If the reservation is "Expedia Collect", then that means that an Expedia Virtual Card (EVC) is created for the reservation. These cards are not valid until check-in. Generally, payment gateways and processors will not retain cards that are not valid. Therefore, your payment gateway or processor will prevent ThinkReservations from retaining EVC cards unless it's a same-day reservation. If you are willing to accept additional risks, it may be possible for your payment gateway or processor to relax some security features to allow EVC cards to be retained. Please reach out to them for more details.
There are also instances where a "Hotel Collect" reservation doesn't have a valid card. A feature with Expedia allows guests to book last-minute reservations without a credit card. The reservation in Expedia Partner Central will alert you if this is the case. See the below image. Please reach out to Expedia if you would like to opt out of this program.
When an Expedia Hotel Collect reservation is made, Expedia does not verify the credit card. Rather, Expedia checks whether or not it appears to be a credit card number. Then Expedia sends the reservation information to ThinkReservations and it is created in your account. It is not until the reservation is confirmed and brought through the ThinkReservations Channel Manager that the credit card information is sent to your processor to validate the card and if applicable, charge the deposit. If your payment processor finds that the card is not valid, or if the charge is declined, the following will occur automatically:
ThinkReservations sends you an email stating this Expedia reservation came through with an invalid card.
You have some options in these cases:
- Log into Expedia Partner Central, open up the reservation to view the card details, and attempt to manually retain the card again into ThinkReservations.
- Call the guest to ask for a different card and run it in ThinkReservations while they're on the phone.
- Locate the reservation in your Expedia Partner Central account and cancel it (click on the link indicating invalid credit card). Anytime a reservation is canceled on Expedia, it is automatically canceled in ThinkReservations. With Expedia, you can cancel/reject a reservation within 72 hours after the reservation was made. After 72 hours you can cancel in ThinkReservations and then reconcile the commissions with Expedia.
*Please note: ThinkReservations cannot alert our clients that the credit card number was updated by the Expedia guest after they booked. There may be times where you'll check the reservation and see that there is, in fact, a credit card retained and a deposit paid. No further action is needed.
This can occur if additional child guest fees or max occupancy is not set correctly in your Expedia account. Expedia receives information from ThinkReservations regarding additional guest fees for adults only. Expedia does not receive information from ThinkReservations regarding additional child guest fees or max occupancy. If these are not configured in your Expedia account, the following example can occur:
A guest makes a single night reservation for 2 adults and 1 child to stay in a room that is normally $150 per night, double occupancy. The additional child fee is configured in ThinkReservations as $50 per child, per night. Because additional child guest fees were not configured in Expedia, the guest was able to make the reservation for $150. When the reservation is received with a total paid for 3 guests of $150, ThinkReservations will allocate $50 for the child. The result will appear as if the room rate were $100 and the additional guest fee was $50, as intended, for the total price of $150.
In order to prevent this, and other potential policy inconsistencies it is important to make sure all of the following are configured in your Expedia account, as this information is not synced:
- Cancellation policy
- Reservation deposit policy
- Meal plan
- Minimum notice for online reservations
- Maximum Occupancy
- Extra guest fees for children
- Room photos and descriptions
You can set up the child fees within Expedia Partner Central. Please reach out to Expedia if you need assistance setting this up.
- There are children in the reservation and Additional guest fees are wrong or not set up correctly on the Expedia account. For example, a reservation’s room rate is lower exactly by the amount set aside for the additional guest fee. You can fix this by setting up additional child fees from within the Expedia Extranet. Expedia support can also help you set this up.
- A promotion has affected the price. If a guest qualifies for a promotion, the rate of the reservation will be lower. This can be verified in the reservation in Expedia. For example, a reservation seems to be 10% lower than what you expected, because there is a “Fenced MOD” promotion applied to the reservation. If you notice an inconsistency with pricing in your Expedia reservations, you should log in to your Expedia account and first, verify if there are currently any promotions set. You can disable these from within your Expedia account settings.
- A Yield Management plan adjusted the price of the reservation. You can check to see if you have automatic rate adjustment rules by going to the “General Information” tab in the rate type(s) associated with Expedia and checking the YIELD MANAGEMENT PLAN box.
