Hotels across the world are grappling with the effects of coronavirus and are updating their cancellation policies to best accommodate guests and prioritize safety.
Half of the hotels in the U.S. alone could shutter amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
"If something doesn't happen quickly, since occupancy is trending toward zero, you're going to see thousands of hotels go out of business," Rogers told USA TODAY this month. While many will close and reopen at some point in the future, others won't.
Here's a look at where major hotel chains stand in terms of cancellation policies. As always, be sure to read the fine print, keep your receipts and ask representatives for further help as needed.
Marriott guests can now make full changes or cancellations to existing reservations free of charge between now and June 30 (but must do so 24 hours in advance), per a coronavirus update made March 30. Changes will be subject to rate differences and room availability.
The same stipulations apply for guests making new reservations for future arrival dates between now and June 30.
Hilton has a similar policy to Marriott, last updated March 25. Guests can change or cancel existing and new reservations at no charge until June 30, even those noted as non-cancelable.
Hyatt, too, is allowing guests a flexible cancellation policy. For existing reservations, booked April 1 or earlier, they can cancel for free until June 30. The same goes for future reservations.
IHG, which owns chains like InterContinental and Holiday Inn, is also waiving cancellation fees for existing and new bookings, thought it's only for stays between March 9 and April 30.
For bookings after April 30, the company is reminding customers of their already built-in flexibility plan. Their "best flex rate," for example, reads "This rate allows our guests to change or cancel their reservation one to two days prior to arrival, although some hotels may have a different time frame." It also launched a "book now, pay later" option.
The shared-home rental space has seen much upheaval in policy changes. Now, guests scheduled to stay at an Airbnb between March 14 and May 31 can cancel before check-in with multiple cancellation and refund choices. Hosts can also cancel and not see charges. Airbnb will also refund or give travel credit for service fees for cancellations under the policy.
Guests can cancel their reservations at Best Western hotels in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean at least 24 hours prior to their arrival. They must cancel on or before June 30. All fees will be waived. But watch out: High-demand dates at a limited number of hotels might have a more restrictive policy.
Choice, whose properties include Comfort Inn Suites, Clarion, Quality Hotels and Econo Lodge, is allowing guests with existing reservations to rebook or cancel using the website's online reservation management tool without incurring a fee up to 24 hours before their scheduled arrival, as long as they do so by June 30. Guests who booked non-cancellable reservations can also cancel or rebook but must do so through a different form.
For a limited time, the hotel chain also said it will also allow guests who make new, individual reservations directly through Choice to cancel or rebook under the same rules by modifying them through the reservation management tool.
Guests who booked through a third party should contact that company for assistance.
Wow:Half of US hotels could close amid coronavirus crisis, industry exec says
Interesting:Swiss hotel providing coronavirus tests for $500 as part of quarantine package