Mr. and Mrs. Traveler and their family had long planned a vacation to a popular resort destination in a popular city that is often host to very large, worldly popular conventions during certain times of the year.
As this has been Mr. Traveler’s first lengthy vacation since his recent move to a new company he was eager to make reservations and secure it with his credit card. Mr. Traveler books his hotel and then books a flight to the destination city that services multiple flights and multiple airline flights daily. Because of his traveling with the family and the areas local attraction, he also books a rental car and dinner reservations for one night at a popular, trendy and romantic restaurant in the downtown area. Since the family will be eager to hit some local area attractions, Mr. Traveler also purchases single day passes for the entire family at a popular area theme park. This is to be the vacation the entire family will remember. Remember it . . . they will!
Overbooking is common in the hospitality industry. It is an essential part of operations management designed to keep facilities full at maximum capacity ensuring maximum revenue is obtained, especially at times of high demand to help offset times of lower demand. This vacation takes the Travelers to Popular City, USA during the week of the Knuckle Draggers Convention. A hugely popular annual convention attended by knuckle draggers from around the world. Mr. Traveler was not aware of the convention and arrives in Popular City ready to vacation!!!
Mr. Traveler arrives . . . oh yeah, his flight was bumped due to overbooking, but he was happy to take the free family upgrade to first class on the next flight out of Dodge. Once in the Popular City airport terminal, he grabs his bags and heads to the rental car agency. There he is given a sub-compact car, because that’s all he really needed, and was told that the hotel he’s staying at has an office in the lobby, where he can upgrade later if he desires.
Mr. Traveler and his family attempt to check into the hotel but are again told of an overbooking. Mr. Traveler remains calm and asks what other arrangements have been made for his stay, as he knows that hotels often have alternative arrangements with other area hotels for such instances.
Since this is the weekend of the Knuckle Draggers Convention, Mr. Traveler is just now being made aware of the event, as it is sponsored by the major hotel chain in which he made reservations. He now knows of this huge event, that the hotel had overbooked, all of its rooms have already been checked into because of the “Super Showdown Knucklehead Extravaganza” this evening at the convention. But, the hotel was ready, because they have just informed him that they made alternate reservations at “Never Popular This Time of Year Resort and Spa” just outside of the city limits, also owned by the hotel.
Mr. Traveler is not happy about having to travel the additional mileage to and from the city area close to the romantic restaurant he was taking his family to the next evening . . . this now meant he needed to drive. Politely expressing his concern to the reservation staff, they upgrade his car to the Luxury Bomb SUV, book him a suite at the “Never Popular This Time of Year Resort and Spa”, give him free passes to the Knuckle Draggers Convention, free passes to “The Tasmanian Experience”, another popular theme park in which they are a sponsor, AND, a free spa treatment for her and a message for him. The Traveler’s part very happy. The hotel chain has not lost any money because they have several sets of passes to the Knuckle Draggers Convention given to them as sponsors, for just this reason. The hotel also owns the “Never Popular This Time of Year Resort and Spa”; and since it’s not busy this time of year, their staff is happy because the spa is able to pump more money from the Travelers for an additional bunion removal pedicure and hot rock facial. The kids are happy because they get to go to TWO theme parks and ride the “Death Trap” roller coaster with Dad and squeeze the famous life-sized Platypus’ nose.
The facts speak for themselves. Overbooking is part of smart business when you’re in the Hospitability business, because customers cancel or unforeseeable events happen. It’s also something to be aware of when you’re a traveler. What you’ll find is that most hospitality businesses are smart enough, and savvy to the needs of the customer to keep options available to the customer, because they want your return visit and your recommendation to friends and family. They have options so you need to ask for the options when an overbooking occurs.
Go Ahead . . . Squeeze the Platypus’ nose.