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How to Deal with Overbooking, Underbooking and Double-Booking

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In the hospitality business, the goal of every hotelier is to have smoothly running operations and tons of happy guests. In reality, you will inevitably run into problems such as underbooking, overbooking and double-booking. They lead to loss of money, angry guests, and a ruined hotel reputation. Here’s what you can do to avoid all of these situations.

Smart Overbooking

Hotel overbooking is a common problem. It can bring you profits but it can cause you damage. Yet, overbooking is a standard practice. As a hotelier, you need to sell all the rooms you have and maximise your revenue. The problem here is that some people will book and never show.

The lack of a hotel overbooking strategy can lead to revenue loss. An online booking system can help you prevent such situations keeping track of the reservations and accepting payments on the spot. So in the event of a no-show, you can at least get a cancellation fee which is much more than nothing. Naturally, when you deliberately overbook your hotel, you can create a list with all one-day stays and make sure bookings are guaranteed. Also, you need to check if local hotels have free rooms and are of the same value and quality, so that you can send your guests there. These measures will reduce the chance of unhappy guests.

Dealing with Hotel Underbooking

Underbooking is another thing you should avoid. It happens most often when you have several distribution channels, with a number of rooms allocated to each of them. What happens if you sell all the rooms allocated to a given channel, while some rooms with another channel remain unbooked? Surely, not the best scenario possible. A well-integrated channel manager uses a pooled inventory model to automatically update your availability on all distribution channels in real time.

Handling Double-Booking

No matter how much effort you put in avoiding mistakes, every once in a while you will get a double booking. Usually, the problem lies in your inventory management. So, here is our fix.

The solution is easy - you need a channel manager. Your potential guests and booking agents will see the rooms you have available in real time. Thus the chance of a double booking is highly reduced. Accordingly, the image of your property will not be damaged and you will not have to deal with unhappy customers.

What is Channel Management?

Channel management in the hospitality industry defines the process of managing hotel inventory and online distribution channels in order to avoid overbooking. An integrated channel manager updates hotel’s occupancy rates across all OTAs in real time, so guests can have accurate information no matter which distribution channel used.

With a channel manager, you can:

  • Easily track distribution channels;
  • Update rates across all OTAs;
  • Make the most amount of revenue;
  • Reports about your business at your fingertips.

The best approach to dealing with overbooking, double-booking and underbooking is the cloud-based property management system that gives you a real-time synchronisation between the channel manager and the hotel booking engine.

As you can see solutions to underbooking, overbooking and double-booking exist and they are not impossible to implement. All you need to do is get the right property management system and then you will enjoy more happy guests and greater revenue than ever before.

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