Summer Travel: What to do if a Hotel Overbooks

Jun 28, 2022 | Tips & Resources

The temperatures are rising, the school year has come to an end, and both airports and roads are getting more and more crowded. Summer travel is here, and recent research shows that the average daily cost of hotels is up 18% compared with the same time last year. As rates rise, hotel occupancy does, too, and some hotels may be overbooking.

What is hotel overbooking—and why do hotels do it?

Overbooking occurs when the total number of rooms reserved for a certain period is greater than the total number of rooms available for sale during the same period. Overbooking helps hotels maximize their total capacity and increase their total revenue, because when there’s a loss from a no-show, cancellation, or early check-out, the hotel can still maximize its capacity.

What happens when hotels overbook?

If a hotel is overbooked, a traveler with a reservation may arrive at check-in and find out that there are no available rooms. That traveler may be transferred, or “walked,” to another hotel, which can create a bad travel experience—and may lead to negative reviews and customer dissatisfaction.

Other times that hotels overbook, all of the rooms needed are available, and the hotel can make up for lost revenue and keep guests’ experiences positive.

When hotels are overbooked and guests must be transferred, there are a few steps hotels can take to remedy the situation: get the guest a reservation at another hotel as soon as possible, provide transportation to the alternate hotel, and give guests a free meal or free night stay to make up for the disruption in their travel.

How can you ensure reliable travel this summer?

While you can’t stop hotels from overbooking, you can try to make your travel smoother by calling ahead. Checking in earlier in the day may decrease your chances of being walked. If you think you’ll be late to check in, call the hotel and let them know the time you are planning on checking-in. If the hotel is overbooked, the front desk manager may be able to book you at a nearby hotel before you even arrive at your original reservation.

How CLC Lodging can help

CLC Lodging, America’s workforce lodging leader, provides comprehensive solutions for businesses with teams that travel—including the ability to make hotel reservations and access to our expert Traveler Support Center 24/7. When hotels overbook, CLC is available to help travelers find a safe place to stay. 

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