IHG the Latest Chain to Restrict Its Cancellation Policy
IHG is following in the footsteps of other hotel chains and changing its cancellation policy. Beginning August 4, 2017, the chain is changing its cancellation policy for hotels in the US from at least before 6:00pm on the day of check-in to at least 24 hours in advance.
The chain implemented the policy late last month for its European properties, and it expects to have the 24-hour cancellation policy in effect at all of its properties in Asia, the Middle East and Africa by the end of September. The only country that's going to be exempt from the new 24-hour policy is China. Kimpton Hotels, which was acquired by IHG in 2014 but still remains fairly independent, will retain its 48-hour cancellation policy.
Since June, both Hilton and Marriott (and therefore SPG) have switched their cancellation policies from 24 hours to 48 hours. So while IHG's new policy isn't quite as restrictive as its competitors, it's surely a downgrade for travelers used to staying at IHG properties and being able to take advantage of its generous cancellation policy.
As it stands now, here are the cancellation policies for some of the major hotel chains in the US. (Note that some properties have more restrictive policies than others so it would be a good idea to check the terms for an upcoming stay.):
- Hilton — 48 hours
- Hyatt — 24-48 hours, depending on the property
- IHG — 24 hours
- Kimpton — 48 hours
- Marriott — 48 hours
- Starwood — 48 hours
It's interesting to see more and more hotel chains jump on the bandwagon of increasing their cancellation time frames. This trend is generally bad news for travelers, especially business travelers whose plans tend to change quite often. As last-minute booking apps like HotelTonight have become increasingly popular, travelers have been more inclined to cancel their existing reservations at the last minute and book with the less expensive option at no cost to them. These smaller cancellation windows are likely hotels' way to try to deter that practice.
H/T: The Gate