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How we work

Updated 14 February 2022

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Table of contents

1. Accommodations

1A. Definitions and Who we are

Some of the words you’ll see have very specific meanings, so please check out the ‘Booking.com dictionary’ in our Terms of Service.

When you book an Accommodation, Booking.com B.V. provides and is responsible for the Platform – but not the Travel Experience itself (see 1B below). Booking.com B.V. is a company incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands (registered address: Herengracht 597, 1017 CE, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Chamber of Commerce number: 31047344; VAT number: NL805734958B01).

1B. How does our service work?

We make it easy for you to compare Bookings from many hotels, property owners and other Service Providers.

When you make a Booking on our Platform, you enter into a contract with the Service Provider (unless otherwise stated).

The information on our Platform is based on what Service Providers tell us. We do our best to keep things up to date at all times, but realistically it can take a few hours to update e.g. text descriptions and lists of the facilities that Accommodations provide.

1C. Who do we work with?

Only Service Providers that have a contractual relationship with us will be displayed on our Platform. They may offer Travel Experiences outside our Platform as well (so what they offer on our Platform may not be exhaustive).

We don’t own any Accommodations ourselves - we’re separate companies that have agreed to work with each other in a certain way.

Our Platform tells you how many Accommodations you can book through us worldwide - and our search results page tells you how many of them might be right for you, based on what you’ve told us.

1D. How do we make money?

We don’t buy or (re-)sell any products or services. Once your stay is finished, the Service Provider simply pays us a commission.

And we don’t charge you any booking fees at all.

1E. Our default ranking - and sorting options

Our search results show all the Accommodations (hotels, apartments, etc.) that match your search. If you like, you can use filters to narrow down your results.

To see all the booking options an Accommodation offers, just click it.

When you first see your search results, they’ll be sorted (‘ordered’) by ‘Our top picks’:

  • Our top picks (default ranking). To appear high up on the page, an Accommodation needs to do well in each of these areas:
    • Click-through rate. How many people click on it
    • Gross Bookings. How many Bookings are made with that Accommodation
    • Net Bookings. How many Bookings are made with that Accommodation, minus how many are cancelled
  • As you can imagine, those numbers depend on lots of factors, including review scores, availability, policies, pricing, quality of content (e.g. photos) and other features.
  • An Accommodation’s ranking can also be influenced by other things - for example, how much commission they pay us, how quickly they usually pay it, whether they’re part of our Genius programme or Preferred Partner(+) Programme, and in certain places*, whether we organise their payments. If you’re signed in, your search history on our Platform (if any) will also be a factor.

* At the moment, this ranking factor only applies to US Accommodations booked by US-based customers.

If you like, you can sort your results in lots of other ways, such as:

  • Entire homes and apartments. Homes and apartments appear higher up than hotels and other types of Accommodation.
  • Price (lowest first). Accommodations with lower prices appear higher up.
  • Genius. Genius Accommodations appear higher up than other Accommodations.
  • Stars (highest first). Accommodations with more stars* and/or higher quality ratings* appear higher up.
  • Stars (lowest first). Accommodations with fewer stars and/or lower quality ratings appear higher up.
  • Top reviewed. Accommodations with higher review scores* appear higher up. If you see any instances where this isn’t the case, it’s just because we also factor in reliability (i.e. number of reviews). For example, an Accommodation with 1,000 reviews and an average score of 8.2 could appear above an Accommodation with 5 reviews and an average score of 8.3.
  • Distance from (X). Accommodations that are closer to X (e.g. the city centre) appear higher up the page. (When we say ‘close’, we mean ‘close in a straight line’.)
  • Star rating and price. Accommodations with more stars appear higher up. Within each segment (5 stars, 4 stars, etc.) the ones with lower prices appear higher up.
  • Best reviewed and lowest price. Accommodations with higher review scores appear higher up. Within each 0.5 segment (between 10 and 9.5, between 9.5 and 9, etc.) the ones with lower prices appear higher up.

* Check out ‘Star ratings, review scores and quality ratings’ (1J) below.

And whatever sorting option you choose, the factors described in ‘Our top picks’ may still influence things. For instance, those factors might act as ‘tiebreakers’ between two or more Accommodations that would otherwise appear in the same spot.

