This refers to a guest who leaves the hotel prior to the departure date that he/she had originally indicated. Pleasure travelers may find their tourist attraction less interesting than anticipated. Urgent business may require the corporate client to return to the office sooner than expected. It is also known as early departure or curtailment. Like overstays this situation has to be monitored especially in periods when the hotel is busy. Understays create a situation where the hotel is left trying to sell a room that had previously been reserved and represent a loss of revenue.
Front office management review and analyze various data produced during checkout. Most of this information is financial. The data can be grouped into categories as requested by management and must include understays. Understays are lost revenue in that the hotel had not anticipated the departure and thus may be unable to sell the room to another guest to recoup the revenue. To minimize understays upon check in a guest is often asked to initial the departure date and thus may be charged for an early departure.
Kasavana, M., & Brooks, R. (1995). Front Office Procedures (4th ed.). USA: Educational Institute American Hotel and Motel Association.