In this New York Times story last weekend, reporter Geraldine Fabrikant uncovers the many techniques guests use to complain about a room and ultimately land an upgrade. Some do so with complete honesty and sincerity, notifying the hotel of a legitimate problem. Others capitalize on discretionary power of hotel staff, allowing them to check-in and check-up to a higher value room than paid for.
Read: "You're Giving Me That Room? No Way." NY Times