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iCal synchronisation guide - incoming feeds

We have two ways of monitoring incoming iCal feeds

We monitor all incoming iCal feeds from every 15 to 30 minutes. Read-times by external third party companies monitoring our iCal feeds inbound to them can vary wildly and we can't control those.
Not all iCal feeds tell us the difference between a block-off or a reservation. The information we get inside an iCal feed will be very basic information about the guest. Usually just the guest surname and the booking date, and that's it. 

Please note: Online travel agents (OTAs) only read bookings and block-offs. Therefore, if you want to stop availability for certain periods, make sure you have a rate band in place and then block off the period. If you have any further questions, please contact the support team.


You can see our full list of iCal connections here.

Partial iCal Monitoring  With partial iCal monitoring we will only create a pseudo booking based on the 'creation' date. Or 'booking' date.

These will remain in your account, unless you decide to manually cancel or amend the booking. 
Full iCal Monitoring With full monitoring of iCal feeds, we are listening to all newly created bookings, as well as checking if a booking has been removed from the feed, either due to an amendment or cancellation on the OTA. 

When this happens, we remove the booking from your Anytime account as it's dropped off the feed (which is now in your cancelled bookings list). If the booking was amended on the OTA, then the original booking created is now removed and a new booking is created based on the iCal feed. 
Please note that this does not apply to Booking.com bookings. These will still need to be amended or cancelled manually.

CAUTION: If you regularly add notes to iCal bookings as they come in, we would not recommend that you use Full iCal Monitoring, as the information you add will only stay on the original booking created. 


How to switch between Partial and Full iCal Monitoring:
Head to your iCal Feed page within your Configuration area. 
At the top of your page you will see this:
Screenshot 2023-01-12 at 13.56.07
With this button greyed out it means you are Partially Monitoring. If the button is to the right and Pink this is in Full iCal Monitoring. 
To amend your setting, slide to the left or right and click Save. This feature works across all ical brands and all units. 

Checking your iCal Feed:
If you want to check what's inside your incoming iCal in a more tangible way, we use this website https://icalendar.org/validator.html

Just copy and paste the iCal URL and click Validate and then click View Source Data slightly further down. The feed looks something like this:

  2. DTEND;VALUE=DATE:20220715
  3. DTSTART;VALUE=DATE:20220708
  4. UID:1418fb94e-1fec16ca1048022094f41@airbnb.com
  5. DESCRIPTION:Reservation URL: https://www.airbnb.com/hosting/reservations/
  6. details/HMZWN5CD5P\nPhone Number (Last 4 Digits): 6468
  7. SUMMARY:Reserved

In most cases the incoming iCal feed doesn't give much info about the guest other than the reference number and partial contact number. You would still need to login to the OTA to see more information.