All you need to know about double-bookings

Updated 1 year ago | 5 min read

Double-bookings (i.e. overbookings) sometimes happen, but there are a couple things you can do to prevent them. We’re here to help you understand what causes double-bookings, plus how to avoid or resolve them.

In this article

What’s 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 are caused by the initial set-up of a property. In fact, 25% of our partners will get a double-booking during their first year on our platform. Even if you haven’t come across this issue yet, it’s worth knowing how to handle it.

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

  • Not syncing availability across channels
    If a traveler books 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 though it’s unavailable. This can easily be avoided if you export or import a calendar, then sync it across your channels.
  • Incorrect calendar set-up
    If your availability isn’t accurate and up to date, double-bookings are more likely to happen. We always recommend double checking your availability and policies before opening your property to bookings.

How do I avoid double-bookings?

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 from any platform, update your availability everywhere else
  • 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

Remember that when a guest books a stay on our platform, it’s confirmed instantly, 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?

If you ever get a double-booking, it’s key to act quickly so your guest isn’t left without a place to stay. There are multiple ways to resolve this problem, depending on what’s available. 

It’s important that you contact Customer Service. That way we can stay up to date and 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 a 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, private bathroom, etc).

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

You don’t have other rooms or units available

If you don’t have other rooms or units available, it’s your responsibility to find the guest accommodations of the same or a better standard – and also cover the costs. It’s also a good idea to organize transportation to the new accommodation, or else you might have to reimburse it later. 

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

  • The guest’s full name
  • Details for where they’ve been relocated
  • Their room or unit type in the new location
  • Any other 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 in 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 accommodations nearby?

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 transportation 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 haven’t had more than four double-bookings in 12 months

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

Additional costs

The costs vary by case. If you don’t have another room or unit available, you’ll 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 help, you can contact us via your inbox.

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