Weekend survey: When should a hotel refund a nonrefundable room?

By | September 16th, 2010

When I say this is a hot topic, I’m not kidding. I had to shut down the comments on this post earlier today because people just couldn’t get along. But here’s your chance to sound off in a more civilized forum: A weekend poll.

More hotels are offering nonrefundable rooms. And more guests are booking them (often without knowing it).


When should a hotel bend its nonrefundability rules? I asked you about airlines last week. But hotels have their own unique set of circumstances.

Here are the results.



  • Lisa

    so what stops me booking a cancellable room, then once i know 24hrs before its pretty certain the trip is on, cancelling the refundable room, and then rebooking the room at a pre-paid rate?

  • AnnPeek

    What part of “nonrefundable” do people have a difficult time comprehending?

    If you read the word nonrefundable and still make the booking, then it’s on you to get yourself to the hotel for your booking. That’s what being a responsible adult in a contract means. The nonrefundable bit is why you are getting such a good price on the room. If you want to pay more for the ability to cancel and get some or all of your money back, then don’t book a nonrefundable room.

    If, for some reason, the hotel isn’t operating because of a storm which affects the normal running of the hotel or a hostage takeover or some other very unusual event which makes the property usable or unsafe, then money should be refunded, and/or an alternative booking should be offered. That’s good business.