Book Direct vs. OTA Bookings FAQ
Are Direct Booking prices cheaper than booking through an OTA?
Yes. Here at Birds of a Feather our direct booking prices are up to 20% cheaper than booking through an OTA because we're not paying 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 and its host of companies such as 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. Book Direct with us and receive a 30 day cancelation window for stays beyond 1 day. All of our 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.
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 such as 9/11 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 a full course hot breakfast.
Guest pays AirBnB service fee of between 5% - 15%. The cheaper the total reservation the higher the service fee.
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