Hotels.Com COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Refund Problems / Get a Refund For Your Non-Refundable Hotel Bookings

How to Get a Refund form Hotels.com for Paid for Accommodation

If your like me and you have holidays booked in the near future then it looks very much like you are going to have to cancel your plans. I booked my USA trip in November 2019 and obviously at that time we peasants had no idea COVID-19 was coming, but it’s a new reality and I have to deal with it. I like many others booked online with Hotels.com then you will be in an uncomfortable position wondering if and when you should cancel, furthermore if you had a non-refundable policy you are likely, as I am worried your hard-earned money is lost forever.

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1. Hotels.com Cancellation for a Refundable Policy

Lucky part of my trip was eligible for a full refund as I had a reservation with a refund policy that covered this. So the cancellation process was as simple as a few clicks.

Hotels.com Cancellation for a Refundable Policy

In this case, it takes up to 30 days for the money to be deposited into your account, but hey no better than a kick in the balls. The process was easy to follow and seamless with a confirmation email coming through quickly confirming the cancellation.

Hotels.com Cancellation email

So are for the case when a refund policy is in place then everything seems straightforward and easy. I will update the article with the exact time frame for the refund, however in the email an up to 30-day warning was issued.

Hotels.com Your bookings

2. Refunds on Non-Refundable Hotels Not Straight Forward.

When I booked the holiday obviously my intent was to go, and I thought to myself if I am stupid enough to break a leg or something then so be it thus saving 200 dollars on the non-refundable room seemed like a winner. Unfortunately, neither I or Hotels.com saw the coronavirus coming and so I guess one could say I rolled the dice and lost.

I feel it’s more complicated than this though, as it’s something so far from normal surely special consideration should be taken into account. Anyway here is the process for my Non-Refund.

Refunds on Non-Refundable Hotels Not Straight Forward.

The start of the process was super simple and it looked like I was going to be able to follow the same process to lead to a refund. Just the click of a button took me directly to:

Change or Cancel Booking

This looked very positive and I checked both the changed booking and cancel booking policy, however, unfortunately, the news was not great.

Cancel booking

I thought not to worry, in this madness, the company will likely still offer a refund, and by July there is about 0 per cent chance of me being able to go to New York in any way shape or form. So I called the company Hotels.com and following putting in my booking details received an automated message along the lines of….

Your hotel stay is more than 10 days away, we cannot help you, call back nearer the time.

Give or take a few words, thus I am left in total limbo if I will receive a refund from the company Hotels.com. Anyway not to be defeated I called the Hilton Times Square directly and spoke to a delightful lady call Sarah who was extremely helpful polite and apologetic, she informed me that as I booked with Hotels.com and not directly her hands are tied, and I need to go back to the 3rd Party Company I booked through, she said next time book direct and I could have helped you. Qudos to The Hilton the staff member was amazing but ultimately due to factors out of her control unable to help.

3. Whats Next for a Refund from Hotels.com

I am not going to get too far into the ethics of all this, clearly, I booked a non-refundable ticket and I have to wear that I guess. Yet it’s still annoying as it’s not as if I have any say in the matter, I won’t be able to go even if I wanted to as Australia rightly so have a travel ban.

Ultimately though there is still hope:

