Extended Again: Change or Cancel Your Lodging Reservations Without Penalty
For several months, 23 lodging companies around the world had significantly relaxed their typically restrictive policies pertaining to change and cancellation fees by suspending them on a temporary basis due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, which had spread worldwide…
Extended Again: Change or Cancel Your Lodging Reservations Without Penalty
…and 17 lodging companies which are listed in this article have either increased or improved the way their hotel and resort properties are cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized; and rather than list them, each of the links which are provided in this article to the updated policies pertaining to the changing or cancellation of reservations also include details about what they are doing to ensure that your stay is in the safest and cleanest environment available.
If applicable, updated policies are also included in the list for the frequent guest loyalty program associated with the appropriate lodging company — such as the extension of elite level status; or suspending the expiration dates of points in membership accounts.
For reservations which have been booked through a travel agent, online booking platform — such as Booking.com, Expedia, or Hotels.com as three of many examples — or other third parties, all of the lodging companies advise that you please contact them directly, as they have been advised of their change policies and cancellation policies; and you are further advised to refer to their terms and conditions.
Be aware that the wait times of the reservations call centers of any of the 17 lodging companies may be longer than usual, as other requests may be handled by members of the reservations team.
Without further ado, here is a list of select lodging companies which are based in the United States and around the world and their updated policies pertaining to the suspension of change and cancellation fees on a temporary basis.
Accor Live Limitless
Global Policy for existing reservations for upcoming travel through Wednesday, September 30, 2020 may modify their reservation for a later date without any modification fees — subject to availability and applicable rates and conditions — or request a credit voucher for the full amount of the booking value for use at a future date at the same hotel or resort property.
The credit voucher is:
- Only applicable to payments that have already been processed
- Only applicable if the booking has not already been cancelled
- Only applicable if a refund has not been processed
- Not transferrable
- To be used only once — with the exception of vouchers issued by French hotels that can be used on more than one occasion
For guests who booked reservations through the following Internet web sites, please refer to the applicable terms and conditions in the links below:
- Adagio https://www.adagio-city.com/gb/politique-liee-au-coronavirus.shtml
- Mama Shelter: https://www.mamashelter.com/en
- Banyan Tree: https://www.banyantree.com/en/travel-advisory
- Mantis: https://www.mantiscollection.com/novel-coronavirus/
- SBE: https://www.sbe.com/covid-19-updates-and-resources/
- 25 Hours: https://www.25hours-hotels.com/en/rechtliches/covid19-travel-advice
All travelers are recommended to review guidance from the World Health Organization and follow any travel advice issued by their home countries.
Reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences which were booked on or before Saturday, March 14, 2020 — with a check-in date between Saturday, March 14, 2020 and Saturday, August 15, 2020 — are covered by the cancellation policy and may be canceled prior to arrival and checking in to the property. Guests who cancel will receive a full refund, and hosts can cancel without charge or impact to their Superhost status. Airbnb will refund all service fees for covered cancellations.
The host’s cancellation policy will apply as usual to reservations booked after Saturday, March 14, 2020, and to reservations booked on or before Saturday, March 14, 2020 with check-in dates after Saturday, August 15, 2020.
If a reservation has already begun — or the check-in has passed — this extenuating circumstance does not apply.
Domestic reservations in mainland China are covered under the existing mainland China extenuating circumstances for COVID-19 statement. Luxe or Luxury Retreats reservations are covered under the Luxe Guest Refund Policy.
Anantara Hotels Resorts Spas
Anantara Hotels & Resorts offering extra flexibility and support for all new reservations booked directly through all channels of Anantara between Friday, March 13, 2020 and Friday, July 31, 2020 — which includes free change of date and change of destination up to 24 hours prior to arrival for stays on or before Sunday. December 20, 2020 and is subject to availability.
For rates with part or full pre-payment, a free change of date or change of destination is permitted up to 24 hours prior to arrival, for stays completed prior to Sunday, December 20, 2020 and is subject to availability.
If you need to book or adjust a reservation, please contact via:
- Telephone: +66 2 365 9110
- E-mail message: firstname.lastname@example.org
Barceló Hotel Group
All changes are completely flexible for reservations with arrival dates up to Thursday, December 31, 2020 with Barceló Hotel Group. You will have the option to change your reservation booking date and enjoy your stay within the 12 months following the date of checking into the hotel or resort property.
