Starwood Hotels joins Marriott and Hilton in setting a global cancellation policy. Starwood Hotels global cancellation policy is 6pm day before arrival hotel local time effective January 15, 2015.
Starwood Lurker on FlyerTalk states the change will impact about 35% of hotels worldwide that currently offer day of arrival cancellation without penalty.
Updates to the Starwood Cancellation Policy
Effective January 15, 2015, Starwood will implement a change to our room cancellation policy, which will be implemented at all Starwood hotels globally that currently offers a same-day-cancellation policy. After this change takes effect, guests must cancel a reservation as of 6:00 pm local time the day before arrival. This change will impact about 35% of our hotels, which currently allow for same day cancellation without penalty. The majority of Starwood hotels already have a cancellation policy of at least one day prior to arrival or greater.
The minimum room cancellation policy will apply to all new reservations made after January 15, 2015.
Starwood will be honoring any negotiated contractual rates. Reservations made under contracts will be governed by their negotiated terms.
FlyerTalk – January 8, 2015
The cancellation penalty amount is still a hotel decision at the local level. Some hotels charge one night’s room and tax and others may even charge the entire stay cost as a penalty for late cancellation.
Marriott International announced their cancellation without penalty policy change in October, making the time uniform at 11:59pm day before arrival for hotels in U.S, Canada, Caribbean, Central and South America effective January 1, 2015.
Hilton Worldwide announced its global cancellation policy in November, setting 11:59pm day before arrival as the latest time for cancellation without penalty effective January 1, 2015.
Loyalty Traveler – New Hilton Cancellation Policy starts January 2015 (Nov 10, 2014).
Elevator Summary of Hotel Cancellation Policies
This is the biggest move yet by hotels to move toward the airline model of nonrefundable fees. Of course, most guests will know to cancel day before arrival, but in case of travel mishaps you are pleading on a case-by-case basis for leniency in cancellation fees if travel woes keep you from reaching your hotel on the planned day of arrival. As frequent flyers know all too well, weather is the dominant factor in keeping you away from the city where you plan to stay in a hotel.
Cancellation fees in 2015 should help pay for those global free internet policies for 2015.