1F. Reviews

Each review score is between 1-10. To get the overall score that you see, we simply add up all the review scores we’ve received and divide that total by the number of review scores we’ve received. In addition, guests can also give separate ‘subscores’ in crucial areas, such as: location, cleanliness, staff, comfort, facilities, value for money, and free Wi-Fi. Note that guests submit their subscores and their overall scores independently, so there’s no direct link between them.

You can review an Accommodation you booked through our Platform if you stayed there.

We do show some review scores from other well-known travel websites. We make it clear when we’ve done this.

Ideally, we would publish every consumer review we receive, whether positive or negative. However, we won’t display any review that includes or refers to (among other things):

  • Politically sensitive comments
  • Promotional content
  • Illegal activities
  • Personal or sensitive information (e.g. emails, phone numbers or credit card info)
  • Swear words, sexual references, hate speech, discriminatory remarks, threats, or references to violence
  • Spam and fake content
  • Animal cruelty
  • Impersonation (e.g. if the writer is claiming to be someone else).
  • Any violation of our review guidelines.

To make sure reviews are relevant, we may only accept reviews that are submitted within 3 months of checking out, and we may stop showing reviews once they’re 36 months old - or if the Accommodation has a change of ownership.

An Accommodation may choose to reply to a review.

When you see multiple reviews, the most recent ones will be at the top, subject to a few other factors (what language a review is in, whether it’s just a rating or contains comments as well, etc.). If you like, you can sort and/or filter them (by time of year, review score, etc.).

1G. Prices

The rates displayed on our Platform are set by the Service Providers. We may finance rewards or other benefits out of our own pocket.

When you make a Booking, you agree to pay the cost of the Travel Experience itself and any other charges and taxes that may apply (e.g. for any extras). Taxes and fees may vary for different reasons, such as the Service Provider’s location, the kind of room selected and the number of guests. The price description tells you whether any taxes and charges are included or excluded. You’ll be able to find more information about the price while you’re booking.

Our Platform provides descriptions of any equipment and facilities that Service Providers offer (based on what they tell us). It also tells you how much extra they’ll cost, if anything.

1H. Payments

There are three ways you might pay for your Booking:

  • The Service Provider charges you at the Accommodation.
  • The Service Provider charges you in advance. We (or our affiliate) will take your Payment Method details and forward them to the Service Provider.
  • We organise your payment to the Service Provider in advance. We (or our affiliate) will take your Payment Method details and make sure the Service Provider is paid.

If you cancel a Booking or don’t show up, any cancellation/no-show fee and any refund will depend on the Service Provider’s cancellation/no-show policy.

1I. Host type

We ask Service Providers, wherever they are in the world, to tell us if they’re acting as a ‘private host’ or as a ‘professional host’, as defined by EU law.

EU consumer law says we have to tell you this. So if you’re in the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland or the United Kingdom, you might see that some Accommodations in our search results have a ‘managed by a private host’ label, and a description of what that means. All other Accommodations, to the best of our knowledge, are managed by ‘professional hosts’.

This label has no relevance in terms of tax, including VAT and other ‘indirect taxes’ that relate to added value, sales or consumption.

1J. Star ratings, review scores and quality ratings

We don’t assign star ratings. Depending on local regulations, they’re assigned (a) by the Service Providers themselves or (b) by independent third parties (e.g. organisations that rate hotels). Either way, star ratings show you how Accommodations measure up in terms of - amongst others - value, facilities and available services. We don’t impose our own standards for star ratings, and we don’t review these star ratings, but if we become aware that a star rating is inaccurate, we’ll ask the Service Provider to either prove they deserve it… or adjust it!

What a star rating looks like: 1 - 5 yellow stars next to the property’s name.

We don’t assign review scores. Our customers do. See ‘Reviews’ (1F) above.

What a review score looks like: a blue square with a white number in it (1 - 10).

We do assign quality ratings. To help customers find the ideal Accommodation for them, we assign quality ratings to certain Accommodations on our Platform. Each rating is based on 400+ features, which fall into 5 major categories:

  • facilities/amenities/services
  • ‘property configuration’ (e.g. unit size, number of rooms and occupancy)
  • number and quality of photos uploaded by the Service Provider
  • average review score (and subscores that we know customers find particularly helpful, such as cleanliness)
  • overall historical Booking data (for example, to assess Accommodations’ star ratings).

