Offer transparency and clarity through simpler policies 

Updated 3 weeks ago | 6.3 min read time
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As we continue to rebuild travel together, we’ll be simplifying the number and types of cancellation policies supported on our site. The remaining policies we’ll continue to support will span from full flexibility to full security, have been proven to be the most booked by travellers on our site, and have shown to result in less cancellations, no-shows and guest communication. 

Ensuring your cancellation policies are clearly communicated will offer the transactional clarity that travellers are looking for and enable them to book with confidence, while giving you control over how much flexibility you offer.

Throughout 2021, the following changes will be made:

  • Cancellation policies with first night, 50% and 100% fees will continue to be supported. No prepayment for free cancellation policies will also continue to be supported.
  • Cancellation policies with multiple fees will no longer be supported. 
    • For example, a policy with a 50% fee charged at booking, and a 50% fee charged seven days before check-in.
  • Policies where the cancellation fee does not match the prepayment amount will no longer be supported, except in the case of free cancellation in combination with no prepayment. 

Why are these changes being made?

Many of the policy choices currently offered by Booking.com are not used or result in very few bookings. Although we are simplifying the total number and types of cancellation policies we offer, the remaining policies will include policy types that are most-used and most-booked by travellers.

Our supported policies will continue to cover full flexibility to full security. While some policies will not be supported in the future, a wide range of policies will allow you to balance bookings and revenue security through a combination of flexible and non-refundable policies. 

Our data shows that even the most flexible non-supported policies have resulted in complications for customers. Compared to travellers booking supported free cancellation and prepayment policies, customers booking non-supported, free cancellation and prepayment policies have:

  • Up to 17% higher cancellation rate 
  • Up to 27% higher no-show rate
  • Up to 31% higher customer service contact rate

What do we recommend?

To make your policies easier to understand for customers, we recommend you adjust the policies that will no longer be supported to those which best suit your needs. This will provide your guests with the transactional clarity they’re looking for, so they can book with confidence. 

To adjust your policies to more flexible options before the date from when the changes will come into effect for your property, please visit the Policies page in extranet, your property management system or channel manager. For properties who only use a property management system or channel manager, and would like to check where exactly to adjust your policies, click into your Account tab in the extranet, and select Connectivity Provider. From this page, you can see whether you can adjust your policies in the property management system or channel manager.

What changes are being made for setting policies via a channel manager or property management system?

  • Creating or adjusting non-supported policies via your channel manager or property management system will no longer be possible.
    • If you want to adjust non-supported policies before the change date that is applicable to your property, you can still adjust them in the Policies page in extranet.
  • We recommend adjusting your non-supported policies on or before the change date that is applicable to your property to avoid any potential errors. Potential errors can be resolved if you switch to any of the supported policies we offer via your channel manager or property management system. 

What will happen after the change date that has been communicated to my property?

  • Any remaining non-supported cancellation and prepayment policies will be automatically changed to the nearest stricter policy. After the change date, you can update the automatic changes made to your policies to a different supported policy, just as you can today.
  • Any policies with fees other than the first night, 50% and 100% cancellation fee will be moved to the closest higher fee that’s supported. 
    • Non-supported fees based on the percentage of a reservation’s value will be moved to the next higher supported percentage. 
      • For example, if you have a policy with a 30% fee, this will be changed to 50%. 
    • Non-supported fees based on the number of nights will be moved to a 100% fee. 
      • For example, if you have a policy with a two-night fee, this will be changed to 100%. 
  • Policies with multiple fees will be changed to have a one-time fee charge.
    • Fees will be moved to the earliest timing of the multiple fees policy. 
      • For example, if you have multiple fees (i) at the time of booking and (ii) seven days before arrival, this policy will be changed to have a single charge at the time of booking. 
    • Fees across multiple timings will be added and rounded up to the nearest supported fee percentage. 
      • For example, if a policy has a 50% fee at booking and a 50% fee seven days before arrival, this will be changed to a 100% fee at time of booking. 
  • Any policy override adjustments for future stay dates with remaining non-supported cancellation and prepayment policies will be automatically changed to a supported policy, as per the changes detailed above.
Non-supported policy type Examples of non-supported policies Recommended supported policy types to enable What this non-supported policy will automatically change to after the change date
Cancellation fee

Flexible – 14 days 30% fee

Flexible – 14 days

50% fee 

OR 

Flexible – 14 days

Flexible – 14 days

50% fee

Cancellation fee

Flexible – 30 days

70% fee

Flexible – 30 days

50% fee

Flexible – 30 days

100% fee

Cancellation fee

Flexible – 2 days

2 nights fee

Flexible – 2 days

1 night fee

Flexible – 2 days

100% fee

Multiple fees

Partially refundable – 7 days (special conditions) 

50% after reservation, total price 7 days before arrival

Flexible – 7 days

50%fee

OR

Flexible – 14 days

100% fee

Non-refundable

100% fee

Multiple fees

Partially refundable – 7 days (special conditions) 

30% fee after reservation, 40% fee 14 days before arrival, 30% fee 7 days before arrival

Flexible – 30 days

50% fee

OR

Flexible – 30 days

100% fee

Non-refundable

100% fee

 

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