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Lesson Transcript

Braden:Hi, everyone. Braden here.
Ann: Ann Here. Cancelling a Reservation. In this lesson you will learn how to cancel a reservation at a hotel.
Braden:This conversation takes place on the phone in the late evening.
Ann:It’s between the Guest and the night auditor.
Braden:One of the speakers is a guest and the other is the night auditor, so they will be speaking professionally.
Ann:Let's listen to the conversation.
Ann:There are several things you need to do before you start “small talking” and we discussed those in lessons 1 through 5.
Braden:In this lesson, we’ve already started talking. You’ve already engaged the other person and have found some common ground. Now it’s time to respond to their answer with a question or statement.
Ann:For example, in our last lesson, we talked about using questions to engage the other person. That question is going to be answered and one of the most important things that you do in small talk is react appropriately to what the other person said.
Braden:So, you asked the question, “Where did you get your suit, Mr. Smith?” and Mr. Smith answers and says, “Italy.”
Ann:Now, you have basically three options. You could ask another question, make a comment about their answer in statement form, or tell a joke based on their answer.
Braden:Exactly. For example, you could ask a question such as, “Do you enjoy going to Italy?”
Ann:Or, you could make a statement, such as, “Italy is such a beautiful country.”
Braden:Or, you could tell a joke, such as, “That’s just like the Italians, they make the best wine and they have to make the best suits too.”
Ann:Okay, now onto the vocab.
Ann:Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Braden:First up is...
Ann:“reservation confirmation number.”
Braden:Now, the phrase “Reservation confirmation number” means the number that a guest can use to confirm their reservation. It is the number that identifies their reservation in the hotel’s reservation system.
Ann:The most important thing in this phrase is the pronunciation.
Braden:That’s right. So, we’re going to practice the pronunciation a bit. Let’s say it one time slowly
Ann:“reservation confirmation number”
Braden:and break it into syllables
Ann:“re-ser-va-tion con-fir-ma-tion num-ber”
Braden:and one time fast again
Ann:“reservation confirmation number”
Braden:Our next phrase is “May I ask the reason for cancellation?”
Ann:The phrase “May I ask the reason for cancellation?” is used to be polite. In theory, the front desk agent could ask, “Why do you want to cancel?” but a question like that is very direct and could make the guest uncomfortable.
Braden:That’s right. Especially if the reasons for cancellation are difficult for them, such as a death in the family, a divorce, or loss of a job.
Ann:So in this case, it’s better to be indirect. Alright, now let’s move on to the grammar point.
Ann:In this lesson, you’ll learn how to cancel a reservation at a hotel
Braden:In the dialog we heard the phrase “I’d like to cancel my reservation.”
Ann:The night auditor responded to this by asking several questions in order to cancel the reservation. Let’s go through the steps.
Braden:Step 1 - Before you can cancel a reservation, you must know which reservation to cancel.
Ann:Exactly. And in order to find any reservation in a hotel database, you must have the either the name of the guest, or the reservation confirmation number. You can ask for these by saying -
Braden:“May I have your name or reservation confirmation number?”
Ann:So, on to Step 2?
Braden:Good idea. After finding the reservation in the hotel database, reconfirm the main details of the reservation with the guest. For example, you could say
Ann:“Is that for one room with a California King bed arriving on the thirteenth of June and departing on the 18th of June?”
Braden:Which brings us to Step 3. Once the correct reservation has been identified, ask the guest if they would like to change their reservation or alter it somehow.
Ann:It is usually easier to alter a reservation than to cancel one and create another. You could say something like -
Braden:“Would you like to change your reservation in some way?”
Ann:Step 4 might seem like it’s the most difficult, but if you use this phrase, it will be easy.
Braden:That’s right. We suppose the guest has confirmed that they want to cancel the reservation. You will now ask them the reason for cancellation.
Ann:Now, here’s our tip - Be sure to be indirect by using a question like, “May I ask the reason for cancellation?”
Braden:With an indirect question like this one, the guest doesn’t feel pressured to reveal something they didn’t want to reveal.
Ann:Yes, it makes them happy. After that, write down the reason provided by the guest.
Braden:This brings us to our last step, Step 5.
Ann:That’s right. Once the cancellation is completed, request that the guest write down the confirmation number and then provide them the number. You could say something like,
Braden:“I have your cancellation confirmation number, sir. Could you please write it down?”
Ann:Now we do have some important considerations for you. These are things you should remember while you’re cancelling someone’s reservation.
Braden:That’s right. Firstly, the cancellation should be completed according to the cancellation policies of your hotel. Every hotel is a little different and you should be well versed in those policies.
Ann:Second, inform the guest of fees for early cancellation, if applicable. At many hotels, if the guest cancels less than 24 hours before the reservation date, they are charged. Other than that, guests don’t usually incur fees for cancelling a reservation.
Braden:Our third consideration is that if the reservation is cancelled by someone other than the guest, be sure to request their contact information and details.
Ann:That’s right. For example, if the husband makes a reservation and the wife calls in to cancel it, you should request her name and phone number to put on the reservation notes.


Braden:That just about does it for this lesson.
Ann:Thank you for listening. See you next time!