Nothing is worse than having a long travel day and arriving at your hotel with a confirmed reservation, only to find the hotel is sold out. Being “walked” to another hotel is something all travelers would like to avoid, and while it’s not a common occurrence, many travelers are unaware of what they’re entitled to if they’re moved to another property.
WHY ARE HOTELS OVERSOLD?
Generally, three reasons cause hotels to oversell their room inventory. Sometimes, hotels will oversell their inventory to maximize profits, similar to airlines, counting on the fact that a certain percentage of guests will no-show their reservation. In other situations, some guests may not leave on time, causing your room to disappear—travelers may extend their stay due to bad weather or a canceled flight. Less frequently, group reservations at a hotel may cause challenges to room availability, where a group sales representative may commit more rooms to a group than are actually available; in this case, it's more likely that a single reservation will get walked to a neighboring property than an entire group booking.
WHAT ARE YOU OWED?
Unfortunately, there are no government rules or regulations that cover oversold hotels. In reality, some cities and even states can prevent a hotel from evicting a guest that overstays their reservation with an ordinance or law. However, you’re likely entitled to a refund for a pre-paid reservation. By industry standard, most hotels will apologize, find you another room nearby of equal or higher quality, and cover the expense of the new room plus any transportation costs involved in getting you to the new hotel.
If your treatment doesn’t meet the industry standard, ask to speak to the hotel manager or converse with the hotel chain on social media. You can always suggest the property you would like to be walked to, especially if there’s availability. In most cases, hotels will do their best to accommodate your request, but your comfort and safety is their number one priority.
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