With hotel occupancy rates at historic lows and many hotels closing temporarily, Hyatt is doing their best to make things right by their customers. As this crisis has unfolded, the hotel chain has updated their policies to allow for cancellation of virtually all upcoming stays. Here’s what you need to know about the Hyatt COVID-19 cancellation policy as yesterday.
Hyatt COVID-19 Cancellation Policy: April 1, 2020 Update
Hyatt’s most recent update released yesterday expands the policy for future travel to offer essentially complete flexibility on future travel plans. Specifically:
“Reservations you make between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 – for any future arrival date – can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations. The only exceptions are reservations booked after April 1, 2020 at Destination Residences and Special Events Rate reservations booked after April 1, 2020. The cancellation policies for a Special Event Rate will be noted in the rate’s Rate Rules section when booking.”
This means that any reservations made within the next three months at all your typical Hyatt brands can be canceled free of charge, no questions asked. Just don’t no-show. All that’s required is that you cancel no more than 24 hours ahead of check in.
For existing reservations booked prior to April 1 for travel before June 30, this policy applies as well. However, for fully prepaid reservations booked prior to March 8, Hyatt is offering 10,000 World of Hyatt points as compensation. Stays booked after March 8 are eligible to simply be canceled or changed, free of charge.
Note that the Hyatt COVID-19 cancellation policy only applies to reservations booked directly with Hyatt. If booked with an OTA, your reservation will be subject to the policy of the OTA.
The above policies do not apply to a few partners participating in the World of Hyatt program:
“Reservations booked through Hyatt with MGM Resorts International, Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), or Lindblad Expeditions are subject to the cancellation policies of MGM, SLH, or Lindblad, respectively.”
Hyatt is also suspending points forfeiture through May 31, 2020. If you have a points balance that was set to expire soon, Hyatt is giving you a little more time. Based on how uncertain things are right now, I would expect that this date will be extended. I’d keep tabs on Hyatt’s announcements over the next month.
Hyatt is still evaluating how they are going to handle elite status extensions. Knowing the chain, whatever they offer will be reasonable and will make things right by their guests. They have already offered extensions to qualifying members in the Asia Pacific region (more info).
Making a New Hyatt Advance Purchase Reservation
I’ve actually locked in one Hyatt hotel stay for a hopeful stay this summer at an advance purchase rate. Our plans are entirely dependent on the world returning to semi-normal by then. While I expected to be charged immediately for the booking, this was not the case. In the past, some advance purchase reservations with some chains process immediately, while others actually do wait to charge you until the day of arrival (although you still cannot cancel).
However, this lack of up-front charge may be Hyatt’s way of making “Advance Purchase” not actually an advance purchase. Under their current policy, you can cancel any reservation without penalty if made between now and June 30. This lets you make reservations far in the future without risk. Even though it maybe a tossup as to whether travel will be possible this summer, or even this fall, locking in a hotel at a cheap rate is certainly desirable.