On January 30, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern. With the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak countries all over the world are taking precautions in order to minimize the risk. Just a few weeks later the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Following the news, many airlines were forced to suspend or reduce their daily operations. We have the latest information from airlines all around the world. You can see how to get a refund or reschedule your flight here. Like airlines around the world, hotels are suffering a similar fate with a drastic decline in customers.
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Hotel Loyalty Programs Updates and Extensions
To make this non-travel period easier for travelers, hotel chains have updated their change and cancellation policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the major hotel chains offer fee-free changes or cancellations for existing hotel bookings in a specified period. You can find out how to change or cancel your booking here. Many hotel chains are extending and making it easier for you to keep or earn your elite status.
Accor is making it easier for you to keep your elite status with the loyalty program if you are in the Greater China area. Unfortunately, this is not an option for members outside of these regions yet. All Accor Live Limitless statuses, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond, can be extended an additional year. This will be valid for members residing in Greater China. This will also be valid for members from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. If you reside in one of these areas you can extend your status until December 2021, regardless of how many eligible nights a member completes in 2020. For the members outside of these regions, Accor is crediting 50% of the status nights and points required to requalify for your current status level.
Best Western already had one of the best and most flexible cancelation policy so it comes as no surprise their status extension policy is similar. Members of the Best Western Rewards program around the globe have the option to maintain their current status until January 31, 2022, regardless of their future stays. Also, all members that got downgraded at the end of 2019 have the option to get their previous status reinstated. This will happen automatically and no action will be needed.
From the official announcment:
If you are a Best Western Rewards® program elite status member, we will protect your current status through January 31, 2022 without the need to fulfill the necessary annual stay qualifications. We understand your travels may have been interrupted by COVID-19 through no fault of yours. You are our loyal customer and we appreciate your business.
Similarly to Best Western, Hyatt also has one of the better extension policies regarding tier statuses, World of Hyatt will extend status and all certificates by a year. All members will have their elite status expiration extended through February 28, 2022, regardless of how many nights they collected this year. This will require no action from your part, Hyatt will update it automatically. As an added bonus all rewards that were about to expire between March and end of December 2020, will be extended until December 31, 2021. Hyatt has also paused the expiration of World of Hyatt points through December 31, 2020. This will be valid for members all around the world.
From the official announcment:
We are closely listening to our World of Hyatt members and using feedback to continually evaluate ways to flex the program. To advance care and give members one less thing to worry about during this incredibly challenging time, World of Hyatt benefits will be extended.
All members of the IHG Rewards Club now have lower requirements to earn elite status. Also, members residing in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan will have their current membership extended until December 31, 2021. IHG is also waiving points expiry until December 31, 2020.
So far Choice has not made any official announcements regarding tier status extensions. However, they announced that points set to expire have been extended through the end of May 2020.
Marriott Bonvoy will be extending member statuses by a year. They will also waive points expiry and extend Suite Night and Free Night Awards through 2021.
From the official announcment:
In response to changing marketplace conditions, Marriott International is committed to ensuring our customers experience flexibility during these challenging times.
Hilton Honors will extend elite status for members with status expiring on March 31, 2020, to March 31, 2021. Members who have status expiring on March 31, 2021, will have their status extended through March 31, 2022. This is one of the best extension policies so far. Additionally, points expiry is paused until December 31, 2020.
All members that have a current elite status will be extended through February 2022. Also, any upcoming points expiration has been extended through the end of August.
Members all around the world of the Shangri-La Golden circle will have their elite statuses extended until December 31, 2021.
Wyndham Rewards elite status for members in the Greater China and Southeast Asia Pacific regions will be extended until the end of 2021. Also, points expiration will be paused for points scheduled to expire between now and May 31, 2020, for all members.
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About the author: Mila Kostic is a native of Belgrade, Serbia. After majoring in sociology at the Belgrade University she has been working as tutor and coach. Prior to taking on her role at Mighty Travels, she wrote for a video games, fitness, and health lifestyle website. After starting her work with the Mighty Travels team she discovered her passion for travel and travel writing. Now, she is focused on bringing you the newest travel news. In her portfolio here at Mighty Travels, you can find articles on Airline news, hottest credit card deals, tips and tricks on earning miles and much more. You can reach her at [email protected]
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