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Hyatt Hotels cracks down on late reservation cancellations

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA: The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa has a lagoon style pool in s
The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. Hyatt Hotels has adopted a policy that imposes a fee on guests who cancel a reservation within 48 hours of check-in time.
(Hyatt Hotels & Resorts)

Hyatt Hotels Corp. has joined its two biggest rivals in adopting a policy that punishes guests who cancel reservations within 48 hours of the check-in time.

The move comes several months after Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International — two of the world’s biggest hospitality companies — announced the adoption of a 48-hour cancellation policy.

Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels, with nearly 700 properties in 56 countries, is making its new cancellation policy effective on reservations made or changed on or after Jan. 1, 2018.

Guests who cancel within 48 hours of the check-in time will face a cancellation fee, which will vary. A spokeswoman for the hotel company said the penalty might be the price of one night’s room rental.

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Hyatt in a statement said that “the change is designed to improve room availability” but noted that members of the hotel company’s elite frequent guest programs can cancel up to 24 hours before the check-in time without incurring a penalty.

The tougher cancellation policies may be in response to surging travel demand, which has led to near record occupancy rates and rising profits for the industry. Hospitality experts also say that the tougher cancellation policies are meant to keep travelers from booking a room and then backing out after finding cheaper rates on the internet.

hugo.martin@latimes.com

To read more about the travel and tourism industries, follow @hugomartin on Twitter.

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