Thanks to the OutBreak of the CoronaVirus that people travel plans have been impacted. It may be due to Government policy that doesn’t allow you to travel or self assesed travel risk that you might want to avoid traveling in affected regions or even airline cancellation.
- This primarily applies to those who booked non-refundable rates, which normally can’t be canceled anytime after booking
- However, there are also plenty of hotels (especially secluded resorts) where the most flexible cancelation policy doesn’t allow you to get a refund within 30 days, or even within 60 days
Cancelation policies for major hotel groups
Of the major global hotel groups, two are being most generous:
- Hilton is allowing all bookings, even non-refundable ones, to be canceled; this is valid for stays through April 30, 2020, when canceling at least 24 hours before scheduled arrival
- IHG is allowing all bookings, even non-refundable ones, to be canceled, for stays through April 30, 2020
As far as other hotel groups go:
- Hyatt is waiving cancelation fees in certain regions, and is offering 10K points to anyone who wants to cancel a non-refundable reservation through June 30, 2020 (though if you choose that option you don’t get a refund)
- Marriott is waiving cancelation fees in certain regions
Travel Insurance is Must
It is essential at current time to buy travel insurance which we usually avoid purchasing but is offered while buying ever airline ticket. If not traveling by air, you can always purchase one from various companies. Most of them are offering purchase online. May of the banks are offering insurance on their app.
CoronaVirus is evolving Situation
The best laid plans can change with directive or certain cause/effect in place. I would request everyone to wait. If you are not getting refund for your hotel/flight, wait for few days. The situation might drastically change in your favor.
This was recently true with airlines as well — at first they didn’t waive change fees on previously booked tickets, and then they did. Now global hotel chains are starting to allow cancelations of non-refundable bookings as well, which they didn’t at first.