3 Cheers for IHG’s New Cancellation Policy

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important to you is a hotel chain’s cancellation policy?

With Marriott and Hilton’s recent imposition of 48-hour cancellation policies, it seemed a sure bet that InterContinental Hotels Group and other large chains would follow suit. After all, the travel industry is a me-too business, especially when it comes to matching competitors’ policies that increase revenues, even if they’re at the expense of some customer goodwill.

So it came as a surprise — a pleasant one, to be sure — when InterContinental standardized its cancellation policy across most of its multiple brands not at 48 hours, like Hilton and Marriott, but at a significantly more consumer-friendly 24 hours.

There will be some regional exceptions, most notably in China, where travelers face a variety of cancellation deadlines, ranging from same-day to nine days prior to check-in. Another exception will be hotels operating under the Kimpton brand, which will retain their current 48-hour rule.

It’s a small thing, in the larger scheme of things. But there’s so little positive news when it comes to travel suppliers’ treatment of their customers that even such a modest movement against the tide is worth noting and, yes, deserving of travelers’ gratitude.

Thank you, IHG!

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

This article first appeared on SmarterTravel.com, where Tim is Editor-at-Large.