What is the Expedia cancellation policy?

Expedia provides a cancellation policy that allows users to cancel or modify their reservations without any charges or penalties within the first 24 hours.

Beyond this period, cancelling a booking made through an Expedia listing generally doesn’t impose a cancellation fee, but it allows hosts to establish their own cancellation policies, which may include penalties for cancellations.

As an owner or manager of a small hotel, it’s vital to comprehend the cancellation policies of online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia. This understanding is key to efficiently managing your bookings, enhancing the satisfaction of your guests, and optimising your revenue management.

This blog will give you a comprehensive understanding of Expedia’s cancellation policy, so you can effectively handle cancellations without impacting your revenue or guest satisfaction.

Why is it important for hosts to know about the Expedia refund policy?

Knowledge of Expedia’s refund policy is a crucial aspect of managing a small hotel business effectively. Here’s why:

Better Revenue Management

By understanding the Expedia cancellation policy and its effects on your business, you can better manage your revenue expectations.

For instance, if you know that a certain percentage of bookings may be cancelled and refunded, you can plan their pricing and booking strategies accordingly. This can help to mitigate potential revenue losses from cancellations.

Helps in Managing Bookings

Knowing the Expedia refund policy can help you manage your bookings more effectively.

For example, if you know that a guest can cancel a booking within a certain timeframe and receive a full refund, you can keep this in mind when managing your room availability. This can help to prevent overbooking and ensure that rooms are available for new bookings.

Reduces Disputes

Understanding the refund policy can also help to reduce disputes with guests. If you’re clear about the cancellation terms and conditions, you can communicate these to guests at the time of booking. This can help to prevent misunderstandings and disputes down the line, saving you time and potential damage to your reputation.

Enables Strategic Decision Making

Understanding Expedia’s refund policy can enable you to make strategic decisions about your own cancellation policies.

For example, you might decide to offer a more flexible cancellation policy than what Expedia offers in order to attract more bookings. Alternatively, you might decide to implement stricter cancellation policies during peak seasons to minimise revenue loss from last-minute cancellations.

How does cancellation on Expedia work?

When a guest books a hotel room through Expedia, they can choose between two types of hotel reservations: fully refundable and non-refundable.

For fully refundable bookings, the reservation can be cancelled up to 48 hours before the check-in date, and the guest will receive a full refund. Expedia cancellations are also free if they’re made within the first 24 hours of booking.

On the other hand, non-refundable bookings, as the name suggests, don’t offer a refund if the guest decides to cancel.

However, it’s important to note that you can set your own refund policy and may deduct a cancellation fee if a guest cancels a reservation within 48 hours of the check-in date. 

Examples of Expedia hotel cancellation policy strategies

Generally, there five main cancellation policies that Expedia has put in place:

1. Cancellation fees

Some hotels may choose to implement cancellation fees to compensate for potential lost revenue. These fees can vary and are usually deducted if a guest cancels a reservation within a certain time frame before the check-in date.

2. Non-refundable

Non-refundable bookings don’t offer a refund if the guest decides to cancel, regardless of the time frame. This strategy can help secure revenue, especially during peak seasons or special events, but it can also scare more cautious guests away.

3. Free cancellation

Offering free cancellation can be an attractive feature for many guests. It provides them with the flexibility to change their plans without worrying about any financial penalties. However, it’s important to clearly define the timeframe in which free cancellation is available. Otherwise, you may be hit with disputes. In addition, remember that free cancellations with too liberal terms can be easily abused or exploited by guests that change their minds at the last minute, leaving you without that slice of revenue.

4. Partial refund

With a partial refund policy, guests can cancel their stay within a certain timeframe and receive a partial refund. This strategy can help hotels retain some revenue while also offering flexibility to guests.

5. One night penalty

Some hotels may choose to implement a one-night penalty for cancellations. This means that if a guest cancels their reservation, they will be charged for one night’s stay.

How to handle cancellations on Expedia

Handling cancellations effectively is crucial for maintaining guest satisfaction and managing your revenue. Here are some strategies:

  • Understand the policy: Familiarise yourself with Expedia’s options around cancellation policies and the specific terms and conditions associated with cancellations. This will help you manage cancellations effectively and minimise potential financial impacts.
  • Communicate with guests: If a guest wants to cancel their reservation, communicate with them promptly and professionally. Provide them with the necessary information about the cancellation process and any fees or penalties involved.
  • Manage your bookings: Keep track of your bookings and any cancellations. This will help you manage your availability and maximise your occupancy rates by rapidly filling any cancelled rooms.
  • Set clear cancellation policies: Make sure your cancellation policy is clear and easy to understand. This will help guests know what to expect if they need to cancel their reservation.
  • Offer flexible options: Consider offering flexible cancellation options to attract more bookings. This could include free cancellation within a certain timeframe or partial refunds.

By Shine Colcol

Shine is the SEO and Content Manager of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. With more than five years of experience and expertise in content strategy, creation, and management, Shine has produced informational content across various topics, mostly around improving daily operations and increasing business metrics. She aims to share well-researched articles in hopes of helping bed and breakfast owner-operators win more bookings and gain more control of their small property.