Holidays and transport Laws

Your rights when your hotel overbooks

How to complain when your hotel is overbooked


So you have booked your hotel and you’re looking forward to your stay and then disaster. The hotel contacts you and says it has overbooked or even worse you get to the hotel to find that it has overbooked. What are your rights and what should you do?


Ensure you know how you booked your hotel to complain to the correct trader

If your accommodation was booked with a UK travel company, then your contract will probably be with the hotel. But it could be that if part of a whole package then the contract it with that company. Your contract is with the business to which you paid the money.

The law protects you from hotel overbooking

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that you are entitled to services to be carried out with reasonable skill and care. Clearly if the hotel has overbooked, this is not the case!

Having to go to a different accommodation when your hotel is overbooked

If you have to go to a different accommodation due to overbooking then you can claim from the hotel for breach of contract. This would be what a court would deem as reasonable and could be the difference between the cost of the booked hotel and the new accommodation. So for example, a hotel in the area but of a similar standard, but if you can’t book due to the late notice then you should evidence that you tried to book a similar hotel but couldn’t and claim for the difference. You might also claim for extra travel expenses incurred due to the overbooking.

Booking with a hotel not in the UK

If you have booked directly with a hotel not in the UK then you will need to deal with the laws in that country. However, at least until Brexit, you will be able to quote EU laws see How to complain when booking a service based in the EU. The UK European Consumer Centre should also help with any claim.

If you have booked a hotel as part of a package

If you have booked your hotel as part of a package quote the  Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018.  You are entitled to redress including:

Loss of value, the difference between the cost paid for the holiday and the one received.
Out-of-pocket expenses incurred reasonable costs as a result of the breach of contract
Loss of enjoyment, compensation for the disappointment and distress caused by things going wrong.
Personal injury, compensation for any personal injury incurred abroad (specialist legal advice is thoroughly recommended here).

Further help when complaining about hotels

Follow these 20 Tips to complain effectively

Rip Off Britain 10/05/2017 How to complain about hotels

Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logo


For loads of advice, tips, guidance, laws, advice and templates GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!




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