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Hotel overbooked

Hotel Overbooking
Ways for a hotel to refuse you a room





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Parker Hotel Palm Springs, USA
Bushel and Sack Hotel, Stansted Airport, UK

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Have you ever been refused a room or turned away at the reception desk ?

This is a Hotel Assist page about some of the "excuses" hotels can use to get rid of you.
Hotel reception staff often go on to be actors, double glazing salesmen or estate agents due to their superb ability to take on the character of a concerned member of staff whilst lying about the fact they need you to leave.

Why do hotels do it ?

99% of hotels tend to overbook every night on the basis that someone will cancel at the last minute. When this happens not only do they charge a cancellation fee but they have probably have an instant taker for the room so the revenue is suddenly increased.

Top excuses to turn you away

1. "We have nothing booked by that name"
Could be genuine but could be they have dumped your booking. There are so many persons working on hotel receptions whose mother tongue is not English that there is every chance they got it wrong, sometimes VERY wrong. In some instances this will be an excuse because you only booked one night Saturday night and the next guy wanted 2 nights and one was a Sunday when hotels are traditionally very quiet. In this case they overbook and then when no cancellations they bump you out in favour of the better booking.

2. "Your arrival guarantee credit card was invalid"
This is becoming a favourite excuse. Usually happens on a saturday arrrival when the city center hotel is full and they need to get rid of the problem. They decide on saturday morning to "check" clients credit card authorisation validity and....
"lo and behold its not a valid card ! Lets cancel the booking". "How strange that it now works, must have been the machine... sorry we are now full."

3. "Your bedroom flooded"
The guest above your bedroom left the bath running. Your room is flooded so sorry you can not stay here we are full.

4. "Must be another hotel by the same name"
You must have the wrong hotel, did you know there are 3 hotels by almost the same name in this city. You have probably booked the wrong one, bye bye

5. "You phoned up and cancelled"
It says here on the computer that someone telephoned yesterday and cancelled your booking. It must be one of your friends playing a prank. Anyway we are full now.

6. "We told your booking agency we were full"
Blame your booking agency. We told them that we could not accept the booking ages ago. Did they not inform you ? You should book directly with us in future its safer.

7. "We don't accept same sex couples in one bed"
We have a policy here in the hotel. Very sorry but no same sex couples in the same bed as it may offend other guests.

8. "We sent you an email to say we were full"
We informed you by email ages ago that we had overbooked and needed to inform you urgently. Maybe your spam filter deleted it

9. "We did not get any email confirmation from you"
What booking confirmation ? There was no email from you. It must have got lost in the internet.

10. "Our reservations computer was wrong"
The computer thinks we had rooms available but in reality we did not. Its always doing that.

11. "You booked via our Head office, not us direct"
Head office always just say yes and then leave us to sort it out. We are sorry but there are no rooms available. Its not our fault.

12. "The people from last night will not check out"
Very sorry but by law we can not evict the guests so, unfortunately, we are full we can not help you.

13. "Someone had got sick so they have to extend"
Sorry but Mr Smith became ill overnight and the doctor says he can not be moved. Its a shame because we are full.

Our Tips

1. Call your hotel the day before you arrive
Next time you make a hotel reservation, remember to call the hotel directly at least a day before you arrive. Things can go wrong with a reservation — even on the Web — so it’s better to check with the hotel before you check in

2. Take a copy of the email booking with you.

3. If you book by telephone then ask for them to email or fax you a copy of the booking

4. Double check they have the spelling of your name correct

5. If they are refusing to help threaten to publish on the net especially Tripadviser

© Hotel Assist.

Fellow Travellers Comments

Under Moroccan law, a man and a woman can only stay in the same hotel room when they are married. The couple must provide proof of their status, such as a marriage certificate or an entry in their passport. Mainly the hotels will only enforce this rule if the couple or one of them is Moroccan.
BR Bhatia * May 20, 2007

i'm sorry but i've worked at a hotel chain before and this article refuses to entertain the posibility that there are ignorant guests, too. often times phrases such as "we have nothing booked under that name" are really true, i'm sure you'll forgive the hotel once you go digging through your piles of paperwork at realize you're at the property downtown!!! UGHH so glad to be out of the "hospitality business" :)
MGodby • May 21, 2:40pm

That report must be relating to mainly Europe Hotels. Up to date hotel reservation computer systems tend to intelligently allow overbookings based on history and are usually great predictors of availability. Europe needs to get tech ;) Enjoyed reading it !
Floridaguy2017 • May 21

This is what happens when all hotels are full ...
We arrived at the Quality Crown Kensington in good time 1600 hours carrying our luggage from Gloucester Rd tube to be advised that due to 'trouble with our room' it was unavailable but not to worry they had reserved a room at the nearby London Lodge Hotel in Lexham Gardens. We were not offered the services of a cab as it 'was only 5 minutes away. Ten minutes later still carrying our luggage we found the London Lodge. On arrival we found the room booked was in fact a single. We called your organisation and spoke to a member of your staff who' as name I believe to be Luke Matthews. After some time we were informed that the only room you could offer us was in Canary Wharf. He seemed helpful and concerned and apologised. Staff at the London Lodge were helpful and found us a room in Earl's Court for £280 as everything else seemed to be booked. However as we were due at a function nearby and little time to change and get ready we had no option but to accept the London Lodge offer of a put-u-up bed in the small single room upon which my wife spent an uncomfortable night. As I am recovering from a quadruple by pass operation I passed the night (not sleeping) in the single which could not adequately accommodate my 6 ft 3 frame.
Withheld • May 22, 6:10pm

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