We use these features to figure out statistical patterns, and we carry out an analysis using machine learning. This automatically calculates a quality rating of between 1 and 5.

What a quality rating looks like: 1 - 5 yellow squares next to the property’s name.

1K. Help and advice - if the unexpected happens

If you have any questions, or something doesn’t go according to plan, just contact us. You can do this by accessing your Booking, or through our app, or through our Help Centre where you’ll also find some useful FAQs). We handle complaints as soon as possible, treating the most urgent ones as the highest priority, and we resolve 65% of complaints within 24 hours - and 85% within 14 working days.

You can help us help you as quickly as possible - by providing:

  • your Booking confirmation number, your PIN code, your contact details, and the email address you used when you booked your stay
  • a summary of the situation you need assistance with, including how you’d like us to help you
  • any supporting documents (bank statement, photos, receipts, etc.).

Whatever the issue, we will try to assist you (which includes handling any request or complaint), and will do what we can to help you.

  • What happens if a Booking is mispriced? Sometimes (very rarely), you might see an incorrect price on our Platform. If that happens, and if you make your Booking before we correct the mistake, the Accommodation is obliged to contact you as soon as possible (and in any case, a reasonable time before check-in). Plus, if you need us to step in, we’ll do our very best to negotiate an agreement that you’re both happy with.
  • Do we ever remove Service Providers from our Platform altogether? Of course. We can do that if we find out that they’ve breached their contractual obligations, for example, or that they’ve provided an inaccurate description of their Accommodation (and failed to correct it when we asked them to).

For more information, check out ‘What if something goes wrong?’ (A15) and ‘Applicable law and forum’ (A19) in our Terms of Service.

1L. Overbooking

Once your Booking is confirmed, your Service Provider is required to honour it. If the Service Provider is ‘overbooked’, they’re responsible for finding a solution as soon as possible - but we provide them with guidelines, as well as practical help.

In the unlikely event that they can’t give you the option you booked and they can’t offer you a suitable alternative, you can either choose alternative accommodation of a similar category or better on our Platform that costs the same (if available), or cancel your Booking at no cost (with a refund of anything you’ve paid).

When it comes to refunds...

  • If your Service Provider had organised your payment, we’ll do everything we can to make sure they refund you as soon as possible.
  • If we had organised your payment, we’ll refund you ourselves. In 90% of cases, the money should be in your account within 5 working days of the time when:
    • your original Booking is cancelled, or
    • we verify the invoice you send us (to show that you stayed somewhere else, which was more expensive).

In any case, if you stay at an alternative Accommodation, please send us your invoice so we can process any refund you’re owed.

2. Attractions

2A. Definitions and Who we are

Some of the words you’ll see have very specific meanings, so please check out the ‘Booking.com dictionary’ in our Terms of Service.

When you book an Attraction, Booking.com B.V. provides and is responsible for the Platform – but not the Travel Experience itself (see 2B below). Booking.com B.V. is a company incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands (registered address: Herengracht 597, 1017 CE, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Chamber of Commerce number: 31047344; VAT number: NL805734958B01).

2B. How does our service work?

We provide a place for you to find and book Attraction services.

When you make a Booking on our Platform, you enter into a contract with the Service Provider - or with the company that’s acting as an intermediary/reseller.

The information on our Platform is based on what Service Providers and/or Third-Party Aggregators tell us. We do our best to keep things up to date at all times.

2C. Who do we work with?

We have contractual relationships with various Third-Party Aggregators. Only Service Providers that have a direct relationship with them will be displayed on our Platform.

In some cases, those Third-Party Aggregators act as intermediaries to the Service Providers - and in some cases, they actually buy Attraction services and resell them.

Both Service Providers and Third-Party Aggregators may offer Travel Experiences outside our Platform as well (so what the Third-Party Aggregators offer on our Platform may not be exhaustive).

Our Platform tells you how many Attractions you can book through us worldwide - and our search results page tells you how many of them might be right for you, based on what you’ve told us.

2D. How do we make money?

We don’t buy or (re-)sell any products or services - when you make a Booking, the Third-Party Aggregator simply pays us a commission.

And we don’t charge any booking fees at all.

2E. Our default ranking - and sorting options

Our search results show all the Attraction services that match your search.

