How to handle overbooking at the Front Desk

Ok so the revenue department has overbooked the hotel to increase revenue. Now what do you do to handle overbooking at the Front Desk

Watch the tutorial and learn

Prefer to Read?

In the previous tutorial, my colleague spoke about overselling and how he does that to maximize revenue on high-demand dates. This ensures that the hotel gains revenue and market share. In this video we will learn about overbooking at the front desk.

So in our 100-room hotel, he sold 107 rooms based on forecast and history. According to his calculations, we get 5 early departures and 2 no-shows. That is all great, but I work in the front office. That means, when he is sleeping if I do not do my job well, the guest will get angry at my team during check-in.

This can lead to negative feedback or loss of future business. I need to ensure this does not happen.

So this is what I do to handle overbooking at the front desk.

The first thing I do is reconfirmation. I tell my reservation team member to do a day minus 2 reconfirmations for this city hotel. If your hotel is a leisure hotel, you may also do a day minus 5 so that if there is any cancellation, you have enough time to pick some last-minute rooms.

Ok so after the reconfirmation is done, I will get an update on the real count of guests who said they are coming in. If the positions clear up, that is many people cancel, I will inform the revenue manager straight away so that we can open the inventory for the hotel. You see, we both work to increase revenue, so I also want to support him meet the hotel’s goals.

Now if we do not get any cancellations, then I secure room rates from nearby hotels, where I can walk a guest in case of an emergency. I will call the front office manager in the hotel nearby and enquire about the position and what rates they can offer me.

The previous night, during check-in we will ask all arriving guests about their time of departure. This will help us get an idea of when the rooms are going to get vacated. It also gives us an idea if anyone is going to be an early departure. That way we will get an actual picture of the day and if we will need to walk any guests.

I also tell my team not to extend any rooms over the counter. Typically in my hotel, we will see that guests will come in the evening and ask for stay extensions because their work is not done. Usually, we will do that, but on oversold dates, my team is specifically told not to do that and refer guests to nearby hotels.

After doing all this, if the position clears up, we can relax, but if it does not, then I sit down and scan all guests. We identify guests who we can walk according to our hotel parameters. Your hotel may have some as well, like the length of stay, VIP status, rate etcetera. Let me know in the comments below, how you prioritise a walk.

Now we have to ensure that the guest is not upset when we are going to walk the guest to another hotel. So we make sure that the guest is kept informed as soon as we decide who we have to walk. We also make arrangements to transfer the guest to the selected hotel and ensure all preferences and requests are communicated to the other hotel.

This way, we can reassure guests that even though we had to make a difficult choice to move the guest, we did our best to make sure they are comfortable.

So this is how we manage the sold-out or overbooking at the front desk. How do you handle this at your hotel?

If you do something differently, let us know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *