Hotel companies rapidly transformed their operations last year: temporarily closing certain hotels, piloting new cleaning technologies like UV disinfection, and implementing broad health and safety procedures.
They also relaxed most rebooking and cancellation fees — often allowing any reservation to be cancelled or changed without penalty up to 24 hours before arrival.
In 2021 some international hotel companies have continued flexible rebooking and cancellation, while others have returned to standard, pre-COVID cancellation policies.
We summarize the major global hotel companies and their current cancellation and rebooking policies below.
Major brands include: Fairmont, Ibis, Novotel, Mercure, Orient-Express, Swissotel
If you book a fully refundable or flexible rate directly with Accor, you may cancel or change your booking without penalty on Accor’s website.
For hotel stays through 30 June 2021, If you book a non-flexible rate directly with Accor, you may change the date of your reservation without fees or request credit for the stay (at the same hotel to be used with 18 months).
Accor says that third parties such as online booking web sites like Expedia are required to follow the Accor cancellation policy as outline above.
Airbnb provides vacation rentals under its own brand, with Plus and Luxe options.
As Airbnb doesn’t manage its rentals directly — cancellations policies are chosen and set by the host of the particular vacation rental. Be sure to check your listing’s cancellation rules before booking.
Reservations follow the listing’s usual cancellation rules, though exceptions are considered if your travel plans are cancelled due to Covid-19.
Airbnb says you may be shown options for an extenuating circumstances travel credit or asking your host for a full refund, but this depends on your reservation and arrival dates.
Major brands include: Cambria, Comfort, MainStay Suites
Choice Hotels did offer flexibility on reservations for stays through September 30, 2020 but has since returned to standard cancellation and rebooking as outlined by each individual hotels.
Major brands include: Conrad, Embassy Suites, Hampton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf-Astoria
As of 2021, Hilton’s family of hotels offers flexible rates at many properties — with free changes / cancellations 24 hours before arrival. However, it’s important to check with your specific hotel and rate you’re booking to be certain.
We surveyed Hilton hotel rates over multiple dates in Chicago; Marietta, GA; London, UK, and Singapore. We found the cheapest rate could be changed or cancelled within 24 hours of arrival for the hotels in Chicago, Marietta, and London. The Singapore hotel offered a cheaper rate that could only be cancelled without penalty within 72 hours of arrival. So again, check with your specific hotel before booking. Cancellation flexibility remains important to many travelers as the travel plans may change given the ever-evolving public health situation.
Major brands include: Andaz, Hyatt Regency, Joie de Vivre Hotels, Park Hyatt
For reservations with check-in dates through July 31, 2021, bookings can be cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival (with some limited exceptions as stated by Hyatt).
If your reservation communicates or contains a different cancellation or refund policy at the time of booking, that cancellation policy applies.
Major brands include: Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Kimpton Hotels & Resorts
IHG offers flexibility via its Best Flexible Rate (which can be cancelled or changed 24 hours in advance and in certain cases up to 6pm on the day of check-in) or its its Book Now, Pay Later rate, which can be cancelled without fees, up to 3 days before arrival.
For bookings made through an online travel agencies like Expedia or Agoda or via travel agents / advisors, IHG requests guests contact the booking agent directly and that reservations are subject to the agency’s terms and conditions.
Major brands include: Aloft, Edition, Fairfield, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton, St. Regis, Westin
Marriott has continued its rebooking and cancellation flexibility through the end of March 2021.
New reservations made after July 6, 2020 for arrival dates through March 31, 2021 can be changed or cancelled without fees, as long as Marriott is notified up to 24 hours before arrival. Some exclusions apply, including pre-paid rates which are subject to the rate’s stated terms and conditions.
New reservations for arrival dates after March 31, 2021 are subject to individual hotel rebooking and cancellation rules.
For full cancellation information, please see Marriott’s web site.
Radisson Hotel Group
Major brands include: Country Inn & Suites, Radisson, Park Inn, Park Plaza
For stays through the end of 2021 in any Radission Hotel Group property in Europe, Middle East, Africa, India, and Asia Pacific: Radisson advises that its most flexible rates allow cancellation or changes for no fees up to 24 hours before arrival. Other rates are subject to the stated terms and conditions.
For stays through the end of 2021 in any Radisson Hotel Group property in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America: reservations in 2021 are subject to the individual hotels’s cancellation policy at the time of making the booking.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Major brands include: AmericInn, Baymont, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, La Quinta, Ramada, Travelodge, Wyndham
For new direct bookings (i.e.: not made with a travel agent or on Expedia or Booking.com) with arrival dates after June 30, 2020: Wyndham advises guests to check the “Additional Rate Details” link on its Rooms & Rates page or the “Cancellation & Rate Details” link on its Booking page for cancellation details.
While some rates have flexible cancellation policies, there are others which cannot be cancelled.
Travelers who are prohibited from traveling by law to their booked hotel will have cancellation or change fees waived.
Is there a hotel brand you’d like Safe Travel Guide to cover? Let us know.