You can sort (or ‘order’) your results in various ways - for example:

  • Most popular. Attraction services that have been booked a lot in the last 30 days appear high up on the page.
  • Lowest price. Attraction services that cost less appear higher up on the page than the ones that cost more.
  • Popular this week. An Attraction service will appear high up on the page if lots of people are clicking it (in the search results) and then booking it (on the next page). As you can imagine, people are generally more likely to choose the ones with great reviews, availability, policies and pricing. If we can, we also personalise your results, based on:
    • Your search history on our Platform. If you’re signed in, and this isn’t your first time here, we might tweak the ranking based on your previous choices.
    • Any other Bookings you have. If, for example, you’re staying at a nearby hotel that you booked through Booking.com, we might tweak the ranking based on where you’re staying, how long you’re staying for, and who’s in your party.

Whichever sorting option you choose, you’ll be able to narrow down your results using filters - such as:

  • Category. Click e.g. ‘Tours’ or ‘Museums’ if you only want to see tours and museums - and nothing else.
  • Price. Click one or more price ranges if you only want to see Attraction services that fit that budget.
  • Free cancellation. Click this if you only want to see Attraction services that you can cancel for free.
  • City. Click a city name if you only want to see Attraction services that are in that city.

2F. Reviews

After your visit, you’ll get an email asking you to give it a thumbs up/thumbs down - and inviting you to submit a review.

When you’re on the ‘Attraction’ page on our Platform (the page right after Search Results), you’ll see the feedback (if any) that we’ve received from other customers:

  • How many have given it a thumbs up/thumbs down
  • Any comments they’ve provided.

2G. Prices

The rates displayed on our Platform are set by the Service Providers and/or Third-Party Aggregators - but we may finance rewards or other benefits out of our own pocket.

When you make a Booking, you agree to pay the cost of the Travel Experience itself and any other charges that may apply (e.g. for any extras, insurance or taxes). The price description tells you whether any taxes and charges are included or excluded. You’ll be able to find more information about the price while you’re booking.

Our Platform provides descriptions of any equipment that Service Providers offer (based on what they tell us). It also tells you how much they’ll cost.

Any currency conversion is for information purposes only; actual rates may vary.

2H. Payments

When you make a Booking on our Platform, Booking.com will organise your payment. For details, check out ‘Payment’ (A7) in our Terms of Service.

2I. Help and advice - if the unexpected happens

If you have any questions, or something doesn’t go according to plan, just contact us. You can do this by accessing your Booking, or through our app, or through our Help Centre (where you’ll also find some useful FAQs).

You can help us help you as quickly as possible - by providing:

  • your Booking confirmation number, your PIN, your contact details, and the email address you used when you made your Booking
  • a summary of the issue, including how you’d like us to help you
  • any supporting documents (bank statement, photos, receipts, etc.).

Whatever the issue, we will try to assist you (which includes handling any request or complaint), and will do what we can to help you.

For more information, check out ‘What if something goes wrong?’ (A15) and ‘Applicable law and forum’ (A19) in our Terms of Service.

3. Car rentals

3A. Definitions and Who we are

Some of the words you’ll see have very specific meanings, so please check out the ‘Booking.com dictionary’ in our Terms of Service.

When you book a Rental, Booking.com Transport Limited provides and is responsible for the Platform – but not the Travel Experience itself (see 3B below). Booking.com Transport Limited is a company registered in England and Wales (company number: 05179829; registered office: 100 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6JA).

3B. How does our service work?

We make it easy for you to compare Bookings from many different car rental companies. The information on our Platform is based on what Service Providers tell us. We do our best to keep things up to date at all times.

Our Platform tells you how many Rentals you can book through us worldwide - and our search results page tells you how many of them might be right for you, based on what you’ve told us.

When you book your car, you enter into a contract with us: we’re agreeing to arrange and manage* your Booking.

When you sign your Rental Agreement at the counter, you enter into a contract with the rental company: they’re agreeing to provide the car. You’ll already have seen and accepted all the key terms (while you were booking the car).

* We’re here for you if you need to change or cancel your Booking, or if you have any questions – before, during or after your Rental.

3C. Who do we work with?

Every rental company on our Platform is a trusted partner, who passed all our tests before we started working with them. Only Service Providers that have a contractual relationship with us will be displayed on our Platform. However, they may offer Travel Experiences outside our Platform as well (so what they offer on our Platform may not be exhaustive).

