With Marriott and Hilton’s recent imposition of 48-hour cancellation policies, it seemed a sure bet that InterContinental Hotels Group and other large chains would follow suit. After all, the travel industry is a me-too business, especially when it comes to matching competitors’ policies that increase revenues, even if they’re at the expense of some customer goodwill.
So it came as a surprise—a pleasant one, to be sure—when InterContinental standardized its cancellation policy across most of its multiple brands not at 48 hours, like Hilton and Marriott, but at a significantly more consumer-friendly 24 hours.
There will be some regional exceptions, most notably in China, where travelers face a variety of cancellation deadlines, ranging from same-day to nine days prior to check-in. Another exception will be hotels operating under the Kimpton brand, which will retain their current 48-hour rule.
It’s a small thing, in the larger scheme of things. But there’s so little positive news when it comes to travel suppliers’ treatment of their customers that even such a modest movement against the tide is worth noting and, yes, deserving of travelers’ gratitude.
Thank you, IHG!
Reader Reality Check
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.