of the six buildings and found the rooms were ready for occupancy as well.
Transportation: The hotel is “committed” to improving their airport pick-up performance and has agreed to begin a shuttle to the local area when it receives a second van in service. We have not received any timeline. Please file a report immediately if your van is delayed.
Elevator: There is still no elevator on property. We agreed to this exemption based on the hotel’s promise to assist in carrying crew bags to second floor rooms. Currently they are not doing this, even on request. We have not reached a complete resolution on this as night arrivals would require the only employee on staff to leave the front desk unattended. Please file the appropriate report immediately if you request assistance with you bags and are denied.
Food: The restaurant remains out of service and has been gutted as it begins a major renovation. Hotel management has offered an alternative breakfast buffet; however, this doesn’t work with crew departure times. Hotel management says it is providing a “grab and go” to those leaving prior to the buffet opening, but there is still no confirmation this is happening consistently. If you are not provided a “grab and go” breakfast please file a report immediately with Crew ConneX. Any safety related issues with food should be reported using an Irregularity Report.
Cleanliness: The “mold” issue was explained as long-term residue from charcoal-based bath bars accumulating. Hotel management has stated this residue is nearly impossible to remove from grout and caulk lines. There is an effort being made to remove all residue and re-caulk tubs/showers. The residue in toilets was explained as long-term hard water staining. The team was comfortable with the explanation after careful review of the rooms and following the discussion of follow-up plans, especially the focus on housekeeping attention to detail and their deep cleaning schedule, which is being developed. Please report and photograph any issues with room cleanliness on Crew Connex and/or in an irregularity report if safety related.
Next Steps: The team was in agreement that the hotel is making strides to resolve the cleanliness issues brought to their attention. That said, AFA and IBT remain vigilant that the agreements made with the Red Lion management must be adhered to even under the new Ruby River management team. When this property was a Red Lion, hotel management agreed that hotel staff would carry bags to the second floor and transport crew locally to restaurants. Since the change, new hotel management has not honored these promises. And finally, the closure of the restaurant leaves crew members no choice but to cross a busy street on foot. The risk of crossing Spokane’s main artery at night, on foot, and in severe inclement weather in our future, presents too much of a safety hazard.
Management in place has responded, due to AFA’s request for further review on the GEG property:
“Since the visit on 12/11 the company has not received any reports with concerns surrounding safety, security, rest, access to food or complaints of any type, so I am quite surprised to hear there are still “outstanding concerns.”
The company is committed to insuring the safety and comfort of our crews and will move promptly to address any concerns that are raised at the Ruby River Hotel or any other property.”
Of the most recent hotel changes, the company has overridden the unanimous first choice property in three of four markets. The secondary market choices do meet the AFA Minimum Standards Checklist, but were not the team’s preferred property during our sourcing visits because of availability of food and recreation opportunity, and the general hotel amenities in comparison to our choice property. Budget is definitely a factor in management’s final decision.
Please continue to report any hotel concerns via your CrewConnex ap and/or any safety concerns in an Irregularity Report.
Thank you for your continued reporting,
AFA MEC Chair, Accommodations and Transportation