Hyatt the latest to adopt stricter cancellation policy

Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Photo credit: Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Last-minute hotel cancellations are going the way of the dodo and MySpace as companies adjust their cancellation policies. Hyatt Hotels Corporation is the latest hotel company limiting the cancellation period on guest reservations.

As of Jan. 1 of this year, guests who cancel with less than 48 hours of advance notice will now be charged for the cost of one night’s stay. This rule applies to all bookings made within 2018.

An exemption exists for members of Hyatt’s loyalty program. World of Hyatt Explorist members, Globalist members and Lifetime Globalist members will retain the ability to cancel their stay 24 hours in advance at hotels with 48-hour cancellation windows. This feature is one more method used by hotel companies to bolster loyalty member signups and contributes to their push for direct bookings.

Both Marriott and Hilton ended their 24-hour cancellation policies last year after previously cutting the cancellation window in 2014. In fact, some Hilton hotels require 72-hour advance notice on cancellations. InterContinental Hotels Group also made changes to its cancellation policy last year, standardizing its 24-hour window across most brands.

Hyatt reasons the change in policy is necessary to free rooms from the grasp of no-shows, creating more opportunities for reliable bookings and opening up its rooms inventory to earn more guaranteed revenue. The change benefits business travelers, who tend to book at the last minute and make up a large share of Hyatt’s business.