LearnBooking Notification API

Business models

Properties or chains can use one of three different business models with Expedia Group, and this will be specified in their contract. Providers need to know which business model their properties use in order to develop their interface accordingly.

For example, if a developer codes to and tests Expedia Collect (EC) bookings only, their properties using Expedia Traveler Preference (ETP) or Hotel Collect (HC) business models will not be able to use that interface.

For details about which elements or entities are impacted by business model, consult the detailed element descriptions in the Reference section.

Expedia Collect

In this business model, Expedia Group (EC) collects payment from travelers at the time of booking. This model is sometimes called "Pay Now" and is sometimes referred to as "EC" or "Merchant," depending on context.

The reservation is paid for and funds sent to Expedia Group and after the traveler's stay, the property sends an invoice to Expedia Group collecting monies owed for the provided services. The net rate reflected in bookings that integrate into the property's system should not be disclosed to guests.

Hotel Collect

In this business model, the property collects payment from the traveler during the checkout process. This method is also known as "Pay Later" and is sometimes referred to as "HC," "Agency," or "Property Collect" depending on the context. This business model allows travelers to book same-day and next-day reservations on Expedia.com and Hotels.com without a credit card.

The reservation is confirmed, but the payment is not collected until the traveler checks out after their stay. Expedia Group subsequently collects commission from the property.

Expedia Traveler Preference

This business model allows travelers to choose whether to pay online during booking with the Pay Now (EC) feature or pay the property directly during their stay with the Pay Later (HC) feature. This enables properties to accept reservations from more travelers.

Expedia Traveler Preference (ETP) is the business model preferred by both Expedia Group and travelers. Partners using the Expedia Traveler Preference model receive both Hotel Collect and Expedia Collect reservations. Depending on context, Expedia Traveler Preference (ETP) is also referred to as "Dual" or "Flex."

Accounting should be completed for each reservation based on the payment type, which will be either Hotel Collect or Expedia Collect.

For more information or to switch to Expedia Traveler Preference, contact us.

Pricing models

Expedia currently supports three main pricing models:

Occupancy-based pricing

The occupancy-based pricing (OBP) model is based on the number of travelers staying in the room. Expedia Group recommends that properties define a rate for each applicable occupancy. If a rate is not defined for a given occupancy, the rate for the next higher occupancy will be charged (see below for exceptions related to children).

For example, when a rate is specified for an occupancy of two, but not for an occupancy of one, the rate for double-occupancy will be applied automatically when a traveler wants to book a stay just for one person.

Any number of guests over the highest specified occupancy rate (up to, but not exceeding, the maximum occupancy allowed for the room), will be charged extra-person fees. Extra-person fees can be configured in Partner Central or with Product API.

By default, children are always charged an extra child fee and do not factor in to the occupancy being charged, with one exception: the extra child fee is waived if there is a gap in the defined occupancy rates and it costs less to treat the child as an adult.

For example, if one adult and one child are booking a room on dates where a double occupancy rate is defined, but single occupancy rates are not, rather than charge a double occupancy plus the extra child fee, the extra child fee is waived for that first child.

Note: A property setting is available for properties that wish to charge children as regular occupants until the number of allowed guests exceeds the highest defined occupancy. See Property API for more details.
Per-day pricing

With the per-day pricing (PDP) model, a room is assigned a rate each day for a base number of occupants. Though commonly configured for two occupants, the base number can be customized by rate plan in Partner Central or Product API. A single traveler will always be quoted the rate for the base number of occupants, whereas travelers above that base occupancy number are charged extra-person fees if configured.

For example, a room has a price assigned each day for a base occupancy of two guests. In this case, a single traveler would be quoted a base double rate for each day at the property, while four guests would be quoted the base rate plus extra-person fees for two of the occupants.

Room rates are based on the number of adults in a booking, while children are charged an extra-person fee. Children are only charged an adult guest rate if there are not enough adults to fill the base occupancy for a booking.

For example, a booking for one adult and two children at a property with per-day pricing and a base occupancy of two will only charge an extra person fee for one child.

Day-of-arrival pricing

Day-of-arrival (DOA) pricing is an optional pricing attribute on a rate plan that can be enabled by Expedia upon request by the property or through Product API. With this pricing attribute, whatever day guests arrive, they are charged the price for that day on all the days that they stay at the property. To make an exception, the property can set a "rate change flag" that forces a particular rate starting on a particular day and continuing through the rest of the stay. Day-of-arrival pricing can be enabled for rate plans using any of the above pricing models (PDP or OBP) and can be enabled without the length-of-stay (LOS) model, but this is not common.

