Hotel overbooking is not a rare occurrence.
The process of ensuring that hotels are fully utilized leads to frequent cases of overbooking. Under normal circumstances, customers will book hotel rooms only to change their mind and leave the room unoccupied. This means that the hotel is not able to fully take advantage of high seasons. As a measure to ensure that the hotel takes full advantage of a high season, there is the need to overbook hotel in anticipation of the guests who do not show up. The overbooking if not done carefully can lead to a larger number of guests being turned back. This can however lead to the loss of reputation for the hotel a situation which reduces popularity among customers. This thus necessitates the need to correct the situation when it happens.
In trying to correct the situation at Calgary, I would first engage in a comprehensive quality check. The quality check entails conducting a thorough analysis of the booking process which culminated to the overbooking crisis. The date when the bookings were made is the first to verify. The dates give a clearer picture of the intention of the overbooking. Other elements which need checking include the number of overbooking made in relation to the accommodation available. I would be interested in finding out the various categories of clients overbooked and more importantly the periods over which the clients wished to stay in the hotel (Hadjinicola, and Panayi, para4). The VIP reservations present unique challenges mainly due to the fact that they are highly profitable hence the need to minimize cases of customer frustrations. I would recommend that this category of customers be booked into other hotels of a higher status.
This would ensure that the guests do not feel cheated while at the same time maintaining a positive perception of the hotel. Repeat corporate reservations also have to be well handled as they are regular customers who contribute to the hotels revenues even during the off peak season. I would recommend that such customers be given preference together with the VIPs in allocation of the rooms available. Such action would ensure that they are satisfied and are motivated to always continue being royal to the hotel. The fact that they pay for guaranteed no-shows makes them valuable customers.
The fact that the high season is nearing means that the hotels will soon be fully booked and it may be impossible to obtain space for the overbooked customers. The fact that the hotels may not be willing to take reservations without guarantees also presents some challenge as issuing guarantees may lead to a rise in the costs for the hotel. The most important element here is speed. I recommend that the hotel staff move swiftly to make reservations for the over booked customers.
Guarantees have to be issued for the reservations to be effective. Caution should however be taken to ensure that the number of rooms booked in other hotels do not significantly exceed the number of over bookings as this may leave some hotel rooms unoccupied. The most important point here is to establish a balance between customer satisfaction and ensuring that the hotel takes maximum advantage of the high season while at the same time remains profitable. It is true that some guests may have to be turned back though such cases should always be minimized.
The best time to walk the guests should be in the earliest time during the day. Walking guests at night may lead to further inconveniences as they may not manage to secure rooms to spend the night in good time. These guests should be refunded back their money and offered up to 50% as compensation. This will help mitigate the effect on the customer.
Hadjinicola, George, and Panayi Chryso. “The overbooking problem in hotels with multiple tour-operators”. MCB UP Ltd.1997.