Last updated: 11:41 AM ET, Wed October 07 2015

Viral Post Slams SC Hotel For Turning Away Flood-Displaced Family

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | October 07, 2015

Viral Post Slams SC Hotel For Turning Away Flood-Displaced Family

Photo courtesy of Facebook

In any life-threatening situation, it's expected that common sense will prevail over policy.

But that wasn't the case in Columbia, South Carolina, this past weekend, where the Columbia Marriott hotel has come under intense criticism for adhering to its strict pet policy Saturday despite dangerous flooding brought on by Hurricane Joaquin.

The Daily Mail and other news outlets recently caught wind of a Facebook post by South Carolinian J Britt,since deleted, that was critical of the hotel's staff in a sarcastic rant.

"Big shout out to Columbia Marriott...It was probably pretty obvious my family of five was distressed after the emergency evacuation of our house a few hours back when Gills Creek started to sweep it away," Britt wrote. "But your strict adherence to your corporate pet policy was admirable. I appreciated you explaining to me in a very condescending customer-service kind of tone about your pet policy even tho (sic) I was trying to just get my family into a safe place so I could go back and check on my neighbors."

"Our two dogs and one cat (in cages BTW) and my three kids who've just lost their home appreciated having to go back out in incredibly dangerous conditions so you didn't break policy. After a nerve-racking drive around town terrified that we'd get stuck in standing water and die, we finally found someone at the Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel who actually had some human decency," added Britt.

"They were far more concerned with our crisis than petty policies, and got all of them to safety."

Britt's post quickly went viral and Facebook users began reposting it in an effort to shame the hotel. 

The immediate backlash prompted the hotel to issue an apology in a Sunday morning Facebook post of its own. The hotel also announced it had since "modified" its no-pet policy.

As of Wednesday morning, the hotel's post has been commented on more than 2,000 times, a majority coming from cynical Facebook users expressing outrage over Britt's harrowing tale.

While Joaquin never made landfall in the U.S., the system propelled heavy rainfall in South Carolina that caused severe flooding resulting in road closures, property damage and power outages. Some parts of the state received more than a foot of rain over the weekend. 


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