Over the past years, airlines and hotels are trying to cut online travel agencies like Expedia or Priceline from the booking process so as to increase their profits. If we put aside the travel brands, we have to consider if there are any tangible advantages from booking directly with the service provider or not. Here are some of the benefits that you will gain from booking directly.
Loyalty program points
You will not be qualified for hotel’s loyalty program points if you book your stays through an Online Travel Agent or third-party site.
Free Wi-Fi and other amenities
There are many chains and few independent hotels that give guest free Wi-Fi to guests that make reservations directly with the hotel. Some other amenities that will be provided for booking directly are complimentary bottled water and you can also get discounts at the hotel lounge or restaurant.
You can easily choose the type of rooms that you want as you can check and ask for options before you book for a room. For instance, if you want a room that has two beds you will likely get this room type when you book directly than when you book through online travel agents.
If you book a room directly from the hotel, you are going to get better customer service if anything goes wrong with your trip or your stay and this is due to hotel policies which give priority to reservations that are made directly with them since they will not have to pay a commission fee. If you book through an Online Travel Agency, you will have to complain to the customer service agent who will then serve as the middleman between you and hotel as you will not be free to complain directly to the hotel management.
Flexibility in booking
You may want to postpone or prepone your stay in a hotel due to unforeseen reasons but if you made your booking through an online booking site, you may not be allowed to do so by the hotel as they will ask you to make the changes directly from the online tour agency. Although it is convenient to make travel plan changes from the travel agency and some travel agencies may impose hefty penalties for this. If you book directly from the hotel, you can easily make changes based on availability without having to pay any additional charges, or any difficulties or conditions.
Booking Fees and Commission
If you make bookings from an online booking sites the hotels are going to pay a commission in the range of 10% to 25% of the booking value but if you try to book directly from the hotels, they will not have to pay such commissions and they will be glad to give you a discount for direct bookings. You can call or email the hotel and simply ask for a better rate from them and they will get a deal from you, even if you have not done this before.
Planning for trips to a new city can be challenging as you will have to decide where to stay, what to see, where is nearby. If you book and communicate with the hotel directly you will be able to get insider’s tip of the city that you are going. Customer service staff at third-party booking sites may not give you the best recommendation that you need as they are in various locations but you will get this if you book directly. For example, if you are traveling to Niagara Falls in Canada, you are going to get the best experience and rate from Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel for you and your family than from Online Travel Agents.
Nowadays, hotels are trying to provide the best online service for their potential customers through the use of a hotel reservation system. The reservation system is a computerized system which helps hotels to launch their own website and to get direct bookings online.