In late 2015 Hilton announced that it would be unrolling a new fee—$50 to cancel a room reservation. But, there is a simple way to become exempt from that rule.
Updated: February 29, 2016 While Hilton is no longer running this trial, Skift reports that Hilton will continue to test different fees and pricing structures throughout 2016. This includes testing a system that will allow customers to choose the amount of flexibility they want in terms of cancellation.
Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said, “You’ll see us start to do later this year to start to move customers down that journey of recognizing, ‘yeah, if you want total flexibility, there’s a price for that. And if you want a better price, you’re going to have less flexibility.’”
Though the hotel chain has made it clear they’re beta-testing the cancellation fee in only a small sampling of properties, members of the brand’s loyalty program, Hilton HHonors, don’t have to deal with the fee yet. (This, of course, could totally change, but the backlash would most likely be swift and severe.) At least it doesn’t cost anything to sign up for a Hilton HHonors membership.
Nonetheless it’s aggravating that they’re going against the industry standard. Hotels are typically pretty lax about cancellations, usually giving travelers until the day before to bail for good.
Here’s the policy on the new charge, according to Skift:
The test is a $50 charge when a reservation is cancelled any time after booking; however, if a cancellation is made after 11:59 p.m. the night before the stay begins, then the current policy of a charge of one night’s room rate and tax will still be in effect for all guests.
I guess too many people have caught on to the fact it’s possible to rebook a hotel reservation and then cancel it ad infinitum. Oops.
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