Can I get money back for a hotel room I booked before covid happened?

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Jul 31, 2020
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Back in January, I booked a room at Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Anaheim Resort through expedia for August 26 - September 1, 2020. I was going to attend Star Wars Celebration, but that got postponed until 2022. I contacted expedia, who contacted the hotel. Expedia has contacted the hotel multiple times, and the hotel has denied a refund, voucher, moving the dates, everything. I know I booked a nonrefundable rate, but I was willing to move the dates to July 2021 if I could. The hotel refuses to help even though I booked the room before COVID happened, I'm wondering if Wyndham has any policy at all regarding this. I do not want to visit Anaheim anytime this year. Two weeks ago I had a fever and other covid symptoms, I was not tested but I don't want to travel with those symptoms. I have been furloughed from my job and getting this money back would mean a lot to me.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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If you booked a non refundable rate- no you probably can’t get a refund.

Many are finding that non-refundable really is non-refundable with Covid and that the little savings they received were not worth losing everything.
 
May 21, 2020
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near Charlotte, NC
Expedia has contacted the hotel multiple times, and the hotel has denied a refund, voucher, moving the dates, everything. I know I booked a nonrefundable rate, but I was willing to move the dates to July 2021 if I could. The hotel refuses to help even though I booked the room before COVID happened, I'm wondering if Wyndham has any policy at all regarding this.
Usually nonrefundable hotel reservations also means non-transferable and non-changeable. Those are the terms you agreed to in exchange for getting a discounted rate. This was true even before Covid. Since you booked thru Expedia, the hotel likely won’t be willing to give you an exception to the terms.
 
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weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
Back in January, I booked a room at Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Anaheim Resort through expedia for August 26 - September 1, 2020. I was going to attend Star Wars Celebration, but that got postponed until 2022. I contacted expedia, who contacted the hotel. Expedia has contacted the hotel multiple times, and the hotel has denied a refund, voucher, moving the dates, everything. I know I booked a nonrefundable rate, but I was willing to move the dates to July 2021 if I could. The hotel refuses to help even though I booked the room before COVID happened, I'm wondering if Wyndham has any policy at all regarding this. I do not want to visit Anaheim anytime this year. Two weeks ago I had a fever and other covid symptoms, I was not tested but I don't want to travel with those symptoms. I have been furloughed from my job and getting this money back would mean a lot to me.
In the future book through the hotel website. You might (might not) have more success in postponing your stay, but if you chose a non-refundable room on any site your chance of a refund is small.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,452
23,416
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
In the future book through the hotel website. You might (might not) have more success in postponing your stay, but if you chose a non-refundable room on any site your chance of a refund is small.
And as long as you don’t book a nonrefundable rate through the hotel site too you usually can cancel 48 hours before.
 
Sep 27, 2018
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If you booked a non refundable rate- no you probably can’t get a refund.

Many are finding that non-refundable really is non-refundable with Covid and that the little savings they received were not worth losing everything.
While I agree with you, this was a convention and many times all that is available is non-refundable/minimum stay rooms. My company won't book such rooms which has meant some very distant accommodations at times.
 
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Jul 13, 2020
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I feel for the OP but also feel for the hotel. Then took a lower price to secure that a hotel room on a certain day would be booked. The gave something off the stay and you gave a promise to pay for the room with no cancellations. Even more so if the hotel is in fact open during the days you have booked.
Would you be OK if the hotel canceled your reservation the day before the Star Wars convention happened ( last years one pre or post Covid) if the hotel could now get twice what you paid for this room leaving you having to find another hotel room in 24 hours ( I am sure paying a lot more) . You agreed to pay them with no option to get a refund or credit and they agreed to have that room for you on the day you wanted it. Be fair here.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
I feel for the OP but also feel for the hotel. Then took a lower price to secure that a hotel room on a certain day would be booked. The gave something off the stay and you gave a promise to pay for the room with no cancellations. Even more so if the hotel is in fact open during the days you have booked.
Would you be OK if the hotel canceled your reservation the day before the Star Wars convention happened ( last years one pre or post Covid) if the hotel could now get twice what you paid for this room leaving you having to find another hotel room in 24 hours ( I am sure paying a lot more) . You agreed to pay them with no option to get a refund or credit and they agreed to have that room for you on the day you wanted it. Be fair here.
Agree. On the Wyndham site for the days the OP booked these terms are offered:

