Risk-Free Reservations Programme enables accommodation providers to get bookings that they otherwise wouldn’t get, by offering extra flexibility in the cancellation policy to customers on their behalf. Usually increasing flexibility also comes with an increased risk which may prevent accommodation providers from doing this; however with this programme, Booking.com will look for a replacement or take over the payment obligation of the cancellation cost to minimise the risk for them.
How does it work?
Booking.com will offer guests a more flexible cancellation policy on the property’s behalf. If a guest books a room under the Risk-Free policy and cancels, we'll actively try to resell the room as long as it is bookable. In the meantime, we will release the room immediately to your system, so that it can be sold from any channels that your systems are connected to. In order for us to have the best chances of reselling the room, we ask accommodation providers to remove restrictions. If we can’t find one, we’ll take over the payment obligation of the cancellation cost. There are no extra charges or commission for this service.
You can refer to the following flowchart for more details of how the programme works. (Open the image in new tab to check the flow in details)
Who is eligible for the programme?
Accommodation partners that joined Payments by Booking.com, are open and bookable on Booking.com, enabled auto-replenishment, and are not a global chain property are eligible for the programme.
The majority of the eligible partners are automatically enrolled into the programme. For partners in French Guiana, Mayotte, France, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Pierre, Miquelon and Reunion, they can opt-in by themselves by logging into the Booking.com extranet - Opportunities - Risk-Free Reservations Programme Page. If partners want to opt-out of the programme, they can always go to the same page to do so.
What do Risk-Free Reservations mean for me as a connectivity partner?
As soon as a booking is made as a risk-free reservation, the reservation will be pushed to your system as a normal booking.
To improve transparency and help accommodation partners understand that a booking belongs to the Risk-Free Reservations Programme, we communicate the information in both the extranet and providers’ interfaces.
In the Booking.com extranet, accommodation partners can find all details (cancellation policy, room status, payment details) about a risk-free booking on the reservation details page.
In providers’ interfaces, we will share information in the following areas:
For B.XML partners, risk-free booking information is communicated in remarks:
<remarks> This is a risk-free reservation...
For OTA partners, we currently show information about a risk-free booking in 2 areas:
<OTA_HotelResNotifRQ .... >
<RoomStay .... >
<RoomType ... >
<RoomDescription ... >
<Text> Risk-Free Free Cancellation X day
<OTA_HotelResNotifRQ .... >
<Comment ... >
<Text> This is a risk-free reservation...
If you trigger emails to accommodation partners whenever a reservation is created, modified, or canceled and include Guest/Room Comments/Remarks in the emails, risk-free booking information should also be passed to the emails in the same field.
As the Risk-Free Reservations Programme automatically opts in the majority of the eligible accommodation providers, they can have questions when receiving new risk-free bookings and need support from you. We recommend you share this article and the articles listed below with your customer support team so that they can better support these accommodation providers. When you receive repetitive questions from accommodation providers and cannot find the answers in these articles, please reach out to the Booking.com connectivity support team as you usually do to escalate these questions.