Saw this on Flyertalk in the Marriott forum. Policy takes effect January 1, 2015. It was picked up off one of the blogger sites. It has been officially confirmed by a Marriott spokesperson, so not a rumor.
"Starting Jan. 1, 2015, Marriott International will officially adopt a stricter reservation cancellation policy than what is currently in place at most of its properties, TravelUpdate.com has learned.
Marriott told Travel Update that the goal is to sell more rooms, as opposed to collecting more reservation penalty fees.
Once the policy takes effect, consumers will have until 11:59 p.m. local time the day before check-in in order to avoid paying a penalty charge, according to the email obtained by Travel Update that Marriott sent to hotel operators on Friday.
Marriott expects that “most hotels will want to follow the new policy,” according to the email. Marriott, in fact, is telling franchised hotels that if they want to opt out of the new policy and continue offering a “day of arrival” cancellation deadline, they must request permission to do so.
In response to Travel Update’s questions to Marriott about the policy change, Marriott spokeswoman Felicia Farrar McLemore said that about 25% “of our managed hotels in the Americas have a cancellation policy that is more aggressive than 6pm day of arrival.” So in many markets, she said, the new policy will put Marriott “in line with our competitors.” Uh, Felicia that means that 75% don't have a more agressive than 6pm DOA policy.
In its email to hoteliers, Marriott notes that the policy change comes at a time of record breaking demand for hotel rooms. Marriott’s email says:
“Demand for lodging is at an all-time high, and across the industry, more rooms are being occupied than ever before. We expect that 2015 will be another record-breaking year for occupancy, which means now is a good time to modify our reservation cancellation policy to help hotels better manage their inventory.
Overview of Policy Change
The new policy will change the cancellation deadline from the day of arrival (e.g., 12:00, 4:00 or 6:00 p.m.) to 11:59 p.m. local time on the day prior to arrival. The change to the cancellation policy gives Revenue Management more time to manage inventory and make strategy adjustments, thereby increasing the ability to mitigate loss from short-term cancellations. Many of our competitors have already moved to a 24-hour cancellation policy, and many hotels within the Marriott portfolio have already implemented a more aggressive cancellation policy (note: hotels currently following a more restrictive policy will not be impacted by this change).
In response to Travel Update’s question as to whether Marriott expects the new policy to increase cancellation fee revenue, Marriott spokeswoman Felicia Farrar McLemore sent this response:
“While the intent for this change is not to collect more cancellation fees, our desire is to sell rooms that would have otherwise gone unoccupied due to a guest’s last minute cancellation.”
On the one hand I can see where there might be a bit of a pro to this. Some hotels have 'day before' cancel policies already in place but it says day before with no time frame, which has really caused some down & out, almost fisticuffs between the elite & the property & even MR cust service when they all interpret day before differently. This (supposedly) would limit that - if the properties adhere to it.
On the other hand it could screw up biz travelers who need flexibility. What if a client cancels a meeting the day before the mtg - ie, the day the biz traveler is arriving to stay in order to make the next day mtg. Now the biz traveler will get dinged/pay 1 night because s/he would have had to know 2 days before that the client was going to cancel.
Or what about the traveler who's on a plane to the destination or waiting at the airport & the flight gets canceled. The cancellation of the flight isn't usually the day before.
Good point on the clarification of terms bit, I'm not a fan though, for the (lengthy) reasons I put forward on the Re: New Marriott Cancellation Policy in 2015. Basically the same though, stuff can happen on the day which now could leave me dinged...
I ran into that last year for a leisure trip It was threatening rain. If it rained, I would just head home but if not, I wanted to leisurely drive, sightseeing on the way and therefore would want to stay a night on the way. Due to the cancel policy of the day before, I just canceled and figured if it was nice, I would just get home late. They lost a sale. As it turned out, it was nice and I would have used the night. In my case they lost the revenue.
Marriott spokeswoman Felicia Farrar McLemore said that about 25% “of our managed hotels in the Americas have a cancellation policy that is more aggressive than 6pm day of arrival.” So in many markets, she said, the new policy will put Marriott “in line with our competitors.”
All the marketing I've seen from Marriott is that they want to be better than the competition. The spokeswoman now says that Marriott want to be like them. Why stay at Marriott then?
This will change they way many people travel. This was a mistake. Many travelers are last minute.
I recently stayed at another chain because I wasn't positive if I needed a room or not and Marriott's new policy don't allow me to stay without possibly being charged per new policy. I think Marriott made a BIG mistake in doing this.
The only places I see this having any real impact are places like Thailand where the typical flight from the US lands about midnight. So if you get hung up and find out you're going to arrive late it's already past the normal 6:00 PM cancellation time. For most places within the US, if you're going to cancel I think you'd know by midnight 99% of the time.
there are many flights delayed everyday in the US. The northeast is having winter storms today and many flights are cancelled until next day. There wouldn't be enough time to cancel room with the flight cancellations going on
I understand the hotels idea to make record profit as one article states but the average fun and some business travel changes are made late and this is not enough notice for the traveler.
A good cancel time should be hotel check in time since I can't check in before that time I should have up to that time to cancel.
Some policies just are not good change
Change can be good but not always needed
Could this be any more inconvenient for the business traveler? I've already had to personally call 3 properties this year and beg not to get charged a room fee due to last minute changes in travel plans, mostly due to airline issues. How about a little latitude for a Lifetime Platinum member! IHG still allows same day cancellations, that might be the chain I change to. I've been loyal to Marriott for the past 8 years but this new policy is a deal breaker for me. Especially for as unreliable as air travel has become. I don't need the hassle of having to call and beg for a property not to charge me for a room that I am unable to get to due to circumstances that are not under my control.
Amen to you and all the others protesting this new cancelation policy. Since this is a Marriott forum I assume somebody at Marriott is reading these very reasonable and legitimate complaints. Business and government accounting offices will not pay for travel not taken due to last minute schedule changes, and private citizens shouldn't either. Last Spring my wife and I took a 14,000 mile circumnavigation of the US and stayed at Marriotts all over the country for two solid months. Would not have been happy to be charged for a hotel because of a flat tire, accident, or weather, and would be even less happy this year with this new policy. As Marriott should notice, many elite members are very unhappy with this policy, and while we have to submit to TSA and airline indignities, "we do have a choice in hotels." I would have hoped that Marriott would have demonstrated higher ethical standards than to follow the airlines with their seemingly endless race to the bottom and money-grubbing. Hey Marriott execs: how about restoring our faith in you and joining the conversation? One cancelation fee will hurt our sense of fairness worse than all the Concierge Lounge "free" breakfasts we've spent so much money earning.
I Sent an email to Marriott customer care
Email address email@example.com
i got a reply that they are going to go with this. I think they will until they get enough complaints to office members and owners alike. This here is just to vent and let public know how we feel
some Marriott execs might read these, they should.
I Had another last minute travel change and cancelled because I wasn't sure if I was going or not t so I booked with another hotel chain
My stays at Marriott have reduced and I anticipate they will continue to do so
i urge all unhappy to contact Marriott customer care or someone direct with Marriott
again here is one email I contacted firstname.lastname@example.org