Marriott International's 24-hour cancellation policy is coming to an end. The company is mandating 48-hour notice on all future cancelled reservations, or guests will be on the hook for a fee equal to one night’s stay.
The company’s cancellation policy has been toyed with over the last few years, with hotels gradually stepping away from their previously forgiving cancellation policies in favor of something more in line with the airline industry.
In 2014, Marriott and Hilton shortened their cancellation policy to 24 hours. At that time Hilton claimed the tighter cancellation window was being instituted in order to provide a more consistent booking process for both guests and hotel operators, and this time around Marriott is justifying the new rules in a similar fashion.
A release from Marriott stated that the the policy will assist travelers looking for last-minute reservations by freeing up rooms that guests don’t plan on using at an earlier period in time, and added that the 24-hour cancellation window left many hotels with “a significant number of unsold rooms” thanks to last-minute cancellations.
“Guests will now be required to cancel their room reservation by midnight 48 hours prior to arrival in order to avoid a fee," Marriott International said in a statement. The new policy will affect hotels in the United States, Canada, Caribbean and Latin America, though it will not apply to the independently owned Design Hotels or Marriott Vacation Worldwide properties.
However, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide's brands, Marriott’s biggest and newest buy, will be impacted.
Reservations made before June 15 will be unaffected by the new rules, so travelers who made reservations prior to that date will still have the ability to cancel their stay 24 hours beforehand.
Allison Sitch, a spokesperson for Marriott, said in a statement that a number of Marriott hotels were already operating with 48- or 72-hour cancellation policies, and in some cases those hotels with 48-hour policies will be switching to 72-hour policies, with 72-hour cancellation policies remaining unchanged.