Getting into a Lounge with an Old Key
Yesterday was a great day at the Ann Arbor DO. I will have a full debrief some time this week, but I did want to share a sort of cool thing I stumbled upon yesterday. I’m not sure how useful it is in most cases, but it amused me and this is my blog, so I thought I would share.
After the official DO, most of the attendees enjoyed a great dinner together. Since quite a few of us decided a full day of seminars and dinner wasn’t enough, we decided to meet up in the club lounge at the Sheraton Ann Arbor, the hotel where I had stayed on Friday night, but had checked out. (Several members of our group were still staying in the hotel.)
Arriving at the Hotel
So we left dinner and arrived at the hotel to find that no one else was waiting in the lobby to guest us up to the lounge. What is a good travel hacker to do? Why not run a test? I hypothesized that my Club Level room key from the previous night would still work to get us up to the club floor and into the lounge. Did it work? Definitely. (Our friends did arrive about a minute after us, so it wasn’t that useful.)
I actually wasn’t surprised by this at all since the Club Lounge most likely has a communal code that opens access to both the elevator and the lounge door. While my key was most deactivated to open my room (lets hope I didn’t try), it was still able to access the communal areas for which it was programmed.
Of course how many people go back to a hotel the day after they have checked out in order to “crash” the Club Lounge with a group of travel hackers? This little trick has limited use, but it is an interesting one nonetheless.
Will the key work forever? I don’t believe so. My guess is that hotels periodically change the security code in their system for elevator and lounge access. Who knows how long it will work, but I am tempted to keep the key for a year just so I am forced to return to the awesome Ann Arbor DO next year to see if it still works.
I want to emphasize that we had many members of our group who were staying at the hotel on the night of our visit and who guested us in. I would never have been at the hotel or in the lounge had I not been with people who were staying there. I would never do this outside of those circumstances.
With that said, I think this was pretty cool. Am I a nerd? Am I easily amused? Probably.