We understand that picking the right hotel for your stay is an important and complex decision. Users often get caught up between searching for the perfect hotel and worrying about steep cancellation charges. In our efforts to ‘make travel simple’, we bring you – cancellation protection to help make your travel accommodation decisions easier.
What is cancellation protection?
Simply put, it is a way to make all non-refundable hotel bookings, refundable.
When might you find cancellation protection handy?
1. Peak season vacation planning:
Ever faced a scenario while planning a trip, where you check out hotels and find the perfect place for your stay, only to realize that since it’s peak season, bookings are non-refundable? If you are like most people, you may now take a couple of days to firm up plans. And it is likely that when you try to complete the booking later on, the room is sold out!
Take the typical case of what happened for Goa recently; in the last 10 days of 2016 we witnessed a surge in hotel demand in Goa. At the same time, over 70% of the hotels had a non-refundable cancellation policy. The top properties listed with us got sold out as early as 10 days before Christmas. Our data also revealed that average users took 5 – 7 days to book after starting to search.
By using cancellation protection, you can make a hassle-free choice of a hotel without worrying about its various policies. Your timely and quicker decisions will help you book your favourite room before it gets sold out. You will also have more time on your hands to help plan other parts of the trip better.
2. The last minute plan change:
Even when you plan things to the last detail, whether it be for an international vacation, a domestic business meeting or a local weekend staycation, last minute changes in plans are sometimes inevitable.
Hotels prefer travelers with confirmed plans and often incentivize customers by providing fully loaded rooms at 10-15% cheaper prices. The caveat is that these room bookings are often non-refundable!
Users who understand this lack of flexibility, stay away from booking these rooms at deeply discounted non-refundable prices by paying more for a lower quality room many a time.
With cancellation protection all bookings are refundable. So go ahead and book the room of your choice. Even if your plans change, you get your money back.
How does cancellation protection exactly work?
Whenever you pick a non-refundable rate plan, the option to make it refundable automatically shows up on the review page. Once you opt-in / opt-out we will remember your choice for future bookings. Don’t worry – you can switch anytime! The protection would cost you 4-6% of the hotel price and you can cancel your booking anytime up to a day before the check-in.
You can currently use cancellation protection for all your bookings made on Cleartrip, via the website and mobile web platforms. During our internal and external dipstick, we observed that about 20% of the users who availed the protection went ahead and cancelled bookings, further assuring us of the need to provide this flexibility.