How Major Timeshare Brands are Handling Pandemic Cancellations

published on January 26, 2021 by

Owners have been encountering long wait times and limited options for cancelling or rescheduling their weeks as government restrictions continue to change, and major resort brands struggle to keep up.

Here is what we have seen from major resort brands:

  • Marriott/Westin/Sheraton: Normal cancellation policies apply, which generally requires a 60-day notice. They have been providing II accommodation certificates to owners and their guests impacted by COVID events when cancelling within 60 days of check-in. Owners who are trying to accommodate a rental reschedule, though, should be aware II certificates come with restrictions on your ability to sell them.
  • Disney Vacation Club (DVC): Disney’s flexible cancellation policy has been extended through April 2021, but could change at any time. For the foreseeable future, borrowed points will be automatically returned to their original use year. Once it changes back, cancellations within 30 days of check-in will result in points still going to the holding account.
  • Hilton Grand Vacations Club (HGVC): HGVC’s Changeable Reservation Policy was modified, limiting changes to 61 days or more in advance of check-in for travel starting in the same calendar year. The previous policy allowed changes any time before check-in as long as the change resulted in the same number of Club Points or greater for travel starting in the same calendar year. The new Changeable Reservation Policy applies to all reservations confirmed before January 1, 2021.
  • Hyatt: According to the company, with some very limited exceptions, existing reservations booked before July 1, 2020 for check-ins all the way through July 31, 2021 can be canceled at no charge up to 24 hours before scheduled arrival. Reservations made after April 1, 2020 at select Destination properties or under the Special Event Rates and after June 3, 2020 at Hyatt Residence Club properties are separate – the cancellation policy that was given at the time of booking is still in effect.
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations: We have not been able to get an official statement from Holiday Inn. It would appear that club members must call in for their options.
  • Diamond Resorts: It appears that members affected by any local, state, or federal mandated closures after September 1, 2020 can cancel a reservation up to the date of arrival without penalty, and get their points returned to their account.
  • Wyndham and WorldMark: The majority of their resorts are open and welcoming guests, and standard cancellation policies apply. They are making exceptions in certain resort locations. If an upcoming stay has been canceled due to a resort closure or travel restrictions, owners can get their points returned.
  • Divi Resorts: Owners can make modifications up to 24 hours prior to scheduled check-in date, but reschedules are subject to availability.
  • Royal Resorts: Club and point reservations require the owner to call and discuss options. Fixed week owners have some access to an internal exchange program with a 50% exchange fee in place.

Keep in mind: if you have rented on RedWeek, the above cancellation policies between the resort and owner may not apply to you as the renter. You should have your own rental agreement for your reservation, and the terms of that contract are set by the owner, not the resort. With that being said, you can always reach out to the owner in extenuating circumstances to see if they are open to modifications.

Finally, it is important to note that by the time you read this, the situation regarding your resort and their pandemic policy is likely to have changed yet again.

Timeshare owners, we would love to hear from you below – have you had to cancel or reschedule any weeks due to COVID-19, and how did your resort accommodate you (or not)?

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Comments (9)

    • Avatar for Erin R.
      Erin R.
      Jan 27, 2021

      Fixed week owners at Holiday Inn Vacation Club must use their week, send a guest, or they can rent it out through HIVC. No option for future exchange.

      • Avatar for Margaret W.
        Margaret W.
        Jan 27, 2021

        Please talk about folks that have been vaccinated. Thanks

        • Avatar for Brett S.
          Brett S.
          Jan 27, 2021

          I am with Wyndham and experienced horrible wait times on the phone, spoke with so many different people that made my head spin, and at the end of the day I am just out my $850 for maintenance fees. No accommodation, just took my money and wasted my time. I completely understand we are in a pandemic and that businesses are struggling too but couldn’t we meet somewhere in the middle? Why am I paying for services that weren’t rendered (room cleaning, trash cleanup, room service, facility usage, etc...). I wouldn’t have an issue paying to cover taxes, wages, and such.

          At the end of the day, how people are treated by companies still matters. They can give out $200 gift cards like it’s nothing for sitting and hearing a presentation but when their members actually need accommodations, they’re nowhere to be found. No calls, no emails, no letters, just random emails advertising vacations that I’ll never be able to go on. Quite disappointing...Oh and there’s nothing they have planned for this year either.

          • Avatar for Al G.
            Al G.
            Jan 27, 2021 (edited)

            We have a major unjust transaction with Platinum Interchange. We paid $323 for a 2 bedroom exchange in March of 2020. They cancelled the reservation but refused to credit back our credit card. The money was put on my account. I now got a notice of a one bedroom exchange at the same resort. That exchange fee is only $129 and I was told I would have to pay$59 to extend that now expired week. I was told they could not use my credit to extend the week and that I could use the credit for the $129 exchange fee but that I would forfeit the balance of the $323 if I did that. What can I do and who can I contact to try and correct this injustice?

            • Avatar for GENE OMULLAN
              GENE OMULLAN
              Jan 27, 2021

              Nice to find out that DIVI would allow a reschedule up to 24 hours prior to scheduled checking. Was quarantined since exposure last week, ended up as no show for my Aruba Phoenix week that started last Saturday, Jan 23th. No one every notified us of this policy?

              • Avatar for Jo Ann B.
                Jo Ann B.
                Jan 27, 2021

                RCI requires a new change fee. My unit is at the Divi Golf and Beach Resort in Aruba.

                • Avatar for Michael Denis M.
                  Michael Denis M.
                  Jan 28, 2021

                  Hello. I am a recurring visitor from Ireland to Hawai'i where I own some weeks. As of now, however, no international visitors can enter the U.S.A. With my weeks (Westin/Marriott) booked for later in the year (and maintenance fees paid), I wonder if account will be taken of my (and presumable others) inability to get to our destination? Nothing seems to be said about this. Will I lose my weeks...after meeting all my fees? What, if anything, are others in the same boat, doing? Obiged, for any information or advice.

                  • Avatar for Linda K.
                    Linda K.
                    Jan 28, 2021

                    It seems for the first number of months some limited compensation was given. As time goes by, it seems resort/board responses have given less regard to owner including closure without notification to owners who are regularly paying annual fees. No compensation is voluntarily be offered. If you have been adversely impacted - call you ownership group and seek remedial action!

                    • Avatar for Susan D.
                      Susan D.
                      Feb 04, 2021

                      Diamond actually did everything as listed. Canceled weeks. Rolled points to following year even though past deposit time. Canceled flight refunded points and rolled them. Have to say they were very accommodating. It was a Maui trip 1 flight and 2 rooms for 3 weeks.

                      Worldmark has made on-site exceptions and accommodations during covid. Haven't had to cancel any weeks. Different resorts have different pool policies that's the only thing I have found.

                      Rci refunded exchange fee for a resort closure and I was able to use it in increments.