Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hotel Overbooking - What Can You Do?


Hotels may offer excuses that they have to oversell to make up for the losses from the growing number of travelers who make reservations but never keep them. They may tell you that some guests did not check out as planned, or that certain rooms require repairs or renovations. Many states can now impose fines against hotels that regularly overbook. Unlike airlines, hotels have no right to confirm more rooms than they have available.

In very rare cases, two hotels may work together in bait and switch tactics, accepting your overbooking at one hotel so that you can be referred, at your expense, to a more expensive hotel down the street. The second hotel then shares a portion of the revenue with the first. If this happens to you, you should immediately file a complaint with the attorney general of the state in which the hotel is located.

If you have a confirmed or guaranteed reservation and you have met all of the conditions of the reservation, such as arriving on time, the hotel is required to take every reasonable step to take care of you.

When a hotel has overbooked, follow these suggestions to assist in getting a room.

Remain at the front desk and firmly demand a room. Do not agree to step aside so other guests can be checked in. This makes you a less pressing problem for the hotel. Standing your ground makes you more of a problem and thereby increases the chances of the hotel resolving your problem quickly to avoid a scene.

Ask immediately to speak with the front desk manager or the general manager - someone with the authority to make decisions to take care of you.


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