Hotels can turn you away and force you to go elsewhere even if you've booked – and there’s nothing you can do about it

FLIGHTS aren't the only thing that can be overbooked – it seems that hotel chains often follow the same practice.

This means that guests could find themselves being taken to a different hotel to the one they had booked thanks to a common, and legal, loophole.

Also known as being "walked", it happens when a hotel confirms a reservation without there being a room available.

Hotels overbook their accommodation due to the chance of no-shows, which reduces occupancy and revenue in the same way that it does for airline.

But when all the guests do show up, they may find themselves taken to another hotel within the same chain.

For example, according to Travelodge's terms and conditions, their relocation policy means they will offer a room in another Travelodge hotel while paying for the cost of transport, or will fully refund the cost of the room if there is an overbooking.

A spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: "Annually less than 0.2 per cent of our bookings have to be relocated for various reasons, including rooms that suddenly become unavailable due to facility issues – however we do make every effort to ensure that this does not happen."

"In the unfortunate instance when this does occur our policy is to contact the customer in advance and arrange for alternative accommodation to a hotel as close to where they need to be.  We also provide a free taxi service to their relocated hotel and complimentary breakfast."

However while hotels are often required to "walk" the guest to a room or a similar price or higher, many people have found themselves being given the opposite.

Many travellers revealed their own experiences on Twitter of being told they had been overbooked at a hotel.

One user wrote: "So I book what I thought was a nice hotel thru @hotelsdotcom for my dad only for him to find it overbooked and end up in a 2 star hotel in #London with NO HEATING and nobody from customer service blaming ME for the overbooked reservation."

Another person said: "Thanks @Marriott for not honouring our reservation at the hotel within walking distance of our conference and moving us 3 miles away cause you overbooked. For the SECOND YEAR IN A ROW."

Bjorn Hanson, a professor at New York University, suggested overbooking could happen even more in the future thanks to higher room occupancy rates.

He told The New York Times how his research revealed 2019 will have the highest hotel occupancy since 1981 with more than 66 per cent of rooms occupied on average, compared to 2009 (54.6 per cent).

According to Four Seasons front office manager Katie Perkins, you are more likely to be walked if you are male, a solo traveller or a have a one-night reservation, she told The New York Times.

Travellers who want to reduce the risk of being walked are advised to book directly with the hotel chain, rather than on travel booking websites.

This can also help to reduce the chance of being the guest most likely to be bumped, as third party bookers are less likely to be given a room than direct bookers.

Booking a holiday with a credit card can also offer some protection if the service you're given was not what was paid for.

However, Brits who find themselves at a hotel abroad and given an overbooked reservation should check the local laws as they may not have the same protection as in the UK , according to Which?.

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To get the best room in a hotel, calling before checking in can help by speaking to the front desk.

This can be the best way to find out which room is bigger, such as corner rooms, or quieter, away from lifts.

Sun Online Travel also revealed how a new hotel website called will continue to look for the best deal even after booking a room.

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