In recent years, the airline industry has generated billions in revenue by charging fees on top of base fares. Now the hotel industry seems to be having the same idea.
Two worldwide hotel companies, Marriott and Hilton, recently announced that they would increase their fee revenue by tightening rules on last-minute reservation cancellations. Business travelers have long been accustomed to being able to cancel a reservation at many hotels, without charge, as late as 6 p.m. on the day of arrival.
Effective Jan. 1, those days are gone at the two chains. The companies say that if you don’t cancel your reservation by the day before your scheduled arrival, you’ll be charged a penalty of one night’s room rate.
“We’re making this change so we can provide you with a more consistent booking process and make more rooms available for when you need last-minute travel accommodations,” Hilton said in a statement. Marriott did not respond to requests for comment.
Even hotels within large chains have varying cancellation policies, and the changes planned by Marriott and Hilton address only those last-minute cancellation rules. Policies won’t change for hotels that already have cancellation policies requiring a two-day, four-day or even longer advance notice. “Some hotels have more restrictive policies in place, so please refer to your individual conformations to verify their policy,” Hilton said.