 
Jul 31, 2020
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Thanks for your input everyone. I'm cancelling the reservation. I know I took the risk with the rate, but that was before COVID happened and nobody could have predicted it would shut down everything. I got a full travel voucher from Southwest Airlines good for 2 years. I won't be booking a Wyndham hotel ever again.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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Back in January, I booked a room at Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Anaheim Resort through expedia for August 26 - September 1, 2020. I was going to attend Star Wars Celebration, but that got postponed until 2022. I contacted expedia, who contacted the hotel. Expedia has contacted the hotel multiple times, and the hotel has denied a refund, voucher, moving the dates, everything. I know I booked a nonrefundable rate, but I was willing to move the dates to July 2021 if I could. The hotel refuses to help even though I booked the room before COVID happened, I'm wondering if Wyndham has any policy at all regarding this. I do not want to visit Anaheim anytime this year. Two weeks ago I had a fever and other covid symptoms, I was not tested but I don't want to travel with those symptoms. I have been furloughed from my job and getting this money back would mean a lot to me.
While I understand what my colleagues are saying, and they're correct, I think there is a possibility of a future credit from Wyndham. A slight possibility perhaps, but worth a try. I would compose a concise, polite letter and submit to Customer Service. Ask for a future credit, not a refund. Express appreciation, explain that you just didn't think about the possibility of not having a convention to attend. People reading complaint letters get weary of travellers not taking responsibility for their actions, so your letter will stand out. We refer to this as "artful begging". Wait two weeks, and if no response, use our Company Contacts to work your way up the executive ladder, waiting two weeks between each submission. Polite, patient and persistent can sometimes win the day. Good luck, and please let us know the outcome.
 

Skippy

May 30, 2019
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Thanks for your input everyone. I'm cancelling the reservation. I know I took the risk with the rate, but that was before COVID happened and nobody could have predicted it would shut down everything. I got a full travel voucher from Southwest Airlines good for 2 years. I won't be booking a Wyndham hotel ever again.
Just a thought here ... If the room was nonrefundable, and the hotel is not willing to work with you on even a credit, and the online travel agency can't solve the problem, why bother going through the motions to cancel the hotel? A cancelled room can be rebooked by the hotel. Why give an inflexible party the opportunity to get revenue twice? Perhaps in this specific case, being a no-show would be more appropriate.

Noting that, I reviewed the hotel COVID FAQ page (https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/about-us/faq-covid-19). The current policy reads:
Can I cancel or change my reservation without a penalty?
  • For direct bookings made on or after June 6, 2020, with stays after June 30, 2020, please check the “Additional Rate Details” link on the Rooms & Rates page or “Cancellation & Rate Details” link on the Booking page for applicable terms and/or exclusions. While many rates have flexible cancellation policies, there are some rates which are non-cancellable.
  • For direct bookings made before June 6, 2020, for stays after June 30, 2020, all of our properties are required to accommodate non-cancellable rate reservation changes if the request is received at least 48 hours prior to arrival and the same number of room nights or more are booked for a future stay.
  • Guests who are prohibited from traveling to their booked hotel under applicable law will have their cancellation or change penalties waived on direct bookings.
  • If your reservation was made as part of a group booking—such as a conference, meeting, or event—the cancellation policies outlined above do not apply. If you have a group reservation, please review the terms and conditions for the booking and/or contact the group planner for more information.
What if I made my reservation through a travel agent or online booking platform?
For bookings made by a travel agent or online booking platform, guests are advised to contact the agent or booking platform directly.
If the booking was direct, there may have been some flexibility. Unfortunately, it was not booked directly. So, in the few weeks left, perhaps it may be worth the while to write a letter directly to Wyndham Corporate in an appeal for Goodwill, for a refund or at least a credit.
 
