How to cancel or modify reservations made on OTAs

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Cancelling or modifying reservations made through an OTA (Online Travel Agency) requires special attention. When cancelled/modified the reservation must be updated on both sides, the PMS and the OTA to make sure availability is always synced.

Some OTAs allow you to cancel the reservation directly on Cloudbeds PMS (Hostelworld/Hostelbookers, Tripadvisor Instant Booking, Coliving) and the reservation will get cancelled automatically on the channel. Other OTAs require you to cancel the reservations through their channel’s extranet.

Meanwhile, modifying reservations must always be done through the channel’s extranet no matter what OTA. Modifying a reservation includes changing the reservation's check-in/check-out date, updating guest's information, room upgrade/downgrade, and changing the reservation status to no-show.

This article shows you how to correctly cancel and modify OTA reservations.

How to Cancel Reservation from Hostelworld, Tripadvisor, and Coliving

All reservations received through Hostelworld/Hostelbookers, Tripadvisor Instant Booking, and Coliving can be cancelled inside Cloudbeds PMS regardless the rate plan — the cancellation will be sent to the channel, and the reservation will be updated accordingly.

Follow steps:

  1. Access myfrontdesk and search for the reservation(s) that you wish to cancel.
  2. Switch the reservation status from Confirmed to Cancelled.
  1. A pop-up message will be displayed to specify what action you should take depending on the channel in question.

If it's a reservation from Hostelworld, Tripadvisor Instant Booking, or Coliving, the following warning will be displayed.

This pop up message will ONLY be shown for the reservation received from the channels mentioned above. If you tried cancelling the reservation and this pop-up did not appear, it means that the channel doesn't support this feature and you must go to the channel's extranet to cancel the reservation. 

  1. Select how to proceed with the cancellation (whether or not you want to email the guest).
  1. The following warning message will be displayed. Click Yes to cancel the reservation.

To un-cancel a booking, you must visit the OTA's extranet. Changing the status from Cancelled to Confirmed on Cloudbeds PMS, will not change the reservation status on the OTA.

Each OTA has a specific policy on reconfirming the booking once it's cancelled, check with the OTA for each specific case.

How to Cancel Reservation from Other OTAs

Only Hostelworld/Hostelbookers, Tripadvisor Instant Booking, and Coliving support cancelation from within Cloudbeds PMS. For other OTAs, cancelling a reservation inside the Cloudbeds PMS will NOT cancel the reservation on the channel's side.

This does not include third-party reservations that you entered manually without entering their third-party ID. Those should be cancelled directly on Cloudbeds PMS.

A common mistake made by user is when they cancel the reservation on Cloudbeds PMS, assuming the reservation will also be canceled on the channel extranet. See the below scenario as an example:

  1. You have only 1 room left for the room type Standard Room.
  2. A guest named Tom then booked this room on Booking.com.
  3. Later, Tom called directly to your property to cancel the booking.
  4. You canceled Tom's reservation on Cloudbeds PMS, the system understands that the availability of this room has reopened. The availability of this room has returned to "1" and this information is sent to all the channels
  5. However, Tom's booking was not actually canceled on Booking.com extranet, this could turn to be an overbooking if someone else booked the Standard Room and Tom decides to keep his booking.

Does cancelling a reservation in an OTA also cancel it on Cloudbeds PMS? 

Some channels (such as Booking.com, Agoda, and Expedia) support sending updates about cancellations to myallocator (channel manager by Cloudbeds). This allows Cloudbeds PMS to display the booking as Cancelled (usually within 5 minutes) inside of our system once it has been changed inside the OTA's extranet.

If the channel does not support sending cancellations to Cloudbeds PMS, you must cancel the reservation on the extranet and then mark the reservation as Cancelled on Cloudbeds PMS to open the availability.

Check this article to see which channels support sending cancellations to Cloudbeds PMS: Channel Features

Cancellation Fee received from an OTA via API

Depending on the cancellation policies that you have set on a particular channel, a guest may face a cancellation fee (for example: cancelling within 72 hours of check in).

Only certain channels support sending the cancellation fee via API. This fee is not used for calculation purposes anywhere on the application, this is only for informational purposes.

To add the charge, you would need to add to it manually by following the procedure on how to add a charge for cancellation in this article: How to cancel direct reservations on myfrontdesk

For instance, when the cancellation is made on Booking.com, they may send us the updated booking with a Cancellation fee attached to the reservation as shown below.

