Online Bookings | Cancellations and Fees
Posted by Jeff Tweddale on 22 Sep 2008 02:39 PM

Online Booking Cancellations and Fees (website, GDS or OTA Channels)

Any booking made outside your property, or via your website, through the GDS or OTA Channels, are considered the primary travel relationship (or channel) between the guest and that GDS/OTA source.  You, as the property, are simply the third party fulfilling the reservation in these cases.  

  • In-Channel Cancellations:  Because of this third-party status, when a booking originates with an OTA (Online Travel Agent) or with a GDS partner (shown by an 8-digit IATA number), any booking to be modified or cancelled must be done directly with that originating source.  If a guest cancels correctly, you will receive an email or fax notification from the OTA/GDS source confirming the cancellation.  We suggest you hold on to that confirmation notification as the only way we can credit back a wrongly charged commission is with that piece of documentation.  Also, if done correct, the booking will literally fall out of your BookingCenter system as if it was never there in the first place without any adjustments from you as the property.  There is no charge for these correctly cancelled bookings from BookingCenter.
  • Out-Of-Channel Cancellations:  If a guest calls your property to cancel or modify a booking that originated with an OTA or GDS source, please direct them to contact or log into their original source of the booking to avoid any out-of-channel cancellation (OOCC) fees.  (To determine a booking's source, please ask for the CRS Confirmation # and look at the source for that booking.)  If you cancel the reservation with the OTA/GDS partner on behalf of the guest you will incur an out-of-channel cancellation fee.  This will show on your commission statement from BookingCenter as a "Transaction Fee" for that particular guest.  
  • No-Shows:  In addition, if you have a no-show that originated in the GDS/OTA and you have to cancel the booking for the guest, you will incur an out-of-channel cancellation fee.  However, this is typically less than allowing a booking to stand and incurring a commission charge.  (more details here)
  • Your Property's Cancellation Policy:  Make sure to have a detailed cancellation policy for your property as you go forward.  This cancellation policy should include room for you to charge the credit card different percentages depending on how close to the reservation date the cancellation is made.  
  • BookingCenter's Terms and Conditions: When you joined the GDS, you agreed to the following found in the attached Terms and Conditions under Section 6.
  • Payment Terms::Bookings made by Travel Agents and Online Travel Agents through the GDS systems are to be made and cancelled only in the GDS system.  Any cancellations made within the GDS systems are considered 'In-Channel' cancellations and will not accrue any charges or fees to either nor Property.  However, if a Guest were to contact a Property directly and cancel a booking made originally in the GDS system(s), then this is considered an 'Out-of-Channel' cancellation and such a booking will incur a fee of $15 USD per 'Out-of-Channel' booking cancelled.  This fee of $15 USD is required to be paid to at the month following the canceled booking's departure date.  To avoid any 'Out-of-Channel' cancellation booking fees, Participant should simply inform the Guest to cancel the booking in the channel in which it was made.

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