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This Hotel Cancellation Policy Loophole Could Save You A Headache, and Money

hotel cancellation policy, hotel policy, travel


Some hotels have a cancellation policy that state if you do not cancel your reservation by a certain time your credit card will be charged for the room anyway. The line in the sand may be a specific time on the day of the reservation, 24 hours, or even longer.

I found a potential loophole in this policy.

My wife and I bought tickets last November to see the band Nickelback in concert. The actual concert was in March, and since the event was out of town we booked a hotel room as well. We were all set to hop in the car on the day of the event, when we were notified that due to a family emergency for one of the band members,  the concert had been postponed.  It was later rescheduled for a weekend in July.

We called the hotel to cancel the room, unfortunately we were told that the 24 hour deadline to cancel had already passed. They were not sympathetic to the fact that we called as soon as the concert postponement had been announced, we were stuck with the room. What they did offer was to reschedule our reservation, so we re-booked our room for the new night of the concert.

Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that due to a medical condition the concert was canceled and would not be rescheduled.

Instantly remembering the hotel reservation, I wondered if their system kept track of the history of our reservation and therefore would not let us cancel it. My wife cautiously called the hotel, and to our surprise we were able to cancel our reservation without any hassle. Without asking too many questions, my wife determined that their system did not have any information regarding the history of the reservation. To the person she was talking to, we were simply cancelling a reservation that was over a month away.

When making a hotel reservation in the future, remember the following tips:

  • Cancellation policy : Find out the hotel’s cancellation policy and give preference to hotels that allow cancellation up to a certain time on the day of the reservation. This could save you a hassle if you unexpectedly have to cancel your plans.
  • Reschedule If Needed : If you do have to cancel after the hotel’s deadline, ask if you can reschedule. Maybe there’s another day you could use the reservation, OR you could do what I did and attempt to cancel it all together later.

Had we not been able to cancel, we would have been stuck with a $240 hotel room in a location we don’t visit very often. By finding a potential loophole, we were able to work around the hotel’s policy and avoid being stuck with a hotel room we would have to invent a reason to use.


Image courtesy of Stockimages at

Have you ever had to cancel your plans after the deadline of the hotel’s cancellation policy? How did it turn out?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • Good bit of advice. I would imagine some hotels have probably closed this loophole, but you got lucky. On a side note, Rock Star is one of the my most hated songs of all time. When we go on camping trips, we’re often in areas with limited radio station options. On our last trip, we had two stations to choose from. One of them played an awesome variety from the last 20-30 years, with a mix just to my taste…except for some reason Rock Star was in heavy, and I mean, heavy rotation so the station ended up getting changed a lot, which it wouldn’t except for that one flaw. 🙂

  • @MoneyBeagle – yeah, I would guess if the hotel knew this happened they’d fix it pretty quickly. Although it probably doesn’t happen that often. LOL, nota “Rock Star” fan, huh? It’s not my favorite either, even before it got played into the ground. I like my music a little “heavier.”

  • @Clarisse – That’s unfortunate….this is one of the only times that I’ve run across not being able to cancel inside of 24 hours. Usually it’s like by 6:00pm or something like that. Thanks for reading!

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