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Cancelling non-refundable reservations due to family emergencies?

Cancelling non-refundable reservations due to family emergencies?

Old Jul 30, 19, 1:27 pm
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Cancelling non-refundable reservations due to family emergencies?

I just encountered a family emergency, and I have to cancel four non-refundable reservations for Hilton properties in Europe. I am wondering if there is a slight chance that Hilton will allow me to get out of these reservations? Thanks!
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Old Jul 30, 19, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by lixiaojuventus View Post
I just encountered a family emergency, and I have to cancel four non-refundable reservations for Hilton properties in Europe. I am wondering if there is a slight chance that Hilton will allow me to get out of these reservations? Thanks!
Your best chance is to contact each individual property and ask.

Ideally, if you’re going to visit in the next year, ask by requesting credit from your must cancel current stay toward your coming stay. Otherwise, just explain and tell them you’ll be happy to substantiate the emergency circumstances that caused you to cancel. (Chances are they won’t bother, but the offer may help them grant you an exception. Virtually everyone asking for an exception will claim an emergency, whether it is or not. They’re tired of being scammed.)

Whether it was a rate that was never refundable or one that was refundable up to a week / 72 / 48 hours out may well make a difference as well. If you purchased a non-refundable rate, your chances of getting a refund are pretty close to zero. Credit toward a future stay, maybe, but don’t expect it.

But don’t expect a “yes”. I’ve been granted my request, I’ve been denied. And I’ve been strung along by a manager who ultimately displayed his intent to cut me no slack after messing with me for weeks. I’ve stayed nearby in several different properties since, and a few times emailed the manager (no longer there now) why I was staying in another Hilton property.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 2:10 pm
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Is it an emergency that is covered by travel insurance? Perhaps your credit card that you used to pay may cover it under their travel insurance.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Your best chance is to contact each individual property and ask.

Ideally, if youíre going to visit in the next year, ask by requesting credit from your must cancel current stay toward your coming stay. Otherwise, just explain and tell them youíll be happy to substantiate the emergency circumstances that caused you to cancel. (Chances are they wonít bother, but the offer may help them grant you an exception. Virtually everyone asking for an exception will claim an emergency, whether it is or not. Theyíre tired of being scammed.)

Whether it was a rate that was never refundable or one that was refundable up to a week / 72 / 48 hours out may well make a difference as well. If you purchased a non-refundable rate, your chances of getting a refund are pretty close to zero. Credit toward a future stay, maybe, but donít expect it.

But donít expect a ďyesĒ. Iíve been granted my request, Iíve been denied. And Iíve been strung along by a manager who ultimately displayed his intent to cut me no slack after messing with me for weeks. Iíve stayed nearby in several different properties since, and a few times emailed the manager (no longer there now) why I was staying in another Hilton property.
Exactly, donít expect a ďyesĒ. .
I had similar experience. I Emailed the hotel. Once a property in UK refunded me.
Once I asked to a property in Turkey if possible to move the reservation to a date in the future; they accepted and moved the same reservation number to a date three months later.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 7:43 am
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Yet another thread where "travel insurance" is the correct answer, yet somehow there is an expectation that non-refundable isn't actually non-refundable if you have a good enough excuse.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 8:19 am
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My experience with the non-refundable rates is that it I used to be able to allocate it to another stay but in the last 18 months or so, I have had zero luck with that.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 8:30 am
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The starting point is travel insurance. That will simply provide a cash payment and you are done. It may require documentation, but that should be simple/

Getting a policy exception is a purely local decision. Best to catch a manager during the business day in Europe and ask for her indulgence. As others note, in order of likelihood, it will be moving the stay to another date now, having a credit one may use in the relatively near future, and issuing a refund.

Don't expect a "yes" to this ask.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
Yet another thread where "travel insurance" is the correct answer, yet somehow there is an expectation that non-refundable isn't actually non-refundable if you have a good enough excuse.
You may want to re-read the OP. The OP asked if there is a "slight chance". Its not an unfair question. I am not sure where to read in the OP has an expectation of anything.

And if you really wanted to be retroactively helpful why not also suggest to the OP that in the future they should consider refundable reservations as that could equally help in this situation.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 2:59 pm
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I suggested the credit card travel insurance as a lot of people are not aware that their credit card often provides it, the Chase sapphire cards as an example. They may think that they needed to purchase a separate policy, but sometimes that’s not the case. I’ve collected on my Sapphire reserve card due to a family illness.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 4:22 pm
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IMO, if one wishes to cancel in the event of a family emergency, one should obtain a rate that is non-refundable except in the event of a family emergency, rather than a rate that is non-refundable in all circumstances.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 5:35 pm
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I donít book non refundable rates, ever. I donít ever use travel insurance so I guess you could say Iím self insured. My fatherís cancer went from doing ok to bad, and then he passed away. I changed so many reservations I had to keep a spreadsheet.

That said, op can always ask, worst they can say is no.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 2:32 am
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Originally Posted by neo_781 View Post

And if you really wanted to be retroactively helpful why not also suggest to the OP that in the future they should consider refundable reservations as that could equally help in this situation.
There are people who understand the value of paying a bit more for flexible reservations and there are others who see a 5% savings and book non-refundable. Whatever I say doesn't make that second group change their (IMO bad) habits, until they learn lessons such as the OP's. However if they want to continue along with the "non-refundable is better for me", then they should be prepared to take the loss when their plans change.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 2:44 am
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
I don’t book non refundable rates, ever. I don’t ever use travel insurance so I guess you could say I’m self insured.
That said, op can always ask, worst they can say is no.
I do the same. I've purchased travel insurance once or twice, but I've only booked a non-refundable rate once (presidential inauguration weekend in DC, and then only when I had the plane tickets booked.)

Last edited by hockeydiva; Aug 1, 19 at 12:54 pm
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Old Aug 1, 19, 4:43 am
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I had this happen a couple of years back ( I asked on here too ) I had three hotels booked ( all uk ) and phoned each one and explained my situation , I got one refund ( Hilton Warwick) and the other two moved my stay to a date of my choice ( Hilton Wembley and Canary Wharf) , I now always book a rate thats cancellable.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 12:13 am
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Originally Posted by wizla View Post
I had this happen a couple of years back ( I asked on here too ) I had three hotels booked ( all uk ) and phoned each one and explained my situation , I got one refund ( Hilton Warwick) and the other two moved my stay to a date of my choice ( Hilton Wembley and Canary Wharf) , I now always book a rate thats cancellable.
Just always book a rate you can cancel when you book direct. The 5% savings offered is not worth the risk. If you want to save more money and take the risk, on a non-refundable rate, just go name your own price at Priceline. At least you will be out a lot less money if you don't show up.

With these 2, 3 day cancellation policies even on the "flexible" rates those too are in effect non-refundable a few days in advance and I hate it. I actually do far fewer impulse (weekend/drive a few hours away and spend the night) trips than I used to due to these stubborn cancellation policies that are in place. I used to do about 8 trips a year like that; past couple years I do like 2 trips a year like that.
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