Automated incidentals upon guests arrival
In the US, upon arrival the hotel puts hold (pre-authorizes) the guest card for certain amount/night (it's usually a flat rate). They keep the money on hold and when the guest exceeds their spending (restaurant, spa charges etc that they put on their room), the system should then pre-authorize additional amount. It's like credit the hotel holds for the spending of the guest during their stay.
In other PMS systems you can program the amount either per day (i.e. $50.00 per day on top of the room & tax) or per stay flat rate (i.e. $150.00 per stay). Then, as the charges appear on the guest account, the system will automatically go for additional authorization for a preset amount or the front desk can manually request an amount and receive the approval through the PMS integration.
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I think it being a “preregistration function” is fine. Overall I would think it to be wise to remove the feature all together. I’ve ran into guests who have tried using credit cards that aren’t in their name for this feature, I’ve sometimes not had rooms available for guests who believe “picking up a key” is their only objective upon arriving at the hotel. Guests often get out of line or refuse to stay in line. Overall I don’t think we should have a feature available that we cannot fulfill / a feature that could potentially assist fraudulent clients. Overall my experience with this feature has been horrible, I’d prefer it to be gone permanently if possible. I don’t think we should promise something we can’t guarantee because I would prefer to give rooms to the people in line when the lines out the door and would prefer to always check ID + CC and keep that structure going. Sometimes those who’ve checked in online don’t have any form of ID. It’s same as Airbnb clients who often come with out ID and assume there’s no deposit and no FF etc even though it states so online. We already run into issues with FF / Deposit with some of our clientele particularly in the shared rooms so I would think it an ideal to avoid more problems than not.
Richard Oken commented
Please ensure the system takes $150 for all Private Room pre-check-in's and $50 for all bed pre-check-in's. What's the point of a pre-check-in if we still have to get a card for incidentals from the guest?
Claudia M. commented
Just one more addition, it should also be possible to cancel the authorization 1 day after departure automatically.
Claudia M. commented
what we do manually every time at the moment is to authorize the cc of the guest upon arrival with the full stay amount + an additional security deposit of which is different for a room or bed.
this authorization should be available via MEWS merchant as well as MEWS terminals.
Robert Smit commented
Need to have the ability to automatically pre-authorize full room + tax + additional amount per night or per stay.
When a guest books a reservation, the day of their arrival a credit card pre-authorization is charged based upon the hotels guidelines. It could be $50 to $250 above the full room + tax charges depending upon the property as well as the space type. In several systems, it is automated. In SNT online check-in, we created a pre-authorization at time of online check-in. Therefore, when the room was already pre-paid or when a guest still had a balance due (charged for additional items through pre-arrival emails or upsells, we notified the guest that an authorization would be placed on their credit card of $xxx.xx amount for incidental charges and released anywhere between 3 days and 21 days depending upon their bank.
If a guest is reaching their credit limit, we had a report that identified all guests that were approaching their credit limit and we had to manually request additional authorization with an amount that was determined by the front desk agent or policy. It would be nice to automate this.