InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) updated its coronavirus (COVID-19) policy on Saturday (April 4) that is valid through June 30, 2020, and for stays in Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macao & Taiwan) until April 30.
The policy change is actually for worse as the hotel company now allows some properties to provide vouchers that are essentially IOU’s that are worthless if the individual hotel ceases to operate, changes flag, or you cannot travel within credit validity.
You can access IHG’s page for coronavirus here.
Here’s the updated policy:
Cancellation policy & booking flexibly
Given the flexibility our guests and customers need right now we have implemented the following policies:
For Existing Bookings:
Existing bookings (bookings made by April 6, 2020) at all IHG hotels* can be changed or cancelled for stays up to June 30, 2020, noting that:
Hotels are subject to local law in the market in which they operate. Therefore, government legislation and regulations may supersede this policy in specific circumstances. (including the type and timing of the refund).
If you cancel a rate which required a deposit or payment in advance, we will do everything we can to process your refund as quickly as possible. Refunds (which may be vouchers where required by local law) may take up to 90 days for hotels to process from the date of cancellation. Reservations may be changed without a fee but may result in different pricing.
Exclusions may apply for time periods with special event restrictions or peak demand weeks.
Bookings via a third-party: For bookings made through an online booking platform (e.g. Booking.com, Expedia) or third-party travel professionals, please contact them directly – we have advised these companies of our cancellation policy and you should refer to their terms and conditions.
Groups & Meetings Bookings: We will work with customers to manage any changes needed to Group & Meeting bookings on a case by case basis. Our hotels are actively supporting groups and meetings organizers to address the needs of each group, including moving event dates to another time, in line with terms and conditions of that booking. Please contact the hotel the booking was made with to discuss further.
*Cancellation fees for existing and new domestic bookings at all IHG hotels in Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and the Taiwan region will be waived for stays up to April 30, 2020
We continue to monitor the evolving situation and will be keeping this policy under review.
There are few issues with this updated policy:
1. Greater China
Stays within Greater China (China, Hong Kong. Macay and Taiwan) can only be canceled through April 30, 2020, although there are still travel bans and restrictions likely in place past that date.
IHG promised REFUNDS for all reservations previously, and now there is a possibility of VOUCHERS in some markets.
IHG CEO’s video response to the coronavirus:
Consumers want REFUNDS, not some credit vouchers that may not be usable in the future due to several reasons such as hotel closures and unemployment.
There must still be some that have future reservations for stays in Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan) that are no longer refundable past April 30, 2020, per the updated rule.
IHG could do better.