Coronavirus Hotel Cancellation Policies: Your Complete Guide

by Shelli

During these unprecedented times, it’s helpful to have a comprehensive, clear, and simple guide to help us change or cancel our hotel reservations. Included in this guide are the coronavirus hotel cancellation policies for the major hotel chains, online travel agencies, and Airbnb. I hope this guide helps you better navigate your reservations.

Coronavirus Hotel Cancellation Policies

Hyatt

When I travel, World of Hyatt properties are my hotels of choice. Hyatt has various cancellation policies in place depending on when you made your reservation. Be sure to pay attention to the date you made your reservation, not your stay date.

Did you make your reservations before March 13, 2020, with arrival dates between March 14, 2020, and April 30, 2020?

If so, changes or cancellations done within 24 hours of scheduled arrival time will be processed without a fee. This policy includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations.

Did you make your reservations between March 14, 2020, and April 30, 2020, for any travel date?

Within 24 hours of your scheduled arrival, these reservations can be changed or canceled without incurring a fee. This policy includes Advanced Purchase Rate reservations.

Do you have an Advance Purchase Rate (non-refundable) reservation?

If you made the reservation before March 8, 2020, for arrival by June 30, 2020, and cancel with a 24-hour notice, you’ll receive compensation from Hyatt. Hyatt will give you 10,000 World of Hyatt points. This compensation of 10,000 World of Hyatt points cannot be combined with the first two policies mentioned above.

How to Cancel a Hyatt Reservation

These policies are in place ONLY if you made your reservation directly with Hyatt. If your reservations were made using an OTA (online travel agency), then contacting the OTA is the route you’ll need to take to change or cancel your plans.

To cancel your Hyatt reservation booked through Hyatt, use its website or mobile app. To opt-in and receive the 10,000 Hyatt point offer, call the Global Contact Center or send an email to worldofhyatt@hyatt.com.

If you have Globalist status with Hyatt, the Hyatt Concierge team is still fully staffed, so contact them for any questions or help you might need regarding your current or future Hyatt hotel plans.

Hyatt Regency Belgrade Lobby

Hyatt Regency Belgrade Lobby

Pro Tip: When you use an online travel agent such as Priceline or Booking.com, to book hotels, cancellations and modifications of reservations are done through them.

Hilton

I actually have some Hilton reservations, so I’m paying close attention to their change policies.

If you’re holding any Hilton reservations and are scheduled to check-in before June 30, 2020, these reservations can be changed or canceled without a fee with at least a 24-hour notice. This includes both non-cancellable and Advance Purchase reservations.

For any new reservations you make by June 30, 2020, for any travel dates, you will be able to both change or cancel them without a penalty if you change or cancel with at least a 24-hour notice. This includes non-cancellable and Advance Purchase reservations.

How to Cancel a Hilton Reservation

coronavirus hotel cancellation policies screen shot

If you booked on the Hilton website or via the Hilton app, you can change or cancel your reservation by contacting the Hilton Guest Assistance team. For calling Hilton, check here for the phone number you’ll use. They vary by country.

If your reservations were made through an OTA or travel agent, contact them directly.

Read more about Hilton’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Marriott

Marriott International is the largest hotel company in the world, with more than 5,700 properties spread throughout 110 countries with 30 total brands. It’s likely you have a reservation or two you’ll either need to cancel or change.

April 30, 2020 is the date to be aware of when handling your Marriott reservations.

Do you have existing reservations for any date?

Even if you have Marriott prepaid rates in place, there is no fee when you can cancel or change Marriott reservations with at least a 24-hour notice. However, you must modify your reservation by April 30, 2020. Be aware that exceptions do exist so to be on the safe side of this policy, do check the details under your hotel’s rate rules.

When you make a new reservation by April 30, 2020 (including prepaid rates) for any travel date, you’ll be able to change or cancel your reservation with no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival date. Again, make sure to check hotel rate rules.

Design Hotels and Homes & Villas by Marriott International are excluded from these policies.

These cancellation and change policies apply to reservations made directly through Marriott. Reservations made through an OTA (online travel agency) are subject to the third-party policies.

Read more about Marriott’s full COVID-19 policy here.

IHG

I had some wonderful stays at IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) properties this past year and have another stay planned for this summer. We shall see if that comes to fruition.

IHG’s policy is pretty straight-forward and isn’t as generous as some of the other hotel chains.

  • Cancellation fees will be waived on all bookings for stays between March 9, 2020, and April 30, 2020.
  • For hotel stays beyond April 30, 2020, there are no cancellation policies in place.

