This year we’ve seen Hilton, IHG, and Marriott roll out stricter cancelation policies. This applies to their most flexible rates, and means that rather than canceling the day of arrival or a day prior, you now have to cancel two or three days before arrival. Clearly hotels see this as a way of maximizing revenue, since there can be a cost to last minute cancelations, given how tough it can be to resell rooms within 24 hours.
Well, it looks like there’s about to be another hotel group changing their cancelation policy. For reservations made as of January 1, 2018, Hyatt will require flexible rates to be canceled at least 48 hours in advance to avoid a cancelation fee. However, individual hotels will continue to have the choice of setting their own cancelation policies, so you’ll want to look at the exact hotel to see what their policy is.
Unlike some of the hotel groups that have made negative changes to their cancelation policies, there’s a silver lining for Hyatt. Even when this policy is implemented, World of Hyatt Explorist and Globalist members will be able to cancel up to 24 hours before arrival when the hotel’s cancelation policy is 48 hours. This will apply to all hotels excluding Hyatt Residence Club resorts, Miraval resorts, and M life resort destinations. This of course excludes pre-paid and non-refundable rates, as well as hotels with a cancelation policy that exceeds 48 hours.
In many ways this is actually a net positive. For example, many Hyatt hotels (including some in New York) already require you to cancel 48 hours in advance, so World of Hyatt Explorist and Globalist members will be better off than before at those hotels.
Hyatt is matching the competition and making their cancelation policy stricter, though on the plus side they’re adding an exception for mid and top tier elites. That’s a very nice exception for them to make, and as an elite member means they will still have one of the better cancelation policies out there.