COVID-19 - Important message for customers with upcoming bookings
The entire travel industry is experiencing an unprecedented increase in service requests from customers due to the overwhelming impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
We’re really sorry for such long wait times due to the increase in call volumes. Every Hotels.com team member who can help is working to add more capacity, self-service options and collaboration with many thousands of our global travel partners.
Importantly, we are focused on customers with travel in the next 10 days. If your travel is not immediate, please visit our Customer Service Portal that includes newly built online tools to help you change or cancel travel plans electronically yourself.
Here’s what you need to know:
For customers who booked a non-refundable rate prior to 19 March 2020 for stays between 20 March 2020 and 30 April 2020, we will email you in the coming days to ask if you wish to keep or cancel your existing booking. If you decide to cancel, you will be eligible for a full refund or, in some cases, a voucher allowing you to rebook the original property at later dates. There is no need to call us, but you must cancel your booking at least 24 hours before check-in in order to be eligible for this offer.
For customers who booked a non-refundable rate for stays after 30 April 2020, with the situation continuing to evolve, we will continue to work with travel partners as necessary to implement flexible policies.
For customers whose accommodation plans have already been impaired by COVID-19 and whose travel date has passed, we want to assure you that we are working to attend to your needs as well. We appreciate your patience.
For customers who have booked a refundable rate, please visit our Customer Service Portal to change or cancel.
For those looking to make a new booking, we strongly recommend choosing a rate that allows for free cancellation.
While we are adjusting our operations and policies as quickly as possible, we do ask for patience and reiterate that if your travel is not within the next 10 days, please hold off contacting us so we can prioritise urgent customer queries and resolve cases faster.
We thank you for your continued understanding. There’s nothing more important to us than you, our customers, remaining safe through this stressful time. All of us at Hotels.com value you and are grateful for your business.
How can I contact Hotels.com?
You can find all contact options here. Please bear in mind that we are experiencing unprecedented call volumes. To help us serve those with the most urgent needs, we request you only call if your booking/check-in date is in the next 10 days.
What is the Hotels.com cancellation and refund policy?
This will depend on the property you’ve booked, when you booked it and your stay dates:
Your reservation is fully refundable because you booked a Free Cancellation rate. This means you will be able to get a refund to your original form of payment. See how to cancel below.
Your reservation is non-refundable or a cancellation fee applies to your booking. This means one of three things:
You will be eligible for a full refund. Due to COVID-19, anyone who booked a non-refundable rate before 19th March for stays between 20th March and 30th April will be entitled to a full refund, except where the property has opted to refund with a voucher. You must cancel your booking at least 24 hours before check-in to be eligible. See how to cancel below.
You will be eligible for a voucher equal to the full value of your original booking. Some properties have opted to refund with vouchers instead. Anyone who booked a non-refundable rate at one of these properties before 19th March for stays between 23rd March and 30th April will instead be entitled to a voucher equal to the full value of their original booking, which can be used to book a future stay at the property they booked. See how to cancel below.
For non-refundable stays after 30th April, we will continue to work with properties as necessary to implement flexible policies. Rest assured that we are doing our best to make this experience as easy and stress-free as possible for our customers, and will keep everyone updated with the latest information.
How can I cancel my booking?
Please visit our Customer Service Portal to find all the information on how you can cancel your booking.
When will I receive my refund?
Please note that due to the unprecedented volume of travel disruptions, refunds may take up to 30 days to process.
When will I receive my voucher?
Please note that due to the unprecedented volume of travel disruptions, vouchers may take up to 30 days to be issued.
How can I still make use of my Rewards status under the current circumstances?
We know our Silver and Gold members’ travel plans may have been affected and this may impact their membership status upon renewal. Therefore, if your renewal date is between 1st February and 31st May 2020, we will extend your membership status for a further year. It’s one less thing for you to worry about. Check your Rewards status here.
How can I book future travel without hassle down the line?
We have stopped selling non-refundable rates for customers shopping with us over the next two months. We want to offer you a product that is fully flexible so it’s easy for you to change your plans as conditions change. We will be rolling this window forward every day and re-evaluating conditions weekly. This means that, for the time being, you should only be able to find refundable rooms to book with Hotels.com (look out for the badge to be sure) and can, therefore, amend your booking as and when needed. Book your next trip now.

It looks like Hotels.com is taking positive steps due to the madness that Covid 19 has caused.

For customers who booked a non-refundable rate prior to 19 March 2020 for stays between 20 March 2020 and 30 April 2020, we will email you in the coming days to ask if you wish to keep or cancel your existing booking. If you decide to cancel, you will be eligible for a full refund or, in some cases, a voucher allowing you to rebook the original property at later dates. There is no need to call us, but you must cancel your booking at least 24 hours before check-in in order to be eligible for this offer.

So for now it’s a case of sit tight, and it looks like Hotels.com will do the right thing.

4. Hotels.Com COVID-19 (coronavirus) Refund Problems / Get a Refund for Your Non-Refundable Hotel Bookings Conclusion

So far it looks like while it could be a long wait that Hotels.com are going to do the right thing and offer refunds on non-refundable tickets. This is a huge relief to me, as I saved for 5 years for this trip with my wife and kids. My next battle is American Airlines.

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Dave Peterson

Dave Peterson Passion for adventure and sharing his life long journey with as many others as possible. "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." HENRY S. HASKINS

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