FAQ Risk-Free Reservations

Note: This feature isn’t available everywhere yet. We’ll contact you when it’s available for your property.

What happens, and what should I do, if a guest cancels a Risk-Free Reservation? 

How does payment work with Risk-Free Reservations? 

Following a guest replacement, how can I get the new guest’s credit card details or a deposit? 

How does guest replacement work? 

What if the guest has an invalid credit card? 

How can I see which of my reservations are Risk-Free Reservations and which status they are in? 

How can I opt-out of Risk-Free Reservations? 

Will the programme affect my pricing? 

What happens when a guest books more than one room and only cancels a few? 

 

 

What happens, and what should I do, if a guest cancels a Risk-Free Reservation? 

When a Risk-Free Reservations is cancelled, we at Booking.com will try to find one or more new guests to replace the cancelled reservation.

Note: for us to be able to replace your cancelled reservation, your property must not have availability blocked (for example, due to a restriction you have in place).

Process wise, after the original guest cancels, we will immediately send you a cancellation notification message, and start searching for replacement guests.

Note: for guest replacement, we will use the rate at which you are currently listing your room.

If we cannot replace your cancelled reservation, we will pay you the commissionable amount for any room nights we can’t find a replacement guest for.

How does payment work with Risk-Free Reservations? 

Note: the majority of guests that book flexible policies don’t actually end up cancelling, so in these cases, you will be able to handle payment as you would normally.

If following a cancellation we will not find a replacement guest for you, we will pay you the commissionable amount via the payment solution you use.

Following a guest replacement, how can I get the new guest’s credit card details or a deposit? 

For reservations that are not cancelled by the guest, you will be able to see the guest’s credit card details when the new (upgraded) cancellation policy expires.

Note: for cancelled reservations where we find replacement guests, it will be the new guest that pays you for the reservation.

If replacement is not possible, we will initiate payment via the payment solution you are using on the same day the original guest would have checked in. Either way, you will get paid.

How does guest replacement work? 

If you get a cancellation for a Risk-Free Reservation we will always try to find a replacement for the originally cancelled nights. If we cannot do this, we will pay you the commissionable amount of what we could not replace.

Note: we can only find replacements in the event that your availability is open and not blocked - so that we should be able to resell the full period of time until the initial day of check-in.

What we pay you for that room will be the price that’s applicable on the day the room is resold. If we fail to resell the room, we‘ll pay you the commissionable amount of the original price that the original guest booked for before cancelling.

What if the guest has an invalid credit card? 

Nothing changes with regards to invalid credit cards, apart from when you can view the card details. We will only release payment details when the reservation becomes non-refundable.

The rest remains the same: log into the system, check the credit card and, if the credit card is invalid, mark it accordingly.

If the guest fails to give you a valid credit card, we will try to find a replacement guest.

How can I see which of my reservations are Risk-Free Reservations and which status they are in? 

To find out which reservations are Risk-Free, go to the 'Reservations' tab in your extranet.

In the column ‘Status’, reservations that are part of the programme will have a ‘Risk-free’ tag. From there, you can click on individual reservation numbers and go to 'reservation details'.

There you can see what's happening with regards to the replacement process. This is the same for connected properties.

How can I opt-out of Risk-Free Reservations? 

We understand that your business model may not suit this programme. If you don’t want to offer Risk-Free Reservations, just sign into your Booking.com extranet, go to the ‘Property’ menu, then click on ‘Policies’.

Scroll down to ‘Risk-Free Reservations’ and opt out.

If you’d like to rejoin the programme at some point in the future, you can use the same process to opt back in.

Will the programme affect my pricing? 

Your original rate will remain untouched. For selected reservations, to attract guests who want extra flexibility, we will display your strictest policy as having a free cancellation, or extend the period of your free cancellation policy (if you have one in place).

This means that while we offer the upgraded (and more flexible) policy to the guest, you won’t need to offer any discounts yourself.

Note: to give you the best possible chance of welcoming a guest, we will use price incentives when looking for a replacement. However, this won’t affect the money you earn, because any discounts will be deducted from our own commission.

You can rest easy knowing we will always pay you the commissionable amount for any room nights for which we can’t find a replacement guest - as long as availability is there and not blocked during reselling period.

What happens when a guest books more than one room and only cancels a few? 

We will try to replace the cancelled part of the original reservation. For the 'active' part of the reservation, you can charge the original guest as you would normally.

For the rest of the reservation: if we manage to find a replacement guest, you will again be able to charge them as you would normally; and if we cannot find a replacement, we will pay you the commissionable amount that we couldn’t replace. This applies to all rooms we can’t find replacement guests for.

In these situations - these reservations will appear as ‘Partially paid by Booking.com’ in your extranet. The name simply means that you can charge the original guest for a part of the reservation, and we’ll pay you the rest.

Note: if we are unable to resell all dates due to a restriction, we ask that the restriction be removed to guarantee payment.

Once all restrictions have been removed and we are still unable to resell the whole range, we will pay you the commissionable amount for any room nights for which we couldn’t find a replacement guest.

Learn more about Booking.com's Risk-Free Reservations