We even have a specialist team that visits rental companies before they appear on our Platform.

All Service Providers on our Platform are professional traders.

3D. How do we make money?

We make money when we find you your perfect Rental. There are two ways we do this:

  • we agree a commission with the rental company for our services; or
  • we agree the net rate with the rental company and apply our own mark-up.

Either way, we offer our customers a lot of choice at competitive prices. Plus, our Platform is free for you to use.

3E. Our default ranking - and sorting options

Our search results show all the car rental Bookings that match your search.

When you first see your search results, they’ll be sorted (‘ordered’) by ‘Recommended’:

  • Recommended (default ranking). We know what really matters to someone who’s renting a car. So, at the top of our search results you’ll find the cars we think you’ll like, based on an ever-changing algorithm that weighs up all kinds of factors (price, ratings, size, profit, car specs and more).

If you like, you can sort your results in other ways, such as:

  • Price (lowest first). The results are displayed in price order with the cheapest option first... nice and simple.
  • Rating. This is the one that our customers really control: cars are ranked by their customer rating, with the highest first. Those ratings come straight from the ’welcome home survey’ that we send everyone after their rental, asking them to give their rental company marks out of 10 in the most important areas (helpful staff, the car’s condition, value for money, etc.)*.

If you choose ‘Price (lowest first)’ or ‘Rating’, the factors described in ‘Recommended’ will still influence things. For instance, those factors might act as ‘tiebreakers’ between two or more Bookings that would otherwise appear in the same spot.

And whichever sorting option you choose, you’ll be able to use filters to narrow down your results.

* If we see that our customers aren’t happy with a rental company, or if any company fails to live up to our high standards, we can take action. Even if its ratings used to be great, that company could well find itself bumped down the list… or removed from our site altogether. Apart from that, the only reason we’ll exclude any result is because we know it’s sold out.

3F. Reviews

After your Rental, you’ll be asked to leave a review, which may then be:

  • uploaded to our Platform to help other customers make the right choice for them*
  • used for marketing purposes (on our Platform, on social media, in newsletters, etc.)*
  • shared with your rental company to help them (and us) provide an even better service**.

Ideally, we would publish every consumer review we receive, whether positive or negative. However, we won’t display any review that includes or refers to (among other things):

  • Politically sensitive comments
  • Other websites
  • Illegal activities
  • Anything that could be used to identify someone (e.g. full names or specific descriptions)
  • Personal or sensitive information (e.g. emails, phone numbers or credit card info)
  • Swear words, sexual references, hate speech, discriminatory remarks, threats, insults, or references to violence.
  • Spam and fake content
  • Animal cruelty
  • Impersonation (e.g. if the writer is claiming to be someone else).

* We wouldn’t use your full name or your address.

** To help the rental company improve, we would need to tell them which Rental the review is about.

3G. Prices

The rates displayed on our Platform are set by the Service Providers or by us - but we may finance rewards or other benefits out of our own pocket.

When you make a Booking, you agree to pay the cost of the Travel Experience itself and any other charges that may apply (e.g. for any extras, insurance or taxes). Taxes and fees may vary for different reasons, such as the Service Provider’s location, the pick-up location or what you’re planning to do with your Rental. The price description tells you what taxes (if any) are included. You’ll be able to find more information about the price while you’re booking.

Our Platform provides descriptions of any equipment that Service Providers offer (based on what they tell us). It also tells you how much they’ll cost.

Any currency conversion is for information purposes only; actual rates may vary.

3H. Payments

When you book a Rental on our Platform, Booking.com will organise your payment. For details, check out ‘Payment’ (A7) in our Terms of Service.

3I. Help and advice - if the unexpected happens

If you have any questions, or something doesn’t go according to plan, just Contact us. If it’s about something that happened during your Rental, we’ll be able to help you more quickly if you provide:

  • your Booking reference number, and the email address you used when you booked your car
  • a summary of the issue, including how you’d like us to help you
  • details of anything you’ve been charged
  • any supporting documents (bank statement, rental agreement, final invoice, damage documentation, photos, boarding pass, receipts, etc.).

If you do that, one of our agents will be in touch as soon as possible. They might need to ask you for some more details.

