The expenses of being a “noshow”

In these days when virtually everyone books their accommodation online it’s particularly important to read the small-print regarding cancelling your trip or simply not turning up at all at your accommodation.

If you simply don’t turn up almost all hotels will charge you for the first night of your stay but some resort style hotels will charge you for the entire stay. In both cases this is a non-refundable charge.

However, you don’t necessarily need to pay it. In most cases, if you call the hotel a day in advance of your stay you’ll generally not have to pay anything further. Even cancelling the same day can sometimes save you money. For example, although we can charge for a noshow unless the reservation is cancelled a day in advance, in reality we waive this if we can get someone else for the room following the cancellation. Incidentally, it’s really not necessary for you to make up some excuse to explain your cancellation: hotels have heard them all before and it’ll make no difference as to whether or not they charge you.

Do watch any deposit payments that you’ve made though as in many instances these are kept by the reservation system that you used and are usually not refundable. If you find a hotel listed on a reservation system it’s usually worthwhile to contact them directly as this will save you the booking fee and you may get a discount too.

You might think that these “noshow” charges are just profiteering on the part of the hotel. They aren’t. Whenever you make a guaranteed reservation online the hotel is obliged to keep the room for you even if other people turn up asking for a room. In some cases we have turned away as many as a dozen couples looking for a room because our last room was subject to a guaranteed reservation only to find out that the people who’d booked it never turned up.

And a final plea… read the description of the hotel and particularly its location. Hotels are usually listed by “resort” which means that all hotels within about 25 miles of a city will come up as being attached to that city. This means that hotels well into the country are listed as associated with cities. Cancelling because you discover that a hotel you expected to be in the city centre is actually in the country doesn’t save a “noshow” charge if you only discover that when you arrive in the city.

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