Marriott Changes Policy, Drops Free Same-Day Cancellations
If you're not sure of your travel plans, it's nice to have the option to make a cancellable hotel booking (or two). That way, you have a place to stay if you need it — without having to pay last-minute booking rates — but you aren't stuck paying for the room if plans change. Just next Saturday, I've got hotels booked for three different cities — as I'm not sure which city I'll end up in. Thankfully, each of these hotels allows cancellations up to 6pm the day of.
Well, it seems that hotels are getting sick of dealing with these last-minute cancellations. Marriott silently changed its cancellation policy yesterday. Effective yesterday, new bookings will now have at least a 48-hour cancellation policy — with some hotels now requiring 72 hours.
Via View From The Wing, we first heard about this change from Twitter user @TravelJono:
We reached out to Marriott to confirm that there has been a policy change. A Marriott spokesperson responded confirming it and went into detail about where and why the new policy is going into effect:
Marriott International is implementing a cancellation policy at hotels in the Americas including the United States, Canada, Caribbean and Latin America, across all brands except for Design Hotels. The revised policy allows us to make rooms available to guests that would have otherwise gone unoccupied due to a last-minute cancellation.
The change: While cancellation policies vary by hotel, hotels whose policy is to allow guests to cancel their room reservations on the day before arrival without incurring a fee are faced with a significant number of unsold rooms due to last minute cancellations. Guests will now be required to cancel their room reservation by midnight 48 hours prior to arrival to avoid a fee. This will allow hotels a better chance to make the rooms available to guests seeking last minute accommodations.
This is a huge bummer for those of us who rely on these last-minute cancellations. However, it looks like this may mean more Marriott availability for last-minute travels. Hopefully these 48-72 hour cancellations will mean more — not less — cheap Marriott options on TPG favorite Hotel Tonight.
H/T: View From The Wing