Whatever the issue, we will try to assist you (which includes handling any request or complaint), and will do what we can to help you.

For more information, check out ‘What if something goes wrong?’ (A15) and ‘Applicable law and forum’ (A19) in our Terms of Service.

4. Flights

4A. Definitions and Who we are

Some of the words you’ll see have very specific meanings, so please check out the ‘Booking.com dictionary’ in our Terms of Service.

When you book a Flight, Booking.com B.V. provides and is responsible for the Platform – but not the Travel Experience itself (see 4B below). Booking.com B.V. is a company incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands (registered address: Herengracht 597, 1017 CE, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Chamber of Commerce number: 31047344; VAT number: NL805734958B01).

4B. How does our service work?

We provide a place for you to find and book Flights.

When you make a Booking on our Platform, you enter into a contract with the Service Provider and the Third-Party Aggregator.

The information on our Platform is based on what Service Providers and/or Third-Party Aggregators tell us. We do our best to keep things up to date at all times.

4C. Who do we work with?

We have contractual relationships with various Third-Party Aggregators, who act as intermediaries to the Service Providers. Only Service Providers that have a direct relationship with them will be displayed on our Platform.

Both Service Providers and Third-Party Aggregators may offer Travel Experiences outside our Platform as well (so what they offer on our Platform may not be exhaustive).

Our Platform tells you how many Flights you can book through us worldwide - and our search results page tells you how many of them might be right for you, based on what you’ve told us.

4D. How do we make money?

We don’t buy or (re-)sell any products or services. When people book Flights on our Platform, the Third-Party Aggregator will pay us a commission.

And we don’t charge any booking fees at all.

4E. Our default ranking - and sorting options

Our search results show all the Flights that match your search.

When you first see your search results, they’ll be sorted (‘ordered’) by ‘Best’:

  • Best (default ranking). To appear high up on the page, a Flight needs to do well in each of these areas: price, travel time, number of stops, and baggage allowance.

If you like, you can sort your results in other ways:

  • Cheapest. Flights with lower prices appear higher up.
  • Fastest. Flights with shorter journey times appear higher up.

If you choose ‘Cheapest’ or ‘Fastest’, the factors described in ‘Best’ will still influence things. For instance, those factors might act as ‘tiebreakers’ between two or more Flights that would otherwise appear in the same spot.

Whichever sorting option you choose, you’ll be able to narrow down your results using filters - such as:

  • Stops. Click an option to tell us whether you’d consider flights with one stop (or multiple stops).
  • Duration. Use the slider to tell us your maximum travel time.
  • Airlines. Click one or more names to tell us which airline(s) you’d like to choose your Flight from.

4F. Prices

The rates displayed on our Platform are set by the Service Providers and/or Third-Party Aggregators - but we may finance rewards or other benefits out of our own pocket.

When you make a Booking, you agree to pay the cost of the Travel Experience itself and any other charges that may apply (e.g. for any extras, insurance or taxes). The price description tells you whether any fees and charges are included or excluded. You’ll be able to find more information about the price while you’re booking.

Our Platform provides descriptions of any equipment that Service Providers offer (based on what they tell us). It also tells you how much they’ll cost.

Any currency conversion is for information purposes only; actual rates may vary.

4G. Payments

When you make a Booking on our Platform, your payment could be organised by us, or by a Third-Party Aggregator. For details, check out ‘Payment’ (A7) in our Terms of Service.

4H. Help and advice - if the unexpected happens

Once you’ve made a Booking, just contact us if you have any questions or something doesn’t go according to plan. You can do this by accessing your Booking, or through our app, or through our Help Centre (where you’ll also find some useful FAQs).

You can help us help you as quickly as possible - by providing:

  • your Customer Reference number, your PIN, your contact details, and the email address you used when you made your Booking
  • a summary of the issue, including how you’d like us to help you
  • any supporting documents (bank statement, photos, receipts, etc.).

Whatever the issue, we will try to assist you (including handling any request or complaint) and do what we can to help you.

For more information, check out ‘What if something goes wrong?’ (A15) and ‘Applicable law and forum’ (A19) in our Terms of Service.

5. Private and Public Transport

5A. Definitions and Who we are

Some of the words you’ll see have very specific meanings, so please check out the ‘Booking.com dictionary’ in our Terms of Service.