- There is an Item in the rate type(s) you have associated with Expedia. Adding items such a breakfast or a cleaning fee is not supported.
- The reservation is Expedia Collect. This means that Expedia collected the amount from the guest and will remit it to you upon their check-in date (either via direct deposit or Expedia Virtual Card). Expedia Collect reservations will display the Net Rate in ThinkReservations to reflect the payout your property will receive after Expedia has withheld their commission, rather than the Sale Rate that the guest paid for the room.
- There is a discrepancy in your OTA Rate. Keep in mind that in ThinkReservations, each Rate Type is independent. If you’ve recently adjusted your Best Available Rate pricing, you’ll want to make sure to review all other rate types, including your OTA Rate, and adjust those, as well, if applicable.
- Expedia incorrectly thinks taxes are included in the base rate we send. To verify: Log into your Expedia Partner Central Account, Navigate to Rooms and Rates > Rates and Availability, and look at the top of the page.
- If it says that the rates include tax, you will need to call or email Expedia to have them adjust your tax settings so they are exclusive, not inclusive of the rate we send.
The Fenced MOD or "Fenced Booking Percentage is the Fenced Members Only Deal. It is “Fenced” because only guests that have signed up for Expedia's loyalty program and are logged in while searching can view it. You would never be able to see the discount on a major search engine or even on Expedia if not signed up and logged in. A 10% Fenced Members Only Deal is included in most of Expedia's agreements, but the hotel partners can pause it or add blackout dates. The property will need to reach out to a Market Management Team at Expedia to do this. Most of the deals are packaged when the guest book airfare, train, or car rental at the same time as their overnight accommodations.
- Open/Closed Room availability
- Room Rates - Occupancy based, per adult
- Minimum Nights
- Maximum Nights
- Closed on Arrival
- Closed on Departure
The above are all controlled from the Rates & Restrictions tab of your OTA(S) rate in ThinkReservations. Expedia sends information to ThinkReservations about bookings when they happen or when they are updated or canceled.
- Deposit Policy
- Cancellation Policy
- Room details
- Bed configuration
- Room photos
- Property photos
- Max room occupancy
- Pricing Model (Needs to be Occupancy Based Pricing)
- Business Model (like Hotel Collect or Expedia Collect)
- Rate Plans and Rate Plan details
- Min and Max day notice for online reservations
- Anything below the subtotal line on Expedia reservations
- Service charges, cleaning fees, resort fees, etc.
- Smoking policy
- Pet friendliness or policies
- Etc. – Some settings you can verify and change in your EPC, others Expedia will need to verify and/or change for you. Expedia support will help you if you have questions.
You may notice that Expedia reservations have an email alias the ends in @m.expediapartnercentral.com. Learn more about the alias here: About the Guest Alias . This email address is not allowed to be used by PMS systems including ThinkReservations at this time. Expedia expects you to copy and paste the email address into your own mail system. See here for instructions on how to do that: Use the Guest Email Alias .
If Expedia won't let you get the real guest email address, you have an alternative option. In Expedia Partner Central you can set up email rules to send the guests that have booked through Expedia one or several automated emails similar to how you set up email rules in ThinkReservations. See here for more: Send Scheduled Messages to Expedia GuestsThinkReservations understands that it's important to have the contact information for your guests, so we suggest reaching out to the guest directly to update the guest information you have for them on file. One way you can do this is by creating a new email template in your ThinkReservations account (or on Expedia) that can be sent to guests after you see their Expedia reservation come through. We have a sample that we think you'll find really helpful to get you started, located here: Expedia Information Request Email
If you need a refresher on creating new email templates, please click here: Create a New Email Template or Submit a ticket and let us know you'd like the Expedia Info Request Template set up.
If you also connect with Booking.com through ThinkReservations, you may find setting up a similar template for those reservations just as helpful!
- Expedia alerts ThinkReservations
- The reservation is then canceled in ThinkReservations
- ThinkReservations will notify you of the cancellation via email. Please open the reservation in ThinkReservations and review it.
- For Hotel Collect reservations, if a refund is due, it is vital you issue the refund to avoid a potential charge-back.
