Marriott has now released their updated coronavirus (COVID-19) reservation policies that waive all cancellation fees and refunds prepayments for all existing reservations with any arrival date if done 24 hours before the scheduled arrival or by April 30, 2020.
Reservations made between March 13 – April 30, 2020, for any arrival date can also be canceled without penalties for up to 24 hours before the scheduled arrival. Marriott will also waive points expiration, and extends Suite Night Awards and certificates.
You can access Marriott’s page for COVID-19 here.
Here’s the updated policy:
In response to changing marketplace conditions, Marriott International is committed to ensuring our customers experience flexibility during these challenging times.
For all Marriott International hotels world-wide, we are implementing the following policies:
For guests with existing reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, we will allow full 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. Please note that any changes to existing reservations will be subject to availability and any rate differences.
For guests making new reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates, between today and April 30, 2020, we will allow the reservation to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival date.* Please note that changes to the reservation will be subject to availability and any rate differences.
Guests who booked via online travel agents or other third-party travel professionals are advised to contact their booking provider for information on their policies.
Some exclusions may apply. May exclude periods with special event restrictions or peak demand weeks. Please refer to individual property rate rules for details.
Marriott Vacations Worldwide is included in this policy. Design Hotels are excluded from this policy.
For individual reservations booked into a pre-existing group block, please refer to cancellation terms quoted at the time of reservation. For more information, please contact the group organizer or the hotel.
For group organizer questions on terms and conditions of group contracts, please contact the hotel.
It is unclear if hotels can decide what these “event restrictions” and “peak periods” are? Most of the events are canceled for the next few months.
Making all prepaid and noncancelable bookings done March 13 – April 30, 2020, cancelable is a sensible policy. Nobody would make reservations for travel late this year unless they can be sure that they can get out of them in a case someone gets sick or travel restrictions are still in place.
Here’s the internal policy (before the new announcement):
CALA means the Caribbean and Latin America. There is an exception in place for Platinum and higher elites through June 10, 2020, but it doesn’t appear to apply for group and advance purchase rates (or those booked via OTA’s).
Marriott Bonvoy Extensions:
We are focused on how the coronavirus is impacting our Marriott Bonvoy Members and have made some important updates to our loyalty program to provide greater flexibility when planning future travel.
Specifically, we have paused points expiration until August 31, 2020 allowing Members ample time to redeem their points. In addition, we have extended the expiration of suite night awards (SNAs) with an expiration date of December 31, 2020 by one year to December 31, 2021. Lastly, Members who currently have an active Free Night Award (FNA) expiring in 2020 as part of their credit card benefit, annual choice benefit, promotions or travel package will be able to use it through January 31, 2021.
We understand that earning status for 2021 may also be on your mind. As the current situation is still evolving, it is too early for us to make any changes. We will keep you updated on all loyalty program changes through our Marriott Bonvoy member benefits website.
Points expiry is paused until August 31, 2020. The expiry date of Suite Night Awards (SNA’s) is extended by a year from December 31, 2020, to December 31, 2021.
Free night awards (certificates essentially) that are expiring between now and January 31, 2021, are usable until January 31.
There is a separate policy in place for Greater China:
Here’s the email from Marriott CEO:
IHG (read more here) and Hilton (read more here) made similar announcements earlier this week. I yesterday criticized Marriott for not coming up with a policy (read more here) because readers were denied refunds for reservations in Spain and Italy (couldn’t travel before restrictions).
Hotels, airlines, and all hospitality sector businesses are truly hurting at the moment and likely will for the entire 2020 even after the virus has blown out. Can’t we just fast forward to 2021?