For any changes or to manage your booking, please contact the call center by calling the customer service number in your country; or contact Barceló Hotel Group via its social media sites. Rest assured that we will give your request the satisfactory response it deserves as soon as possible.
If you booked your reservation through an online travel agency or a different travel agent, contact the provider for that booked reservation to receive information on its change policy.
Drury Hotels offers you the flexibility to cancel your reservations until 12:00 noon the day prior to arrival — as well as special exceptions on reservations which were purchased in full in advance and normally cannot be refunded to accept cancellations for arrivals through Monday, August 31, 2020. Please allow up to ten days for a refund once you cancel a reservation at the official Internet web site of Drury Hotels.
Please call us at 1-800-DRURYINN if we can help.
A few changes to services have been implemented during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic:
- Breakfast will be served weekdays from 6:30 through 9:00 in the morning; and on weekends from 7:00 through 9:30 in the morning.
- Breakfast and 5:30 Kickback will be offered in a grab-and-go format. Please let members of the food and beverage team know if you have any questions.
- All guests are requested to enjoy food and beverage options in their rooms and to avoid congregating in public areas.
- Rooms with occupancy for more than one night by the same guest will only be cleaned upon request. Between guests, rooms will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
Extended Stay America
If you currently have a reservation for arrival through Monday, August 31, 2020 and are unable to travel, you can cancel your reservation without penalty. If you booked directly with Extended Stay America via its official Internet web site or reservations call center, please call 800-804-3724 for assistance.
- 2019 Elite Level Status Extension. All members whose 2019 elite status was scheduled to be downgraded on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 will automatically receive an extension through Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
- 2020 Elite Level Status Extension. Your 2020 elite status will automatically be extended through Thursday, March 31, 2022 — which means that you will continue to enjoy all the Diamond, Gold or Silver elite status level benefits to which you have access today for the next 24 months.
- Points Expiration Date Extension. The expiration of all points scheduled to expire between now and Thursday, December 31, 2020 will be paused until further notice.
- Extension of Weekend Night Rewards Earned on Eligible Hilton Credit Cards. The expiration date of all Weekend Night Rewards which have not expired as of Wednesday, March 11, 2020 — and all Weekend Night Rewards which will have been issued until Sunday, August 30, 2020 — will automatically be extended through Tuesday, August 31, 2021.
Flexibility With Reservations Policies
If you need to adjust reservations which were booked via the official Internet web site of Hilton, mobile software application program, or call center, you can change your reservation or contact the Guest Assistance team at Hilton. If you need to adjust reservations which were booked through another travel site, please contact the personnel at that site for assistance.
Given the unique circumstances of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, Hilton remains committed to offering you flexible options when booking your reservations by further adjusting its individual policies pertaining to booking reservations — even reservations which are described as “non-cancellable” or “Advanced Purchase” — which can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival day:
- All existing reservations which are scheduled for arrival on or before Monday, August 31, 2020.
- Any new reservations which you book between today and Monday, August 31, 2020 for any future arrival date.
Hilton is proud to support the many communities impacted by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus around the world.
- Health Care and First Responders. Hilton is partnering with federal, state and local governments to provide housing for first responders and health care workers.
- Financial Assistance. The Hilton Effect Foundation has pledged financial assistance to organizations helping those impacted by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
- Donating Hilton Honors Points. Members of the Hilton Honors frequent guest loyalty program may now donate points to World Central Kitchen, Project Hope or Direct Relief. All donations of points will be converted into cash and sent directly to the organization.
Waiving Change and Cancellation Fees
Reservations can be changed or canceled up to 24 hours before a scheduled arrival on www.hyatt.com or via the World of Hyatt mobile software application program. Some group reservations are excepted. For full details — or to opt for the 10,000 World of Hyatt bonus point offer — please call one of the Global Contact Centers or send an e-mail message to email@example.com.
- Existing reservations for upcoming travel: All existing reservations which were booked before Wednesday, July 1, 2020 that are for arrivals through Friday, July 31, 2020 — with some very limited exceptions — may be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations.
- New reservations for any future travel: Any reservation you book on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 and beyond for any future arrival date — with some very limited exceptions — can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.
- Reservations booked after Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at select Destination properties or under Special Event Rates, after Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at Hyatt Residence Club properties, and any other reservations booked after Tuesday, June 30, 2020 that disclose a different cancellation or refund policy at the time of booking are excluded from this policy and subject to the cancellation or refund policy disclosed at the time of booking. Please visit the Change and Cancellation Fee Waiver Exceptions for a list of excluded Destination and Hyatt Residence Club properties..
