Software consultant Jason Payne will have one less hotel option when he takes his next business trip.


The 35-year-old was banned from staying at the Hilton in Basingstoke, England, after the joke he placed on an online booking form backfired, the Telegraph reports. Payne wrote that the only pet accompanying him during his stay was a “large snake in my trousers” and he hoped “that’s okay.”


Payne did stay at the hotel the night of Feb. 8, 2014, and the receptionist at the Hilton Hotel in Basingstoke even laughed at the joke that was visible on his form when he checked in.

“The woman at the reception just suddenly burst out laughing hysterically and appeared very amused,” Payne said. “I had no idea why and then she read the comment to me. ... Her colleague then also laughed.”

Days later, Payne received an email from the staff, informing him he would no longer be allowed to stay at the hotel again.

In the email from Cathrin Wurst, the hotel’s front office manager, Payne was told the language of the joke was “abusive” and was “neither appropriate nor funny.” The message added that he would be banned from the particular hotel for life. Payne even tweeted a screen cap of the email from Wurst.


Payne says he meant no harm with the joke and that Wurst overreacted.

“I find there is a universal sense of humor when the context is just a bit of a laugh, whether clean and witty or puckish innuendo… Unilaterally declaring the comment not funny is a bit imperious and gratuitous. The comment was a bit of Austin Powers-style sophomoric banter which regularly draws laughs,” Payne told Flyer Talk. And when asked if he’d attempt a similar joke in the future, Payne revealed he wouldn’t hesitate. “Of course [I would do it again], probably the next time I book again at a Hilton hotel, and I bet I don’t get the same reaction.”

The hotel chain confirmed in a statement that the incident did indeed occur and that Payne’s ban from the hotel was “at the discretion of the hotel team.”  Payne is still allowed to book rooms at other Hilton hotels.