You won’t get the best deal booking your hotel room through third-party sites like Expedia or Travelocity, according to an anonymous hospitality industry insider. Inside, four excellent reasons to book directly with a hotel to guarantee the best rooms at the best prices.
Lower Prices: Most hotels have a lowest price guarantee and are willing to match third-party sites, even it means undercutting their best published rates. They’d rather get the money from you than pay out a commission.
Better Compensation: If you pay a third-party site, they’re the ones you need to ask for a refund. If you pay the hotel directly, they’re able to offer a refund by way of apology. “Higher-end hotels will often do whatever it takes to make a guest happy before they check out, including comping nights or the entire stay, if the complaint is egregious enough. You don’t want to prevent them from being able to do that for you.”
More Flexibility: Booking through a third-party means sacrificing your ability to easily change plans. Your dates are set by contract and that’s that. If you book directly with a hotel, they’ll usually let you cancel up to 24 hours in advance. They may even let you rejigger your travel plans during your stay without charging a penalty.
Better Rooms: Booking through third-party sites can land you in the rooms that regular patrons don’t want. That means the smoking room at the far end of the hall away from the elevator. “My hotel doesn’t maliciously put third-party internet guests into our smallest rooms, but when occupancy climbs, we’re forced into it. Perhaps you won’t receive the best rooms if you book directly, but at least you won’t be earmarked during the arrivals process for the less desirable rooms.”
Why Third Party Reservation Websites Are For Chumps [The Night Auditor]