woman speaking in car caption 'So if you book directly through the hotel' (l) woman speaking in car caption 'they don't have to pay commission on you reservation' (c) woman speaking in car caption 'You get to save a little bit of money' (r)


‘They’re a scam’: Former hotel worker shares PSA about 3rd-party booking websites

'They want you to think you're getting the best rate by booking through them.'


Charlotte Colombo


Posted on Dec 31, 2022   Updated on Dec 31, 2022, 11:11 am CST

In a digital world, planning a quick getaway has become easier than ever before. A more digitized travel economy comes with it more opportunities for customers to get taken advantage of, however, and one former hotel employee took to TikTok to reveal that one of the most common ways to book hotels might be a scam.

In the video, which amassed over 660,000 views as of Dec. 31, TikTok user Dani (@danibeeating) revealed that she just quit her job at a hotel, leaving her free to impart insider knowledge to the internet.

@danibeeating little known $$$ saving tip from a former hotel employee!! lmk if you want more of these #travel #tourism #traveltiktok #traveltips #travelhacks ♬ original sound – dani 🖤

“Third-party booking websites — you know the ones I’m talking about — they’re a scam,” she said. “They want you to think that you’re getting the best rate by booking through them, but they’re taking you for a ride, sweetie.”

Dani claimed that rather than booking through a third-party website, customers should contact a hotel directly to get a deal.

“If you’re planning a trip and you have a hotel in mind, call the hotel directly and be like, ‘Hey, this website is selling your rooms for like this amount of dollars per night. Can you give me like $10 less than that?'” she instructed. “And as long as the person you’re talking to isn’t an idiot or new, they will say yes.”

According to Dani, hotels are willing to give customers a discounted rate for booking directly through them because they have to pay a commission for third-party bookings. Getting this commission from hotels is third-party booking sites’ “whole business model,” Dani said.

Dani continued to say that in addition to saving money, booking directly through hotels is a good practice because it allows customers more flexibility.

“When you book through these websites, most of the time, your reservation is going to be pre-paid and non-refundable,” she explained. “So, if something happens — you need to change dates, you need to cancel, whatever — you’re not going to be able to. You can kiss that money goodbye.”

On the other hand, Dani said that most hotels don’t charge guests until they check out of their rooms. She also said that they typically have flexible cancellation policies and are willing to work with customers if they need to change their bookings.

“Stop getting scammed,” Dani concluded.

In the comments section, many users said that Dani’s method was too much hassle or that it never worked for them.

“For 10$ off id rather pay full price and not have to call anybody lol,” one user stated

“I did that yesterday, the hotel said they were booked. I told them I was looking on line now. They actually told me to book it there,” a second wrote.

“Girl where did you live?? I’ve tried this at so many different hotels and they NEVER say yes. I even offer [to] pay the same price,” a third commented.

Other users who claimed to work in the hotel industry also added their insight. Some agreed with Dani, while others said a discount is not always guaranteed.

“I use [to] work at a hotel and always tell people this,” one viewer commented.

“Yep, always call the hotel and ask for the rack rate, I use to work in a hotel also,” a second wrote.

“At the hotel I work at we are not allowed to give a discounted price that easily,” a third contrasted. “Unless it’s a manager or a specific situation we can’t just say sure.”

“I work in a hotel and they dont do price match we will tell you to book wherever you found that price,” another claimed.

Dani did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via Instagram direct message.

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*First Published: Dec 31, 2022, 11:09 am CST