Here are the guidelines we’ve received from Expedia to deal with queries, cancellations and refunds during this time:
Their main summary can be found here: Expedia Group General Coronavirus Updates
We also have their guidelines on the following topics:
Policy updates for June (Email sent to partners 18 May).
Honoring your cancellation policies:
- As more travelers understand the risks of booking non-refundable or partially-refundable travel, the force majeure flexible cancellation policy will not be valid for bookings made after 20 March 2020 for both domestic and international bookings for arrival in June.
- For international bookings made before 20 March 2020, due to arrival in June, Expedia have extended the force majeure cancellation policy — waiving the cancellation fees for guests arriving in June.
- For domestic bookings made before 20 March 2020, Expedia are honoring the cancellation policies in place stays in June.
- Exceptions include countries where domestic travel remains in lockdown, a 14-day quarantine is required, or local law requires travelers receive vouchers or refunds when they cancel. Additionally, if airline operations are severely limited or if COVID-19 related difficulties prevent people from traveling, Expedia will continue to apply our force majeure policies.
Cancellation tools and features:
The following tools are available (or will be soon) in Partner Central:
- Initiate a cancellation to quickly issue a cash refund to travelers.
- Maintain an existing reservation by moving it to another date (coming in June).
- A version of the voucher reporting tool is available on the Reservations page in Partner Central, with additional enhancements coming soon.
Force majeure cancellation policy update (Email sent to partners 17 April)
- Force majeure flexible cancellation policy will not be valid for bookings made after 20 March 2020 for arrival in May 2020 onward.
- For bookings made before 20 March 2020 to arrive in May 2020:
- Expedia will waive all their cancellation fees for force majeure cancellations and expect their hotel partners do the same.
- Hotel partners have until 20 April to decide how to handle force majeure cancellations for non-refundable bookings. Either offering a full-refund or a voucher.
- Partly-refundable bookings will automatically be treated as fully-refundable, with a 24-hour in advance of check-in cancellation window.
- For refundable package bookings outside the EU, the cancellation window has been extended to April 27. In situations where airlines have been unclear on their May flight operations, this allows travelers to cancel stays without incurring penalties.
- Additionally, there will be increased visibility of non-refundable and partially-refundable policies on Expedia’s sites in the next few days. At that time, displaying non-refundable offers to travelers will be resumed.
Simplified policies for refundable bookings (Email sent to partners 31 March)
For all reservations with check-in dates through April 30, 2020, we’ve made our lodging partners’ offerings simple, flexible and attractive to travelers.
This simplification materializes as follows:
- We’ve temporarily stopped displaying fully non-refundable rate plans on our sites for booking windows between 3 and 60 days. This is to increase traveler confidence to book and minimize post-booking complications.
- For existing non-refundable bookings cancelled by travelers, we will issue refunds and send an email confirming the cancellation.
- We strongly encourage you to make competitive, fully-refundable rate plans available to travelers. You can do this in Partner Central or through your channel manager.
Refundable and Partially-Refundable Rates:
- We will automatically extend the free-cancellation period to 24-hours before the check-in date and issue a full cash refund to travelers who choose to cancel.
- We will update all rate plans to a free-cancellation 24-hours in advance of the check in date, allowing travelers to cancel now or delay their decision until closer to their stay, should the situation improve.
- We sincerely appreciate your flexibility and support in allowing us to make these simplifications on your behalf. If you don’t want the 24-hour cancellation policy to apply to your future bookings, you can remove inventory for those rate plans in Partner Central or through your channel manager.
Expedia Group will not earn any fees or compensation for these cancelled bookings and we expect you will waive, or refund, fees and other amounts as well.
Solution for Non-Refundable Rates (Email sent to partners on 19 March)
Global Cancellation Waiver Program
Expedia set up a Global Cancellation Waiver Program. Hundreds of thousands of lodging partners – chains as well as independent hotels and property managers – have joined, allowing Expedia Group to reach out to travelers at scale and automatically process their cancellations and refunds should they wish to cancel their booking. This sends a positive message to travelers about
what hospitality is all about.
As a result of these global force majeure circumstances, Expedia intends to enroll all partners with outstanding non-refundable prepaid bookings made prior to March 19th for stays between March 20th and April 30th, 2020 into the Global
Cancellation Waiver Program. If you prefer not to issue refunds and do not wish to be automatically enrolled into the Global Cancellation Waiver Program, you can contact your market manager to discuss options.
Expedia Group will give travellers who cancel non-refundable reservations at your property within the dates above a one-year travel voucher for the initial booking value (excluding a small subset of bookings for which the issue of a voucher is not technically possible). This allows them to rebook your property on our sites and is designed to help you maintain your existing book of business. Of course, they can’t guarantee that all travellers that cancel, especially those traveling internationally, will rebook their trip.
From March 21st, Expedia Group proactively informs all travelers with outstanding nonrefundable bookings whether they will receive a full cash refund or a one-year voucher, in alignment with your selected option.
For any type of booking, they have recently launched the ability for you to initiate cancellations in Partner Central if the guest contacts you directly.
Expedia Group will not earn any compensation on these cancelled bookings.
As a thank you for putting travellers first, you will receive a boost to enhance your visibility across their sites for the next 12 months.
How to handle a no-show booking:
Due to the large volume of cancellations being received, some customer’s attempts to cancel before the check-in date may not reach you until after the check-in date. In these circumstances, the booking falls within the force majeure flex policy.