All you need to know about double bookings

Updated 2 months ago | 5 min read time

Double bookings, also known as overbookings, sometimes happen, but there are a few things you can do to prevent them. We’re here to help you understand what causes double bookings and how to avoid or resolve them.

What’s in this article

What is a double booking?

Double booking is the term we use when multiple reservations are made for one room or unit on the same night. If two separate guests book the same room or unit, this can cause problems for both your business and those who want to stay with you. 

Most issues related to double booking arise in the initial setup of a property. In fact, 25% of our partners will double book during their first year on our platform. So even if you haven’t come across this issue yet, it’s worth knowing how to deal with it.

These are two of the most common causes of double bookings:

  • Not syncing availability across channels
    A traveller reserves via our platform, but the room or unit still shows as available on other platforms, or vice versa. This means it can still be booked, even when it’s unavailable. This can be easily avoided if you export or import a calendar and then sync it across your channels.
  • Wrong calendar set up
    If your availability isn’t accurate and up to date, double bookings are more likely to happen. We always recommend you double check your availability and policies before making your property open to bookings.

How do I avoid a double booking?

There are a number of ways you can prevent double bookings:

  • Make sure your availability is correct and updated before making your property open and bookable
  • When you receive a booking on any platform, update your availability everywhere
  • Sync your calendars automatically with a channel manager
  • If you can’t use a channel manager, manually sync your calendar regularly 
  • Download our Pulse mobile app to manage your bookings anytime, anywhere

Bear in mind that when a guest books a stay on our platform, it’s instantly confirmed by us and you won’t be able to reject the reservation. That’s why you should make sure your availability is always up to date.

How do I resolve a double booking?

When you realise you have a double booking, it’s key to act quickly so your guest isn’t left without somewhere to stay. There are multiple ways to resolve this problem, depending on what’s available. 

It’s important in every situation that you contact Customer Service – that way, we stay up to date and can help you with any issues that might come up.

You have other rooms or units available

The best solution is to accommodate the booker in another room or unit of the same or better standard, at no extra cost to them. Also, try to provide them with all the facilities they had in their initial reservation, e.g. a balcony or private bathroom.

Don’t forget to contact Customer Service to mark a reservation as a double booking.

You don’t have other rooms or units available

If you have no other rooms or units available, it’s your responsibility to find your guest accommodation of the same or a better standard – and cover the costs. It’s also a good idea to organise transport to the new accommodation, or you might have to reimburse it later. 

If you need to relocate someone, call our Customer Service team to let them know what’s happened. We’ll need:

  • The guest’s full name
  • Details of where they’ve been relocated to
  • Their room or unit type in the new location
  • Any more useful details, e.g. additional costs

We recommend the following timelines when resolving a double booking:

  • If your guest is arriving within 24 hours, try to resolve it within 30 minutes
  • If your guest is arriving within one to seven days, try to resolve it within two hours
  • If your guest is arriving after more than seven days, try to resolve it within 24 hours

What if I can’t find any nearby accommodation?

Reach out to Customer Service and we’ll try our best to find an alternative for the same price. If we can’t, you’ll be invoiced for any additional costs, such as a more expensive room or transport for the guest.

What are the costs of a double booking?

We won’t charge you commission for a double booking if:

  • Your property has been on our platform for fewer than 30 days
  • You’ve had no more than four double bookings in 12 months

If this isn’t the case, you will be charged for the reservation.

Additional costs

The costs vary per case, but, if you don’t have another room or unit available, you will need to cover the price of the new accommodation. You may also have to pay to relocate the guest.

If you have any questions or need to reach out, you can contact us via your inbox.

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