How to Cancel an IHG Reservation

If you booked directly through IHG, change or cancel your reservations online. If your stay is within the next 72 hours and you can’t get online or use the IHG app to modify or cancel your stay, call IHG directly.

Read more about IHG’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Radisson

Radisson seems to be making and extending its policy one month at a time.

You can cancel ANY Radisson reservation for stays through April 30, 2020, without penalty. There are policies in place for hotel stays after April 30, 2020.

These policies apply to bookings made directly through Radisson. If you booked your stay using an OTA or travel agent, contact them to make changes.

Read more about Radisson’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a Canadian chain of luxury hotels which operates 75 properties in 24 countries, with a strong presence in Canada and the United States.

If you have a reservation for stays between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2020, without penalty you can change your reservation for your stay through April 30, 2020.

The following policies are also in effect:

Europe

If you booked a non-flexible rate for travel between March 17, 2020, and April 1, 2020, you may cancel your reservation without penalty for a refund.

Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa

If you’re scheduled to arrive before April 30, 2020, you can cancel your reservation without penalty for a refund.

How to Cancel a Fairmont Reservation

  • To change or cancel your Fairmont reservations, contact the hotel directly.
  • Read more about Fairmont’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Best Western

Best Western International, Inc. owns the Best Western Hotels & Resorts brand, which it licenses to over 4,500 hotels worldwide. Almost half of those properties are in North America.

Your Best Western reservation for any future stay can be canceled without fees or penalties. Pay attention to these dates though, because the cancelation window is from March 23, 2020, to April 30, 2020, and you must cancel with at least a 48-hour notice.

This applies to bookings made through Best Western directly or any other booking site. The policy applies only for hotels located in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.

There are restrictions on this policy. It does not apply to a limited number of high-demand dates at select locations.

Read more about Best Western’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Choice Hotels

If you made your existing reservations directly through Choice Hotels, you can cancel with at least a 24-hour notice. However, you must cancel by April 30, 2020.

How to Cancel a Choice Hotels Reservation

Choice Hotels provides forms for handling a reservation.

  • To modify or cancel a cancellable rate, use this form.
  • To modify or cancel a non-cancellable, prepaid reservation, use this form.
  • Read about Choice Hotels’ full COVID-19 policy here.

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts is an international hotel and resort chain based in the United States. It has locations in China, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Turkey, Germany, the UK, the Caribbean, the UAE, Indonesia and Margarita Island in Venezuela.

Wyndham’s window for change stretches out further than some of the other hotel chains. Wyndham reservations for stays through May 31, 2020, can be changed or canceled without penalty with at least a 24-hour notice.

Interestingly, you can change or modify your reservation if you’re prohibited by law from traveling.

For hotel stays booked for after May 31, 2020, with at least a 48-hour notice you can change your reservation. However, stay aware of the rules because the new reservation MUST be for the same number of nights (or more) as your original reservation.

These policies apply to bookings made directly through Wyndham. If you used an OTA or a travel agent to make your booking, contact them to make changes.

Read more about Wyndham’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Click here for all the latest coronavirus updates and policies by airline and hotel, travel insurance, stimulus payment, and expert advice posts.

Online Travel Agency Coronavirus Cancellation Policies

If you booked your hotel through an OTA (online travel agency), it’s likely the coronavirus hotel cancellation policies will differ from the policy in place when booking directly through hotels.

Agoda

Agoda offers free cancellations on some reservations online in the My Bookings section.

It is recommended that you wait to cancel or modify your reservation if your travel is more than 2 weeks away. It’s possible your reservation’s free cancellation eligibility can change, so being too quick to cancel can work against you.

Read more about Agoda’s full COVID-10 policy here.

American Express Travel

American Express Travel offers cancellations on hotel bookings made prior to March 19, 2020, for travel through May 1, 2020. You can cancel using the Amex Travel portal (in the “My Trips” section) as long as you give advance notice of 24-hours.

Hotel bookings with check-in dates after May 1, 2020, are subject to the specific hotel’s cancellation policy.

Read more about Amex Travel’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Booking.com

No updated cancellation policy has been published. Booking.com advises you to contact the individual hotel or visit the Booking.com online help center if you need to change or cancel a reservation.

Capital One Travel / Citi ThankYou Rewards

CX Loyalty is the booking agent on both the Capital One and the Citi ThankYou site portals. Most hotel bookings are refundable until 72 hours prior to check-in.

Log in to your account through the booking portal (Capital One Travel or Citi ThankYou Rewards) and check the My Trips section to make changes online. If your travel is within the next 3-5 days and your hotel is charging a fee, contact CX Loyalty to see if the penalty can be waived.

