Traditionally it used to be the most common type of hotel reservation. Hotels usually used non-guaranteed reservations, which were paid by the guest after the stay – during check-out.
This type of reservation is still used, but less often. If a hotel guest does not check in on the day of arrival before the specified time (usually 6 pm), the hotel may cancel the reservation and sell the stay in the room to someone else.
There are two problems with this type of booking. The first concerns dishonest clients who leave the hotel without paying a fee for the stay. This is currently a marginal issue, as most hotels require a deposit at check-in or pay for the stay on arrival.
The second problem is the cancellation of the booking at the last minute by the guest or no appearance in the hotel without prior information (no show). Hotels deal with this problem using overbooking.
The best practice for hoteliers is guaranteed and prepaid reservations. They allow to plan and maintain both occupancy rate and forecast profit.
Booking a stay that has been paid for or guaranteed by credit card. Paying a stay, even partial (usually the first night) makes the guest can check in late in the evening or the next morning – until the check-out time of the first night, and the hotel will not cancel the reservation at that time.
In some cases of a guaranteed reservation, the guest may be able to cancel the stay free of charge, depending on the hotel conditions, even one day before arrival, but his payment will not be returned if he does not inform the hotel about canceling or does so after a certain time.
If the reservation is guaranteed by a credit card, hoteliers usually use authorization hold (preauthorization) to block the first night cost.