Last minute booking with arrival outside regular hours

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Komentarze: 89

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    The Inn Keeper

    I will often contact and tell them we won't be taking them. 

    Im a small property too, late check ins will disturb other guests therefore we won't do them. If they booked after your hours, you do not have to charge them... if they reserved a bit earlier where they are taking up a sellable room from walk ins.. charge them  

    For insurance reasons alone I won't do self check ins. You could get burned far easier if they don't need to sign anything. 

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    I currently have a serious situation due to not accepting a booking outwith my check in times (thanks to the Booking.Com Special Requests Checkin Box) which totally contradicts our check in times as the guests don't understand that Request means 'Ask First' and not 'Their Right of Passage'.  Anyway 2 days ago I wrote to Booking.Com about the matter and I am still awaiting a reply but in the meantime I have received an abusive call from the guest and he has also threatened to come to my property. Booking.Com should take responsiblity and remove this facility (that they introduced only a couple of years ago) as it causes far to much conflict.

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    Craig, I have had similar threats, and it seems to be a running trend, with guests thinking they can act inappropriately. Property owners must however adher to certain standards. I think needs to even out the playing field with a star rating for guests, once they leave a review. Property owners are left feeling threatened, and there needs to be a new system in place to insure guests can not act freely in this way. Hi we did you resolve the issue?

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    Hi Murciafit

    No resolve yet as Booking.Com have not bothered to respond or acknowledge the severity of the matter which due to conflicting information they attach to a property (although they hide behind - 'Its a request only' that is being proven to be problematic amongst accommodation providers I am not going to contact the CMA which is the government body that investigates misleading information within the retail sector and the OTA's have all been under investigation in the last 12 months for similar issues and indeed Booking.Com's Advertising Campaign Offering Free Cancelation was pulled last year as a result of the investigations it was on the Gloria Hunniford holiday programme.  It is such a shame we have to result to this when listening and acting on recommendations from Accommodation Providers would resolve the issues but their softwear marketing people who having abosolutely no idea about the hospitality business are a law onto themselves it would seem resulting is situations such as what I am experiencing at the moment


  • Either you invest in a key less entry or you simply close your rooms on when you dont want to accept bookings for the same day. Also has the option to automatically close them every day at the same time. Its calles Release time and you can ask your account manager to set it up. :)

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    We are a small 6-room guest house in South Africa and self-check-in is not an option here. Nobody gets access to the property without being welcomed by us personally.

    I am therefore distinctly grumpy when having to check-in somebody late at night especially if they have not had the manners or grace to forewarn us.  In my opinion, the worst aspect of this job/lifestyle is waiting for a late arrival who has not made any contact, and not knowing if they are going to show and whether to eat dinner or not, go to bed or not, etc.

    Our stated arrival time is 2-6pm.  We confirm this with all guests directly via email. We get far more early arrivals than late arrivals and very few later than 7pm. 

    We see quite a few same-day reservations especially in high season and I always validate the credit card immediately on those reservations. We do not allow any online reservations to be made without card information. 

    If we were to start seeing even a few very last minute reservations with late arrivals, we would definitely consider making changes to when/how we accept online reservations.

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    We also run a small B&B and had this problem with a guest booking at 9pm saying they would arrive after 11pm.  By the time they arrived we'd been on and changed our settings so reservations can't be made for the same day (go to the Calendar, click on 'Standard Rate' and then edit the 'Minimum Advance Notice').  This way, when people make reservations and say they will be arriving later than your check-in time, you have a day to contact them and point out the error of their ways.

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    Annie Fleetwood

    A lot of useful comments there. I also ring if I get a late booking because they haven't read the cutoff time and get them cancelled. I also say that bookings must be within so many hours of arrival time.

    I do accept bookings off a late arriving plane and do stay up for them, 

    I certainly do not leave keys out - why -due to a late night booker when we first started BNB . I stayed up to let them in , so was very tired and showed them straight to the bedroom. They asked for keys that night and I luckily said no . In the morning we couldn't get them out of bed , when we did they waved a credit card at us as a security  even though we didn't accept credit cards. They went off to get cash and never returned. I rang the bank who asked if I had given keys - thank goodness I hadn't!!! In the end the police did catch them and deported them!!! I was not the first person they had defrauded and I think very lucky not to have been burgled !!! 

    A pity that the odd one puts you on your guard!

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    Our guest lodge is based in South Africa, which puts us in quite a predicament as we cannot have people self-check in as they might self-checkout with all the rooms contents, so we always check-in the guests with that all important friendly smile. Besides that point, I believe that as a hospitality establishment we should exceed the guests expectation in most regards. But as it is also a business if they want a late check in or other services not included they should expect to pay for the service rendered. Same as one does when ordering an extra topping on a pizza or when buying nails, you cannot expect the store to provide you with a free hammer.

