Hilton, Intercontinental (IHG), Best Western, Choice Hotels, Hyatt, Marriott, and Wyndham together handle the majority of all hotel bookings in the world, and specifically for American Travelers. In challenging times like during the current Coronavirus epidemic, the true face behind corporate leadership will show. Hotels are in business to make money, but should they take advantage of an impossible situation for them and their guest’s face.
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eTurboNews declares Hilton and IHG eTN Heroes for their customer-friendly response to Coronavirus
An unselfish and nongreedy policy for hotels is to refund non-refundable money to clients that have to cancel due to Coronavirus. eTurboNews looked at the policy in place and found Hilton and Intercontinental Hotels are the most responsible and customer friendly hospitality group. Marriott and Wyndham’s group, however, seemed to be primarily concerned about their own bottom line.
Here are the findings. eTurboNews welcomes comments, additions, and clarifications
Hilton, which operates brands that include DoubleTree, Hampton, and Embassy Suites in addition to its flagship hotels confirmed that all reservations — even those booked at an advance purchase discount and originally sold as non-cancellable — scheduled for arrival by April 30 can be changed with no fee or canceled for a full refund. Also, all new reservations with any Hilton hotel made now through April 30 for arrival at a future date can be changed or canceled without penalty. In both cases, changes or cancellations must be made at least 24 hours before scheduled check-in.
Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG)
Intercontinental, the owner of brands that include Holiday Inn, Kimpton, Candlewood Suites, and Crowne Plaza, is waiving cancellation fees on its hotels worldwide, for all stays scheduled for an arrival between March 9 and April 30.
Best Western Hotels
Best Western has no brand-wide coronavirus cancellation policy. Best Western is “a brand founded on the principles of compassion, kindness, and service. We have asked our hotels, each of which is independently owned and operated, to exercise flexibility and understanding when deciding cancellation requests.”
Choice, known mainly for discount chains like Econolodge and Comfort Inn, is allowing guests to cancel prepaid nonrefundable reservations that were made by March 10, for travel through April 30. Guests won’t get their money back, however. Instead, the company will give Choice Privileges rewards points, which can be redeemed for a future hotel stay. The exact amount of points depends on the value of the original nonrefundable reservation, and changes and cancellations must be made at least 48 hours before scheduled check-in.
Hyatt has made changes to its cancellation policy regarding prepaid “Advance Purchase Rate” reservations, which are normally categorized as nonrefundable and non-changeable. While Hyatt will still not give refunds for such reservations, the company is allowing guests with these bookings to cancel and receive 10,000 World of Hyatt rewards points, which can be used for a future hotel stay. The option applies only to reservations made by March 8, for arrivals now through June 30.
Marriott Hotels and Resorts
As of March 11, Marriott says it is waiving cancellation fees for hotel stays scheduled through March 31, but only for guests traveling to or from Italy, as well as nearly all of Asia, the Pacific region, and the Middle East. Marriott has many hotel brands under their group including the Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Westin, Courtyard, Residence Inn, and SpringHill Suites.
In the most recent statement from Wyndham, the company says: “Guests traveling to or from Greater China, South Korea or Italy with direct bookings for stays in any of our hotels through March 31 will have their cancellation or change penalties waived.” Wyndham is one of the world’s biggest hotel companies, operating chains such as Days Inn, Ramada, Super 8, Microtel, Travelodge, and the flagship Wyndham brand.
In the United States, top negotiators were unable to find a final agreement on a sweeping legislative package to address the economic fallout of the growing escalating coronavirus crisis tonight, pushing talks into Friday as they sought to close out a handful of outstanding issues. Hotels and airlines are among the victims of the virus outbreak.