things that make you go hmm - this is a letter to Parada Magazine from the PAII President and CEO.
In the November 25th issue of Parade Magazine, in the "Parade Picks" section a brief called "Checked In" by Jacob Tomsky gave advice on how to essentially lie to a hotel to get out of the cancellation fee.
PAII President and CEO, Jay Karen crafted a response to the editor of Parade magazine to explain why cancellation policies are important and how the impact of cancelling at a hotel versus a B&B are completely different.
Read the letter below:
I was honestly stunned to see listed in the brief "Checked In" article by Jacob Tomsky ("Parade Picks" section, November 25, 2012) advice on how to essentially lie to a hotel to get out of a cancellation fee. Mr. Tomsky says someone who wants to avoid a cancellation fee that comes with a same-day cancellation should switch a reservation to the next week, wait a day and call back to cancel.
Generally, when travelers make reservations at hotels or B&Bs, there is an agreement made to adhere to certain policies and rules, among them being a cancellation policy. These policies are put in place to reasonably protect hoteliers and innkeepers from losing perishable inventory. The closer one gets to the date of stay, the harder it is for a hotel or B&B to resell a room that was put back into inventory due to a cancellation. Same-day cancellations can be nearly impossible to recoup.
Take the case of a four-room B&B. If someone books a room for a weekend and cancels at the last minute, that traveler has spoiled 25% of that innkeeper's inventory. Imagine doing the same at a restaurant - booking 25% of all the tables, and then backing out last minute. While a 300-room hotel might be able to absorb a last-minute cancellation here or there on account of the occasional unscrupulous traveler, a B&B really cannot. And still, hotels deserve better than that.
We know that travelers are forced to make last-minute cancellations for many legitimate reasons, and most small business owners are happy to work with these guests. Innkeepers and hoteliers have very challenging jobs - don't make things worse by encouraging dishonest behavior. Shame on Mr. Tomsky for suggesting people circumnavigate policies they agreed to - and shame on Parade for printing it.
President & CEO