If an Expedia guest calls you directly to cancel, it is important that you have the guest cancel with Expedia. Expedia gives you no control to cancel reservations after 72 hours, and before the check-in date. If they do not, you will still be charged the commission because the reservation was still active on the Expedia side. You can ask Expedia to reach out to the guest to cancel the reservation as well.
If you mark the reservation as a no-show, you must manually cancel the reservation in ThinkReservations. This is because while Expedia notifies ThinkReservations of cancellations, Expedia does not tell ThinkReservations about no-shows.
This occurs when a reservation was made prior to your connection with ThinkReservations' channel manager. ThinkReservations does not have a direct connection to those imported reservations and therefore the reservation will remain active in Think. You should login to your Expedia account to verify the details, look up the reservation in your ThinkReservations account, properly cancel the bill, and add any applicable cancellation fees or refunds.
If a reservation is marked as a "no-show" by you or your staff on Expedia, it will need to be manually updated in ThinkReservations as Expedia doesn’t consider a no-show a cancellation and therefore doesn’t tell ThinkReservations.
As with cancellations, it is important that guests modify their reservation in Expedia. If changes are only made through ThinkReservations, the reservation will revert back next time a sync is completed. This is why you should never modify an OTA reservation. Please ask the guest to update their reservation with Expedia or the Expedia site where they booked. If they wish to extend their reservation, we recommend that you create a new, separate reservation in ThinkReservations for the extended days. Alternatively, you can request that the guest cancel their reservation through Expedia and make the revised reservation direct with you. This has the added benefit of saving you from paying commissions.
Any additional items, amenities, or nights they may purchase should be charged in a separate bill from their OTA reservation. You can use the reservation notes such as Special Accommodations to note the other invoice that has the guest's charges on it. This will ensure you are not paying a commission for items or services not brought to ThinkReservations via the channel manager and that the charges won't be lost if the reservation is updated. Notes are not cleared when a reservation updates, but additional items you add to an OTA reservation might be cleared during the next update.
As long as your listing is showing up accurately on Expedia.com, the connection from the ThinkReservations side is working correctly. You will need to contact Expedia support if you are experiencing any issues with their partner sites, such as Hotwire.com, which requires separate signup.
For Trivago, you will need to contact them or Expedia directly to set up your listing.
No! We have the ability to select the Room Type to map and then choose which of those rooms you’d like to make available. If you wish to map individual rooms, you can still do this or a combination. There is lots of flexibility here.Please Note: If a unit's Room Settings in ThinkReservation is marked with any of these options then the unit will not be bookable with the ThinkReservations Channel Manager:
If you have a minimum night setting on the first night of the reservation, that is the only minimum that is required to be met with an Arrival-based method. For example, if you have a 2-night minimum on Friday, and a 4 night minimum on Saturday, a guest can book Friday and Saturday because the met the 2-night minimum on the arrival date, Friday. Expedia supports the ability for you to have either Minimum Nights Through OR Minimum Nights on Arrival set for your account, but not both. You will need to work with your Expedia Market Manager or Market Management Team to ensure your Expedia account is set for the type of restriction you want to use. However, if you use a stay-through-based method it can prevent guests from booking available rooms because of a different restriction Expedia has: Maximum Nights.
If you use room types with multiple rooms in ThinkReservations, we recommend your Expedia account be set up for a stay-through-based method. If you sell rooms individually, we recommend an arrival-based method, but be aware of the limitations.
Yes, for taxes to be handled correctly, make sure that all taxes are configured in your Expedia Partner Central.
Properties participating in Expedia Collect or Expedia Travler Preference will have their taxes collected and remitted by Expedia for Expedia Collect reservations sometimes. Hotel Collect reservations will not have their taxes collected and remitted by Expedia. Expedia collects and remits taxes for some states or counties, see below if Expedia is collecting in your area. Below is a tax chart (up to date as of August 7th, 2019). For more information, please reach out to Expedia. If you don’t see your state or area listed, Expedia is likely not remitting the listed taxes on your behalf. Double-check with Expedia for an updated list of Special Tax Situations.
