Posted by William Charles on June 16, 2017
Hotel Rewards

Published on June 16th, 2017 | by William Charles


You Now Have To Cancel Your Starwood/Marriott Reservations Two Days Before Check In

Marriott/Starwood properties have had new cancellation policies added for all bookings after June 15th. According to an official comment by Marriott (via Travel Skills) guests will be required to cancel their room reservation by midnight 48 hours prior to arrival. The previous policy was that guests were allowed to cancel their room the day before check in. Some Starwood/Marriott properties and bookings have more restrictive cancellation policies than this and they will remain unchanged, this change will also not be applied to Design Hotels. Marriott claims that the change was made so hotels could make rooms available to guests seeking last minute accommodations.

I’m not a fan of this change and I suspect it’s more to do with Marriott being able to use dynamic pricing and last minute booking websites/apps more aggressively without letting existing customers rebook than it is to do with allowing regular last minute bookings. That’s fine, it just means that I’m unlikely to book a SPG/Marriott property when I need that added flexibility (something I rarely actually use, but I like the piece of mind of).

Hat tip to Travel Skills

17 Responses to You Now Have To Cancel Your Starwood/Marriott Reservations Two Days Before Check In

  1. projectx says:

    Honestly I’m surprised most hotels don’t already have this type of policy. Many times when making a booking I find hotels allow cancellation up until 6:00pm on the day of arrival; Don’t get me wrong… I’m not complaining. But it does seem very generous.

    • bob says:

      yeah, but unless you have status, you can get screwed out of your room when times are busy. that’s one of the only true advantages of status – you get preference in an overbooking situation.

      it doesn’t happen as often as it does with airlines, so it’s often overlooked. but this “late cancellation” thing swings both ways

    • Yeah if your standard occupancy rate is 80% it doesn’t really matter if you have no shows though, especially when a generous cancellation policy can lead to a higher standard occupancy rate to begin with.

      I can understand having a more strict cancellation policy during peak periods where your occupancy rate is much higher though.

  2. scott says:

    Personally I love that you can cancel until 24 hours before arrival. When flying on Southwest they let you cancel up to the last minute. So if I have a trip that involves a lot of outdoor activities I can keep an eye on the weather forecast and cancel if it definitely looks like rain. This was especially useful when I was doing my run of visiting every baseball stadium. No sense in flying somewhere for a rainout.

  3. Tom says:

    Take away the competition, and the hotels will soon become more draconian in all of their policies just like the airlines…

    • WR says:

      To suggest that there is no competition in the hotel business is absurd. Even Marriot/SPG represents a small % of hotel capacity, not even counting airbnb and other options. Not allowing last minute cancellations is draconian? You clearly lack perspective.

      The previous policy was ridiculously generous and easily abused. It also indirectly raises prices by creating unfillable last minute supply, so I can see why they would change this. Some reasons for last minute cancellations might be covered by cc travel disruption insurance anyway.

      • Tom says:

        I’m not suggesting there is NO competition, give me a break, there is no need to immediately make such radical assumptions about what I said, I’m not an idiot. I was clearly referring to the merger of Marriott and SPG and the massively increased footprint. This move was clearly made as a direct result of the massive scale and power that Marriott how has in the market compared to competitors. They can get away with making changes like this if they are the most dominant player in the market, and this is certainly not the last negative change that we will see in the coming months/year.

        Also, the previous “policy” that you mentioned wasn’t really so much as policy as it was an established industry norm that is now likely to be broken now that the largest brand has made the change. Just like how Delta made their FF program revenue based, and nearly all of the other U.S. airlines followed suit.

  4. VK says:

    This is interesting. I made two bookings (15th June) at the same time. One of them indeed talks about the 2 day cancellation, but the other has the old one day cancellation.
    Also, as a Platinum I have cancelled upto 2-3 pm the day of check-in. I am not sure if this will have an impact to Platinum privileges.

  5. TheIronWill says:

    This does not seem to affect corporate rates. For a hotel I stay at consistently, the policy is free cancellation up until 6PM on the day of arrival.

    However, normal rate is 2 days.

  6. Paul says:

    Ugh what a crappy change to make. Come on Marriott/SPG, you’re better than this.

  7. Rob says:

    Yeah, see this is what has concerned me about the SPG/Marriott merger. Marriott’s management has this squeeze the orange mentality which is not consistent with the things that make the SPG program so good.

  8. Biggie F says:

    Just to say something nice about SPG in this circumstance … Earlier this year there was an East Coast snow that led to some canceled flights. Made a weekend trip to MSY impracticable. Flight cancellation took us within the one-day window for a two-night stay. Called SPG to cancel out so that we were not billed for the 2nd night. They said they would call property to see if they would let the first night slide, too. They did — the hotel even worked with us to get the money back on credit card after the automatic billing system hit us up for that first night.

  9. Prashant says:

    This kind of sucks, although I can’t recall the last time I actually cancelled at the last minute. I bet this will all change when the next recession hits and occupancy rates drop.

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