Most hotels will charge you a fee if you cancel your room booking less than 24 hours before you're supposed to check in. Ideally, that shouldn't be a problem — if you're not going to make a trip or holiday, you'll usually know it ahead of time. However, if your flight is cancelled, re-routed or there's another emergency, Redditor drwired has the solution: don't cancel the room, push your arrival time out by a few days, and then cancel it, once you're safely more than 24 hours from your check-in date.
Photo by timlewisnm.
Clearly, your mileage may vary on this one. In theory, this should work — most hotel chains are happier to let you change your arrival date than to cancel your booking altogether, and they'll work with you to reschedule your visit as long as your reservation stays on the books. Then, once you've changed your dates to, say, a week from now instead of a day from now, you can hang up, call back and (presumably speaking to someone else) cancel the reservation outright, with no fees or late charges. For the best effect, you may want to wait a day or so to call and cancel — after all, every call centre I know keeps logs of who calls and what their issue was, even if most agents don't look before adding a new entry.
Have you used this trick in the past? Some of the commenters at Reddit are dubious, but others agree that it works. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.