Unassigned bookings are where you have a confirmed booking but no available unit to put them in.
Operators need to be aware that there is always a risk of a double booking from a Sales Channel during periods of high occupancy. Here are some explanations why.
- Channel updates are not instantaneous - It can take several minutes for all channels to be updated with changes in availability depending on how much 'traffic' any particular channel is dealing with. iBex will send any updates automatically but has no control over the amount of time it takes for the channel to receive it and update their system.
- iBex PMS users only - A room type is available day by day but no individual unit within that room type is available for the entire duration required - one of iBex's PMS features is to automatically exclude all units associated with that room type so that you will not receive any more bookings for that room type until it is sorted out. See the Auto Exclusion for an unassigned Booking help article for more information.
- If you use a different PMS system other than iBex which is connected to your iBex Online Plus or Channel Manager account, your PMS system has to update your iBex account with the correct availability - The link between the 2 systems may have been broken or delayed and therefore iBex has not been updated with correct availability.
- The room mapping is incorrect - When you connect a sales channel to your iBex system, you must map any room types that you wish to sell at the sales channel so that when a booking is made, iBex can update the availability accordingly. If a room type is not mapped between the systems, then iBex cannot update them with correct availability.
- System failure - iBex is cloud based, so like your email, it works regardless at all times. Other systems, such as other PMS's, are not cloud based so if they 'crash' (for example, a power failure), they cannot update iBex with correct availability.
How to avoid double bookings
Due to so many external factors it is impossible to guarantee any sure way of avoiding double bookings but here are some recommendations to minimise the risk of double bookings.
- We recommend that you set an On Request Threshold of at least 1 unit for at least one room type so that you always have a room up your sleeve. Sales channels do not have the option of selling rooms with an On Request basis - their systems only understand if a room is available or not. If you set any units to be On Request, the channels will see it as being unavailable so will not sell any units set as On Request.
- Restrict the room types you sell through channels. Since sales channels charge commission for sales, why sell all your room types through them? If you keep a room type or two reserved for direct sales only, you'll earn more from your bookings and have more control over the availability.
- If you use our PMS, you can set up virtual room types which could be used for the sales channels. This way, you can allocate only the amount of units in each room type that you want them to sell, ultimately giving you more control over how much they can sell and charge you commission for.
- You can change your online sell method at any time. During peak periods you want to consider putting more room types on request or even stop sell so that you only take direct bookings.
- Avoid using multiple systems. iBex PMS will provide you with everything you want without the need for links to other systems. This greatly reduces the need to rely on connections to other technology as iBex PMS works as one system. If you would like more information about our PMS, please contact us through the Help link at the bottom of your menu.