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How to Handle Reservation Cancellations in hotels

A guest actually does a service to the hotel when they take time to cancel a reservation instead of not informing and then the reservation becomes a no-show. A reservation cancellation informs the hotel that a previously reserved room is once again available, and helps the front desk more effectively manage its room inventory.

Hotels should make processing cancellation easy and efficient. Reservation Cancellation, like any guest service, require the hotel staff to be polite, courteous and effective as possible.

Following points to be taken with care while cancelling a non-guaranteed reservation:

  • Obtain the guest's name and address

  • Number of reserved rooms

  • Arrival and departure date

  • and the reservation confirmation number if available

  • Name  and contact number of the Person calling for cancelling the booking

  • Reason of cancellation

These information will ensure that the correct reservation record is accessed by the reservation agent and then cancelled. After recording the cancellation, if available the agent can give the cancellation number to the guest / caller who had cancelled the booking. 

Reservation agent must ensure that the correct reservation has been cancelled and also may ask the guest whether they would like to make a alternate reservation for any other dates.

Cancelling a Guaranteed or Credit Card Guaranteed reservations:

  • While cancelling a Guaranteed reservation, along with the points mentioned above the reservation agent should also take care of the following points:-

  • Communicate to the caller that according to the hotel cancellation policy their credit card would be charged along with the total amount which is going to be charged.

  • After processing the cancellation the reservation agent should give the cancellation number to the guest, this would be retained by the guest as proof of cancellation int he event of erroneous credit card billing.

  • Make the reservation record as cancelled, properly initiated and documented and add the cancellation number to the reservation record.

  • Most credit card companies support no-show billing only if the hotel issues a cancellation number.

  • If a non-automated property then update the room availability, returning the reserved room back to availability status.

File cancelled reservation documentation for future references as per the hotel policy. In a non- automated hotel the reservation record is kept until the expected date of arrival just in case the reservation was cancelled by mistake.

Advance Deposit Policy: Polices related to cancellation of reservations with advance deposits may always very among hotels. The reservation agent should treat cancellation of reservations with advance deposit with much care as they do with other types of reservation cancellations. According to the hotel policy of some hotels the advance deposit  charges are refunded back to the guest after deducting the applicable cancellation charges.

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Authored and managed by Augustine, a hotelier with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He has a 3-year diploma with 'honors' from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and a Bachelor of Computer Application - BCA Degree.