Principle Status

This post is really a question to all of the travel agencies and hotel booking agents out there who read this blog – do you worry about principle status, or true ownership of hotel bookings?

The reason I ask is that there are so many sources available to make hotel bookings.  Sure you can go direct to hotels websites, or call properties individually, but there are so many bedbanks and content aggregators, especially in the UK market, that these are quickly become the first choice to find accommodation for customers.  And why not?  Content from multiple sources, thousands of properties aggregated into one place… a name you can trust?

Many bedbanks pull in content from other sources, be it other bedbanks, direct connects to hotel inventory… there are numerous ways.  This is all well and good, but who owns the booking?  Has the booking you have just made actually been made with who you think it has?  I know of one bedbank, that shall remain unnamed, that uses three other smaller bedbanks to pull in content.  Now, the hotel I’ve booked has probably been contracted and paid for by another party, not the company I booked through – so who is responsible?  And how do I know?   If a customer arrives at a hotel and there is a problem, who is responsible? 

You see my question.  It would be very interesting to hear your thoughts, experiences and if the principle status issue affects who you book with.

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4 thoughts on “Principle Status

  1. Yes, it really bothers me, but what can I do? If its a much cheaper price that I can mark-up of get upfront commission, then I take it and hope all is ok. Its also impossible to find out who is principle in a lot of cases. The UK is far too complex – no problem like this in France or Spain
    Tom Curtis

  2. This topic is of great concern to me as a TMC, but what makes it more confussing is that ABTA bonding laws seem to make the issue even more complicated – who si responsible? What’s covered? It just gets crazy. We are better contracting rates directly and being responsible!

    • Hi Sylvain,
      Thanks for the question, which I will try to answer. GDS content is loaded by the provider themselves, or their representation company, and the data and content is either pushed from their central system or property management system. Therefore, when you make a booking through a GDS, you are essentially booking directly with a provider – so no principle status worries.

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