Hyatt Introduces Strict New Cancelation Policy, Exempts Elites

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.

Grand Hyatt Chengdu

Bottom line

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.


  1. lucky – you said each hotel can make their own cancellation policy if they want so do they have to adapt to this new rule or can they continue doing business as usual?

  2. Lucky,

    Make sure you read the fine print of the release:

    “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.”

    Note the last sentence – it will not apply when a hotel’s cancellation policy exceeds 48 hours. Rest assured, Hyatt hotels that currently have a 48 hour cancellation policy will go to 60 hours or something.

  3. Lucky,
    Long time reader, first time commenting. I had a good experience with Marriott earlier this month when a friendly Rewards customer service guy put 40,000 points, which I had used to book Beverly Hills Marriott, back in my account when I called to cancel only about 12 hours before arrival (despite fact that web site said points would be forfeited if I canceled within 24 hours). I also noticed on IHG you can book with a 24 cancellation policy but pay more. I don’t seem to be getting many IHG points for upcoming 4 night stay at Intercontinental in San Francisco, like 11,000 or so and one night at nice Intercontinental in major city is 60,000. I believe 4 nights at a Hyatt or Marriott would get me much closer to a free night, right?

  4. Hyatt is desperately scratching and clawing to keep WOH loyalists around…they’ve gutted so much that they’re trying to put lipstick on a pig now (announcing that elites are exempt from this while we’re still just as restricted as before in most cases). There’s little else they can do without admitting WOH is a complete failure and that they’re losing loyalty because of it.

  5. “I don’t understand. If hotels can already set their own policies, what is the effect of this change?”

    Some Hyatt hotels are company owned – some are franchised. Franchised hotels can set their own.

  6. “You know the economy is too good when hotels and airlines feel they can implement these ultra-restrictive policies on travelers. A total sign that a recession can’t be too far away.”

    Unlike in past hotel cycles, developers have not overbuilt across the country (a few exceptions exist). I think we’re at least a year away from a recession – maybe a lot longer.

  7. Let’s face it much of this is because of the Marriott SPG merger
    They are doing just what the legacy carriers are doing raping the traveling public wherever they can
    Expect more in Monkey see Monkey do land

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