• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Questions You Should Ask About a Hotel’s Cancellation Policy


May 30, 2024

When booking a hotel stay, one important thing you’ll want to look into is the cancelation policy. This determines how flexible you can be if your plans change. Asking the right questions upfront will help you understand the policy and avoid any surprises later. In this post, we’ll go over some key questions to ask.

What Is the Cancelation Deadline?

The first thing you’ll want to find out is how late you can cancel your reservation without penalty. Every hotel has a cutoff point, usually 24 to 48 hours before your scheduled check-in. If you cancel before this deadline, you’ll get your deposit back in full. Cancel after and you may forfeit it entirely or have to pay a fee. Knowing the exact cancelation deadline gives you peace of mind. You can book further in advance, secure the best rates, all while keeping your options open. Be sure to mark your calendar with the deadline, so you don’t miss it!

Are There Exceptions to the Cancelation Policy?

Standard cancelation policies cover most situations. But some hotels may allow exceptions under certain circumstances. For example, they may waive fees if you have to cancel due to an injury, illness, or family emergency. Others may be flexible if you’re a hotel loyalty member. It doesn’t hurt to explain your situation and politely ask if they can make an exception. The worst they can say is “no.” But you may be pleasantly surprised. Having some wiggle room is always nice.

What If I Book Through a Third-Party Site?

If you book through an online travel agency like Expedia instead of directly with the hotel, the cancelation policy gets more complicated. The agency usually imposes its own policy, which could differ from the hotel’s. Be sure to check the fine print so you understand the agency’s policy, deadlines, and penalties. Sometimes it’s less flexible than booking directly. Ask them to confirm the hotel’s policy also applies, so there are no surprises later on.

How Soon Will I Get My Refund?

When you do cancel within the policy terms, how long will it take to get your deposit back? Most hotels process refunds within 7 to 14 days, some within 48 hours. But a few lag behind. Knowing the typical time frame helps you plan. Look at the policy closely for language on when and how refunds are issued – whether returned to your credit card, by check, etc. If you need the funds sooner, follow up with the hotel to request they expedite it.

Can I Reschedule Instead of Cancel?

Before canceling entirely, it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can simply reschedule. Many hotels allow you to postpone your stay by a certain timeframe without penalty. There may still be some limits, for instance, blackout dates that are booked solid. But rescheduling gives you options if plans shift. You keep your deposit and can work with the hotel to find new dates that work. Be aware that rate differences may apply. Still, it’s an alternative to starting over from scratch.

Booking a hotel requires weighing many factors – and the cancelation policy is a big one. Protect yourself by asking key questions upfront. Know the exact deadlines, refund timeline, and possibilities for exceptions or changes. Look into differences for third-party bookings. And communicate with the hotel if situations arise during your trip. Being an informed, thoughtful guest sets you up for the best experience. Visit Twin Peaks Lodge to learn more about our accommodations and cancelation policy.