World of Hyatt Frequent Guest Loyalty Program Update
Feedback from members of the World of Hyatt frequent guest loyalty program is being used to continually evaluate ways to flex the program. In the spirit of advancing care for members during these unique circumstances, the following modifications are being implemented to the World of Hyatt frequent guest loyalty program:
- Suspending Points Forfeiture: The forfeiture of points is suspended through Thursday, December 31, 2020. As a reminder, the general policy is that points do not expire; but they will be forfeited if a membership account is inactive for 24 consecutive months.
- More Time to Use Earned Rewards: All unused Free Night, Suite Upgrade or Club Lounge Access awards with expiration dates between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Thursday, December 31, 2020 will be extended to Thursday, December 31, 2021. This includes existing awards and awards that may be earned throughout this year with a 2020 expiration date. The award extension will be generated by World of Hyatt — members do not need to take action. Awards that expired between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020 will be replaced with new awards on Monday, April 20, 2020. All other qualifying, unused awards will be updated by the 20th day of the month in which the award would have originally expired.
- Postponing Award Chart Changes: The introduction of off-peak and peak point redemptions — which was originally planned to be effective as of Sunday, March 22, 2020 — is postponed until 2021, which means that free-night redemptions will continue to be at standard rates for the rest of this year. Before off-peak and peak point redemptions are launched for stay dates in 2021 and beyond, advance notice will be provided.
- Evaluating Elite Tier Qualification and Benefit Extension: Status and benefits will be extended for all existing elite members without having to re-qualify. This means that whatever your elite level status was as of Tuesday, March 31, 2020 — whether Discoverist, Explorist, or Globalist — it will be automatically updated to reflect a Monday, February 28, 2022 expiration date. All elite tier extensions should be reflected in members’ accounts no later than Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
InterContinental Hotels Group
Cancellation fees for existing reservations booked through Monday, April 6, 2020 at all InterContinental Hotels Group hotel and resort properties globally will be waived for stays up to Monday, August 31, 2020, with further important information including reservations booked for groups and meetings:
- Hotel and resort properties are subject to local law in the markets in which they operate — therefore, government legislation and regulations may supersede this policy in specific circumstances.
- Groups & Meetings Bookings: We will work with customers to manage any changes needed to Group & Meeting bookings on a case by case basis. Our hotels are actively supporting groups and meetings organizers to address the needs of each group, including moving event dates to another time, in line with terms and conditions of that booking. Please contact the hotel the booking was made with to discuss further.
The evolving situation will continue to be monitored and this policy will be kept under review.
The more restrictive — meaning pre-paid or non-refundable — Advance Purchase rate has been removed from sale until later in the year, with the exception of in Greater China.
IHG Rewards Club status
All members’ program status will be automatically extended through January 2022, allowing members to enjoy all the benefits of the status they earned during 2019. For Spire Elite members, this includes the Choice benefit of 25,000 bonus points or gifting of Platinum Elite status to someone each year. This change will be automatically reflected in member accounts in the coming weeks.
Elite Membership Criteria:
With more constrained travel plans and a shorter time period during which members can earn elite tier status, IHG Rewards Club is:
- Reducing the Elite membership criteria required — nights or points — this year by 25 percent or more:
- For members in Greater China, click here for the latest information on IHG Reward Club status.
- With this change, members can continue to earn elite membership status this year and enjoy all the IHG Rewards Club benefits this brings through 2020 and into 2021. This change will be reflected in membership accounts in the coming weeks.
Loews Hotels & Company
Loews Hotels & Company is currently waiving cancellation fees for existing and new individual transient reservations for stays through and including Wednesday, September 30, 2020, which includes any reservations that were paid in full in advance and normally cannot be refunded.
For groups and meeting inquiries, please contact the hotel or resort property at which your meeting is to occur.
Meliá Hotels & Resorts International
Right now, and until Monday, August 31, 2020, all the rates that we currently have on sale can be cancelled at no cost. Cancellations can be made between 1 and 7 days before the scheduled arrival date. Some exclusions may apply. May exclude periods with special event restrictions or peak demand weeks. Please refer to the property’s Rate Details for applicable terms or exceptions, if any, when booking or changing reservations.
For bookings made before today, the cancellation policy is as follows.
