New 48-72hr cancellation policy at Marriott


Beginning today, Marriott/SPG has begun a new cancellation policy of 48-72 hours prior to arrival, meaning that reservations must be cancelled by midnight hotel time 2 or 3 days prior to arrival.

A one-night stay at a Marriott in New York next weekend
A 4-night booking at the JW Marriott in San Francisco’s Union Square next month

Is it worldwide?

Of note, while this change seems to affect all North American Marriott and SPG properties, I noticed that the first couple of properties I checked in Paris appear to still have 1-day-before-arrival policies.

A 4-night stay in July at a Marriott property in Paris

I found the same to be the case at a handful of properties that I checked in Asia as well. At this point, the change seems to affect North American properties only — though one would have to wonder how long that will last.

Applies to Award Stays Also

This is unfortunately not limited to paid stays — the same policy seems to apply to award stays. Here is a Courtyard near Newark Airport.

Bottom Line

Whether chain-wide or just most of Marriott/SPG, this new policy stinks. It means that you will have until midnight two or three days prior to check-in to cancel your reservation. While I understand that Marriott wants to have heads in beads, this extended cancellation policy seems greedy. I imagine that the vast majority of its customers are businesspeople whose plans can and do change — and a requirement to make them pay for a room they can’t use (and that Marriott will likely sell again at a higher rate) when that happens seems like an unnecessary gouge. I am a bit more sympathetic to resort properties where a vacationer is less likely to pop in at the last minute — but at a major airport where there will almost surely be last-minute stranded travelers, this new cancellation policy feels unnecessary.

Note that the policy should not be retroactive — according to Marriott, this policy takes effect for reservations made on or after today. Still, I’d take screen shots of any existing reservation cancellation policies lest the hotel try to pull a fast one with a future “website update”.

Will this new extended policy be a factor when you are choosing your next hotel? Let us know in the comments.

H/T: Travel Skills

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