Marriott led the charge over the summer with new stricter 48 and 72 hour advance cancellation rules requiring a cash penalty if your plans change closer in. If your flight is cancelled and you don’t take a trip, the airline’s operation has penalized you and so will the hotel. It’s not that long as that most non-prepaid rooms could be cancelled up to 6 p.m. day of check-in.
Other chains quickly followed Marriott’s lead, with Hilton even saying they’d like to impose 7 day cancellation policies and charge a premium for more flexibility. Ancillary fees — and even inflexible ‘basic economy rates’ — come to hotels
Conrad Koh Samui
Hyatt has announced today that they’re falling in light with the industry trend. However they’re exempting top tier Globalists and also mid-tier Explorists from this change. In that way they’re more generous than their competitors.
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.
Worth noting as mentioned here that hotels with stricter cancellation policies than 48 hours (I was recently shocked by the 90 day policy at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts) don’t waive those policies for Explorist and Globalist members.
Park Hyatt Sydney
We’ll ultimately see very soon what 2018 corporate rate contracts look like, whether those are falling in line with new cancel policies or if it’s just independent travelers that are subject to new rules.
The stricter the cancellation policy of course the greater the incentive just to book later and later unless you absolutely have to be in one specific hotel on a given stay. In a city with many options and outside of events like the Computer Electronics Show or the Superbowl it’s almost always possible to find a room last minute — indeed discounting spoiling inventory has been the business model of several online booking sites.