The key hotel chains are extending their coronavirus flexible booking policies.
These policies were first introduced a few months ago with many due to expire at the end of August. We are now seeing a lot of these being extended to include the Autumn as travel remains subdued.
Here is a summary of the current position with the major chains:
Hilton coronavirus refund, change and status policies
Hilton has extended its flexible booking policy by one month and it now runs until 30th September.
Read the Hilton COVID-19 travel advisory here. Here is a summary of the updated position:
Existing bookings made before 12th March are fully refundable, for cash, for stays until 30th September, irrespective of the original room rules.
New bookings made until 30th September will be fully refundable irrespective of how far in the future your stay occurs.
Hilton Honors status: Hilton is automatically extending member status for an additional year, to 31st March 2022. In addition, any member who was due to lose status on 1st April has had it extended to 31st March 2021.
Points expiry has been put on pause until 31st December 2020.
Marriott coronavirus refund, change and status policies
Read the Marriott COVID-19 advisory here.
All existing bookings are subject to the rules in place at the time of booking. This means that bookings made pre-coronavirus which are not refundable cannot be cancelled.
New bookings made from 6th July, for stays up to 30th September, will be changeable (any rate difference is payable) or cancellable free of charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival.
New bookings made for stays from 1st October are subject to the original cancellation policy. Non-refundable rooms will not be refunded.
Marriott Bonvoy status: Status earned in 2019 will be extended until February 2022. It has paused points expiration until February 2021 and extended the expiration of suite night awards by one year to December 2021.
Free night awards from credit cards, annual choice benefit, promotions or travel packages due to expire in 2020 have been extended until 31st January 2021.
Points expiry has been paused until February 2021. At that time points will expire if your account has seen no activity for 24 months.
Hyatt coronavirus refund, change and status policies
Read the Hyatt COVID-19 travel advisory here.
All bookings made before 1st July 2020 are fully refundable until 31st July 2021, irrespective of the original room rules. The only exception are bookings after 1st April at Destination Residences or Special Event Rates, which are subject to rules disclosed at time of booking.
Bookings made from 1st August have the same flexible rules, except that hotels are allowed to refuse to honour this policy if your stay is during “some high-demand periods (e.g., holidays or special events).”
World of Hyatt status: points expiry has been paused until 31st December 2020 whilst status has been extended by two years from 31st March 2020 until 28th February 2022. Unused awards such as Free Night, Suite Upgrade or Club Lounge Access awards have been extended until the end of 2021.
Accor coronavirus refund, change and status policies
Accor is slightly more complicated and has introduced different policies for different countries. Currently, its travel advisory applies to stays on or before 30th September 2020.
Read the Accor COVID-19 travel advisory here.
All non-refundable bookings for stays by 30th September can be moved to a later date or swapped for a credit voucher for use at the same hotel, the validity of which depends on the country. Most vouchers appear to have 18 months validity.
Accor ALL status: points expiry has been paused until 15th December 2020 whilst status has been extended for two years, from the end of 2019 until 31st December 2021. All Suite Night Upgrades and similar awards have been extended by 12 months.
IHG coronavirus refund, change and status policies
Read the IHG COVID-19 travel advisory here.
All existing bookings made before 6th April can be cancelled for free until 30th September 2020. For clarity – the stay can be after 30th September but you must cancel by 30th September.
All existing and new bookings made from 6th April for stays until 30th September 2020 have their cancellation fees waived.
All new and existing (booked from 6th April) pre-paid bookings for stays from 1st October onwards cannot be refunded.
IHG Rewards Club status: IHG Rewards Club status has automatically been extended by 12 months, carrying over until early 2022.
Spire Elite members will receive an additional ‘choice benefit’ of 25,000 points or Platinum Elite status for a friend although this has not appeared yet and the call centre is denying that it will happen despite the website stating the opposite.
Credit card free night vouchers expiring after 1st March 2020 have been extended until 31st December. All certificates earned in 2020 will be valid for 18 months.