Blog Post

Should Hotels Charge Cancellation Fees?


After reading Daniel Lesser’s, president and CEO, LW Hospitality Advisors, article on Nickel and diming, part II, we cannot help but consider his writing from our personal and non-hotel business point of view. We, actually, always thought that it was a bit odd that someone could book a hotel room or reserve a car without a credit card and just cancel at the last minute or just not show up without any consequences.

Can you imagine having a customer order 1000 customized mugs, give no deposit, casually cancel the order at the last minute and then you just saying “oh well, it happens”? That just would not be acceptable!

As Mr. Lesser mentions, Penalty-free, last-minute cancellations create challenges for hotel owners and operators managing their inventory, namely available room nights. We can just imagine the amount of unused rooms hotel managers have to scramble to fill at the last minute in order to keep their quotas.

And, as with any profitable minded business, If no fees are charged, hotels need to somewhat make up for that “phantom lost opportunity cost” and add it into their room rates. What that means is that, us, responsible vacationers and business travelers, have to cover that cost and end up paying the “last minute” cancellation fee. That really does not seem fair!

We believe that, just as airline have gone to a “you want it you pay for it” policy, hotels should too. If you want to be able to cancel your room at the last minute, then you should cover the fee of doing so. Unless a guest is reserving a suite type of room, if a hotel guest wants a microwave or an iron… they should just pay for it.

On our part, for as much as we try to find the best deal for our customers and help them avoid shipping fees, set up fees or other fees, we still need to all stay in business so that we can continue to offer excellent service and quality products that will meet our customer’s needs. If paying $30 or $50 for a set up fee will mean a better outcome for our customers, then we will definitely advise them to pay the fee (as we would) instead of nickel and diming a job to death only to be disappointed with the results.

We wish you great success in all you do!

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