New Hilton Cancellation Policy starts January 2015

This morning I cancelled my Hilton reservation for a DoubleTree hotel tonight. My cancellation policy for the booking was 4pm today with no penalty. If this were January 10, 2015 instead of November 10, 2014, my same situation would have cost me $122.

New Hilton Cancellation Global Policy starts January 2015

Hilton is changing its global cancellation policy on January 1, 2015. Reservation cancellation guidelines will have a minimum of 11:59 p.m. local hotel time the day prior to arrival, and you will be required to provide a credit card at the time of booking.

The rationale given is “We’re making this change so that we can provide you with a more consistent booking process and make more rooms available for when you need last minute travel accommodations.”

This means no more day of arrival cancellation policies. Canceled flight or missed morning connection that keeps you from reaching the city where your Hilton reservation is booked will mean you pay for the hotel room anyway.

As I plan hotel stays for trips, their new cancellation policy could place Hilton behind other hotel chains with more lenient cancellation policies.

I am a big fan of same day cancellation with no penalty for hotel bookings. Hopefully this cancellation policy is not a trendsetter among the major hotel chains.

11:59pm day before arrival cancellation is only a minimum.

Of course, this updated Hilton cancellation policy only sets a minimum standard. Some hotels, especially resort properties, may still have 2 or 3 days, and even 7 or 14 days before arrival policies for cancellation with no penalty.

Source: FlyerTalk

Hilton Chicago sign

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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  1. What about calling the hotel and moving the reservation to the next week? Then cancel? I read about this work around (on your blog!) several years ago, but maybe that loophole is now closed?



  2. PedroNY – I don’t remember writing anything like that on my blog. Then again, my memory is not great. I used to know that Alaska had no miles purchase limit, but I forgot about that when I posted about buying Alaska miles today.

    Anyway, I don’t see how that would work. Once the cancellation penalty has passed, you are charged.

    Also, as I saw on One Mile at a Time, Barb DeLollis had a Marriott exclusive last month stating Marriott is implementing the same 11:59pm day before arrival cancellation policy.

    Apparently this is the new trend.

  3. From an inventory management perspective, this makes complete sense.

    “..make more rooms available for when you need last minute travel accommodations..” It means that if someone doesn’t need the room, they better cancel it early. Imagine a hotel fully booked – a guest who does not have a prior booking arrives at 3 pm and asks for a room only to be refused – and then 2 folks cancel at 3.30 pm. Granted this might not be an everyday scenario, but it would happen once in a while. Results in lost revenue for the hotel.

    Not saying that this trend is good – just saying that it makes complete sense from their business perspective.

  4. This is worse than the Marriott move, as for Hilton, it is the new minimum, whereas Marriott are introducing it as a ‘standard’. So more chance of a win with Marriott as hotels that had +24hr deadlines are now better

  5. Just book away from them. Once they lose enough advance bookings which they will unless the other major chains like Marriott collude with them, they will come back to day of cancellation like they continue to give their big corporate customers. We saw this with the car rental companies a few years ago.

    Hilton has the most properties but otherwise they are not competitive on this or their HHonors program so its time for folks to get a status match and move on. I personally went from Diamond to Starwood Platinum and have not looked back since.

    Hilton has been cheapening everything since they got bought out by a private equity firm a few years back. I am surprised a California-ista like you doesn’t acknowledge this and send them to their just reward of irrelevance. I honestly cannot understand why anyone frequents their program anymore.

  6. @Mike – I acknowledged the changes to Hilton HHonors years ago. 2014 is the first year I have stayed at Hilton brand hotels in many years. My stay this week at Hampton Inn Denver Downtown was a test of the Hilton Best Rate Guarantee program and the best deal I found for a Denver hotel downtown.

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