No Show in hotel: how to best manage it


Dear WuBookers, if we say “No Show” what do you think?

Surely, unfortunately, a No Show may have occorred to many of You, a big hassle in terms of time and money. Added to this, is the difficulty of limiting the damage and having the right approach to what happened. So let’s see together how to best manage it.

No Show in hotel: what is that?

The term No Show identifies the non-arrival of guests at the hotel. A person has booked a room but, on the scheduled day, without an explicit cancellation or modification, does not show up at check-in.

What does the No Show involve in the hotel?

The Italian law speaks clearly in terms of No Show. A person who has booked a room and who decides not to show up without notifying or canceling, is subject to a penalty.

However, the sanction is at the discretion of the accommodation facility. Usually it corresponds to the cost of the first night and the amount is charged to the customer’s credit card.

That’s why, just to avoid unpleasant surprises, it’s always good to ask bookers for a credit card and immediately check that it has not expired.

But remember…

In order to apply a penalty to a customer who did not show up, it is also necessary to have declared the cancellation policy during the booking process. The customer must clearly know what happens in the event of a no-show. The cancellation policy must therefore function as a real contract between you and your guest in order to protect both.

Here, to help you, we summarize some points to keep in mind:

  • The customer must always be made aware, at the time of booking, of the terms and conditions provided in case of cancellation or no-show;
  • You will always have to indicate how the amount of the penalty will be calculated;
  • In Italy, sentence no. 6633 of 18 July 1997 of the Cassazione Civile (tterza sezione) declares that it is not possible to charge the full amount of the booked stay;
  • The amount charged for the no show is never subject to VAT.

How to avoid the No Show at the hotel

Considering that the most used system is the practice of overbooking, a valid tool for limiting no show problems is the use of the booking engine for reservations. Here the user proceeds autonomously to book the room and is obliged to leave his data for the registration, including those relating to payment.

By entering data of his own credit card, the guest gives the host the possibility of a pre-authorization, or a check on the amount availability and expiration date of the card. In this way, the hotel manager has the opportunity to immediately be aware of the problem and report it to the customer without waiting for the day of check-in, safeguarding the property in case of no-show.

Remember that you do not need (and must not) memorize the three-digit CVC/CVV code of the card, for a charge you will only need the name and surname of the cardholder and the month and year of expiry of the card.

In addition, you can protect your business by contacting customers a few days before the cancellation deadline, reminding them of the reservation. A simple automated email or a phone call may suffice.

Or, if you prefer, you can also decide to remedy the problem by providing advantageous non-refundable rates in periods of high occupancy.

To conclude No shows happen, and even more often than you might imagine. We must therefore take them into account and try to protect ourselves in the ways we have discussed above.

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