How to get a refund on a “non-refundable” hotel reservation
Back in spring and summer 2020, the journey has come with unprecedented flexibility. Flights, rental car reservations, and hotel reservations could be canceled at the last minute, change fees were mostly eliminated, and airlines blocked middle seats.
Of course, it was about staying financially afloat during a pandemic, not making it a better experience for us, so it was no surprise when those travel-friendly policies disappeared. and were replaced by higher prices. Recently, the lowest the hotel rates are full non-refundable reservations.
Always try to get a refund, even if your reservation says “non-refundable”.
Pandemic or not, sometimes life gets in the way of your travel plans. And youunder many circumstances, it is still possible to get reimbursed on a non-refundable hotel reservation, especially if you know a few weeks or more in advance of your intended stay. So even if your booking confirmation says “non-refundable” it’s still worth making a polite phone call to plead your case. Many times, “nonrefundeeds more a deterrent than an unbreakable to reign.
How to get a refund on a non-refundable booking
When booking a hotel room, we have the option of prioritizing flexibility or cost. Thus, as Daniel Gillaspia points out in a post for On his arrival, “When you request a refund for a non-refundable rate, you are essentially asking the hotel to disregard the risk you took in order to save a few dollars.”
This is something to keep in mind when approaching a hotel or booking site to request a refund for a non-refundable room. In other words, don’t act like you’re automatically entitled to a refund. (You are not.)
But, there are certain circumstances where it may be possible to get this refund. It should be noted that it is always left to the discretion of the hotel or booking site whether or not to refund you. These are just situations where you have a better chance of succeeding.
Explain that yyou goI am sick
If COVID has made one thing clear, it’s that going to work, school, or traveling when sick is a really bad idea. So if you get sick and you are unable to make a trip, contact the hotel or third-party booking site where you made the booking and let them know.
In all likelihood, you will need to provide documentation indicating that you are ill, such as a note from your doctor. or a positive COVID test (where your name is included in the results, not just a snapshot of a home test).
share thissomeone in your the family died (or is about to)
Same deal here: Expect to be asked for documents, so try to have it ready before contacting the establishment or the booking site.
Share your fcancel lightation or other travel disruption
In case your flight has been canceledLEDs and your trip is delayed, rescheduled (to a different date in the future) or completely cancelled, it is worth contacting the hotel or booking site for a full or partial refund. Pproviding documentation should be relatively straightforward for this one (and already on your phone).
If you were traveling for a wedding that was canceled due to COVID concerns, that should work as well. The sooner you cancel, the better, as the hotel can feel more confident that they will be able to rebook your canceled room.
Mention your Loyalty program membership
It is not a guarantee that you will get a refund, but if you are a member of a hotel rewards or loyalty program, this is something to mention when requesting a refund for a non-refundable booking.
Explain how your plans changed (but do it as soon as possible)
Technically, that’s why refundable hotel reservations exist, so it’ll be harder to make a case, bbut if you have time to pass polite explanation to hotel manager or customer service representative why you don’t travel anymore is it’s worth a try to obtain at least a partial refund or credit for a future stay, or even a full refund. Again, the the hotel wants to feel confident that they will be able to rebook your canceled room, so if you can cancel weeks (or months) before your reservation, you should be fine even if your reservation confirmation says “non-refundable”.