How to use Booking.com's Request to Book?
Booking.com's Request to Book functionality allows you to review a reservation request before accepting or declining it, providing an alternative to the classic Instant Book model.
Activating this feature will allow you to choose to accept the reservations that work best with your schedule, bring you the most value, and come from guests who will respect your property. To make full use of it, make sure to review your requests to book before they expire in 24 hours.
The feature is in pilot mode on Booking.com, so only eligible properties can participate. The listing must fit all 3 criteria to join the pilot:
The property was created via API after September 12th, 2023, or created via join.booking.com in 2023
The property type is one of the following - Holiday Home, Apartment, or Villa
The property is located in one of the eligible countries - Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Australia or the US
Setting up Booking.com's Request to Book on your Hostaway account
If your listing fits the eligibility criteria:
- Before exporting your listing to Booking.com, contact us so that we can activate the feature for you. Once the feature is activated on your Hostaway account, you can export your listing to Booking.com
- If you have a Booking.com listing that is eligible for the pilot, you can switch it on directly from Booking.com's extranet
Request to Book Flow
Once the initial setup is done, all reservations made from Booking.com to the property will go through the Request to Book flow:
Where to find Booking.com inquiries?
- The guest makes a reservation request from Booking.com
- Hostaway receives the booking request and creates a new inquiry for your listing and you have 24 hours to accept or decline it before it expires. The inquiry is visible on your listing's calendar (if you enabled inquiries in this view) or on the reservation page
Request to book and information
- You can review the request before accepting or declining it. Please note that information we receive from Booking.com about the request is limited; we will only have access to all guest information when the inquiry is converted into a confirmed reservation. You will see the following details in Hostaway:
- Check-in date
- Number of nights
- Number of guests
- An optional note left by the guest
- The Booking.com request ID
Accept or decline Booking.com inquiries
- You can accept or decline the request from the reservation page and the calendar. If you decide to decline a request to book, you'll be prompted to select a reason and optionally, a message for the guest.
- If the request is approved, Booking.com notifies the guest and the reservation's status in Hostaway is updated to "Inquiry preapproved". The listing's calendar will not be blocked until the guest finalizes the reservation on Booking.com, and the guest will only be able to finalize the reservation if the calendar remains available.
- The guest has 24 hours to finalize the booking on Booking.com. Once done, the inquiry will be converted into a reservation and you'll be able to see all reservation details.
Booking.com & Hostaway Reservation Status when Request to Book enabled
|Booking.com Request Status||Hostaway reservation status||Explanation|
|Created||inquiry||The guest has requested to book, but it hasn’t been accepted by the Property Manager|
The request was accepted by the Property Manager, but the guest hasn’t finalized it on Booking.com yet so the calendar isn’t blocked
|Rejected||inquiry not possible||The Property Manager received the booking request|
|Booked||new||The request was confirmed by the Property Manager and the guest finalized the booking on Booking.com, so the request is now a confirmed reservation with the status “new”|
|Expired after approval||expired||The Property Manager accepted the request, but the guest didn’t finalize the booking in 24 hours, so it has expired on Booking.com’s side|
|Expired pending approval||expired||The Property Manager did not approve or decline the request in 24 hours, so it has expired on Booking.com’s side|
Switching the listing from Request to Book to Instant Booking
You can switch your listing back to the Instant Booking model in Booking.com's Extranet:
- Go to your Booking.com Extranet > Property > Policies
- Scroll down until you find the box > How you Receive Bookings box > Edit
- Select "All guests can book instantly"
If you switch the listing to "Instant Booking", guests will be able to immediately book your property from Booking.com, creating a confirmed reservation.
To learn more please read this Booking.com article.