Per-day length-of-stay pricing

The per-day length-of-stay pricing (LOS) model is currently only available in conjunction with Per-Day pricing (PDP). Length-of-stay pricing allows properties to define rates for lengths of stay from 1 to 28 days, per arrival date. For each date of a year, properties can send up to 28 rates. The price guests will pay depends on the number of days they will stay at the property. Each date has a price for a 3-day stay, a 7-day stay, etc. If LOS pricing is enabled, day-of-arrival (DOA) pricing must be enabled because length-of-stay pricing is based on the traveler’s day of arrival.

minLOSDefault and maxLOSDefault can be configured using the Product API. See the RatePlan resource definition under Product API. Also, note that minimum and maximum lengths of stay can be defined for each day or period with the Availability and Rates API. More specifically, the rate to be sent for each length of stay is the rate for one night. If a rate of $100 is sent for LOS=7, the base rate total for 7 nights will be 7x$100.

Expedia Group recommends that the first time a property sends rates for a specific day, they send rates for all supported lengths of stay per day. For example, for arrival on September 1st, Expedia Group should receive up to 28 different rates, for lengths of stay from 1 to 28 days, assuming the property supports 28-day stays.

Subsequent updates should only be made when the length-of-stay rates change. Example: If rates for LOS=7 and above are changing, the update message should only contain the rates for LOS=7 and above. Rates for shorter stays should be excluded since those rates will remain the same.

If a rate is not defined for a length of stay, it will not be available for sale on Expedia Group points of sale. This is true for both gaps between two defined lengths of stay or any lengths of stay after the maximum defined. For example, if, for arrival on September 1, rates for LOS 1, 3, and 5 are defined, it will not be possible for travelers to book for 2, 4, and 6 or more nights when arriving on that date.

Note: After a LOS rate is defined in the Expedia Group system, it is not possible to remove it. If necessary, properties can make use of restrictions to make previously loaded rates unavailable. Minimum and maximum LOS can be used to restrict specific length of stays or closure at room and rate levels can also be used. Restrictions are applied first when travelers attempt to book a room. Example: Even if a rate for LOS=5 is defined, it would not be possible to book it if one of the subsequent days is closed for departure, or if it is completely closed at the room or rate level.
Expedia Group recommendations

Expedia Group recommends that partners use occupancy-based pricing (OBP) because this pricing model offers the most flexible pricing solution.

Properties currently using the per-day pricing model can convert to occupancy-based pricing by requesting a migration from their Market Manager.

Note: Migration from occupancy-based pricing to per-day pricing involves a manual transfer of information which needs to be scheduled with the property’s Market Manager. In this scenario, new rate plans must be created because the Pricing Model attribute cannot be changed.

Pricing model information can be confirmed with Product API or in Partner Central from the overview page.

Note: Make sure the pricing model specified when sending rate updates is the same as the one pre-configured for your property on Partner Central.

You should contact your Expedia Group Connectivity Account Manager with any questions about pricing models or potential discrepancies with your properties’ pricing models.

Pricing model comparison

The following example compares the different pricing models for a room with different numbers of guests in the reservation.

Number of guestsPer-day pricingOccupancy-based pricing
Data received from partner through the Availability and Rates (AR) APIRate amount for today = $200Rate amounts for today:

Occupancy 1 = $150

Occupancy 2 = $200

Occupancy 3 = undefined

Occupancy 4 = $375

Occupancy 5 = undefined
Data received from partner through Product API or Partner CentralPeople included in base rate = 2

Extra person fee for adults = $50
Extra person fee for adults = $50Adult$200$150
2 Adults$200$200
3 Adults$200 + $50 = $250$375
4 Adults$200 + 2 x $50 = $300$375
5 Adults$200 + 3 x $50 = $350$375 + $50 = $425

This table illustrates how children and infants are charged in a reservation based on pricing model and number of guests, both adults and children, in the booking reservation.

Pricing modelHow are children charged?Examples
Per-day pricingChildren are charged an adult guest rate ONLY if there are not enough adults to fill the base occupancy (also referred to as people included in base rate) for a booking.

Otherwise, they will be charged whatever extra person fees are loaded for the child and infant age categories.

