Need advice on hotel room booked with a OTA

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Sep 12, 2015
I've used one particular OTA to book hotel rooms for many years. They often have better prices than booking directly with the hotel, and I like that I can see all of my various hotel reservations all in one place -- which makes it easier when I have to make changes on a long itinerary with multiple hotels.

I always book via my desktop computer, but on a recent reservation I used their Android app for the first time. The way the listings are displayed on the app is different than how it looks on the desktop version, and in the confusion, I accidentally booked a non-cancellable non-changeble room.

Fast forward a month, and of course, I now need to change my trip to arrive two weeks earlier than originally scheduled. I checked the hotel's website, and found they had plenty of availability. So I called them directly, and they kindly agreed to change my dates, without penalty.

But I'm not sure what to do about the OTA. It was a "pay when you arrive" booking (not a pre-pay). Do I need to let the OTA know about the new dates? What's the likelihood that I'll wind up getting charged a second time when the "old" check-in date eventually comes up? (I'm hoping that won't be the case, since I would guess the hotel would be the one to initiate any charge and they're already in the loop).



Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
What an absolutely FASCINATING question! While I understand the convenience and your positive past experiences, this is exactly why we advise against using the OTAs. Millions of positive transactions but no support when there's an issue.

Usually I can work this stuff out in my little mind, but this one stumps me. Even if you wanted to let the OTA know, how would you do that? You could call them but I would not trust the word of a phone agent. Maybe cancel the res on their system? But that would generate a immediate penalty ... I don't know if OTAs charge your card for the Xll penalty, or the hotel itself does. Would the front desk manager be a good source of advice? S/he's the one who handles issues like prepaid no-show rooms.

I've not used any OTAs so I'm hoping my colleagues can be more help than I. Please let us know how you're handling this ... we can help future travellers.

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
In Seattle, was your booking a non refundable booking through the OTA? Yes you need to contact them because you may have voided your contract by going directly to the hotel. Your contract and pricing were through the OTA not the hotel.

When you book through an OTA you are supposed to make changes through them.

Good luck with this one- I am curious as to how it is going to work out. Please let us know after you contact the OTA.
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Likes: jsn55


Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
@In Seattle, I would suggest checking with them just to be safe. Does your reservation number with the OTA show the new dates? A call if it’s going to be soon or an email if you’ve a bit of time would be in order if the dates weren’t updated.
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