Hotel Booking Process – Behind The Scenes
When you send us a hotel booking request, whether via the website booking form, which is always the recommended method or by emailing the team directly, your booking gets assigned to one of our specialist hotel agents. As there is no existing automation that can do the research required we provide you with the hotel that best suits your needs, our agents research each booking personally and will do their best to offer you additional benefits, where possible, whether via Virtuoso or from our direct, preferred program relationships.
What do the agents do?
So, how do our agents find your perfect deal? A lot of this depends on how specific your requirements are. First of all, the agent needs to ascertain whether you are looking for:
The lowest price at a chosen property or location with no additional benefits’ package
The best value and benefits package at a specific property
Multiple property options with additional benefits through our preferred programs in a particular city
The first scenario is generally the easiest, where you are merely looking for the cheapest stay.
In this scenario, the team will check for the lowest available price at your chosen property. While our price may be similar to most of the major online booking sites, when you book through Propeller Travel your booking counts as a direct booking with the property, which means you can you still receive stay credit and benefit from the hotel’s loyalty scheme. In most cases, you will also retain the ability to pay at check out, as opposed to prepaying, leaving you with flexibility, should your plans change. For requests of this type made during regular business hours, we expect to respond within 1-2 hours.
In the second scenario, where you have a particular property in mind and are looking for Propeller Travel to add value to your booking, our agents will check to see if the property is a member of one of the many preferred programmes we have access to and will compare which one offers you the best range of benefits. They will then provide you with a few different booking options and will advise you of the benefits you will receive, allowing you to make an informed choice for your stay. This is a little more involved, taking 30-60 minutes of an agent’s time. For requests of this type made during regular business hours, we expect to respond within 4 hours.
The third scenario is the most complex and, therefore, the most time consuming, involving multiple searches across multiple properties to ensure we offer our clients the best value for their trip. In this scenario, our agents will look at all properties in your chosen city and will provide details of those that offer the best benefits within your budget, including quotes for a few different room types in each property to allow you to choose the one that best suits your needs. This research generally takes 60-90 minutes of an agent’s time. For requests of this type made during normal business hours, we will always try to respond within 4 hours, but, depending on the complexity of the request, it may take a little longer.
When you receive a response from our team, please feel free to engage with them if you have any specific requirements. Our aim is always to find the option that best suits your needs, not ours. If you find a lower elsewhere, let us know so we can contact the property and try to find you a better price. At Propeller Travel we always put our clients’ needs first.
Despite the tremendous technological advancement in travel distribution over the past 15 years, text entry based systems are still the most common way of gathering rate and benefit information. In this screenshot from SABRE, while an agent is researching rates and benefits for the Langham Hotel in New York City. You’ll notice the breakdown of Virtuoso benefits, along with the 4th night free visible on the screen.Regardless of the type of request, please note that we will always aim to prioritise bookings of an urgent nature where, for example, you need a stay tonight or tomorrow, above bookings for travel weeks or months in the future.