    It is not always or hardly ever enjoyable to wait for guest till the early hours of the morning but charging a late check-in fee does provide a bit of solace and to provide that always expected smile 😊 I do understand that charging a late check-in fee does often result unfair scoring practices from the guests. But in the same light one or two bad reviews does in fact have little effect on the bigger picture.

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    We've had the same problem in the past as we too are only a small b&b and so many people (and I hate to say this but it's usually foreigners - ie not english) who assume every accommodation is a 24 hour hotel, they pay no attention to any check in times on or in any email sent either. Have to tried to contact the guest yourseves using the phone number they would have given on their booking? Or ring and ask them to contact the guest and tell them the closing time and they can then send a cancellation email to the guest. 

    Other than that, usually will automatically close out rooms if it's so close to the cut off time for check in, and I think you can select yourself how far in advance you will accept last minute bookings (ie 4 hours before check in closes), or just take the rooms offline earlier. Fair enough, you may lose out on potential bookings but that's the gamble and wouldn't you rather that than being woken up at silly o'clock? I know I would!

    You're not obliged to accept any bookings if people turn up after the closing time, you can just ignore the bell and leave them, their fault anyway haha!

    It's a shame there are so many idiots out there who don't read any information, yet us hoteliers have to go to such lengths to ensure our information is accurate.

  • We run a hostel/backpackers in NZ . Late arrivals are easily the most distracting thing about an otherwise exciting and fulfilling business to be involved in . It's a negative experience for all concerned

    as anyone having to show someone in at midnight can attend to particularly when living off site. Unfortantly , the guest gets the last say , with an anonymous , no comment review  . (. com's bad)  We do arrange self check in when were contacted , but to often were not . 95% of our guests are from overseas , with poor english . Giving details over the phone is near impossible . 

      The facts are that many people have a disconnect with their emails while on holiday , so our pre check in emails often go unread. After querying several guests in a calm manor , it was obvious 

    many genuinely were not aware of our check in time . I went through the booking process and was disappointed to find that the check in details was given very little relevance by . com . In fact , they just said to check with the provider . I get the impression they are deliberately vague , rather than risk loosing a booking.  Dot Com are very good at what they do , but as someone on this forum said

    it seems the designers of the booking pages , have little knowledge of our industry .


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    We checked in once at a small hotel where you had to call the host for the pin to the save and then you had to take out your envelope with your keys in it. It worked well.


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    Mike I would also like a copy of that list. We should actually have a space (either on or other in which we can list all these "unwanted' Guests. That way new and old establishments can avoid being caught. We recently become victim to card fraud and there was nothing that we could do. However we have switched to a virtual card payment via Nedbank that allows the guest to put in their own card details. it confirms with there cell and email about the transaction and if not complete within a given time frame we delete the booking. Simple and Safe. Stops card information from falling into the wrong hands and protects both the Hotel and the original card holder.

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    I love the option about "Bad Guests". There should be a way to report them, not just for Card Fraud, but also for damaging property or leaving all their dirty mess around. 

  • At our location, we have our check-in hours until midnight. If a guest states they will be checking in later we leave the key in a lockbox attached to our front door. We contact them either via phone or email (both is best) and let them know the password to open the lockbox, as well as directions to their room and what is expected of them in the morning (coming to front desk to sign the waiver, etc.). We already have a credit card on file so we just do a pre-authorization prior to closing the lobby for the night.

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    Michael Hayes

    We have installed a keypad deadbolt lock on the front door. This allows us to provide a special code for the late arriving guest and leave their keys in their room. It has worked extremely well for us. 

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    We always send a confirmation email after every booking is made, it is automatic on my PMS, however, on other OTAs I go into the booking and make it clear that check in is before 7pm and only up to 10pm if they contact me. I have ticked the box on and I do not allow bookings to be made after 4pm on the day., I show that I am full. This tends to prevent last minute. If I have a booking made at sayy 3.30pm for that night and it states a ridiculous time of 1am -2am I immediately get in touch with the guest, if they don't respond by 6pm I get to cancel the booking. This has worked very well. I have 8 bedrooms and don't feel I want people in my home that I have not met.

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    We rent two rooms in the Green Mountains of Vermont.  I have a big easy chair by wood stove and reception door. Late night, early morning guests....I find it better to avoid confrontation.  Just stay out of my kitchen.

