Hilton has had very good policies to mitigate the effect of Covid-19 for those with existing reservations and elite status with the chain.
Hilton’s global cancellation waiver was not extended, and you again need to pay close attention to the rate rules attached to the reach and every reservation. Hilton suddenly acknowledges that some hotels are offering a “simplified” breakfast.
You can access Hilton here.
READ MORE: Hilton Honors Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Note that this doesn’t mean that you couldn’t cancel your reservation. It mainly means that you now absolutely need to pay attention to the rate rules, and preferably to take a screenshot of them at the time of booking
Here’s the update from Hilton:
Travel Plan Flexibility
All our hotels offer fully flexible booking options with free changes and cancellations. Most hotels even give you flexibility to change or cancel up to 24 hours before your arrival day*. Also, any individual reservations made prior to October 1st, 2020 are eligible for free changes or cancellation up to 24-hours before your arrival day.
*Some exclusions to the 24-hour window may apply. Please refer to the property’s Rate Details for applicable terms or exceptions, if any, when booking or changing reservations.
Here’s the breakfast update:
Current Services & Amenities
Social distancing continues to be a recommended or required practice in public settings. For your safety, some services or amenities may be modified during your stay, including temporarily simplified breakfast services at select brands. Please check with your hotel for the latest requirements and service offerings.
Hilton has realized that some hotels are offering “simplified” breakfast service. Took rather long…
Previous travel flexibility policy that ended on September 30, 2020:
We’ve made adjustments to our reservation policies to provide you with maximum flexibility while travel remains restricted in many parts of the world. For peace of mind of our guests, all individual reservations–even non-cancellable stays–for dates on or before September 30, 2020, are eligible for a full refund. Also, any new bookings booked from now through September 30, 2020, are eligible for free changes and cancellations.
Greater Flexibility for New and Existing Reservations – Updated as of August 24, 2020
In order to provide you with greater travel flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hilton introduced a more flexible cancellation policy on March 12, 2020. As stay-at-home orders lift and travel resumes, our Team Members are excited to welcome you to our hotels. At the same time, we know your plans may continue to change, so we have made your reservations even more flexible:
For reservations made prior to March 12, 2020 – when our new, more flexible reservation policy went into effect: You may now change or cancel any future reservation, without penalty, as long as you do so at least 24 hours before your scheduled arrival date, but not later than September 30, 2020. This includes reservations described as “non-cancellable” or Advance Purchase.
Flexibility for the Future: Any individual reservations booked on and between March 12 and September 30, 2020 for any future arrival date can be changed or cancelled at no charge, up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival day.
If you cancel a rate which required an advance payment or deposit, we will do everything we can to process your refund as quickly as possible. Due to the influx of cancellations, it may take up to 30 days to complete your request. If you are a Hilton Honors member and cancel an Advance Purchase rate, you may be eligible for a free night certificate for each cancelled night. Free night certificates can be used at our more than 6,200 properties worldwide. Stays must be completed by August 31, 2021. In lieu of a refund, guests at select hotels may choose to receive a hotel voucher redeemable toward a future stay at that hotel. Changes are subject to availability and rate differences.
If you need to adjust reservations made via the Hilton website, Hilton Honors mobile app or call center, you can change your reservation here or contact the Hilton Guest Assistance team. If you need to adjust reservations made through another travel site, please contact them directly for assistance.
I wish that the Hilton had extended the global reservation waiver because now members need to pay closer attention to the rate rules again. There can be significant variability in them.
My advice has been not to book any airline tickets more than a week or two out, and not commit oneself to prepaid hotel reservations unless they are in your home country. It is unclear how this Covid-19 will play out in the next 12 months before it is gone.