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What to do if your hotel reservation is canceled

The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted travel plans for people around the world. Many hotels have closed their doors and canceled reservations. Here’s what to do if your hotel reservation has been canceled due to the coronavirus.

The Foreign Office has changed its restrictions to “indefinitely” advise against non-essential travel. The previous travel ban was put in place on March 17 for an initial 30-day period, but the advisory has now been extended with no end date in sight.

In a post shared on Saturday, the FCO wrote: “Travel update: Foreigh office indefinitely advises against all non-essential global travel.” Vacation companies scramble to reschedule their customers’ bookings, while airlines are offering refunds or flight vouchers for later dates.

We explained what to do if your airline goes bankrupt and how to get a refund if your flight is delayed or canceled. Here, we discuss your options if your hotel reservation is canceled, or if you need to cancel the reservation yourself, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

If you are requesting reimbursement from your accommodation provider, ask them directly before attempting to obtain compensation from your travel insurer.

When am I entitled to compensation?

If you haven’t purchased travel insurance to cover your hotel reservation, all you have to do is contact the hotel or travel agency you booked with to discuss a refund. If your hotel or travel agent doesn’t offer reimbursement or flexible options, call your travel insurance provider to discuss your options.

With the FCO’s current ban on all but essential international travel, you should be able to claim compensation from most travel insurance policies. Most will cover cancellation for an outbreak or due to advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, meaning your hotel reservation must be refunded.

That said, every policy is different, so read the fine print. If there is no mention of outbreaks or FCO advice in the list of things included in the cancellation, then it is possible that your losses due to no travel are not covered.

Note that many UK-based travel insurers changed their coverage policies in early March to no longer cover COVID-19 related claims. Policies purchased after March 11 from AllClear, Axa, InsureandGo and many others will not cover disruption due to the pandemic. Many other insurers like HSBC, Post Office and Direct Line no longer sell coverage at all. A more complete list can be found here.

Hotel cancellation policies

Even under normal circumstances, large hotel chains often allow you to cancel your reservation or postpone your reservation to a later date, usually provided you give 24 or 48 hours notice. However, most major chains now offer extended cancellation policies related to COVID-19, details of which can be found on each hotel group’s website.

For example, Hilton has made all reservations (even those described as “non-cancellable”) scheduled to arrive before June 30, 2020, cancellable free of charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival. Best Western has announced the same policy for its hotels in Canada, the Caribbean and the United States, as have the Hyatt hotel group and Radisson hotels.

Intercontinental, owner of Holiday Inn, Kimpton, Candlewood Suites and Crowne Plaza, waives cancellation fees for all stays at its hotels around the world scheduled to arrive between March 9 and April 30.

Small business vacation homes tend to be less flexible than chains in terms of the cancellation policies chosen, but in these unprecedented circumstances some family businesses are showing more flexibility in allowing guests to book for a vacation. future date.

Can I get a refund for my accommodation?

It may depend on whether you booked directly or through an online travel agency. All travel agents have their own cancellation policies, so if you booked with an agency you will need to contact them directly to find out if you are eligible for a refund.

If you’ve used Booking.com, check if you’ve selected accommodation with a good cancellation policy. Some reservations can be canceled free of charge at any time, while others are completely non-refundable.

However, the company has issued a coronavirus cancellation policy to owners, stating that guest cancellation fees should be waived for bookings affected by COVID-19 restrictions, and will be covered by Booking.com.

Likewise, Airbnb properties have a range of cancellation policies, ranging from flexible – which offers free cancellation up to 14 days before check-in – to very strict, where guests get a 50% refund provided they are fully booked. ” cancel 60 days before check-in. However, the company has created a policy of mitigating circumstances due to the current COVID-19 situation.

Reservations made on or before March 14, 2020, with a check-in date between March 14, 2020 and May 31, 2020, may be canceled prior to check-in and customers will be able to choose between a travel credit or a full refund in cash. However, for bookings made on or before March 14, 2020, with an arrival date after May 31, 2020, the host’s cancellation policy will apply.

This page was last updated on April 8, 2020. To our knowledge, the information on this page was correct at the time of posting. However, given the nature of the COVID-19 crisis, information will vary by location and change in the short term and over time. We will do our best to keep this page up to date, but this cannot be guaranteed.

This page was created for informational purposes only and was not designed for you or for specific circumstances affecting you. It is strongly recommended that you check the latest travel advice from your government before traveling or making any decision to travel.