- As of May 21, 2020, if customers are affected by travel restrictions in their country of origin or the hotel they have booked is closed for the expected dates of the stay, Meliá offers you the chance to change or cancel the booking under the following conditions:
- For individual bookings made between March 2 and Monday, August 31, 2020, customers can cancel their booking up to 24 hours before the date of arrival without any cancellation fee or penalty.
- For individual reservations made before March 2, 2020 for arrival dates up to Monday, August 31, 2020, we offer 100 percent flexibility to postpone the booking up to 24 hours before the expected arrival date. You can postpone the booking up to December 31, 2021, choosing a date for which the hotel offers the same terms and conditions, or agree to pay any possible difference in the room rate without any booking management fees.
- For group bookings with arrival date before Monday, August 31, 2020, we offer 100 percent flexibility to change the dates without any booking management fees up to December 31, 2021, regardless of the date the booking was made.
- Check the specific conditions for each booking as some exceptions may apply in some hotels during high-demand periods and may require cancellation further in advance to avoid cancellation fees and penalties.
- For arrivals from July 1, 2020, the booking terms and conditions accepted by the customer when making the individual or group booking will apply (subject to point 6 below).
- If the booked hotel is itself quarantined during the guest’s stay, the hotel will abate or return any payments the guest would otherwise have to make in the proportion corresponding to the date on which quarantine is ordered.
- If we are forced to close the booked hotel for the dates booked, we will offer alternative accommodation of the same or superior quality in another of our hotels. If this is not possible, we offer 100% flexibility to postpone your reservation up to 24 hours before arrival: you may choose a later date until December 31, 2021 and on which the reserved hotel is operative again and offers the same terms and conditions or for which you agree to pay a possible difference in rate without any management fee.
- Guests who book through online travel agents or other third-party travel professionals are advised to contact their booking provider for information on the policies they are applying.
- We are aware that the COVID-19 pandemic and the response from the government and health authorities are constantly changing and developing. Please note that the criteria in this document are therefore subject to change over time.
- Meliá will extend the current MeliáRewards membership tier for one year for Platinum, Gold and Silver members whose tier review is scheduled for between March 1, 2020 (from February 1, 2020 for members from Greater China) and December 31, 2020. The membership tier will remain unchanged even for those members who do not meet the minimum stays, nights or points requirement to remain in their tier. In consequence, for example, tier reviews that were due on March 1, 2020, will now be carried out on March 1, 2021.
NH Hotel Group
NH Hotel Group has been offering — and will continue to offer — flexible terms and conditions with its Best Available Rate…
…however — due to the uncertainty of the situation pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — flexibility is being provided with all reservations.
Oberoi Hotels & Resorts
Oberoi Hotels & Resorts is entirely flexible with all new reservations and has instituted a policy that allows you to cancel your reservation at any time.
- We understand your travel plans will be affected, given these unprecedented times. For any reservations currently being held for travel dates till September 30, 2020, you may choose to cancel these with no penalties. If you have paid booking deposits, you may choose to either hold them with us for future travel until December 31, 2020 or ask for a refund.
- If you made your reservations through Travel Agents or travel websites, we request you to contact them to cancel the reservations.
- We would also like to assure you that we are entirely flexible with all new reservations and have instituted a policy that allows you to cancel your reservation at any time.
Omni Hotels & Resorts
For reservations with arrival dates through Monday, August 31, 2020, cancellation fees for existing and new individual reservations at all Omni Hotels & Resorts hotel and resort properties are being waived.
Due to the unprecedented implications COVID-19 has had on the hospitality industry, Omni Hotels & Resorts has made the very difficult decision to temporarily suspend operations at the following Omni properties:
- Hotel Omni Mont-Royal
- Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center
- Omni Berkshire Place
- Omni Charlottesville Hotel
- Omni Chicago Hotel
- Omni Houston Hotel at Westside
- Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
- Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza
- Omni Louisville Hotel
- Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale
- Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas
- Omni Parker House
- Omni Providence Hotel
- Omni Riverfront Hotel
- Omni San Diego Hotel
- Omni San Francisco Hotel
- Omni Shoreham Hotel
- Omni William Penn
- The Omni King Edward Hotel
We are constantly updating our global cancellation policy to reflect the most recent developments related to the COVID-19 and to offer our guests as much flexibility and planning comfort as possible.
