Marriott will not charge a booking cancellation fee due to coronavirus

The hotel chain Marriott will not charge a booking cancellation fee due to coronavirus: «We recognize that these are unsettling times»

18.03.2020 17:00
Autor: Maria Soroka

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the hotel industry around the world is in the most vulnerable position. The flow of tourists has been reduced to a minimum; hotels are empty, staff — without work. In these serious times, businessmen are forced to become more flexible and booking rules — softer. The hotel chain Marriott has taken decisive actions by changing their booking rules — the hotel will not fine for canceling room reservations if you do this 24 hours prior the planned arrival.

Arne M. Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, Inc. has published an open letter to consumers of the company, noting that «to take care of our guests and associates» — is one of the most important values of their work:

— This enduring value guides us as we face the difficult challenge of responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19), which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on Wednesday.
In this climate, we know travel may not be your first thought, but I want you to know the safety of our guests and associates is our top priority.

The head of the Marriott hotels expressed his considerable sympathy to everyone who, to various extents, was affected by the spread of the virus, and also published new hotel rules operating in the all Marriott hotels around the world:

— We are closely monitoring the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local health agencies for the latest developments related to COVID-19 and following the guidance of government and public health officials. We are reinforcing these agencies’ recommendations on the appropriate health and safety measures with our own hotel management teams and the hotel operators in our portfolio.

Thus, over the past few weeks, the hotel chain has adapted the cancellation policy in accordance with the epidemic and the impact of COVID-19 on work, social sector and travels. It is important to know — now the hotel does not charge booking cancellation fee for canceling reservations made 24 hours before the planned check-in:

— Today, we are updating our policy to provide our customers the most flexibility we can offer during these challenging times. Generally speaking, for guests with existing individual reservations, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, we will allow changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival as long as the change or cancellation is made by April 30, 2020. For guests making new individual reservations between today and April 30, 2020, we will allow those reservations to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before a guest’s scheduled arrival date.

In addition, the hotel chain representatives noted that all hotel rooms are regularly cleaned with special cleaning products, and staff carefully keeps their hands clean.

— We recognize that these are unsettling times and whether you are traveling now or in the future, we want you to know that your safety and wellbeing are our first priority’ — added in Marriott.

The hotel chain also made changes to the loyalty program for Marriott Bonvoy member benefits, in particular, by extending the term of using points and validity of certificates for accommodation in the suite. 

More details about the new rules you can read on the Marriott International website.