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Mar 1, 2018
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Thanks for your input everyone. I'm cancelling the reservation. I know I took the risk with the rate, but that was before COVID happened and nobody could have predicted it would shut down everything. I got a full travel voucher from Southwest Airlines good for 2 years. I won't be booking a Wyndham hotel ever again.
Hhunderscore, from a hotelier, please note you booked an Expedia hotel; goodwill gestures from the hotel itself benefit Expedia, and make you happier with your Expedia decision, but really have no benefit to the hotel itself. I make different decisions in my professional life, but the hotel really gains nothing by waiving their rules that you chose/agreed to (even if they choose to do so). As others have mentioned, please consider booking with the hotel you wish to stay at in the future, especially if you want that hotel to go to bat for you if something comes up. At that point you are their customer, and that generally matters (whether or not it should). Please note that you're blaming the hotel, while it's Exp that has your reservation, so Exp could refund you if they wished. For whatever that's worth.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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Thanks for this insightful post, Seattleguy. I've always wondered if it's true that the online booking service does not pay the hotel until the guest arrives; the actual money for the room does not change hands until then. Do you know if this this true? For a non-ref res as well? While I don't understand why anyone would willingly book a non-ref res, there are situations when the traveller has no choice. I've always been curious about this.
 

kenish

Sep 1, 2015
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Thought exercise- let's say Covid never happened and you woke up on the morning of your travel sicker than a dog with the everyday flu. As much as that would suck, would you expect a refund from Expedia, Wyndham, or any other hotel that makes it abundantly clear a non-refundable rate is exactly that, "no waivers, no favors"? As others said, understand you're Expedia's customer, not Wyndham's. Your request will be lower priority than direct customers.

Two weeks ago I had a fever and other covid symptoms, I was not tested but I don't want to travel with those symptoms.
Leave this out...it's irrelevant to your original travel on Aug 26 and supports the "what if" in my first paragraph.

I won't be booking a Wyndham hotel ever again.
Definitely leave this out too, as the Elliott website advises. If you tell them you will never use them again, you've closed the door and they have no reason to help you. IMHO your position is unreasonable; virtually any hotel will respond similarly.

Politely ask Wydham for their understanding; if you're willing to receive a credit for future lodging at any Wyndham property during 2021, they may go for that. Sorry you have this experience; live and learn that non-refundable means exactly that in the travel biz, and avoid OTA's- book direct and prices/terms are the same or often better.

Please keep us updated.
 
Mar 1, 2018
8
23
3
Thanks for this insightful post, Seattleguy. I've always wondered if it's true that the online booking service does not pay the hotel until the guest arrives; the actual money for the room does not change hands until then. Do you know if this this true? For a non-ref res as well? While I don't understand why anyone would willingly book a non-ref res, there are situations when the traveller has no choice. I've always been curious about this.
Hi jsn55,

For a long time EXP would have you invoice them for payments they'd received after the guest had stayed with you and checked out. Over the years (recently though) they gradually transitioned to a model where they give the property a virtual credit card (a ghost card, number only) that the hotel charges when the guest checks in. Under no circumstances that I've ever heard of do they send the hotel money in advance of a stay, no matter how far in advance the stay is booked. So if you cancel your stay in advance of arrival, it's literally true that the hotel doesn't have your money. Even assuming the room is cancellable, or within policy, or an exception is made, your money still has to come back from EXP, not from the hotel. It's certainly an extra layer of complexity. The hotel can't refund your money even if they strongly desire to (although my experience is the OTA will ordinarily support the hotel's decision).

The major OTAs also offer an option where you don't pre-pay for your stay, you book with a credit card to secure the booking but only pay the hotel directly when you check-in. Technically the hotel pre-authorizes the amount of your stay to your credit card (at check-in, not at booking), and actually settles the charge or puts the charge through the day you check-out, but there's no real difference from the customers' POV. In those cases, you pay the hotel the amount you've agreed and EXP (or whomever) invoices the hotel for their commission on the stay, typically monthly. In these cases no money has changed hands until at the very least when you arrive, so there's nothing to refund in a cancellation. If there is a refund required for some reason, it comes from the hotel, not from the OTA, as the hotel has your money at that point.

FWIW. Stay well out there, and spirits up if possible.