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    I send an email and text to each Guest. I have key box next to the main door. It is very rear for the Guest not to be able to find the key box or simply don't know what it is. Even though I have a check in until 8pm it is very common for the Guest to come later than that. Also not every Guest gives arrival time so my emails also get me this information.  

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    Yves Ducommun

    Hello everyone,

    We're a small GH, so self check-in won't work as they'd need a key to get in in the first place. Besides I like to know who I am dealing with...

    If I am not mistaken, within your Extranet, under "policies", "other policies" & finally "Guest Information", you can set your check in times (ie: from 14h00, till 19h00).

    Should you be using a Channel Manager (ie: Little Hotelier, Site Minder or NightsBridge), you can get them to set a time limit after which no one can make a same day booking.

    Hoping that this will help you.

    Best regards / Yves 

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    I have already had a few transactions called "stolen" and we had to pay back the money. Regardless having copy of the ID and signature on the check in card. Doesn't matter. For the Bank it is stolen card. 

    95% of my transaction is made before arrival. it's a risk but on the other hand I will not charge anything, Guest doesn't show up and I loose. 

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    there is an option on that the Guest can only make the booking with one day delay. One can only make the booking today for tomorrow. I manage two properties and it was the only way for me to avoid night trips to one of my Apt.  

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    Hamilton Guesthouse

    We're also a small business, and I generally close out our availability to stop same-day reservations. I don't generally have a problem with late check-ins (so long as I know in advance to expect them), but I don't like surprises.

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    Siandav Lill

    Self Check-In is the way to go.

    1. Follow up every booking immediately with the info you think they need and you need for the booking.

    2. Install a key box and advise guests that if they would like to arrive outside of your check-in times (or likely to be delayed) then they can do a self check-in but we do not do night check-ins.  I have had one cancellation due to this in 4 years.  I advise that the is left for the hour they are due so they must tell us if they are going to be delayed.

    3. Put a restriction on that allows bookings for x number of hours on the day of arrival or put 1day so they cant book for the arrival day. Also check you have the right check-in times allowed.

    4. Label the rooms and write up a list of things you need the guest to know.

    5. Send an email the day before with the information they need, the key code, directions and the times that the key will be available in the key box.  I also ask them to cross off anything they dont want on the breakfast list or if there are any special diatery requirements.

    So far it works well.  I prefer to meet guests but it is important to have some down time when we start early every 7 days a week.

    Good luck.


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    Sue Scheepers

    I also block off the rooms one hour before my latest check-in time. I have also had last minute bookings that keep me up until all hours and then sometimes the guest does not arrive. Best just to do that to avoid the frustration. Unfortunately last minute bookings as stated in previous comments usually happen at the 11th hour.

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    With late arrivals, after 8 PM, we leave a note on the office door with directions for the guest to find their cabins that is lit and has a porch light on and the message they need to come to the office the next morning (before check out if they stay one night). This has been working well over the years. We do make sure not to provide a key when it's a one night stay until everything is taken care off i.e.full payment is made.

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    Very interesting comments, we have a cut off time with at 6.00 pm and never have a booking after that hour , plus we also do not take cash only credit card if a card is declined and the guest arrives and once to pay in cash, no thanks.We had a problem with late arrivals, so now I send a confirmation letter to the guest and tell them no check-in's after 7.00 they are improving

    We are also abused by guests, that is a South African problem as they are not accustomed to Guest House etiquette and house rules

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    We are all beating around the bush here. The issue is that could easily write an algorithm to block bookings being made after our pre-set time. 

    I had two men arrive at 11.15pm, when my last check-in is 9pm. Long story short, it transpired they had just been released from prison. 

    Now I have a diary note, and block all my rooms manually at 9pm. It's a pain in the neck.

    I won't do the self-check in as I want to see who is coming into my house to protect my family and other guests, so if a guest wants a late check in, they can have it any time, as long as it has been pre-arranged. This personal service is the difference between a B&B and a big chain. It happens so infrequently that I am happy to do it and catch up with sleep next day. 

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    I've had bookings where the guest has used the drop down menu and chosen 2-3am. All i have done is phone them up and ask them if it's correct. In all instances they have never realised the drop down is 24 your based. They see 2-3 and think that is In the afternoon. To be honest I wish this drop down menu was taken off, it may help us and the guest!!!

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    Great topic!

    I wish the site would be able to have a compulsory drop down box with time of arrival (above the hotel/motel/b & b's last checkin time). When people ,make their booking and see that there is no opportunity for them to put a later arrival time, this may encourage them to phone the property to discuss other arrangements - which would be so much better.

    There have been a few great comments from contributors - I often lock off rooms just as I'm about to leave for the night but will gather more info and work out what would be the best fit for both ourselves and our guests.

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