Instant Book – Explained
Feb 24, 2021 | 4 minute read
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Instant Book is one of FishingBooker’s most popular features, both among captains and customers. An important ranking factor and an enticing option for anyone looking for a fishing trip, it’s no surprise that most of our bookings are made this way. But do you know exactly how it works?

We’ve collected our most frequently asked questions about Instant Book and are ready to give you the full story. Read on to find out what’s new with short-notice bookings, how the feature affects your ranking, what happens if you need to cancel, and more. 

Man looking at a phone with Instant Book trips

What happens when you have Instant Book on your listing?

When you enable Instant Book, three things happen:

  • Any bookings you get for your free dates are accepted automatically (as long as they’re not short notice).
  • You get a ranking boost
  • Your listing gets the “Instant Confirmation” icon, letting customers know they can book with you quickly and easily.

Instant Book means customers can confirm trips for your free dates right away. We promote listings with this feature, it makes you show up better in search results, and customers are more likely to book with you.

Benefits of instant book on background with boats

When can customers book you instantly?

We hear you: “Accepting bookings automatically is fine, but I need time to prepare properly for the trip.” This is a valid point. No matter how regularly you update your calendar, we understand that you may not be able to commit to every single trip. Especially if the customer booked at the last minute.

That’s why our availability settings work differently for listings with Instant Book compared to listings without it. When you choose how soon before the trip date you want your listing to be available, you get two options:

  • To receive Instant Bookings outside of your notice period and manually approve booking requests for short notice bookings. 
  • To only receive Instant Bookings and to get no booking requests outside of your advance notice period.

Which of these options you go for is up to you. We usually recommend setting a notice period of at least two days before the trip date, but you can go for anything from the day before the trip to seven days in advance. 

How do bookings work?

Instant Book makes organizing your trips very simple. Block off the dates you can’t accept bookings in your calendar, and whenever a customer chooses an available date on your listing, their trip is automatically confirmed. All you need to do is keep your calendar up to date. 

Once the booking goes through, we’ll send you the trip details and the customer’s contact information right away, so you can get started with planning. 

What if you can’t make the trip?

There are two main reasons captains need to cancel Instant Bookings, and our system approaches them differently.

If You Have Other Commitments on that Date

Instant Book is only available for our most reliable captains, so there’s a limited number of times you can cancel bookings because of other commitments. 

If you cancel an Instant Booking four times, the feature will stop being active on your listing.

Don’t worry – even if your Instant Book gets turned off, your listing will still be live and bookable. We just won’t promote it with Instant Book any more. This is because we can’t guarantee that customers’ bookings are likely to go through. 

If There’s Bad Weather or Boat Issues

When you need to cancel the trip because there’s a storm, or your boat has a problem that affects how safe it is to run, it’s another story.

We would never recommend taking a trip when it’s unsafe to do so and understand that this is beyond your control. So, we don’t count these types of cancellations towards the three strike policy.

FishingBooker calendar

With a twofold ranking boost, a more attractive listing, and an easier booking process, there’s a lot to like about Instant Book. If you’re committed to keeping your calendar updated and set up your notice settings in a way that suits your business, it can be a very positive influence on how your charter is advertised online. 

Try Instant Book yourself and unlock your listing’s full potential!

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