Should Key Card Access Be Required For Hotel Elevators?

Our site may contain affiliate links. Read Advertiser Disclosure policy here.

Last week, I was staying at the W Los Angeles-Westwood, and their hotel requires key card access to get to the rooms.

This got me thinking about whether I find this beneficial or more of a hinderance. I get that they are trying to do this for security, so that only registered guests are able to access the guest rooms using the elevator.

However, the stairs do not require any key card access, so if someone who wasn’t staying at the property was trying to get to a floor, they could just take the stairs anyway, so I don’t actually feel that much safer when a hotel requires elevator key card access.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 3.59.44 PM

This hotel does attract a lot of international guests, and almost everytime I was in the elevator the other guests who were checking in would have no idea how to make the elevator work, so even if it is safer, many guests are not made aware of this.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 4.00.01 PM

Bottom Line

I can see both sides of this why a hotel would want key card access for elevators, and why guests may not want it.

But I’m interested to hear. What are your thoughts on hotel elevators that require guests to insert their room keys? Do you feel safer, or would you rather not have to deal with putting your room key in each time.

Sign up for Email || Twitter || Facebook || Tips & Tricks

Hotel Offers || Airline Offers || Bank Offers || Cash Back Offers

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About Points, Miles & Martinis

Here at Points, Miles and Martinis, we love all things travel. We focus on topics relating to travel including destinations, airline, hotel, car rental and credit card reward programs. Our goal is to help people travel better. - See more at our About Us page.

Sign up for Email || Twitter || Facebook |Tips & Tricks
Hotel Offers || Airline Offers || Bank Offers || Cash Back Offers


  1. My take is that any additional layer of security is a bonus. The key card in the elevator is a minimal annoyance that I can put up with. However anyone can board and get off at any floor as long as there is another passenger.

  2. Normally I am ok with this extra security feature. The only time I find it extremely annoying is when my hotel card key wouldn’t work on the elevator (or I have to try it 3+ times…)

  3. I have often thought about this as well. When I stay at a property that has a key access elevator or where one floor is key access only, I actually DO check the stairs…usually out of curiosity. I have found that 50% of the time, there is a key box adjacent to the stairway door. Thus requiring a key to access the floor, but not exit a floor. One time I ran into hotel security, and was informed that in the event of fire evacuation, guests would need to exit but not re-enter. But, this does beg the question…..ifvthe floors are locked…how would emergency personnel gain access?

  4. There is probably a key to override the key card access on both the elevator and the stair access.

  5. There’s ways around almost every security feature, but any additional security is a bonus. You need your room key to get in your room anyway, so it’s not like you have to carry anything additional.

  6. It depends on the property location. In the suburbs, generally it’s annoying but in the city I like it.

    As to the stairs, as Andrew pointed out, stairs only need to let a person out of their floor and out the door on the bottom so they can be secured if done properly.

    As to locked doors and emergency personnel, it’s a requirement that any access control in the elevator can be overridden by the key switch and firemen carry axes for any door they find “uncooperative”.

  7. Personal peeve: when a card is needed to call the elevator, and AGAIN to choose a floor.

    As for stairwells, I am in hotels many times per year for conventions, and except in the highest of high-rises we always end up taking the stairs at some point. (After checking what it takes to get back out again, of course!) When the Big Event lets out—when everyone wants to get dressed and then back to the ballroom level for the banquet—at check-out time, or party time, or “what idiot programmed these elevators?” time, it is in everyone’s interest if some of the demand can avail itself of the stairwells instead.

  8. These systems are fairly delicate and whilst the extra security is good it’s a pain in the arse if you’re there inserting, removing the card and pressing floors but nothing happens and then people who’s cards are working look at you like you’re special and don’t understand how the card system works lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *