Among the several responsibilities of a virtual assistant (VA) is to make flight and hotel bookings for the client.
This module will guide and provide some tips how this function could be done effectively.
Firstly, hotels and airlines have particular sets of vocabulary and expressions peculiar to their businesses. A
VA should be familiar with these expressions and phrases to enable them to facilitate the bookings easily and
smoothly. Nothing could be more frustrating to the clients than to learn (at the last minute) that their hotel or
flight bookings are cancelled due to some misunderstanding between the VA and the hotel reservation officer
or the airline agent.
Note that in most cases, these special expressions and phrases are in English so a VA should have a good
mastery of the language, both orally and in writing.
BOOKING FOR A HOTEL
Tips On How To Make Hotel Reservations
1. Hotel room rates vary so it is necessary to spend some time researching for rates of different hotels and to
negotiate price when making reservations.
2. Learn the published rate which is generally the highest rate a hotel charges for a room so expect to play less
than these prices.
3. Before making any hotel reservations, confirm what kind of hotel your clients want — budget, mid-price,
chain, luxury, three-four-or-five-star — where, and what type of location (e.g. near an airport, city center,
4. Once these are confirmed, begin researching online travel agent sites for reservation prices. To be
systematic about it, open a new Excel worksheet and plug in search returns so you can build a price
comparison in front of you. After you have a general idea of what the hotel you want to stay in costs, visit a
few other sites before booking reservations.
Here’s a secret most are not aware of about hotel reservation: Hotels generally set aside their worst rooms for
guests who book reservations through an online travel agent or discounter so try to get the best room at the
5. The next-to-last stop is the hotel’s own Web site. There you should be able to find the best reservations
prices. Usually, here is where find out the different types and levels of rooms available on the hotel’s
6. After knowing all the different prices for a room at the same hotel, pick up the phone and call the hotel
directly. The reservations manager at the locale will have a better idea of the occupancy level for the dates
you want than the hotel’s Web site – he can offer a discount if the reservation is during a less-busy time.
7. Note that even within a hotel, not all rooms are alike. Some are bigger; some have better views. Some are
on higher floors (generally a good thing, as views improve and there’s less ground-level noise). Some are closer
to an elevator (good if walking is a problem, bad if you want quiet). Some have double beds versus kings.
Some may be renovated and some may not be. Ask about all these variables before making reservations.
8. At this point, ask for their best rate. Pause for the answer and then repeat if that is their very best rate to
make sure that the best rate is given to your client. Also inquire if the hotel offers further discounts like for
AAA members or for frequent flyer points. This seemingly small gesture showing your concern will be much
appreciated by your client.
9. Finally, book the hotel reservations over the phone. Be sure to ask what the cancellation policy is. Ask the
reservationist to email directions or a hotel brochure if needed.
10. Write down the reservations number you are given and put it in a safe place.