What is a Pre-Authorisation?

Have you been looking at the Booking Policy and seen text stating "Under exceptional circumstances, such as during extremely busy dates, for multiple room bookings, or if the customers contact details are invalid, the accommodation may need to protect against the loss of a late cancellation fee by pre-authorising for the first night’s stay shortly prior to arrival."   Wondered what this meant?  TravelStay explains!


A Pre-Authorisation is not a charge (*) when booking with a credit card.  It is simply the practice of "having the ability to charge in the future by locking funds".  The hotel has not received any payment, but has locked the funds equivalent to the first night of stay.


(*) EXCEPTION:  Bookings made using a DEBIT CARD may find that a pre-authorisation results in funds being deducted from your account.  Most banks cannot set your funds into a "hold" status and automatically process the pre-authorisation as a debit.


Why is this done?


When a booking is made for a hotel, this availability is reserved for that customer.  No one else can book this room.  Because of this, hotels protect against the possibility of not being able to sell the room after holding this availability for the customer (in the case of non-arrival or late cancellation and/or to make additional security checks on the card and the card holder, making sure that the transaction is not fraudulent).


These locked funds can then either be used toward the balance payment at the time of booking or released back to the card at check-in upon payment of the balance (via alternative methods, such as Cash or alternative Credit/Debit Card).


Additional Information:

  • If the card used at the time of booking declines a pre-authorisation, you will be contacted to provide alternative card details.
  • Hotels reserve the right to cancel bookings within 24 hours of attempted contact should no response be received in regard to failed attempts to pre-authorise.
  • Deposits are non-refundable if your booking is cancelled due to failed pre-authorisation attempts.


More details can be found on the following page: Booking Policy


In the event of cancellation of a booking prior to the hotel's notice period, pre-authorisations will be released. This process can take between 3-21 days, dependent upon the accommodation. Any concerns with the release of this pre-authorisation should be addressed with the accommodation directly via the contact details on your Booking Confirmation.


Alternatively, if you have questions, please contact our Customer Service Team using any of the methods included on our Contact Us page.



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