HRS managing director Jon West has argued on why on-request bookings are “unacceptable” in the industry.
Here he outlines five key points travel managers and bookers should look out for:
If making an on-request booking, always read the small print
Are there any additional charges that you aren’t aware of if the booking becomes an offline transaction?
What is the true cost of your on-request booking?
On request bookings may seem like a simple solution but this can add extra time, man power and cost if the accommodation isn’t available as initially advertised online.
Is the price displayed the same as what you’ll be quoted when the Agent comes back with a cost?
The price advertised will rarely be the true cost of the room as you won’t be able to book it in real-time. In fact, the property may not even be available.
Does the agent have your best interests at heart?
Once an agent becomes involved in the decision making process, you could be subjecting yourself to many areas of compromise as you’re no longer in total control of your booking. Will they be getting more preferable commission as a result of them changing your hotel? Does this still fit with your company’s travel policy.
Does the agent have enough content and can they get the best rate?
If the property you originally selected isn’t available, is the property they recommend as an alternative appropriate? Do you have enough information about it to make a decision? If they don’t have a direct relationship with the property, can you be sure that you are getting the best price?
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