It’s not uncommon for business travelers to have to cancel or rebook their flight or hotel reservation, and often for reasons beyond their control. Appointments are rescheduled or meetings canceled. Sometimes weather problems, safety aspects or flight cancellations and delays also play a role. Personal reasons rarely lead to the cancellation of a business trip or hotel booking.
In order to successfully cancel or rebook hotel reservations, your business travelers and employees should have an overview of and access to the respective cancellation rules and possible cancellation fees. Cancellation processes should also be clear and simple in order to minimize the workload.
In our guide, we have put together an overview and important tips and tricks for you to help you cancel hotels quickly and easily. Here you will find out what you need to pay attention to when booking and canceling hotels in order to make the process as easy as possible.
What is a hotel cancellation policy?
A hotel’s cancellation policy allows hotel guests to cancel bookings up to a certain period of time before check-in. After that, hotels can charge their guests a fixed cancellation fee. Often this is a percentage of the booking or the entire booking amount.
Understanding the needs of business travelers
As a travel manager or person in charge of making travel arrangements, you need to know your travelers’ preferences so that you can not only book a hotel within your travel guidelines but also keep your travelers happy. Happy travelers lead to productive travelers.
Business travelers have specific requirements and needs when it comes to booking hotels. It is particularly important for frequent travelers that they can also use their hotel room as a workplace. In addition, contacting colleagues, superiors and family must be easy.
The location of the hotel also plays an important role! It’s best to book something close to the meeting so you don’t have to drive halfway across the city after a long day at work. It’s often even worth paying a little more for a well-located hotel. This saves you time and transportation costs and means you arrive rested on the day of the meeting.
And since travel plans for business travelers can change regularly, it is very important that the cancellation policies of the respective hotels are flexible. This means you can easily rebook if appointments are postponed. It’s best to use offers specifically for business travelers that can give flexibility right up to the day of arrival.
Booking hotels for business trips is an art in itself! There are several factors that are important to consider to keep your travelers happy and safe. One of the most crucial elements is that reservations can be made quickly and easily, be it via hotel booking systems or reservation systems.
What are the most common hotel cancellation policies for business travelers?
Hotels offer various booking conditions for business travelers. It is worth paying attention to the small print and booking an option that meets your requirements and offers you enough flexibility. Below we have listed some common cancellation policies for you.
Flexible hotel booking cancellation
Thirty years ago it was still common practice for hotel reservations to be canceled free of charge up to the day of arrival. Today that is rather rare. Thanks to the Internet, bookings for all occasions have increased significantly, and hotels are trying to protect themselves against a high cancellation rate. However, there are options for business travelers to book flexible hotel cancellation packages that allow cancellation up to the day of arrival.
Moderate cancellation policies
Some hotels offer partial refunds for business travel bookings. This means guests can cancel their room free of charge up to a certain point in time. But the closer to the arrival date, the lower the percentage of the total bill that will be refunded. These percentages are precisely defined in the hotel’s cancellation policy.
Some hotels have introduced a “one-night penalty”. This means that business travelers will have to pay the price for one night of their stay if they cancel.
Strict cancellation policy
Some hotels have very strict cancellation policies. In the event of a cancellation, customers must make full payment for their stay. This is especially the case with particularly late cancellations.
Sometimes guests don’t cancel but simply don’t show up. In these cases, a hotel may choose to charge the total amount, a percentage of the total, one night, or a fixed cancellationation/no-show fee will be charged.
Non-refundable hotel booking
Some hotels offer particularly low hotel rates if guests choose a non-refundable hotel booking. In this case, business travelers are bound to the booking and cannot cancel or can only rebook for an additional fee. This type of hotel booking is only suitable for business trips where employees are very sure that the booking can be carried out.
How to leverage technology to effectively manage hotel booking cancellation for business travel?
As we have already seen, there are a variety of hotel cancellation policies that can be considered. Some hotels have very strict cancellation policies, while others take a flexible approach. Flexibility is crucial, especially on business trips, as appointments can often be postponed. Therefore, when booking, you should make sure that free cancellation or rebooking is possible.
Managing business travel plans can be a time-consuming and complex task. However, thanks to technology and innovative travel solutions, it’s now easier than ever to consolidate all of your business travel bookings in one place.
Use one all-in-one platform for hotel bookings
When booking hotels for business trips, it is worth using a travel management platform like GetGoing, which allows you to easily search for suitable hotels. Here you can, for example, apply a filter to select refundable offers, search for specific cancellation conditions and eliminate risks for your company.
Travel management platforms also offer the option of integrating individual company and travel guidelines into the system, so that employees can book their business trips themselves without needing additional travel approvals by a travel manager. This is why when booking hotels, it is so important to have a travel policy for reference determined by your company in advance.
Automate your travel platform and trip approval processes with GetGoing. This means employees can easily use the central booking system to search for suitable hotels that are compliant with the travel route and book hotels for their business trips.