Whenever a travel plan is canned, besides getting disappointed about missing out on a good break, what pinches a traveler is the hotel cancellation fee. Resorts, hotels and B&Bs, typically charge a fee for cancelling a reservation. Every hotel has a cancellation policy specifying how much amount is charged and when is it charged. Most hotels charge anywhere between 50-100% cancellation fees within 24 to 48 hours before check-in.
As a customer, it is disheartening seeing your hard earned money getting wasted. Therefore, trying to negotiate with the hotel to get the fee waived is a good idea. Having a right approach with your waiver request can increase the chances of reducing the cancellation fees, if not waived off completely.
This information is available on hotel’s website. Read the cancellation policy and understand it thoroughly to ascertain you have inferred how the hotel ideally handles cancelled reservations.
Call up the hotel and ask for a refund (if paid in advance) or ask to waive off the cancellation fees. You can do this via email as well, however, a phone call is a more personal approach and you get immediate resolution. Give a valid reason as to why you had to cancel your travel plan. A genuine reason such as illness, flight cancellation due to rough weather, a calamity or disaster in the region (unrest, earthquake, floods, etc) can be considered sincerely.
Most often than not, a help desk personnel or a receptionist doesn’t have the authority to waiver the cancellation fees. Ask for a manager or a supervisor, and try to explain your situation to him/her. In some cases, managers have this authority, although you have to ask for someone sitting at a higher position in the hierarchy.
You are the one who is asking for a favor in this situation. Getting upset with the staff for not giving you a waiver would only aggravate the issue. Try to use persuasion and reasoning in a civil manner, so that the hotel authorities understand your situation and help you the best way they can.
If possible, book a room for another date, like a week or fortnight away. This way the hotel doesn’t lose out on business and you do not lose your money without actually staying at the property. This option, however, is possible only if you are shifting travel plans in near future and the hotel has a vacancy for those dates.
If the hotel officials stand firm on not waiving off the cancellation fee, ask for reducing the fee by half at least. Though you would still have to shell out money from your pocket, it is not as bad as the whole amount.
If none of the above pointers help you save your money, try selling your reservation to a friend or a relative. You can give a 10 or 20% discount as an incentive. Alternatively, you can also try selling your reservation online. There are numerous websites online that allows one to sell a hotel to a third party. You’d have to lower the price from what you have paid to the hotel. A competitive rate gives you a better chance of actually selling the reservation and recovers some of your money partially.
Hotels, like any other business, are there to make money and hence they have over the last few years have added many fees and surcharges in their policy such as cancellation policy. The best way to avoid the situation is to be aware of the hotel’s cancellation policy before booking a room. If your travel plans are likely to change, look for a hotel that is easy on its cancellation policy.
This entry was posted in Travelers
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