This article will help explain what a calendar channel is. Calendar-based channels such as Airbnb, VRBO, Flipkey, and Homeaway work differently than normal distribution channels. For example, only availability can be updated, no rates or any other stay restriction.
Calendar channels sync using calendar files. Myfrontdesk sends the channel an iCal file that contains an "appointment" for the days with no availability, which blocks those dates from being booked. All other dates are unscheduled, so they remain available to reservations.
To import bookings, myallocator in turn needs a calendar file from the channel, which indicate which days have which bookings. In general the information in these files is pretty limited, which is why calendar reservations often do not have many details displayed. To view the full details you'll need to check within that channel's system.
Calendar Channel Types
There are two types of calendar channels:
A. One-way: There is only an outgoing iCal URL from Myfrontdesk. This means that we can update availability on the channel, but cannot import reservations.
B. Two-way: There is both an outgoing URL from Myfrontdesk and a space for an incoming URL from the channel. Availability can be updated on the channel and myfrontdesk will also receive reservations. Both Airbnb, 9Flats, and VRBO are two-way.
As a reminder, two-way calendar channels only support the following:
- Availability updates
- Booking Downloads
- Automatic Adjustments
It's also important to notice that when connecting to two-way channels, the existed bookings will be also imported to myfrontdesk. Because of that, make sure to not upload their bookings manually - if you already did, you will note duplications, in this case, you can delete the duplications - click here to check how to delete bookings.
Calendar channels (including Airbnb) do not support rates. You must enter rates directly into your channel's extranet.
Unlike more conventional distribution channels, calendar channels do not support sending cancellation and reservation updates.
If you receive an update or cancellation inside of Airbnb, you must also change the reservation separately in myfrontdesk.
Room Type Compatibility
Because of how the calendar URL system is designed, calendar channels are only able to connect to one of the rooms of a myfrontdesk room type at a time.
Can multiple units be booked for one room?
No. Since each listing is only for one room and one unit. As soon as one booking is made on a calendar channel, it won't be bookable again for that day. Other channels (even other calendar-based channels) will of course still be bookable if there is availability.
Creating multiple listings for each room is also not a solution, since you cannot assign multiple channel listings to a single myfrontdesk room type.
Because of this, calendar channels are not designed for dorms.
If you only have calendar channels (such as Airbnb and Flipkey), the alternative mapping described in our Distribution Channel Mapping Guidelines may be an option for your property.