For example, a booking with 1 adult and 2 children on a rate plan with a base occupancy of 2, will result in 1 child being counted as the second adult and 1 child being charged the extra person fee for children.
Partner data:

Base occupancy of 2 = $200

Extra child fee = $25

1 Adult + 1 Child = $200

1 Adult + 2 Children = $200 + $25 = $225

2 Adults + 1 Child = $200 + $25 = $225

2 Adults + 2 Children = $200 + 2 x $25 = $250

1 Adult + 3 Children = $200 + 2 x $25 = $250
Occupancy-based pricingFor OBP properties, a property-level setting determines how children and infants are charged. The setting is named OBP Pricing Logic and the property can pick one of two options, as below.Partner data:

Occupancy 1 = $150

Occupancy 2 = $200

Occupancy 3 = undefined

Occupancy 4 = $350

Extra child fee = $25
Occupancy-based pricing Option 1 (from data above)Children always charged extra child fees. When this is selected, any children included in the booking will be charged an extra child fee.1 Adult + 1 Child = $150 + $25 = $175

1 Adult + 2 Children = $150 + 2 x $25 = $200

2 Adults + 1 Child = $200 + $25 = $225

2 Adults + 2 Children = $200 + 2 x $25 = $250

1 Adult + 3 Children = $150 + 3 x $25 = $225
Occupancy-based pricing Option 2 (from data above)Children charged as regular occupants; extra child fees only apply when occupancy level is undefined.

When this is selected, the property will only charge extra child fees for undefined occupancy levels and the property will charge them as adults until the number of allowed guests exceeds the highest defined occupancy.
1 Adult + 1 Child = $200

1 Adult + 2 Children = $200 + $25 = $225

2 Adults + 1 Child = $200 + $25 = $225

2 Adults + 2 Children = $350

1 Adult + 3 Children = $350
Rate acquisitions

Net rates received from the partner are the amounts displayed on Expedia Collect booking notifications. This is the cost of the room rates, which means this is the total amount you get after taxes and Expedia Group commissions are paid.

Sell rates received from the partner are the amounts displayed on Hotel Collect booking notifications. It is the room rate including Expedia Group commission; taxes may or may not be included. This is the total cost to travelers.

Note: Net rates are not available for properties that only use the Hotel Collect business model.
Product typeDistribution typeRate acquisition type
Flex product (Expedia Traveler Preference) net rate basedHotel Collect and Expedia CollectNet rate
Flex product (Expedia Traveler Preference), sell rate basedHotel Collect and Expedia CollectSell rate
Expedia Collect-only productExpedia CollectNet rate or sell rate (as known as lowest available rate, LAR)
Hotel Collect-only productHotel CollectSell rate
PSD2 and SCA

Starting in September 2019, the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) went into effect across all EEA countries. This regulation is related to authentication of consumer credit card transactions. It is designed to make electronic payments more secure and reduce credit card fraud for consumers. This change will have the most impact when charging guest cards without having the guest physically present – for pre-stay deposits, or for cancellation or no-show fees. It will now be necessary to use Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) to validate credit card transactions.

For more information, please visit Partner Central or contact your Connectivity Account Manager.

Expedia Virtual Card

Expedia Virtual Card (EVC) allows Expedia Collect hotels to receive payment from Expedia Group with a virtual credit card. At the time of booking, Expedia Group will generate a distinct virtual credit card number authorized for the transaction. The virtual credit card details will be provided electronically to the hotel within the booking response message and should be used as payment at time of check out.

Steps for success

For a successful Expedia Virtual Card (EVC) rollout, your implementation should support communication of credit card information as described in the API’s schema.

The property’s internal system must support changing existing bookings from the original billing method to Expedia Virtual Card payment method and vice versa, should the need arise.

After activation on the EVC program, the property may ask their market manager that all pending bookings include Expedia Virtual Card payment information. In this case, booking modifications will be created containing a special request section containing this information. The property’s system must be able to change the payment type of existing bookings in such cases, and in the eventuality where the property switches from Expedia Virtual Card back to invoice billing.

You need to ensure that all new bookings or pending updates for Expedia Virtual Card are communicated to the property effectively.

During traveler check-in

At guest check-in, properties use credit cards as a payment guarantee for the room stay. If the Expedia Virtual Card is not available at the time of check-in, the property should not attempt to swipe the customers own credit card or delay guest check-in.

Instead, properties should self-service by accessing Partner Central to find the Virtual Card number so they can charge the stay to the Expedia Virtual Card. If necessary, you can contact Expedia Virtual Card support to request the Virtual Card number by fax.

  • Modified bookings - In most cases, the EVC card number will remain the same for modified bookings. Card parameters may be adjusted to reflect the new booking rate and check-in/check-out dates. Rarely, the card number may be changed in modified bookings.
  • Cancelled bookings - Cancellation-type booking responses do not include any Expedia Virtual Card details. In order to bill any applicable property cancellation fees, properties need billing information and the original arrival date as provided in the booking’s last notification prior to cancellation.
Billing process

The Expedia Virtual Card billing process allows properties to get paid for their reservations at the time the traveler checks out. Expedia Group generates a virtual credit card for every booking.

