Check out process in hotel – Guest check out – Departure Procedure
The guest departure stage of the guest cycle involves several procedures designed to simplify check out and account settlement. These procedures include:
- Enquiring about additional recent charges- The front office agent should check or enquire about additional recent charges before settling the guest account before check out.
- Posting outstanding charges– After enquiring about the charges, the FO agent should post all outstanding balances to the guest folio. It is very important task of check out because once the account is settled down no amount can be added to guest folio.
- Verifying account information- The front office agent should check or verify guest account information properly before settling the guest account as zero, because any amendment or cancellation cannot be performed once the guest account is settled by the agent during check out.
- Presenting the guest folio- The front office agent should present the guest folio to the guest after all verification and checking are completed by the assistant. The various methods in which the guest can settle the bills (methods of settlement) are:
- Cash– A cash payment in full during check out will bring a guest account balance to zero. The FO agent should mark the folio as paid. According to front office policy sometimes may require the guest to present a credit card at check-in to gain charge privileges. Debit card settlement is considered as cash payment because the funds are directly deducted from the guest account.
- Credit Card Transfer- Even though credit card settlement brings a guest account to zero, the amount of the charge must be tracked until payment is actually received from the credit card company. Therefore credit card settlement creates a transfer credit on the guest folio and moves the account balance from guest ledger to city ledger.
- Direct Billing Transfer- At check out Like credit card settlement, direct billing transfer a guest account balance from guest ledger to city ledger. It is the hotel‘s responsibilities to collect the direct billing.
- Combined Settlement Method- A guest may choose to use more than one method to bring the account balance to zero. The guest may make partial cash payment and charge the remainder of the account balance to a credit card. The front office agent should be very careful with this kind of method of settlement.
- Checking for mail, messages and faxes- After presentation of guest folio the front desk agent should check for any guest messages, faxes or mails. They should be handed over to the guest before check out.
- Checking for safe deposit box or in room safe keys- Another important responsibility at check out for the front desk agent is to check guest valuables or any belongings lying in the safe deposit box. If any articles are found it should be handed over to the guest. Front desk agents should also secure in room safe keys from the guest.
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- Securing the room key- The guest should hand over the room keys at the front office before checking out of the hotel.
- Updating room status- After completion of check out procedure of the guest, the front office staff should update the room status from occupied to vacant status on the system. This will help the HK department for cleaning the room as soon as possible.
- Inquiring about the guest stay and experience- After check out of the guest, the front office staff should call or sent a mail to the guest regarding his or her stay in the hotel. This procedure is followed to ensure the guest will return to the same hotel for future stay.
- Requesting the guest to complete a guest satisfaction survey– Front office staff should request the guest to complete a guest satisfaction survey.
- Updating the guest history file- After all procedure are completed the front office assistant should create or update guest history card for future use or for future stay.