This past month, Marriott International implemented a change to their previous cancellation policy of 24-hour notification to 48 hours. Guests will now be required to cancel prior to midnight, 48 hours in advance of the day of check-in to avoid a fee, which in most cases is the equivalent of one room night. The policy includes all Marriott and Starwood brands within the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, and Latin America, with the exception of MVW (Marriott Vacations Worldwide) and Design Hotels.
Marriot advised this “revision” was an effort to better serve guests seeking last-minute accommodations, although the impact to the business traveler could be significant.
For every rule, there is always at least one exception. Below is a listing of those published:
- Hotel bookings created prior to June 15th will retain their original cancellation policy.
- Limited exceptions will be made for Platinum members, possible weather-related disruptions,
and at the hotel’s discretion.
- Contracted corporate clients with their own cancellation policy will not see a change in 2017 for
those contracted hotels and rates, but they could see one in 2018.
- Group cancellation policies are based on the group reservation rules.
All travelers experiencing a delay will need to contact the property to ensure they will not be penalized.
As of the time of this edition, we have not heard any of the other major brands outwardly considering this change – but as in most cases, this could become the norm rather than the exception. TI continues to request 24-hour cancellation for all hotel RFPs. We suggest that if you manage your own RFP to negotiate this element into all of your hotel programs.