Negative Change Coming to Hilton Hotels

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Negative Change Coming to Hilton Hotels

Million Mile SecretsNegative Change Coming to Hilton HotelsMillion Mile Secrets Team

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If you find yourself changing travel plans last-minute, take a look at this latest change from Hilton!

Via One Mile at a Time, Hilton is making it cancellation policy more strict.  Starting July 31, 2017, travelers who book the flexible rate will need to cancel their reservation between 48 and 72 hours before check-in to avoid cancellation fees!

Hilton Cancellation Policy Change
Lots of Hilton Hotels Will Soon Have Much Stricter Cancellation Policies

I’ll tell you what we know.

Hilton Cancellation Policy Change

Link:   Hilton Hotels

Hilton is tightening up its cancellation policies starting July 31, 2017!  You’ll soon have to cancel your hotel stay between 48 and 72 hours before check-in.

Folks pay a higher price for the convenience of cancelling their plans last-minute.  But now, that higher price will give you less freedom!

Many Hilton hotels currently have a very lenient cancellation policy.  For example, if you’re staying at the Hampton Inn Dayton, you’ll receive a full refund as long as you cancel by 6:00 pm the day of your stay.

Hilton Cancellation Policy Change
Some Hilton Hotels Have a Very Generous Cancellation Policy

However, if you book a stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Monica, you already need to cancel 48 hours in advance.

Hilton Cancellation Policy Change
Other Hilton Hotels Already Have a Strict Cancellation Policy

As of now, Hilton cancellation policies are the same for both cash and award stays.

Last month, Marriott tightened up their cancellation policies.  So I took a quick look at a few other hotel chains and their cancellation policies.  And it turns out they aren’t much better!

Lots of hotels within each chain had different policies, but here’s what I found to be generally true:

  • Choice – As strict as 4:00 pm the day before arrival
  • Hyatt – As strict as 72 hours before arrival
  • IHG – As strict as 6:00 pm the day before your stay
  • Marriott – As strict as 3 days before arrival date
  • Starwood – As strict as 2 days before your arrival date (various hours)
  • Wyndham – As strict as 8 days before check-in for paid stays, and 24 hours before check-in for award nights

All cancellation policies (except Wyndham) are the same whether you’re booking refundable paid nights or award nights.

I found Choice, IHG, and Wyndham hotels to consistently be the most lenient, with lots of the hotels allowing folks to cancel their stay the day of arrival.  Generally, you’ll see a more rigid cancellation policy when you’re booking a more expensive hotel.

Always check the cancellation policy of the specific hotel you’re staying at to avoid any last-minute surprises!

What Does This Mean?

This new Hilton cancellation policy is only for hotels managed by Hilton.  Other independent or franchised hotels do NOT have to adopt this new policy.

Even so, it looks like hotel cancellation policies across the board are becoming more strict.  And as Hilton follows along, we might see more flexible hotel chains jump on the bandwagon, too!

If your travel plans are prone to last-minute changes, I recommend booking hotels with more forgiving cancellation policies, like Choice and IHG.

Bottom Line

Lousy news for folks who book flexible hotel rates for the freedom to change plans at the last minute!

Starting July 31, 2017, Hilton-managed hotels will have a more strict cancellation policy.  You’ll have to cancel your hotel room between 48 and 72 hours of check-in, depending on the hotel.

If your travel plans aren’t set in stone, consider staying at a hotel chain with a better cancellation policy, like Choice or IHG!

Will these new rules make you switch stays from Hilton to other chains?

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Please cancel my reservation #3532779347 for 4 nights starting from 27th March at the London Hilton Kensington hotel. I have tried to cancel it yesterday because I have high fever and I cancelled trip.
Best regards.

I have made reservation for 4 nights at the London Hilton Kensington starting from 27th March and I would like to cancel

I will be less likely to stay with Hilton hotels based on their strict policy. Requiring money up-front and not offering insurance or any leniency, makes them less attractive. How do you call your customers “HONOR” members but then demand money up front a limit their ability to modify their reservation without incurring fees. I will be Airbnb it forward…thanks!

I have been a Hilton Honors member for years and recently stayed at one of their hotels. It is concerning. Sounds like another way to separate you and your money. Membership has lost it privilege. #stealing

As someone who loves last minute travel I don’t think that this will impact last minute travellers very much. I’ve found that within last few weeks of booking that the room rates are fairly stable unless a big event is in town.

The key with last minute travel at Hilton properties is to not book until your plans are set. This is easily done via the app, especially if you’re hilton diamond and have guaranteed room with 48 hrs notice. I’ve done this with a few popular tourist destinations, most recently Washington DC, and booked my hotel the day of arriving in DC and figuring out what part of the city I preferred.

This change may impact business travellers more than expected though if the change in cancellation policy also applies to shortening stays. I have encountered these types of problems when checking out earlier than the original reservation. I don’t think there’s been any change in policy but might be something to watch for in the future.

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