Create a Reservation from an iCal Block with One Click

The newest Lodgix feature allows users to convert an iCal block to a reservation with just a single click.

Click on the block you want to convert

Click the Create Reservation button

That’s it! The block has been replaced with a reservation

The new reservation can be updated or modified just like any other. This feature is only available for blocks created via iCal. It will not work for blocks that have been created by subscribers, employees, or owners.

Most iCal feeds will not include the guests email address, and thus it cannot be used when creating the reservation. In these circumstances, Lodgix will generate a system email. This can be manually updated with the guests actual email address. If any additional information is passed through the feed (comments, etc.) it will be captured and stored in the Invoice Comments area of the guest control panel.

New iCalendar Interface is Live!

One of the objectives most have when using a system like Lodgix is to stop having to update calendar availability on multiple sites.

While it would be great if every listing provider had a two way reservation sync, most do not.  And even those that do, many limit full reservation sync to property managers with 5 or more properties.   However many listing sites have moved to support the iCalendar format for exporting and importing calendar data.  iCalendar data is limited but it will allow Lodgix to be the ONLY area where calendar data needs to be stored.

The Lodgix iCalendar Interface

The Lodgix iCalendar Interface

Let’s review the components of the Lodgix iCalendar interface:

  1. iCal Export URL.   This URL would be entered into listing sites that accept iCal imports.  This URL will contain basic Lodgix availability data to block dates, assuring that double bookings cannot occur on the listing site.
  2. iCal Import URL.   Lodgix supports multiple iCal import URLs.    For example, if a booking is made on Airbnb, once you have the correct, property specific Airbnb iCal import URL entered here. Another great example, would be a property manager with an owner who maintains a Google calendar of the bookings they take for their property.   By entering the Google iCal URL within Lodgix, the property manager can make bookings with the assurance that the unit is not getting double booked.  Likewise the property manager could supply the iCal export URL to the property owner, which he / she could enter into the Google Calendar, to assure that the Google Calendar remains updated with an bookings made by the PM.
  3. Auto Import.   The auto import features allows Lodgix to automatically poll the iCal import URL.  Lodgix will poll the import URL every 60 minutes to see if there are any changes in availability.  If set to OFF,  the import is a manual process.
  4. Manual sync – property.  To force a manual import of any new or changed calendar data, the sync button can be used.
  5. Manual sync – all properties. To force a manual import of any new or changed calendar data for all properties, the Import iCal – All Sources button can be used.

Important Notes About iCalendar Data

Important Notes About iCalendar Data

Importing rules:

  1. iCalendar data can never overwrite Lodgix invoice data.
  2. iCalendar data remains true to the source.  For example, if iCalendar data is being imported from a Google Calendar, and changes made to reservations on the Google Calendar (add a date, remove a date, etc.) will update the iCal block on Lodgix, ONLY if the block was originally created by the Google Calendar iCalendar import.

If there are any conflicts that result when iCalendar data is being imported, those conflicts will be noted in the Logs tab within the iCalendar interface.

Viewing Imported iCalendar Data on the Lodgix Calendar Tape

Viewing Imported iCalendar Data on the Lodgix Calendar Tape

iCalendar data are imported as blocks are in black.   The source of the data is noted at the top of the block.  Eventually we will implement the ability to customize the color of the blocks to vary by the iCal source.

Great News! HomeAway / VRBO is Rolling Out iCal Importing!

Great news!  As of June 2015, HomeAway is rolling out iCal importing, which means those of you with 4 properties or less can once again sync your calendars with HomeAway / VRBO!

If you have 5 properties or more then we recommend using the HomeAway Feed as you have the added benefit of listing sync, and connection to the BookItNow platform in addition to calendar sync.

iCal Importing with HomeAway

Here is the support article at HomeAway with instructions on how to define an iCal import URL within HomeAway.  Note in the support article below, HomeAway notes that not all listings have access to this new feature yet.

Location of the Lodgix iCal Export URL

Cut and paste the provide iCal export URL for each property into your corresponding HomeAway listing.

Calendar Sync for FlipKey & TripAdvisor

Lodgix can now sync your Lodgix calendar data with your listings on FlipKey & TripAdvisor using our iCal feed.

Locate the Lodgix iCal Feed

Click on the Settings > Marketing Partners > Review Offers menu item within Lodgix.

  1. Find your property
  2. Cut the .ics (iCalendar) feed URL provided for that property, you will need to paste the URL into FlipKey

Login to FlipKey

Login to Flipkey, click on the Listings Tab and then choose "Update Calendar" for the property that you wish to sync with Lodgix.

Add a Calendar

Within FlipKey under the availability calendar, there is an area to "Sync my calendars", click the button to "+ Add a calendar"

Paste the Lodgix iCal Feed URL into Flipkey

Enter the name of the Calendar (your choice) and Paste the feed URL from Lodgix in to the Calendar Link field (see above)

Success

Check for the Success message (see above).

Note:  Calendars will update only when FlipKey polls the data feed.  This should occur several times per day.  

 

iCal Feed Now Available for All Properties

For those of you who want to push availability data to sites like Airbnb or Google Calendars, we now publish an iCal feed for all properties.

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The feeds can be found under Settings > Marketing Partners > Review Offers under the “iCalendar” Tab.

http://www.lodgix.com/system/marketing_partners/

To use the iCal feed with your Airbnb:

In your Airbnb account, go to Calendar mappings and paste the URL. Your availability data will then sync from Lodgix to Airbnb.

For more info on the Airbnb iCal feature: https://www.airbnb.com/help/question/hosting/99.