Myfrontdesk and Calendar Channels Such As VRBO, Flipkey, and Homeaway

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This article will help explain what a calendar channel is. Calendar-based channels such as Airbnb iCal connection*, VRBO, Flipkey, and Homeaway work differently than normal distribution channels. For example, only availability can be updated, no rates or any other stay restriction.

*Myfrontdesk can be connected to Airbnb via ical (limited connection through ical file) or API (normal connection, just like with Booking.com). Airbnb iCal connection which is mentioned in this article is considered to be calendar-based.

General Details

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 (iCal connection), 9Flats, and VRBO are two-way.

  1. As a reminder, two-way calendar channels only support the following:
    • Availability updates
    • Booking Downloads
    • Automatic Adjustments
  2. Calendar channels (including Airbnb ical connection) do not support rates. You must enter rates directly into your channel's extranet.
  3. 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.
  4. Unlike more conventional distribution channels, calendar channels do not support sending cancellation and reservation updates.
  5. If you receive an update or cancellation inside of Airbnb and you're using Airbnb ical connection, 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 (Flipkey, VRBO, Airbnb which you plan to connected through ical), the alternative mapping described in our Distribution Channel Mapping Guidelines may be an option for your property.

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