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Coronavirus: Modifying non-refundable booking following event cancellation

Coronavirus: Modifying non-refundable booking following event cancellation

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Old Mar 13, 20, 8:13 pm   -   Wikipost
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The current rule by IHG in regard to cancelation due to the Coronavirus is published on:
https://www.ihg.com/content/gb/en/cu...ravel-advisory

There are different rules for regular bookings and group and event bookings.


Group and Event Bookings
There is a dedicated rule for group and event bookings. IHG deals with this on a case-by-case basis.
IHG hotels are actively supporting customers to address the needs of each group, including moving event dates to another time. Groups & Meetings can continue to apply existing measures by IHG which enables the guest / organizer to change or cancel a valid booking reservation without financial penalty, in:
  • Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and the Taiwan region for any stay between 23 January, 2020 and 9 March, 2020.
  • Italy and South Korea for any stay between 28 February, 2020 and 9 March, 2020.
You should contact the hotel to discuss this further.
It seems, that IHG is less relaxed on group bookings. These could not canceled.
We understand, that it has to be an event booking (trade fair rates may or may not belong to this). This thread here is to discuss this booking, which are group / event / tradefair (?) bookings.

Regular Bookings
IHG is waiving cancellation fees for existing and new bookings at all IHG hotels worldwide for stays between 09 March, 2020 and 30 April, 2020.

This is in addition to existing cancellation policy measures IHG has in place. These are.
For any stay prior to 09 March, 2020, existing measures mean that you will be able to change or cancel a valid booking reservation without financial penalty, if you are travelling to or from:
  • Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and the Taiwan region for any stay between 23 January, 2020 and 9 March, 2020.
  • Italy and South Korea for any stay between 28 February, 2020 and 9 March, 2020.
For bookings made through a travel agent or an online booking platform contact them direct. IHG has advised these companies of the cancellation policy.

The aforementioned rule does not apply for event and group bookings (if made as such bookings). We understand it the way, that if you travel to a trade fair or conference and made a booking with the hotel of your own, this is an individual booking.
We have a thread, which is about cancelation of individual bookings:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/inte...le-result.html


Status Extenstion
Information about the extension of status could be found in this thread:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/inte...extension.html
This should be discussed in the thread mentioned above.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 1:31 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2019
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Programs: Intercontinental Royal Ambassador, Bonvoy, Aeroflot Platinum, Delta SkyMiles, KLM Flying Blue
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Coronavirus: Modifying non-refundable booking following event cancellation

Ok, so a while back I made a non-refundable 5-night booking at the InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya for an upcoming trip in late March to attend an event. This was before coronavirus took off, and now it looks like my event will be cancelled. Probably a wise decision overall, but I'm still left holding this hotel booking.

I am easily able to change my airline tickets, but wondering what my best option is for the hotel... I am a Royal Ambassador and I used my Chase IHG Premier card to make the booking. Is there any hope to either change the dates or get refunded? Is my best bet to speak with the hotel itself, IHG Group or Chase? Thoughts?
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Old Mar 5, 20, 2:43 pm
  #2  
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First, check the property's policy. There are large numbers of properties which have COVID policies and if yours does, this will be simple.

If not, your Ambassador can ask the property, but it will be up to the property to make a decision. For that reason, I would try to find a manager at the property and engage them directly.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 3:38 pm
  #3  
 
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And next time just book flexible, refundable rates and you won't have to worry about the oxymoronic "modifying a non-refundable booking"... Unlike airlines - where truly flexible tickets are quite expensive - hotels can quite legitimately say in most situations that you could easily have booked a flexible rate for little additional cost.

The hotel will be your first port of call to see whether they are being flexible about letting you off the hook. If not... whatever travel insurance you have via your credit card or separately. IHG corporate won't do much.
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Old Mar 6, 20, 2:39 pm
  #4  
 
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The hotel certainly has a vested interest in preventing people with a highly infectious illness from staying at their property, so it is definitely worth reaching out to them for an exceptional occasion like this. Regardless of whether you are cancelling due to illness, precaution, or an inability to travel, they almost certainly have relaxed their cancellation policy for the time being.