When you book a transport service, Booking.com Transport Limited provides and is responsible for the Platform – but not the Travel Experience itself (see 5B below). Booking.com Transport Limited is a company registered in England and Wales (company number: 05179829; registered office: 100 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6JA).

5B. How does our service work?

We make it easy for you to compare Bookings from public and private ground transport providers. When you make a search, we’ll filter the results so you only see the most suitable vehicle in each category, based on what you’ve told us.

They’re independent companies: we don’t own them, and we don’t control the services you book on our Platform. The information on our Platform is based on what Service Providers tell us. We do our best to keep things up to date at all times.

And we’re here to provide any help or support we can: before, during or after your trip.

5C. Who do we work with?

We partner with more than 1,000 trusted transport providers in over 800 locations.

We won’t even start working with a company until we’ve thoroughly vetted their fleet (for quality and quantity) and checked their customer service standards. Once they’ve passed all our tests, we carry out regular checks to make sure they keep on meeting our high standards. Only Service Providers that have a contractual relationship with us will be displayed on our Platform. However, they may offer Travel Experiences outside our Platform as well (so what they offer on our Platform may not be exhaustive).

All Service Providers on our Platform are professional traders.

By the way, lots of us at Booking.com use these transport providers when we travel… which shows how we feel about our partners’ services.

5D. How do we make money?

We don’t buy or (re-)sell any products or services - when you make a Booking, we agree a commission with the transport providers for our services.

And we don’t charge any booking fees at all.

5E. Our default ranking

When you search on our Platform, we show the most suitable options at the top of the page. That means:

  • Private Transport. The ranking is based on price, customer service quality*, and what’s best for a party of your size - as well as availability (in that location, at the time you need it).
  • Trains and buses. We show you the best result for the journey you want to make, at the time you want to make it.

* If we see that our customers aren’t happy with a company, or if any company fails to live up to our high standards, we can take action. However good its ratings were in the past, that company won’t appear in our results at all until we’ve investigated the issue and we’re satisfied it’s been fixed. Apart from that, the only reason we’ll exclude any result is because we know it’s sold out.

5F. Reviews

After your Journey, you’ll be asked to leave a review, which may then be:

  • uploaded to our Platform to help other customers make the right choice for them*
  • used for marketing purposes (on our Platform, on social media, in newsletters, etc.)*
  • shared with your Service Provider to help them (and us) provide an even better service**.

We may edit, reject, or remove any review that includes or refers to:

  • Politically sensitive comments
  • Other websites
  • Illegal activities
  • Anything that could be used to identify someone (e.g. full names or specific descriptions)
  • Personal or sensitive information (e.g. emails, phone numbers or credit card info)
  • Swear words, sexual references, hate speech, discriminatory remarks, threats, insults, or references to violence.
  • Spam and fake content
  • Animal cruelty
  • Impersonation (e.g. if the writer is claiming to be someone else).

* We wouldn’t use your full name or your address.

** To help the Service Provider improve, we would need to tell them which Journey the review is about.

5G. Prices

The price of each Booking on our Platform is made up of (a) the base rate set by the Service Provider and (b) our commission, which we agree with the Service Provider. We may also finance rewards or other benefits out of our own pocket.

When you make a Booking, you agree to pay the cost of the Travel Experience itself and any other charges that may apply (e.g. for any tolls or waiting fees). Taxes and fees may vary for different reasons, such as the Service Provider’s location. All prices include any taxes and charges that apply. You’ll be able to find more information about the price while you’re booking.

Any currency conversion is for information purposes only; actual rates may vary.

5H. Payments

When you book a bus, train or Private Transport on our Platform, Booking.com will organise your payment. For details, check out ‘Payment’ (A7) in our Terms of Service.

5I. Help and advice - if the unexpected happens

Whatever the issue, we will try to assist you (which includes handling any request or complaint), and will do what we can to help you.

So if you have any questions, or something doesn’t go according to plan, just Contact us. If it’s about something that happened during your Journey, please provide your Booking reference number, and your contact details. We resolve the vast majority of issues within 14 days - and you can help us speed things up by providing any relevant documents or other information when you first get in touch.

For more information, check out ‘What if something goes wrong?’ (A15) and ‘Applicable law and forum’ (A19) in our Terms of Service.

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