What to be aware of when booking through Hotel Bed Banks
We’ve all seen the adverts for cheap hotel rooms and the immense amount of hotel booking platforms that appear to now be available to the consumer. One may think that it is very easy to book a hotel room online – but what are the hidden costs and implications associated with booking through a Hotel Bed Bank?
A Hotel Bed Bank is an organisation that negotiates special rates with accommodation providers and acts as a wholesaler selling the accommodation. If you have employees travelling on company business within your organisation, you may like to consider whether you are obtaining the best deal online for your Hotel accommodation in terms of costs and duty of care for your travellers.
A few things to consider when searching online for your Hotels:
- Price – you won’t always find the cheapest rate online
Quite often when you book online, the hotel may be in the local currency and the rate appears very favourable – however be aware of hotel currency conversion rates at time of check out – the rate at what you are actually charged may be very different than what you originally expected.
- Availability – Just because a Hotel bed bank says that a Hotel is full – it may not be. Hotels will ‘close out’ availability to booking sources such as bed banks as they get busier, but hotel room availability may still be available through agents that have direct availability and strong links with the hotel.
- Time – It may look like a simple process, but employees may be spending hours trawling through booking sites looking for the cheapest hotel room, wasting valuable working hours.
- Safety – How do you know that the Hotel you are booking is definitely available? Hotels like airlines often overbook their rooms – expecting a certain amount of cancellations. You do not want your employee’s being greeted at a hotel to be advised that they can’t be accommodated. Sometimes websites are searching through other meta search engines which are not always updated. It has been known for a hotel to be booked that actually closed down 6 months ago! Ensure that Hotel bookings are reconfirmed prior to arrival and that your employees have access to 24/7 support should disruption occur or if the Hotel does not meet with Health and Safety standards.
- Loyalty – if you book your hotel through a Bed Bank the Hotel is unable to track your loyalty and status. Many hotels also refuse to grant hotel loyalty points to guests if they have booked using a bedbank. If you want to be amongst the first in line for an upgrade, or the last person to be moved elsewhere when the hotel is oversold – bear this in mind.
- Service – organisations deserve to receive high levels of service. Who at an online travel website knows you personally and remembers your travel preferences, makes expert recommendations and strives to find a hotel that meets with your requirements? It is also worthwhile considering the implications that occur when things go wrong and the hotel fails to meet with your expectations. It is very difficult to raise a complaint directly with the hotel if you have booked through a third party, the hotel may simply refer you back to the bed bank. When Business Travelers are unsatisfied with their hotel accommodation they need to ensure that they have access to the appropriate channels to make contingency plans and expedite complaints.
ACE Travel manages the travel polices, traveler safety issues and budgets for clients in both London and Essex and have a range of products and services to assist clients with their flight and hotel programmes and Duty of Care obligations. Experienced Travel Consultants ensure that all hotel bookings comply with company travel policies and any deviations will be picked up and queried before any reservations are confirmed. All Hotel bookings made through us are automatically part of our cost control, budget and management reporting service. If travellers need assistance whilst they are away, a 24-hour emergency helpline staffed by experienced travel professionals is there to help.
For more information on ACE Travel Management, please visit www.acetravel.co.uk