Here Are the US Hotel Chains Waiving Cancellation Fees for Coronavirus

Forbes 3/14/2020

AAA World Article

Despite the spread of COVID-19 cases in the United States, most major U.S.-based hotel chains are not yet waiving cancellation fees for American travelers who are traveling domestically — but these policies are starting to budge.

While the majority of major hotel groups are limiting policy changes only to travelers coming from or traveling to affected countries in Asia or Italy, some hotel groups have softened their cancellation policies to include properties here at home.

Most notably, several the largest hotel groups — including Hilton, Marriott and InterContinental Hotels Group and Omni Hotels & Resorts — are waiving fees for cancellations on existing bookings globally through the end of April due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hilton even takes it one step further, offering waivers for future bookings made for travel beyond April.

Note that for some companies, cancellation policies apply only to direct bookings, which means travelers who book through third-party booking sites could be out of luck.

Worried that you may have to cancel your trip in the future? Here are the current cancellation policies for major hotel groups:

Choice Hotels: Brands include Cambria Hotels, Ascend Hotel Collection, Comfort, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Clarion, Clarion Pointe, MainStay Suites, WoodSpring Suites, Suburban Extended Stay, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn. Offering an enhanced penalty-free cancellation policy through March 31 applicable to guests residing in China, South Korea, Japan and Italy with reservations at Choice Hotels in the United States and Canada, as well as guests with reservations at Choice Hotels in China, Japan and Italy.

In addition, Choice Hotels is extending special exceptions for all advance purchase rate non-refundable reservations made directly with Choice Hotels on or before March 10 for travel through April 30 for travel within the United States or Canada. If interested, guests holding these prepaid reservations who choose not to travel may opt to receive Choice Privileges points for future travel.

Four Seasons: Waiving cancellation fees until April 15 for:

  • Any Four Seasons hotel and resort in the Asia Pacific region and Europe (excluding the UK).
  • Guests travelling from Europe (excluding the UK), Iran, South Korea, and Greater China – this includes Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan – to any Four Seasons hotel or resort globally.

Hilton Hotels & Resorts: Brands include Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, DoubleTree and Waldorf Astoria. Note the recent policy changes for existing and new reservations:

  • In regions affected by government-issued travel restrictions, Hilton will continue to waive change fees or offer full refunds.
  • All reservations – even advanced purchase bookings described as non-cancellable – scheduled for arrival before April 30 can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.
  • Any reservation – even advanced purchase bookings described as non-cancellable – that you book by April 30 for any future arrival date, can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.

In addition, modification and cancellation waivers are in place for the following regions:

  • For guests traveling to, through or from China, South Korea, Israel and Saudi Arabia with stays through March 31.
  • For guests traveling to, through or from Italy with stays through April 30.
  • For guests traveling between the United States and the following European countries through April 12: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Hyatt Hotels: All existing reservations for arrivals up to April 30 can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. All new reservations made between now and April 30 for any future arrival date can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. The new policies also apply to advance purchase rate reservations.

As previously announced, special exceptions are in place for all advance purchase rate non-refundable reservations made directly with Hyatt on or before March 8 for arrivals before June 30. Guests holding these fully prepaid reservations who have decided not to travel may still opt, at least 24 hours before their stay, to receive 10,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points compensation in lieu of both their stay and the offer above (if eligible). World of Hyatt points may be used toward future travel at any of our 900+ hotels across 17 brands globally.

InterContinental Hotels Group: Brands include Holiday Inn, Kimpton Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites and Hotel Indigo. Waiving cancellation fees for existing and new bookings at all IHG hotels globally for stays through April 30.

Marriott International: Brands include Westin, Sheraton, Residence Inn, Courtyard by Marriott and Ritz-Carlton. For guests with existing individual reservations, including reservations with pre-paid rates, hotels are waiving change and cancellation fees as long as change is made up to 24 hours prior to arrival and by April 30. For guests making new individual reservations before April 30, hotels are allowing those reservations to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before a guest’s scheduled arrival date.

Montage Hotels: All existing and new bookings (including those originally booked as non-cancellable) for stays through May 31 at any of our Montage or Pendry hotels may be re-booked at the same property for a future stay within one year of the original booking date, with any cancellation penalties and/or previously collected deposits applied to this future stay.

Omni Hotels & Resorts: Waiving cancellation fees for existing and new individual reservations at all properties through April 30.

Radisson Hotels: Brands include Radisson-branded properties and Country Inn & Suites. Free cancellations for inbound and outbound bookings for China, South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy until April 30. This includes the one-month travel suspension from the 26 European Union countries to the United States as well as the one-month visa suspension for India.

Red Roof: For stays through April 30, 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.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts: Brands include La Quinta, Days Inn and Ramada. The following enhanced cancellation policies apply to direct bookings:

  • Guests traveling to or from Greater China, South Korea or Italy with direct bookings for stays in any of our hotels through March 31 will have their cancellation or change penalties waived.
  • Guests who are prohibited from traveling to their booked hotel under applicable law will have their cancellation or change penalties waived on direct bookings.
  • Globally, for existing direct bookings, all of our properties are required to accommodate non-cancellable rate reservation changes if the request is received at least 48 hours prior to arrival and the same number of room nights or more are booked for a future stay.

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