Booking a refundable rate is usually good advice. However, if you had plans that you would absolutely not change unless a very rare and unlikely incident like Covid-19 occurs, it certainly makes sense to save a couple hundred dollars on a stay by going with nonrefundable. And unfortunately, the hotel industry is learning from the airline industry that they can make a lot more money by differentiating between refundable and nonrefundable rates, so the gap is growing to be quite significant, which can add up quite a bit on a multi-night stay.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 9:02 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by Gentleman Adventurer View Post
Ok, so a while back I made a non-refundable 5-night booking at the InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya for an upcoming trip in late March to attend an event. This was before coronavirus took off, and now it looks like my event will be cancelled. Probably a wise decision overall, but I'm still left holding this hotel booking.

I am easily able to change my airline tickets, but wondering what my best option is for the hotel... I am a Royal Ambassador and I used my Chase IHG Premier card to make the booking. Is there any hope to either change the dates or get refunded? Is my best bet to speak with the hotel itself, IHG Group or Chase? Thoughts?
Has your credit card already been charged for the stay, if not then I'd first suggest trying to modify the reservation yourself as sometimes this will still work at this stage with non-refundable bookings and allow you to change the dates and/or rate to something that allows more flexibility and could still then be cancelled should you ultimately decide to? If none of this works then follow the advice of others to contact the hotel etc.
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Old Mar 12, 20, 3:32 am
  #6  
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There is also an update on this from IHG: https://www.ihg.com/content/gb/en/cu...ravel-advisory and this is globally

We know that flexibility is what our guests are looking for right now. So, we are waiving cancellation fees for existing and new bookings at all IHG hotels globally for stays between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020.
I think, a cancelation is covered. There is also another thread in this forum with a general discussion, which could be found here
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Old Mar 12, 20, 11:34 am
  #7  
 
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I just tried to cancel a ressie at the Indigo Napa. Called IHG, and they said they needed to call the hotel. They came back and said the hotel wouldn't refund it so I had to call them myself.

I called the hotel and was told that the waiver was only for people coming from Japan (????). I read the waiver verbatim from the website, and they said that they would still not refund it unless I could send them proof of an event cancellation. I asked if I needed to challenge it on my credit card and got a snarky "well that's up to you" response.

I just shot an email to their reservations email and am crossing my fingers, but not terribly hopeful, for a rational reply.
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Old Mar 12, 20, 1:04 pm
  #8  
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The second you threaten a chargeback, you've changed the game.

If you aren't getting anywhere, ask for a manager.
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Old Mar 14, 20, 3:40 pm
  #9  
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With regards to getting a refund on my non-refundable booking, I reached out to one of the online IHG agents using the IHG website. They directed me to contact the IHG Guest Relations team by email, which I promptly did. They responded with a kind and personalized message the following day saying that the full pre-paid booking would be refunded (even though it was booked as a non-refundable booking) in line with their covid policy, but that the hotel itself would have to do process the refund and that would take 14 - 21 days. I'm fine with that, but I just forwarded IHG corporate's response to the specific hotel's guest relations team to make sure they are on it... will report back with my overall success and what (if any) extra hoops I had to jump through.
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Old Mar 15, 20, 2:41 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Hope you get your refund. I almost made a non-refundable booking right before the last promo ended at the end of Feb. pretty big savings over 4 nights ($150) but at non-refundable rates. As of Feb 29th, I almost made the booking for April 1st travel, but the beginnings of covid19 was looking like it was going to take off. I got burned once before on a prepaid booking when there was. Snow storm at the Grand Canyon. Ever since then 15 years ago, I stick with refundable bookings 99% of the time. But the differences now between the 2 rates seems to be growing more and more making it tempting to take the savings.
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Old Mar 16, 20, 8:42 am
  #11  
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Still in process.. i got an email from the hotel this morning trying to convince me to accept a voucher that could be used anytime from now through December instead of a refund, but at the end of the message they did say, "Please let us know if you insist on a cancellation".

I have decided to go ahead with the cancellation with refund since that country has now instated a mandatory 14-day quarantine on travelers arriving from the US.

I must say I really have to give kudos to IHG for making non-refundable bookings refundable given the current global pandemic. They have scored some serious loyalty points with me on this.
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