Read about CX Loyalty’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Chase Travel Portal

Chase’s Travel Portal is a popular booking site. If you made hotel reservations through the Chase Travel Portal, your reservation is subject to the hotel’s individual policy regarding changes and cancellations.

  • You can cancel your reservation using this form.
  • Read about Chase Travel Portal’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Expedia

Expedia is another popular online travel agency. Non-refundable rates are cancelable without penalty if you booked before March 19, 2020 for travel between March 20 and April 30, 2020. You’ll receive a full refund though for some properties, you’ll receive a credit rather than a refund.

Read about Expedia’s full COVID-19 policy here.

GetaRoom

Getaroom, is a Dallas, Texas-based online hotel reservation website that allows you to view sales and promotional rates on hotel rooms. There are no GetaRoom  COVID-19 hotel cancellation policies published.

Hotels.com

If you booked a non-refundable rate on Hotels.com before March 19, 2020, for travel between March 20 and April 30, 2020, you should be receiving an email that will allow you to cancel without penalty.

You’ll receive a full refund though for some properties, you’ll receive a credit. Cancellations need to be at least 24 hours in advance.

  • If you booked a refundable rate, you can cancel online.
  • Read about Hotel.com’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Hotel Tonight

Hotel Tonight’s cancellation policies are very nuanced and date specific, so be sure to read them carefully.

If you booked a room on or before March 14, 2020, with a check-in date between March 14 and April 14, 2020, you can cancel your booking without penalty.

Any existing booking made on or before March 14, 2020, with a check-in date after April 14, 2020, does not have an updated policy unless the guest has contracted COVID-19.

Any reservations made after March 14, 2020, will not have updated coronavirus hotel cancellation policies. However, cancellations will be permitted in the following situations with documentation:

  • The guest has contracted COVID-19 or is suspected of being infected
  • A guest is complying with disease control restrictions implemented by government or health authorities
  • The guest needs to perform medical or disease control duties related to COVID-19
  • Flight or ground transportation cancellations by the airline or provider

Read more about Hotel Tonight’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Hotwire

Hotwire has the simplest policy possible. Hotwire’s cancellation policies and refunds follow the individual hotel’s policy.

  • To cancel a Hot Rate Hotel, use this form.
  • To cancel a standard reservation, use this form.
  • Read more about Hotwire’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Orbitz

Updated Orbitz policies are in effect for travel through April 30, 2020. If your travel is more than 72 hours away, you can modify your reservation online here.

Read about Orbitz’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Priceline

Priceline has the simplest policy possible. Priceline’s cancellation and refund policy follow the individual hotel’s policy. If your travel is more than 72 hours away, you can cancel your reservation online in the My Trips section of the website.

Read about Priceline’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Travelocity

If you booked a non-refundable rate on Travelocity before March 19, 2020, for travel between March 20, 2020, and April 30, 2020, you can cancel without penalty. You’ll receive a full refund though for some properties, you’ll receive a credit rather than a refund.

Read about Travelocity’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Airbnb Coronavirus Cancellation Policies

Airbnb has a new temporary policy in place.  Reservations made prior to March 14, 2020, with check-in dates by April 14, 2020, are covered under a new temporary policy.

As such, these reservations can be canceled before check-in for a full refund.

  • Hosts can also cancel without penalty. All service fees for these canceled reservations will be refunded by Airbnb.
  • Reservations made after March 14, 2020, or reservations made on or before March 14, 2020, with a check-in day after April 14, 2020, are subject to the host’s cancellation policy.
  • Read about Airbnb’s full COVID-19 policy here.

Doron Nadivi, C.O.O. of Pruvo, a hotel booking site that I use to save money when I pay cash for my hotels, has this to say: “I think due to coronavirus, both travelers and hotels see the value in booking a free cancellation option. Travelers will demand it. Hoteliers will have no option but to provide it, or it could cost them.”

Final Thoughts

Many, if not most of us, have hotel reservations that we need to change or cancel due to the coronavirus. Though there are similarities among coronavirus hotel cancellation policies, for the most part the hotels have all crafted their own versions. Whether your intention is to cancel or change reservations, pay particular attention to the fine print. The devil is in the details and we don’t want to miss out on either refunds or windows of opportunity to change our plans. Remember though, that coronavirus hotel cancellation policies evolve as travel limitations change.

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7 Smart Tips for Booking Accommodations May 18, 2020 - 6:45 am

[…] day in age, this is just a smart thing for any traveler to do. Make sure you ask what the cancellation policy is, up to what point you can cancel, and what, if any, the fee […]

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