FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Confusing Hotel Cancellation Policy Statement
Old Jan 7, 18, 9:39 am
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,271
Originally Posted by tatterdema View Post
This is just downright poor advice. Many (most) hotels will allow you one change out of the goodness of their heart, and put in comments that it is now non cancellable. You may have gotten lucky a few times, but will get stung eventually if you keep this up. If you do it more than a couple times, your account will probably be flagged. Same thing with No Shows. Do it once or twice, you can probably sweet talk your way out of being charged, eventually they will catch on that you are a low life. Also, all third party websites will allow you to cancel if you contact the hotel and they allow the cancellation without billing the OTA.

As far as that hotel insider thing, hahahahaha. Someone telling you how to eat your mini bar and not pay, watch movies and not pay, nice! Same guy that put out Heads in Beds, a really horrible book that makes the entire industry look bad. smh. Do you read and follow advice on how not to pay for your meals in restaurants also?

Nowhere did I suggest someone make a habit of cancelling reservations tatterdema. As I read it, the question is, 'what IF I have to cancel'. Not, how can I cancel repeatedly? Try to stay on topic.

As it happens, I personally do not accept anything other than a '6 pm.' cancellation policy when I book with a hotel. I recently booked 2 rooms for a week at a hotel in Switzerland and they attempted a 'non-refundable, non-cancelable' condition. I simply told them I could not accept that condition and they removed it almost faster than I could tell them I wouldn't accept it. The fact is that sometimes things happen over which someone has no control and that do mean they need to cancel a reservation. In those instances, the question is do I feel I have a legitimate reason to to cancel? You write as if someone just decides on a whim to make a reservation and then at a later date decides on a whim to cancel it.

If and it is a big IF as I generally would not do so, I made a reservation with a hotel that insisted on a 72 hour cancellation, I would have no hesitation to change the reservation up until 6pm local time on the date of the reservation and then cancel the later booking. I consider a 72 hour cancellation policy unreasonable on the hotel's part. Therefore I would change and then cancel with a clear conscience. Do you understand what I am saying tatterdema? Using terms like 'low life' to suggest someone is trying to do something that is somehow unconscionable is an assumption you are making. Perhaps you think in the direction of unconscionable behaviour, I don't. It is not that long ago that the standard for a cancellation without penalty was 6pm on the day of the reservation. That is the standard I adhere to. Perhaps you are too young to remember when all hotels routinely accepted a cancellation up till 6 pm on the day.

You are incorrect is saying ALL third party sites will allow you to cancel without payment. Some only take a booking for which you prepay the third party, not the hotel, and as your contract is then with the third party, not the hotel, it has nothing to do with the hotel as to whether you can cancel/change without penalty or not.

Some people see a 'policy' as if it were a 'law'. A policy is simply a guideline which can be modified at will by whoever the policy applies to. To write, 'no cancellation or change' doesn't mean there can be no cancellation or change, it just means you will need to give a reasonable case for them to allow a cancellation or change. Or you can simply ask them to change the terms up front as I did in the example above. Of course, those who book online through third party sites can't do that.

To summarize. I consider a 6pm local time on the day of the reservation to be reasonable cut-off for cancellations. I base that on standard hotel policy for decades. Hotels have chosen to change that because online bookings have resulted in far more 'no shows' and fewer 'walk ins'. I am not an online booker (I always phone the hotel directly to make a booking) and I often just walk in and ask for a room. Therefore, I do not consider there to be any reason for a hotel to change how it treats me. The changes they have made are applicable to others, not me. That is MY policy.

As far as not paying for mini bars, movies, etc., where did you see ME suggesting anyone do that? Do you read and follow all advice someone gives regardless of whether all of it is applicable to your situation or not? Or are you capable of figuring out what will work for you and your conscience and what will not?
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