If Expedia is collecting and also remitting the collected taxes, you will want to make sure those taxes do not show on the bill in ThinkReservations. This is because you don’t want to accidentally charge your guests taxes that have already been paid. This can be done manually by using the Tax Exempt button on each effected reservation, or automatically by having a special Rate Type where the taxes that are being remitted are overridden and not included for Expedia Collect Reservations. Please reach out to ThinkReservations support for help in setting this up for you.
The biggest reason properties connect to Expedia is that Expedia can bring in reservations you probably would not have gotten on your own. Using OTAs can even help boost your property’s availability to potential guests when searching online. This is because of the large audience that Expedia has and the trust and loyalty that people have in them. Our goal is to put you in the driver’s seat so you can control the OTAs to benefit you by booking as many rooms as possible while also maximizing your profits.
Generally, guests that book through an OTA are not going to visit your website. Therefore they don’t know that the pricing and policies you offer on your own website differ from what they see on the OTA. It’s not common knowledge that properties pay large commissions to accept these reservations. However, you do have quite a bit of control over your OTA reservations. You can only provide availability for rooms and dates when you need help. If you get an OTA reservation, it’s because you provided the OTA availability for that room and date. You are not forced to give the OTA any availability. You also set the price. If you don’t like the net rate you get after commissions for OTA reservations, you can adjust it. Make sure that you are still netting a profit for OTA reservations. If you aren’t, then you have incorrectly set your rates and availability.
Having said all that, sometimes a prospective guest will navigate to your site. Also, for guests that start on your side, you want to prevent them from going back to the OTA to book. This is done by having a sort of “book-direct” campaign on your website and doing your own advertising for your property and website. Here are some tips:
- Technically the rates, availability, and restrictions have to be the same as what you have on your own website. However, ThinkReservations does not enforce this. Booking.com and Expedia have told us they would rather have a client than lose one because of rate parity that they don’t even enforce. Booking.com checks Expedia and vice-versa, but they don't check your own website.
- Have your policies more strict on the OTAs. If they are looking at your website and the OTA, the policies shouldn’t encourage them to book with the OTA, they should encourage them to book with you directly.
- Only ask for help from the OTA's when you need it. You can cherry-pick what rooms and days to give availability to the OTAs as often as you wish.
- Set minimum night stay requirements with the OTA's so that when they do book, especially during busy seasons, they have to book several days. This is something you likely couldn't do before as this isn’t supported by other channel managers.
- Maybe your least expensive room isn’t available, or maybe it’s rate the same as the next least expensive room. This is a popular tactic for TripConnect.
- Amenities don’t have to be the same as when booking direct. So… When you book direct, maybe the guest gets better or free amenities. Maybe you mention this, but in reality, all guests are treated the same, maybe not.
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- More room choices
- Free cookies/snacks
- Early check-in (normal check-in)
- Lake check-out (normal check-out)
- Free Parking
- Guaranteed room (as opposed to a type.)
- Consider using TripTease to show off to prospective guests on your own website that the pricing you offer is the same or better what is seen on the OTAs so they don’t have to check.
- Consider using Tipadvisor’s TripConnect. Even for clients that don’t like Tripadvisor, this is still a very powerful tool to help guests book direct. ThinkReservations doesn’t charge to use this at all, but we highly recommend it. If you aren’t using it, you aren’t doing everything you can to get direct bookings.
- Show your OTA Rate to your guests. Instead of calling it “OTA RATE”, call it a “Standard Rate” or similar. Then when guests book on your own site, they see they are getting a deal (your normal Best Available Rate). You might even consider renaming your Best Available Rate to “Book Direct Special” or similar.
- Last, but not least, simply charge a higher rate to the OTAs. You can use yield management plans on the OTAs so that the amount you charge varies based on how far out guests are booking and how busy you are.
Should you need assistance with new Expedia Virtual Card bookings/issues, please contact Expedia at email@example.com and have a new case opened.
Please note that disconnecting Expedia from ThinkReservations will stop the communication of rate, availability, and restriction data from ThinkReservations to Expedia. Also, it will stop the communication of cancellations, reservation updates, and new reservations from Expedia to ThinkReservations. Disconnecting Expedia from ThinkReservations will not remove any rate, availability, or restriction data at Expedia, nor will it cancel your Expedia account. If you wish to cancel Expedia you will need to reach out to them for assistance.