For existing reservations made prior to April 1, 2020, for stays until Monday, August 31, 2020, at any RHG hotel worldwide and subject to local regulations and variations applicable to the hotel legal entity, we allow:
– Free modifications subject to availability and/or any rate differences
– Free cancellations with the following exception:
○ If a deposit has been paid for an existing reservation, we will credit you the full amount to redeem with your next stay at the same hotel within one year after your cancellation date. If you are unable to redeem, we will refund you after your credit has expired.
For new reservations made between April 1 and Monday, August 31, 2020, for any future arrival date at any RHG hotel worldwide, we allow:
– Free modifications up to 24 hours before the arrival date. Any modifications are subject to availability and/or any rate differences
– Free cancellations up to 24 hours before arrival date
○ This includes reservations on advanced purchase rates described as noncancelable
○ If a deposit has been paid, the amount will be refunded to the credit card used (or maybe in the form of vouchers or credit, where required by local regulations)
Leisure Groups, Business Groups and Meeting & Events:
For existing and new reservations for groups and/or meetings & events until Monday, August 31, 2020 (or the end date of national government-imposed restrictions on gatherings) at any RHG hotel worldwide and subject to local regulations and variations applicable to the hotel legal entity, we allow:
– Free modifications subject to availability and/or any rate differences
– Free cancellations if the meeting/event cannot be rebooked to a later date
○ If a deposit has been paid for an existing reservation, we will credit you the full amount (less already incurred costs) for the customer to redeem on their next stay, at the same property within one year after your cancellation date. If you are unable to redeem, we will refund you after your credit has expired.
Guests are advised to contact our call centers for urgent reservations (travel within the next 72 hours) or to modify or cancel their booking via our website, app or online form on our website.
Our commitment to our loyalty program members
As COVID-19 affects travel plans around the world, we believe our Radisson Rewards members deserve to use the points that they have acquired and should not be penalized due to circumstances out of their control. As a result, Radisson Hotels is suspending its point expiration policy by six months, effective March 1, 2020. We have also extended the elite status of our members through February 2022, for those that would have expired in February 2021. In addition, e-certs earned using the Radisson Reward Visa card, that are scheduled to expire between March 1 and July 31, 2020, can be redeemed through June 30, 2021.
Red Roof is providing additional flexibility in its cancellation policies. For stays through Monday, August 31, 2020, cancellation fees will be waived at all Red Roof hotels and any guest wishing to cancel a pre-paid, Advance Purchase reservation, will receive a full refund. Guests who booked on redroof.com, through our Contact Center, or with a Red Roof hotel directly can call 1-800-RED-ROOF to cancel their reservation.
The RediRewards points expiration policy has been suspended through September 2020.
The cancellation policy of Yotel has been amended as follows, as the flexible booking policy is now available for all new direct bookings at every one of our hotels worldwide. This means you can pay for your stay on arrival whilst also being able to make amendments or cancel your booking for free up to 24 hours before you travel. Make sure you choose the flexible rate when making your booking. Club@YOTEL members also save up to an additional 10% on every booking. Sign up here.
Considering recent events, anyone who has booked direct and is arriving in the next 45 days will be able to cancel any of their bookings without incurring cancellation fees. This also includes non-refundable rates.
6 Lodging Companies: Change and Cancellation Policy Not Without Penalty Anymore?
Unfortunately, either the penalties pertaining to the change and cancellation fees are no longer in effect at six of the 23 lodging companies because the expiration dates of the temporary flexible policy has not changed — or the temporary flexible change and cancellation policy can no longer be found.
The six lodging companies — with more detailed information in this article — which are based in the United States and around the world whose updated policies pertaining to the suspension of change and cancellation fees on a temporary basis seem to no longer be in effect at the time this article was written include:
- Best Western Hotels & Resorts
- Choice Hotels
- Marriott International, Incorporated
- Millennium Hotels & Resorts
- Motel 6
- Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Are the temporary changes in policies implemented by the aforementioned lodging companies a way to assuage fear by customers of the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — or is this some sort of marketing gimmick designed to capitalize on that fear? You decide for yourself…
…but would having the suspension of change and cancellation fees be nice if it was implemented on a permanent basis?
Please let me know which airlines you believe need to be added to this list — or if any of the information needs to be amended, as information can change rather quickly — by contacting me or leaving a message in the Comments section below. Thank you in advance.
In the meantime, if you are traveling, be sure to contact your lodging provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — and please: travel safely.
All photographs ©2015, ©2016, ©2017, ©2018, and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.