How to Deal With a Booking Cancellation

In the holiday letting business, inevitably you will one day have to deal with cancellations and refunds due to bereavement, illnesses, jobs, etc. We’ve put together some tips on how to respond and cope when a guest has cancelled their holiday.

The best way to deal with a cancellation professionally is to plan ahead. Knowing it is bound to happen will allow you to outline a plan of action for cancelled bookings. It is important to clearly outline in your booking terms and conditions:

  • Time frames
  • Refund amount due
  • Advice on holiday insurance
  • Good-will policy

You can decide what works for you on refunds, time frames, and how much money your guest will receive back. For guests who give plenty of notice, you may be more prepared to give them a full refund if you manage to re-let. Otherwise, guests who cancel at short notice should only expect a small percentage of what they booked the holiday for.

It is important to consider administration fees, bank charges, damage deposits, re-advertising, and cleaning and utility charges. These can all add up, and should be deducted or refunded as relevant to the amount a guest receives as a refund.

As well as mentioning it in your booking terms and conditions, you should make guests aware of the importance of and their responsibility to book holiday insurance, as this can help cover possible cancellation costs and their stay in your holiday let.

If guests demand a full refund, you are entitled to stick to your booking terms as long as they have been set out clearly from before the booking was made. For genuine unforeseen cancellations, then a partial/full refund or an offer of alternative dates may be a solution that’s mutually beneficial, and can encourage the guests to rebook in the future.

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