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Hotels Toughen Cancellation Fees, Policy Varies Even Within Chains

5:06 PM, May 6, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- You might already be planning a trip or two for the summer, but before you make your reservations 2 Wants To Know needs to make you aware of a possible hidden fee. More and more hotels are starting to toughen their cancellation fees.    

In the past you were probably able to cancel your hotel up to a few hours before. Now places like O'Henry and Proximity will charge you if you don't cancel at least 24 hours before. And some hotels in vacation hotspots even require you to cancel at least three days before or longer.

How much you'll be out depends on where you stay. Some places will charge you for only one night, but the majority will bill you for the whole reserved stay. Guilford Technical Community College professor of hotel management Linda Beitz says some hotels will work with you if you ask nicely, but if it's during an event - like a festival or tournament, you're probably out of luck and money.

"If it's a special event and there are multiple people trying to come stay at that hotel and you get one of these rooms and you don't show, and they turn away a lot of people - they deserve your money just as much as the people that wanted to stay there but couldn't," Beitz said.

In the United States there is no standard cancellation policy to follow - so it really varies from one chain to another. Even among chains, each local hotel may have a different policy. And those fees are actually big business for hotels. A research team from New York University found in 2012, the major chains made almost $2 billion off cancellation and other fees like this. The take away, ask about the hotel's cancellation before you make your reservation.

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