Flexible hotel booking - everything you wanted to know
There are numerous factors to finding the right hotel or accommodation when planning a trip or getaway. The price is an important one of course but it is rarely the deciding factor. The location is often quite important depending on the type of trip. Does it need to be close to a nearby airport? Does it need to be in the city center? Does it need to be close to a meeting or conference venue?
Flexibility when making a reservation is another sought after factor. A hotel flexible booking can refer to the ease of cancellation once the booking has been made as well as the option to search using flexible dates at the time of booking.
While making travel plans, people can make reservations with multiple hotels that have a favorable cancellation policy at one go weeks or months before the trip. As the arrival date nears, they carry out another search looking for any last-minute deals. If they find a better price, they simply make the new reservation and cancel the previous ones.
Of course, flexible cancellation policies are also useful for travelers whose plans aren’t set in stone or are likely to change. This, as we’ve already established, is generally true for corporate travelers.
Some hotels offering flexible accommodation
The process of finding and booking rooms with flexible rates varies from company to company. Below are 5 big, global hotel chains and a few words on their flexible policies.
Like many other hotels and travel service providers, Hilton hotels had amended their cancellation policies to offer their clientele peace of mind during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Any reservations made on or before September 30, 2020 could be canceled or changed free-of-charge up to 24 hours before the scheduled check-in date.
The regular hotel policies were reverted back as of October 1, 2020 meaning that cancellation policies on any new bookings were subject to each individual hotel’s own terms. On their website, Hilton stated that “most hotels have flexibility to change or cancel up to 24-hours before scheduled arrival date.”
Similarly, each Hyatt hotel is subject to different cancellation policies depending on the rate chosen, loyalty programs subscribed to and so on. The cancellation terms and rate details are visible at the time of making any direct bookings and are also sent in the confirmation email.
Most hotels which do offer free cancellation with certain rates give their customers up to 48 hours before arrival to do so free of charge.
IHG’s Best Flexible Rate is aimed at travelers looking for flexibility at the best available rate. This is also depends on the individual hotel’s cancellation policy so customers are advised to check for any cancellation or change fees that might apply. Generally speaking, IHG hotels offer free cancellation up to 1 day prior to check-in.
Marriott hotels reverted back to their regular cancellation policies after September 1, 2021. Prior to that, guests were able to cancel or change their booking up to 24 hours before the scheduled arrival date regardless of the rate chosen at the time of booking.
The current policies also vary from hotel to hotel. Many have flexible rates which allow you to cancel, free of charge, up to 24 hours before the check in time.
When searching on the Marriott’s website, customers may opt to use the flexible dates search function which can help you choose the best available rates if you are not tied to specific dates.
Radisson hotels also differ in their cancellation policies depending on the rates you choose. Paying a little more for a rate which offers flexible booking can give you the possibility of free cancellation up to 48 hours before the scheduled arrival date.
Bonus: Flexible hotel booking using travel search platforms
The appeal of using online travel agent websites or search platforms like booking.com and Airbnb is that they often offer a flexible search functionality across different hotels and accommodation options.
With booking.com, for example, you can select the “free cancellation” option in the search filters. The results you’ll be shown will only include hotels which allow you to cancel your reservation, free of charge.
Airbnb’s platform allows users to search using flexible dates. Choose whether you’re looking for a weekend, week or month-long getaway and select the month (or months) you’re interested in. Your search results will show you the best rates within the time period you’ve chosen.
Booking flexible hotels with FlexiPerk
With FlexiPerk by TravelPerk, you are not at the mercy of the policies of each individual hotel or the current situation of global events. By signing up, corporate travelers can enjoy the peace of mind that flexible travel offers along with being able to search for amazing deals across the TravelPerk platform.
The way it works is simple. You pay a 10% fee on every trip in order to be able to cancel at any time up to as close as 2 hours before the trip. Upon cancellation, you are eligible for a minimum refund of 80%. The process of doing so is also much less stressful. You don’t need to run after hotels and service providers for your refund for weeks on end.
Should you need to cancel or change an already confirmed booking, simply follow these steps:
Head over to your Trips page
Find the trip you need to change or cancel
Select Manage Trip
Once here, you’ll be able to carry out booking changes, cancellations, managing extras and so on.
Your TravelPerk agent will take care of the rest shortly after.
Alternatively, you can contact TravelPerk Customer Care via Live Chat, Email, or Phone and request the changes directly.