In this article, you can find information on:
- How to check your set-up for false overbookings
- Tips to minimize the double booking risks:
- What to do should you receive a double booking?
- Hostaway responsibility
Ever had this come up on your Hostaway Calendar?
Ah, this could be a false double booking! But how can you check?
Here's a checklist to see if you have the following set-up that can contribute to false double bookings and some tips and tricks to help you minimize overbookings or double bookings:
1. Check the filters on your calendar - we have added a feature for users to access inquiry & pending reservations and these might show up as false double bookings if you have "Reservations" and "Inquiry & pending" filter options active.
To check: Go to Calendar > Individual calendar > Filters > Remove the check mark on "Inquiry & pending" and just leave "Reservations" on as a filter, and you should be able to see only the real reservations and the overbooking error should be gone.
2. The iCal link hasn't been imported into the Airbnb calendar - While the Airbnb API connection will send reservation details to Hostaway to block the dates, having the iCal exported from Hostaway and imported to the Airbnb calendar allows Airbnb to receive reservations in case the connection during the sync is lost. This adds an extra layer of security to prevent double bookings. Airbnb from time to time can open the dates and the iCal connection will stop this.
Here's a step-by-step guide on How to connect Airbnb with iCal.
Remember: You should be blocking dates via Hostaway and then pushing to all other channels.
3. The Booking Window option on Airbnb is activated - This means that not only the Hostaway software is blocking and opening days on Airbnb, but Airbnb itself can do it as well.
To prevent this, deactivate or set the Booking Window to All future dates and you can block or unblock the dates within Hostaway.
All calendars in Airbnb should always be available with the Airbnb booking window setting set to:
4. There is a sync delay on the sales channels - Sometimes, you can receive a confirmed reservation on one of the channels, but it doesn't show yet within the Hostaway calendar. This may be a sync issue or a delay.
Depending on the sales channels, sync time may take up to 2 minutes to an hour. Usually, Airbnb has a sync time of 60 minutes, that is why an iCal is being imported as well as part of the connection step. More information on Channel Sync Timing here.
Tips to minimize double booking risks:
There are no golden rules to follow but these next steps will help you to minimize the risks of receiving double bookings:
- After you added a new channel, test if the rates and availability are being updated on all channels.
- Schedule a bi-weekly test: for one direct booking, you can cancel to see if all channels are being updated.
- Schedule a bi-weekly test & randomly verify if all channels block dates after receiving a new reservation.
- Minimize the access and use of channels' own calendars for management. Manually blocking days should be done using the Hostaway software only.
- Double-check reservations that have special requests, failed payments, channel security checks, changing reservation dates, changing listings.
- Some channels allow you to write booking terms to double confirm the reservation within 72 hours. Ask your channel for more options.
What to do should you receive a double booking?
Contact the guest as soon as possible and explain the situation. In most cases, the guests are willing to review their booked dates, accept alternative dates or location. You might be able to negotiate with the guest.
In most regions of the world, there are different Facebook groups with active hosts. Try to connect with those local groups to work together if one of you has a double booking and need help with relocation. Guests often will highly appreciate your help relocating them in case of overbooking.
The last option is to contact the channel and ask for help. Please keep in mind that most channels charge a relocation fee or charge you a penalty fee in these cases. Calculating these costs into the average daily rate will help you make these fees affordable.
When you are confronted with a double booking, the Hostaway support and development teams are there to help you investigate the source of the issue. Sometimes it is a setting that needs to be changed, sometimes it is user behavior like an owner who opened a date that should have been closed, sometimes it is technical on the channel side and sometimes it is impossible to find out why it happened. Regularly checking your channel connections will help you maintain your software setup.
Important to note is: just like that of Gmail is not financially liable for not receiving an important email, or your car company isn't liable for the fact your car didn't start this morning preventing you from working, denies Hostaway Oy any liability for any damage or financial caused by or as a result of using the Hostaway software. Please make sure you read the Terms and Services of our Software.