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How to resolve negotiated rate audit failures in the GDS

The RFP and Rate Loading seasons are winding down. Next up on the negotiated rate calendar? Auditing season. Unfortunately, during January and February many hotels will learn they have failed a preferred rate audit.

What is the best course of action to ensure quick resolution?

1. Ask the agency:

  • To send you a screenshot of the GDS entry and response
  • The testing GDS and the testing PCC (Helpdesk requirements)

Note: If the audit failure notice was automated, move to step 2.

2. Collect from your files:

  • Rate loading instructions
  • Effective dates, blackout dates, rate terms

3. Ask your Revenue or Reservation Manager:

  • Has the rate produced via the GDS in the current contract year?
  • Are seasons attached to the rate?
  • Are there any restrictions preventing the rate from displaying?
  • Is the rate correctly mapped to the GDS?
  • Is the rate available in the CRS for the dates tested?

If the problem is not identified and resolved during steps 1-3, forward all collected documentation to your CRS/Chain helpdesk or representative.


Additional important considerations:

Some corporations test in their online booking environment that utilizes the GDS for connectivity. Requesting a screenshot from the client at the time they report an issue will help you identify the point of sale source of the audit.

These customers are unable to adequately troubleshoot GDS issues. You will need to determine the problem is not with the set up or mapping in the CRS/GDS and get a screenshot of the rate displaying in the GDS from your helpdesk. Forward the screenshot and helpdesk communication and advise the corporation to contact their booking tool helpdesk.

Not all rates are offered at “Last room available.” This means that the hotel may have agreed to load a rate with the option to yield or close it out as desired. If the agency/corporation states that they see the rate, but not always, this may be the cause. The account may not have access to ALL the inventory, ALL the time. It is also not uncommon to find that there is a disconnect with some revenue and sales managers with regards to negotiated rate restrictions.

Agencies and corporations sometimes overlook the fact that they do not have an “LRA or Last Room Available” agreement when auditing rates. Keep in mind that these restrictions can significantly impact preferred rate production.


Sabre GDS Information

Your helpdesk may forward a screenshot of the rate displaying. In the Sabre GDS, the /RC-N‡XYZ format used by your helpdesk to display the preferred rate is a format hotel companies use to audit rates. This format bypasses the agency Viewership Table “HIC and HST” functionality, relying only on chain level PCC table “HVB” functionality. Agents are often confused when they see this format as it is not the way they normally access negotiated rates and the code your helpdesk uses may be different than the code used by the agency. Bottom line, when the rate displays to you or your help desk using the /RC-N‡XYZ format and the agent continues to have access issues, it is because the Sabre GDS HST table has not been updated by a designated person at the agency. The agency either has a discrepancy in the code used in the translation table (HST) or the PCC information is incorrect.

Many booking agents and most corporate travel managers are not familiar with Viewership Table “HIC and HST” functionality in the Sabre GDS as it is generally maintained by a designated person within the agency, the agency hotel program manager or centrally managed at larger agencies.

If you see hesitation on the part of the reporting agent/agency or a response that seems to indicate that they do not understand the issue, it may be necessary to escalate the issue with your help desk. The agent/agency may need to contact the Sabre Help Desk for additional support if the issue cannot be resolved.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LauraThompson-headshot.jpg
Laura Thompson
GDS Optimization Consultant

A valued industry resource for 25 years, Laura consults with hotels and agencies on hotel distribution efficiencies.

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