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VERIFY: Can hotels and short-term rentals cancel your booking?

Unlike airlines, there is no federal oversight into hotel rooms, and getting a refund or a new room goes case by case.

PHOENIX — Hotel and short-term rental prices are soaring ahead of Super Bowl 57 in Phoenix. 

While there are still rooms available, rooms are running out. With so much money on the line, can hotels and short-term rentals legally cancel your reservation? 

>> SBHQ: Check out the 12News Super Bowl guide


Can hotels and short-term rentals legally cancel your reservation?


  • George Finn, Rose Law Group
  • VRBO
  • AirB&B
  • Marriot Bonvoy


Yes, hotels and short-term rentals can cancel your reservation. What refund you are entitled to could be limited by terms and conditions.  


“Hotels legally can cancel on you. It’s not like an airline where they are governed by the Department of Transportation,” said George Finn, an attorney with the Rose Law Group.

Yes, hotels can cancel your reservation. Just like airlines, hotels sometimes do book more people than they have rooms to account for cancellations. However, unlike airlines, there are no federal agencies laying out what rights you have if they decide to bump you.

“It’s just you and the hotel entering into a contract,” Finn said. 

If your stay is canceled, Finn said you could sue the hotel or rental for a breach of contract in small claims court. However, it is more likely that what you can get will be laid out in the reservation's terms and conditions. 

 “The language is there for a reason to protect the company,” Finn said. 

Policies vary from company to company. Airbnb promises to put you in a similar or better home or provide a refund. 

VRBO said under their Book with Confidence Guarantee, the customer support team can help guests rebook another comparable vacation rental.  

Hotel terms can vary based on loyalty status. Marriot provides different protections based on your tier. 

“What a lot of hotels do in most circumstances is provide credits and points and refunds,” Finn said. 

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