A simultaneous booking occurs when the last available room within the room type is booked almost at the same time (within a 15 minutes slot) on different channels.
A property has the availability of '1' for Double Deluxe and the property receives:
Booking 1- Tom Han. Double Deluxe. 5th May- Booking.com -12:10pm
Booking 2- Angel Jodie. Double Deluxe. 5th May – Expedia channel - 12:15 pm
This Overbooking occurred due to "nearly simultaneous" bookings.
Here is what might happen:
1. The first customer searches for availability on booking.com. If there is availability, he/she is expected to proceed to the booking details section and is given a 15-minute time slot to finish the booking process.
Whilst this process is not finished, the availability is still open.
2. On Expedia channel, the second customer will be able to search and find the same availability of ‘1’, that will allow him/her to start the booking process as well.
Usually, if a customer does not finish within the 15 minutes time slot, they will be logged out of the system as the system will need to refresh and check for availability again.
But if both at the same time complete this booking on different channels, there is nothing we can do to stop this simultaneous booking from occurring; as even if we send the availability of ‘0’ during the booking process, the channel will disregard it and allow the booking.
Myfrontdesk can only try to close availability on all connected channels as quickly as possible, but sometimes, the customer is already far along the booking process so that the booking website will still allow the booking to occur.
Sadly in channel management, this is something that we cannot control. However, this situation rarely happens, so it's not something that you should encounter often.
One great practice employed by many large scale hoteliers and by high volume independent hoteliers is to not offer last room availability to their channel partners. Some properties will offer 8 of 10 rooms, for example, and sell the last 2 rooms on their own website, via walk-in, or via phone reservations. This allows them to control the potential of overbooking.