New 48 Hour Cancellation Policy With Hyatt Effective January 1, 2018

A new cancellation policy by Hyatt will become effective as of Monday, January 1, 2018 worldwide with which guests must cancel their reservations no sooner than 48 hours prior to the beginning of their scheduled stays to avoid a penalty.

New 48 Hour Cancellation Policy With Hyatt Effective January 1, 2018

This policy comes on the heels of cancellation policies of 48 hours now in effect within both the Hilton portfolio and the Marriott portfolio of hotel and resort properties worldwide — as well as a cancellation policy of 24 hours now in effect within the InterContinental Hotels portfolio of hotel and resort properties within the United States and Europe and eventually worldwide with the exception of China, where many of the hotel and resort properties will retain the same-day cancellation policy…

…but with the new Hyatt cancellation policy, members of the World of Hyatt frequent guest loyalty program who have achieved Globalist elite level status — whether annually or lifetime — can cancel their reservations no sooner than 24 hours instead of 48 hours.

Here is the official statement from Hyatt pertaining to the new cancellation policy:

Effective for reservations made or changed on or after January 1, 2018, Hyatt will implement a revised minimum cancellation policy that allows hotels to manage guestroom availability more effectively, including offering rooms and upgrades to rooms that would have otherwise gone unoccupied.

This new default cancellation policy requires guests to cancel their reservations at least 48 hours in advance to avoid a cancellation fee. Because each Hyatt hotel may continue to set its own cancellation policy based on local market dynamics and expectations, we always encourage guests to check the cancellation policy at the time of booking. It will continue to be transparently communicated at the time of booking and in guest emails.

While this change is designed to improve room availability, we recognize that flexibility is important and will offer relaxed criteria for our most frequent guests. Beginning with reservations made or changed on January 1, 2018, World of Hyatt Explorist, Globalist or Lifetime Globalist members will be able to cancel up to 24 hours before arrival when the hotel’s cancellation policy is 48 hours. This relaxed criteria will apply to all hotels excluding Hyatt Residence Club resorts, Miraval resorts and M life resort destinations and excludes pre-paid and non-refundable rates. It will also not apply when a hotel’s cancellation policy exceeds 48 hours.

Prior to today, guests were able to cancel their reservations up to as late as 6:00 in the evening on the day they check in for their stays.

Summary

“Makes sense. We’re all paying for inventory spoilage and this will cut down on that.”

I would tend to agree with that statement — which was posted by FlyerTalk member Often1 — but I highly doubt that any of savings resulting from any reduction of inventory spoilage will be passed on to the customer.

As I originally wrote in this article pertaining to a similar cancellation policy by Marriott International, Incorporated which became effective as of Thursday, June 15, 2017, my experience with hotel properties is that if I ever needed to cancel a reservation beyond the deadline — which is highly unusual for me — I have never had to pay a penalty. I usually had a good reason — such as a canceled or delayed flight — and the representative had always been understanding and accommodating. That is not to say that that would be the scenario moving forward nor would I consistently expect that level of service; but as long as lodging companies empower their employees with the ability to implement logical decisions, I generally do not expect this “unwritten policy” to change.

I have also found that despite the revised cancellation policies, some individual hotel and resort properties still have their own cancellation policies. Some of them are at 6:00 in the evening on the day of arrival; some of them are a minimum of 24 hours prior to the beginning of a scheduled stay; and some of them are a minimum of 72 hours prior to the beginning of a scheduled stay.

Due primarily to the aforementioned reasoning, I initially believed that the policy of cancellation by 6:00 in the evening local time of the hotel property on the day before arrival was justified and not unreasonable to the consumer — especially if employees of the lodging company are empowered to override this policy on a case-by-case basis as necessary. If most guests will know to cancel two days prior to arrival, that suggests to me that any abuse of the policy moving forward will be few and far between, which to me further suggests that pleading for leniency will likely continue to be successful — especially if you are a regular customer of the lodging company or hotel property…

…but as to whether or not this revised policy is indeed unfriendly to customers: due to varying reasons, many people will agree; while few may believe otherwise — but at least a cancellation policy of up to seven days in advance is not being considered by Hyatt at this time…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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