Cancelling and re-booking – Tips to avoid disaster!
Matt Patterson – Front line Customer Service Manager, roomsXML, explains what happens when you get trigger happy and double booking across the internet
That feeling of finding an absolute bargain – what a thrill! You’ve done all the hard work, searching, planning and then that rewarding feeling when you finally find the one thing you wanted at a great price. Then BAAM! You get another 1% off a week later.
The travel industry is a very competitive market with thin margins. In searching for that elusive best price/best margin, you’ve no doubt made bookings across multiple websites, holding in rates to deliver certainty for your client. Duping.
However holding multiple bookings for the same client, for the same dates at the same hotel can also become problematic down the track unless they’re managed properly. Why?
Two main reasons – people and technology. It’s a complex world that connects your booking to a box in a hotel (the room) and sometimes information is lost, misunderstood or in the wrong place. “Oh, that’s how you spell Smith!”
The front desk person clearing out reservations and there is 4 bookings for the same dates with a certain VIP request. One is from a B2C site and has the name “Smith” . Another one is through a wholesale channel that also shows “Smith” whilst the other two bookings show holding codes but have the VIP request. Two bookings have been cancelled, two remain. Are they dupes? Should they be cancelled? OMG…another one has arrived, but with breakfast, same VIP request….
“God its 4 am and my manager says don’t bother him and I should take leadership and these look dodgy so I am going to delete that last one as its clearly a weird tech bug going on….”.
50 variations of this scenario. Same endpoint; confusion about a booking.
To avoid such problems, keep these simple tips in mind:
- Cancel unwanted bookings – well duh! Seems simple enough right? Remember all those bookings you made across different websites finding the best price – they need to be cancelled to avoid duplicate bookings at the hotel. Cancelling late just miffs everyone as the stock may need to be sold at a discount price.
- Re-confirm the booking – be in contact with us and ensure the booking is re-confirmed so there isn’t confusion at the hotel. Some hotels may have the cancelled room still sitting in their reservations system and may want payment for a dupe made in another system. That’s just awkward
- Request a hotel confirmation number – ask the supplier to provide a hotel confirmation number and give this number to your clients. If any issues arise, they can always quote this number.
Dealing with 5 plus bookings, across multiple platforms, with large complex itineraries at the one time, is challenging. Keeping a running checklist for each booking which outlines when the booking was made, with whom, date, price, can ensure everything is kept in order and that the confusion is kept to a minimum.
If something does go wrong, we are always here to help, but you can help yourself J