This fee will be displayed on the cancellation e-mails and also when printing the Folio and Exporting the reservation to XML/PDF:

Below is an example of the cancellation fee displayed when printing the folio.

Zero Cancellation Fee

Please, note that if the reservation is cancelled and there is zero (0,00) cancellation fee in the reservation, it could mean two things:  

  1. The reservation was cancelled, but per your policy on that channel, no cancellation fee was issued to the guest.
  2. The channel doesn't support sending the cancellation fee via API. You may double-check with your channels to confirm if they support this feature.
How to Modify Reservation from a Channel (Applicable for All Channels)

Any changes to your guest reservation such as dates, upgrade/downgrade room type, number of guest, guest's info, and changing reservation status to no-show must be done through the OTA's extranet or the guest's portal by your guest.

This way both the booking will be updated on the OTA and Cloudbeds PMS — as long as the channel supports sending modifications to Cloudbeds PMS.

Scenario:

  • The guest booked Room A on the channel. The guest then decides to stay in Room B, instead of modifying the booking directly on the channel account they contacted the property and the property changed the room assignment on myfrontdesk.
  • Later, the guest makes a modification to his booking on the channel (e.g. adding a breakfast to his booking), the channel sends myfrontdesk an update moving the guest back to his original room, Room A. Anytime a reservation is modified on the channel, the room assignment will be reverted back to the original room booked.

Solution:

Make sure to modify your third-party reservations that come in through myfrontdesk in that channel's extranet or ask the guest to modify their reservation. This way both the channel and myfrontdesk will be updated (only if the channel supports sending modifications to myfrontdesk).

The bookings which are marked as In House on myfrontdesk will not be automatically modified if there is a modification from the channel. This is designed to guarantee that the guest who has already checked-in won't be moved to another unit.  
In this case, the property will receive an email about the modification. Once received, the modification should be handled manually (email also can be found in Email Delivery Log).

Does modifying a reservation in an OTA also modify it in myfrontdesk? 

Some channels (such as booking.com, Agoda, and Expedia) support sending updates to myfrontdesk. This allows myfrontdesk to update the reservation automatically.

For the channels which do not support sending modifications to myfrontdesk, you need to modify the reservation on the Extranet and then make the modifications in myfrontdesk manually.

Check this article to check which channels support sending modifications (look for automatic adjustments) to myfrontdesk: Channel Features

Making changes to OTA reservations imported to myfrontdesk manually

There might be reservations which were originally made on an OTA but were imported into myfrontdesk manually for different reasons; the reservation was made prior to setting up myfrontdesk system or the reservation was made prior to connecting the channel to myfrontdesk.

Changes to these reservations should be done on the channel extranet, they will be automatically applied on myfrontdesk, but only if:

  1. The reservation's third party ID (order ID) in myfrontdesk matches the booking ID on the channel
  2. The change (sending modification, cancellation to myfrontdesk) is supported by the channel
  3. Specifically for modifications - it will be applied if the booking is not In-House (guest has not checked-in yet)

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if a modification is received for a manually imported booking that does not have a (valid) source reservation ID?

In this case, the system will create a duplicate of the booking with the modification applied.

For example,

  1. A guest has booked Room A before you connected the channel to myfrontdesk,
  2. Then you connected the channel to myfrontdesk and imported the reservation with Room A manually,
  3. The guest decides to modify the booking on the extranet to stay in Room B.

Scenario: If you had not entered the valid source reservation ID for this booking in myfrontdesk, then myfrontdesk will create a duplicate booking for the same guest with Room B booked. The manually imported booking (Room A) will be also left in the  system.

The booking  must have a valid source reservation ID for it to be modified automatically.

Myfrontdesk will send an email to inform you that we couldn't recognize the reservation that was modified and therefore created a new reservation. You should then delete the manually imported reservation (Room A) following the steps in the article: How to delete a reservation

What happens if a cancellation is made to a manually imported booking but it has no (valid) source reservation ID?

If a cancellation comes through for a mapped room: The system will create a duplicate for the canceled reservation and the original booking will not be modified. We'll also send an email explaining why a new canceled reservation was created (because we couldn't match the cancellation imported from the channel to any existing reservation in the system).

If a cancellation comes through for an unmapped room: Nothing will happen. There will be no duplicate for the cancelled reservation and the existing reservation will not be modified.

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