Getting Bumped from Your Cancun Hotel: What You Should Know

by Carla Fiorito on April 12, 2011

After planning your Cancun vacation for months, you finally land in Mexico and arrive at your beautiful Cancun hotel.

You made your reservation weeks ago. All you want to do is check in, drop off your stuff and hit the beach.

Then the unexpected happens. The hotel has overbooked and there are no rooms available. You can’t stay at your Cancun hotel. What do you do? Where do you go?

If you are placed in this situation, don’t be worried! You are being bumped – but it’s okay.

Here’s what should should know about being bumped from your Cancun hotel.

Why am I being bumped from my Hotel?

In order to make sure that every room is filled, hotels will often “overbook.” This means that they will make more reservations in their system than rooms in the hotel.

Why do they need to do this? Sometimes guests do not show up or cancel their reservations at the last minute. When this happens, the hotel is losing money. To make up for this loss, they overbook.

Bumping guests is not something the hotels want to do, but sometimes they have no choice.

Where will I be sent?

When you are bumped from a Cancun hotel, your hotel should pay for transportation to the selected hotel as well as the night’s stay.

Hotels will pick a comparable hotel or a higher-rated hotel. This may mean that you have a complimentary upgrade at the selected hotel or a few extra amenities courtesy of the original hotel. Usually, you will stay at the selected hotel for a night or two and then be transferred back to the original hotel.

Hotels do their absolute best to accommodate group or company reservations in one hotel. This means that if you are traveling to a wedding, a family reunion, or with a specific company; hotels will try to keep all guests in the same hotel.

Will this ruin my vacation?

Even though you are not staying at the hotel you chose, you are still at one of the most beautiful vacation spots in Mexico!

Every hotel offers excursions to the Mayan ruins, snorkeling, and more – this is the time to take advantage! Remember, you may not spend your whole stay at the alternate hotel.

Stay calm and look on the positive side:  you get to see another part of Cancun and you may even get your stay for free!

How do I avoid getting bumped from my Cancun hotel?

There is nothing to guarantee that you won’t get bumped, however there are some things you can do to slim your chances.

  • Make a reservation with the hotel instead of using a third party website such as Priceline or Hotwire. When you make your reservation, place your credit card to “hold” it. These reservations have more priority over reservations without credit card numbers. Please note that your credit card will not be charged room and tax until you check out.

  • Call the day before you arrive to double check your reservation.

  • Arrive as close to check in time (3 pm) as possible.

  • If you are a member of a loyalty program, be sure to add your membership status/number to your reservation.

5. Which Cancun hotels bump?

Unfortunately, every hotel can be overbooked. It is part of the hospitality industry – however, hotels do their best to accommodate relocated guests.

Popular hotels or those that commonly have conventions have a great chance of being overbooked. Check travel forums like TripAdvisor to see if people have been bumped at the hotel you are looking at.

6. When do most Cancun hotels bump guests?

Hotels fill up the most during high seasons. For Cancun, that is December – April. Christmas, Spring Break and Easter are all popular times. Your chances of being bumped are the highest.

Late June and July can also be busy with school breaks. Late May, early June and late August are good times to avoid being bumped if you have to visit during vacation time.

Fall is the best time to avoid being bumped in Cancun, but you run the risk of bad weather since it is peak hurricane season.

Even though being bumped from your hotel is never fun, it won’t spoil your vacation. Don’t worry – Cancun’s beaches are beautiful no matter which hotel they are in front of. Remember where you are and enjoy your Cancun vacation!

Have you been bumped from a Cancun hotel? Which one? What was the experience like?


Carla is currently an intern at All About Mexico. She is studying Hotel & Restaurant Management at University of Houston. She loves writing, traveling, and tourism.
Carla Fiorito
View all posts by Carla Fiorito

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