Book Direct vs. OTA Bookings FAQ
Are Direct Booking prices cheaper than booking through an OTA?
Yes. Here at Birds of a Feather - and many other establishments - our direct booking prices are cheaper than booking through an OTA because we're not paying them up to 20% commission for your reservation.
Plus, you also get personal customer service if you book directly through the hotel.
Use the rate check "RATE CHECK" tool on our Direct Booking "Book Now" link to compare Direct Booking versus OTA pricing to compare for yourself.
What are OTAs?
Online Travel Agencies such as Expedia, Trivago, Hotels.com, Booking.com, and Agoda. pass themselves off as Hotel "partners"
Besides cheaper price and better customer service what are other diiferences?
Cancellation policies vary from place to place. Book Direct with us and receive a cancelation window for stays beyond 1 day. All OTA reservations are prepaid non-refundable.
Priority and early check-in Book Direct and we'll priortize cleaning your room ahead of OTA reservations. More likely to be able to accommodate an early check-in.
Breakfast is NOT included when booking through an OTA where you are booking a vacation rental condo and not a B&B experience
The hot tub is only available to be booked when Booking Direct with us. There is an exclusive hot tub option for only the honeymoon suite when making an online reservation through this web site, or by phone.
Deal directly with a human at the hotel. Small hotels that are not part of a chain do not use an offshore call center.
Force Majeure Cancellations
How long have you been on hold waiting to talk to an overseas call center? We don't have that kind of time to waste either. When unexpected world events happen we try our very best to allow flexibility with Direct Booked reservations. When we've tried the same approach with the OTAs we are often left with paying 20% commisions to OTAs despite them telling us they'll waive them when we try to work with our mutual guests to find a fair resolution.
Is Airbnb an OTA?
No and they only charge the hotel between 3% and 5% commission.
No breakfast with AirBnB yet similar pricing to Direct Bookings which do include breakfast.
Guest pays AirBnB service fee of between 5% - 15%.
How is an Airbnb different from a B&B?
Airbnb is a lightly regulated home-sharing site that lets almost anyone list accommodations for rent. A B&B is a government regulated small inn subject to provincial and/or local lodging laws including inspections by both the fire and health departments. Think of it as a small hotel with a few extra perks and personal touches with the Innkeepers living onsite. A real B&B is usually operated by someone with formal training in the hospitality business. And that person has insurance – lots of insurance. A real B&B tends to host responsible guests who often become loyal returning guests knowing their expectations of cleanliness and hospitality are consistently met. We've all heard the horror stories of rogue AirBnB guests and AirBnB party houses gone out of control, in part because of the different guest profile and there being no InnKeeper on site in most cases.
At Birds of a Feather we keep it simple. You can #BookDirect the same condo with us and receive all the perks that come with that, or you can book on AirBnB and pay more without the perks.
I found a hotel on an OTA. How do I book direct?
OTA paid search results come up higher than organic property web sites.
Google the hotel / B&B name and check out their own web site, or call / email them direct. Ask what their Direct Booking price is. Some hotels have poor management practices and have become enslaved to the OTAs. Choose another hotel.
I checked a hotel's reviews on TripAdvisor. Can I book from there?
Booking options presented on TripAdvisor are plugged in to differnet OTAs bidding for placement on their platform.
Same thing, contact the property directly through the emails and phone numbers shown on each TripAdvisor listing.
OTA DATA HACKS - July 2020
Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, Amadeus, Hotels.com, Hotelbeds, Omnibees, Sabre, and several others are among the victims of the July 2020 Prestige Software data breach containing 24.4 GB worth of data totaling more than 10 million files that exposed data belonged to hotel guests and contained the following:
- Full names
- NIC numbers
- Email addresses
- Phone numbers
- Hotel reservation number
- Date and duration of stay
- Credit card numbers including owner’s name, CVV code, and card expiration date