The things we’re asked to do (or not do), or told we can/cannot do, or that are inflicted upon us because of coronavirus are very fluid. So one day airlines could give vouchers, then they had to give us refunds upon request, and the next day they’re trying hard to go back to vouchers.
Hotels have also been making changes on the fly in terms of cancellations. Marriott is a prime example, with various changes, both big and small, that have been happening since late February. And they just made another adjustment, although this one is very small and probably only affects a small percentage of their guests.
As of April 17, 2020, Marriott’s cancellation policy has been updated and currently reads:
Our Cancellation Policy:
In response to changing marketplace conditions, Marriott International is committed to ensuring our customers experience flexibility during these challenging times.
For all Marriott International hotels world-wide, we are implementing the following policies:
- For guests with existing reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, we will allow full changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival,* as long as the change or cancellation is made by June 30, 2020. Please note that any changes to existing reservations will be subject to availability and any rate differences.
- For guests making new reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates, between today and June 30, 2020, we will allow the reservation to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival date.* Please note that changes to the reservation will be subject to availability and any rate differences.
Please note that this policy does not apply to travel associated with a Group booking. For guests with Group reservations (e.g., for meetings, events or conferences), please review the booking rate rules and contact the group organizer for more information.
- Some exclusions may apply. May exclude periods with special event restrictions or peak demand weeks. Please refer to the property’s Rate Details for applicable terms or exceptions, if any, when booking or changing reservations.
- Individual (transient) guestroom reservation refunds of any kind (e.g., cash or credit voucher) may take up to 90 days from the date of cancellation to be processed. The form and timing of refund may be subject to applicable laws where each hotel is located.
- Design Hotels and Homes & Villas by Marriott International (HVMI) are excluded from this policy. HVMI-specific cancellation guidance is available here.
- Marriott Vacations Worldwide (e.g., Marriott, Sheraton and Westin Vacation Ownership resorts) is included in this policy for transient reservations only. For owner occupancy reservations, please visit http://hub.vacationclub.com.
- For group organizer questions on terms and conditions of group contracts, please contact the hotel.
These policies are nearly identical to the next-most-recent update they published on April 6th. The only differences are:
- The italicized part about Group reservations (that was previously its own bullet and read, “Guests who booked rooms into a Group block using a third-party channel (e.g., online travel agents, meeting planners or other third-party travel professionals) are advised to contact the relevant third party for information on the third party’s policies. If a third party cancels the event, it is the third party’s responsibility to cancel the individual reservations made on each guest’s behalf.).” You still have to contact the third party but they’ve removed the part about anything being the third party’s responsibility.
- They used to have a bullet about pre-existing group blocks (“For individual reservations booked into a pre-existing group block, please refer to cancellation terms quoted at the time of reservation. For more information, please contact the group organizer or the hotel.”), which is now gone.
Marriott’s past updates about the coronavirus-related cancellation policies include:
- February 28: Covered mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan. Also: “We are now also waiving cancellation fees for guests with reservations at our hotels in South Korea, Japan and Italy for hotel stays through March 15, 2020. Additionally, we will waive cancellation fees for guests in mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Italy traveling outbound to other Marriott destinations globally for hotel stays through March 15, 2020.”
- March 11: Cancelation fees were now waived through March 31, 2020, and included Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, French Polynesia, Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Italy, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Philippines, Singapore, India, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Somalia, Vietnam, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Egypt.
- March 30 is when the policy we see now started – worldwide cancellations through June 30th, promise of waived cancellation fees for new reservations through June 30th, etc., and the first version of “Imporant Information.”
As time goes on, Marriott and all the other hotel brands will undoubtedly change their cancellation policies again and again, in both big and small ways. Just another “joy” in living in the age of coronavirus.
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary