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Do hotels lie about being fully booked?

Do hotels lie about being fully booked?

Old Apr 10, 19, 8:33 am
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Do hotels lie about being fully booked?

I'm at the Marriott Shanghai for work and I was supposed to check out tomorrow, Thursday. But I needed to extend 2 extra days and check out on Saturday. Two receptionists on different days said they are fully booked and there's no room available.

But on my company travel website, rooms were still available. I booked it through my company website and then went downstairs and asked to keep my same room. They said no problem!

I booked it through my work originally so they should know I'm a corporate traveler. I heard hotels allocate a block of rooms to certain companies, but why exclude me when they already knew. Hmmm

Last edited by superbobbay; Apr 10, 19 at 8:38 am
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Old Apr 10, 19, 8:38 am
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In some foreign countries, hotels traditionally "sell" some of their inventory to certain travel agents. Indeed, in Russia I've had the experience that a room count not be booked directly with the hotel or chain, but was available through certain travel agents or OLTAs. Your company website was probably booking inventory from some third party source.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 9:08 am
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I thought it was common for hotel to allocate some rooms for the OTA and other travel channel partners.
When their own non allocated inventory runs out, they cant just sell those pre allocated ones.

I experience similar case in Singapore.
At Park Royal on Pickering Hotel. I need to extend the stay for 3 nights and the FD told me that its better for me to book through OTA if I can find cheaper rate as their own inventory is low and they need to charge me higher rate for the extension.
End up booking the extended stay with OTA with similar room type and we keep the room throughout.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 10:25 am
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Not overbooking, but specific room inventory related. Hotels have said they don't "have that room type avail" while the website is still selling it.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 10:30 am
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"Fully booked" can have a variety of meanings, and in many instances it does not mean there are no rooms available for sale.
Originally Posted by kaizen7 View Post
I thought it was common for hotel to allocate some rooms for the OTA and other travel channel partners.
When their own non allocated inventory runs out, they cant just sell those pre allocated ones.
This is definitely true. When I've told staff "but there's a room for sale on Expedia," the response is "you should book it with them, because we can't sell it to you."
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Old Apr 10, 19, 11:32 am
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I’ve noticed very often that hotels will show “fully booked” if you attempt a one-night stay, but will show availability if you attempt to book a multi-night stay that includes that same night.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 11:45 am
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Just noticed this at JW Marriott Marco Island - if you book the whole week, there's a room available. If you try to buy individual nights, it's sold out.

Oh and don't try to use points. Points aren't worth the virtual paper they are printed on.

#BONVOYED
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Old Apr 10, 19, 11:48 am
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What did they say when you told them you were able to book a room after being told they were fully booked?
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Old Apr 10, 19, 2:45 pm
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Originally Posted by superbobbay View Post
I'm at the Marriott Shanghai for work and I was supposed to check out tomorrow, Thursday. But I needed to extend 2 extra days and check out on Saturday. Two receptionists on different days said they are fully booked and there's no room available.

But on my company travel website, rooms were still available. I booked it through my company website and then went downstairs and asked to keep my same room. They said no problem!

I booked it through my work originally so they should know I'm a corporate traveler. I heard hotels allocate a block of rooms to certain companies, but why exclude me when they already knew. Hmmm

Sometimes rooms are blocked for travel agents or sometimes they save rooms for walk ins that will pay a much higher rate for your room. Did you actually try to get a room via Marriott website?
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Old Apr 10, 19, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by friscotrvlr View Post
Just noticed this at JW Marriott Marco Island - if you book the whole week, there's a room available. If you try to buy individual nights, it's sold out.
MLOS isn't new or unique to Marriott.

Originally Posted by wharvey View Post
What did they say when you told them you were able to book a room after being told they were fully booked?
Originally Posted by superbobbay View Post
I booked it through my company website and then went downstairs and asked to keep my same room. They said no problem

Last edited by CPRich; Apr 10, 19 at 4:41 pm
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Old Apr 10, 19, 6:32 pm
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In a travel experience from hell this winter I was stuck at an airport over night. Getting to the front desk they would not sell a room because they were full. I told them I can book a room on the app. They said go ahead. Two minute later I had the keys for two rooms (at the AAA rate no less).
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Old Apr 10, 19, 9:42 pm
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At the(small) hotel chain i work for:
We do not accept reservations inquiries on the day and say it's fully booked
Unless we have more than 20 rooms left.

Another reason is that our chain also sells the rooms on online platforms like booking.com etc.
Capacity on those platforms has to be announced in advance (depends on the chosen contract and commissions).
So sometime we do have rooms left, but blocked on those platforms (and we are not allowed to redirect them to those)

Go figure...
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Old Apr 10, 19, 10:28 pm
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Somehow I suspect if the OP asked the sales department for 10 or more rooms (as opposed to asking the front desk for 1 room), there would suddenly be availability!

I remember calling some hotels, and sometimes when the receptionist is too busy to answer, the call would go to a recording that would say something like "Thank you for calling xxxx hotel...for individual reservations of up to 9 rooms, please press 1 [you would then be transferred to central reservations], for group reservations of 10 or more rooms, please press 2 [you would then get transferred to sales]..."

I might have also recall seeing a walk-in guest at a hotel get handed the telephone after the front desk staff presumably called central reservations to make the reservation first before they can be checked in.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 10:42 pm
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Originally Posted by MD/DC Flyer View Post
In a travel experience from hell this winter I was stuck at an airport over night. Getting to the front desk they would not sell a room because they were full. I told them I can book a room on the app. They said go ahead. Two minute later I had the keys for two rooms (at the AAA rate no less).
This is unacceptable and I have experienced the same thing before a few times in the past couple of years.

Common sense (and good customer service) can be hard to come by these days...
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Old Apr 11, 19, 12:02 am
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Breaking: Flyertalkers "discover" that multinational corporations practice inventory management.

More coming up at ten PM.
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