Hotels participate in the game of overbooking rooms to protect themselves if a certain number of guests will either cancel last minute or be a 'no show'. Hotels overbook as a part of their strategy to maximize revenue, as an empty room due to a last-minute cancellation equates to no money at the end of the day. Unlike airlines, hotels aren't under any legal obligation to provide any particular form of recourse in the event your room's taken. There is little or no legislation in a country to back up a guarantee.
According to a study published in 2013 in the Journal of Applied Sciences, 'no show' rate at hotels can be anywhere between five and 15 per cent.
Here are the things you can do if you're being "walked" by a hotel:
1. Don't get frustrated
Keep in mind that things do go wrong even with the best of intentions. This can and does happen, sadly, often with the same regularity as an airline being forced to deny boarding. Don't come on gang-busters and be humble.
2. Ask for another room
According to a spokesman for a chain, in the event of a sold-out situation, the guest is transferred to a nearby hotel and given a room of equal or greater value and that night's stay is comped at a complimentary rate. Each chain's policy is different. Different hotels often maintain working partnerships with each other to take advantage of their proximity when alternate arrangements need to be made.
You might even request a specific hotel if they arrange a new one. If you're part of that hotel chain's loyalty program, you might be given top priority for a new room.
Start with "I understand that occasionally things go wrong, but this is the problem (be accurate and precise) and always finish with "this is not the type of service your company is known for". Then ask, "Can you help me..." and have something reasonable in mind, such as, "In this case, is there another property within a reasonable distance you can get us into?"
The replacement hotel room might even be an upgrade.
3. Ask for compensation
Some experience bonus points, additional cash and more to compensate for being walked from a hotel. Sometimes, the hotel will even pick up the cost of your fare to get to the other hotel.
Make sure they pay for your alternative hotel arrangements and transportation there.
4. Complain to the highest manager
The person who has to deliver the bad news to you might not have the authority and ability to correct the error. Complain to the most upper manager you can find. He might be more receptive. The manager, treating all guests as a good manager should, should take pity and provide comfort and succour during this time of need.
We hope you are more prepared now.
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