  1. The property receives the credit card number for the booking with the Booking Reservation Notification request message (if using Booking Notification API). Or, if the property uses the Booking Retrieval/Booking Confirmation APIs, they retrieve the credit card number for the booking with the Booking Retrieval response message.
  2. The property charges the stay to the Expedia Virtual Card at the time of check out.
Note: Bookings that are paid by Expedia Virtual Card are not invoiced and remitted through the ExpediaPay service.
How the process works

When a reservation is booked through any Expedia Group point of sale, a notification from the API including the credit card details will be available to the partner for update in the property’s reservation system.

  • The hotel has the option to authorize the card upon guest arrival
  • Cards cannot be charged prior to guest arrival. No pre-authorizations or deposit charges should be charged on the card prior to check in
  • All incidentals should be charged to the traveler’s personal credit card
  • The virtual card will be loaded for either the net or sell rate for nights booked plus applicable taxes & fees depending on the configuration and location in which a property is located.
  • Expedia Virtual Card must only be used for the booking provided on the reservation confirmation
  • The property should charge the Expedia Virtual Card at the time of guest check out
  • All charges must be made within 30 days of the guest check out. Expedia Virtual Card will expire within 30 days of the guest check out for fraud protection
  • After the traveler checks out, the Expedia Virtual Card is processed and payment is made using the property’s existing credit card processing system
Guidelines for properties
Important: Before signing up to accept Expedia Virtual Cards, you must ensure that your implementations support communicating credit card information as described in the current API specifications. To discuss signing up with Expedia Virtual Card, properties should talk to their Market Managers.
  • Expedia Virtual Card is for room reservations only. Properties using the system will need travelers to provide a personal credit card at check-in to cover any incidental charges or on-site fees during their stay.
  • Expedia Virtual Card should only be used once a guest has checked out; no pre-authorizations or deposit charges should be charged to the card before check in.
  • Expedia charges no additional fees to partners who use Virtual Card; however, normal merchant fees for processing the credit card transaction will apply.
  • Expedia Virtual Card expires 30 days from the date of guest check-out.
  • Expedia Group will not be obligated to pay outstanding reservations 30 days past checkout.
  • Cancellation penalties can be charged upon the original arrival date. When a property is first enabled on Expedia Virtual Card, all of its new bookings will henceforth include EVC card information in the special request section of the booking response notification. It is also possible for the property to request that Expedia Group modify all pending booking to add Expedia Virtual Card details. The hotel system must be able to change the payment type of existing bookings in such cases, and in the eventuality where the hotel switches from EVC back to invoice billing. Properties can refer to section "11.1.1 Expedia Virtual Card special requests"of their Lodging Agreement for additional information.
Support

The following support information is for the property to troubleshoot credit card information, not for assistance in the implementation of Virtual Card.

Phone support is available 24/7 in English and Spanish. Times vary for other languages based on business hours regionally. Support hours subject to change.For assistance in implementing Expedia Virtual Card, contact your Market Manager or contact us online.

Value add promotions

Value add promotions (VAP) are different from value adds. Value adds are rate plan-level amenities offered to travelers that book specific rate plans. Each rate plan can have up to three value adds.

VAPs can be created by properties for a target book/travel window, and applied to specific rate plans in order to provide guests with an additional value (i.e.: early check-in, free breakfast) instead of a discounted rate that traditional promotions support. If a property is connected with a system provider that has completed VAP certification (details below), properties can access this feature in Partner Central under the Marketing section, "Promotions." From there, Partner Central’s interface guides you through the process of creating your promotions.

Example: A rate plan can have the value add "Free Breakfast" or "All Inclusive," meaning if a guest books that rate plan, they will receive that amenity.

Note: Value adds display differently depending on the Expedia Group point of sale and not all value add promotions display on all points of sale.

VAPs require a unique certification before a system provider's connected properties will have access to this feature. Properties should consult with their connectivity system provider to determine whether or not they support VAPs. To complete certification, system providers must provide the Expedia Group Integration team with:

  • Confirmation that the VAP details are consumed and passed on to the Property Management System (PMS) (if the PMS is not the system connected to Expedia Group directly)

  • Confirmation that the PMS consumes the VAP details and integrates the VAP details into a test reservation (this is to ensure a property’s front desk/operations team is aware of guest reservation inclusions).

Properties with questions about value add promotions should contact their Market Manager. System providers should contact your LCM or contact us to complete certification.