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Hotel Booking Tips to Avoid a Travel Nightmare

By Chris | October 26, 2007

If you have an extra half hour to spare, check out Megan McArdle’s lengthy rant about having the hotel room she booked on Expedia sold to another guest. Hotels, like airlines, frequently overbook rooms under the assumption that some guests will cancel. Moreover, reservations without a valid credit card will almost always be canceled. I spent the summer working as a night clerk at a mainstream chain hotel and have a few insights on how to avoid/deal with this type of situation:

Expedia normally operates under a direct bill scheme. Expedia charges the credit card provided online immediately and later is billed by the hotel for the cost of the room. There is no reason, that the hotel should have tried to charge Megan’s credit card. It is my guess that the hotel clerk was inexperienced and did not realize that all Expedia reservations are, by default, guaranteed by Expedia. (Travelocity uses a different billing system, where the hotel charges a “Travelocity Credit Card” which can create confusion).

These things happen. Calling the hotel directly to confirm your reservation is a small inconvenience. Think of it as a small insurance premium to pay in order to avoid a traveling nightmare.

Topics: Advice | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Hotel Booking Tips to Avoid a Travel Nightmare”

  1. laura Says:
    October 28th, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Very informative!
    Once I booked the shuttle to MCI online, a car was supposed to pick me up at 2:00pm downstairs my apartment. But when I called to confirm it that evening, they say they can not find my name in their system. I was so annoyed and asked a friend to drive me there in the end.