Despite the pandemic, 113 million U.S. consumers booked reservations at hotels, attractions or live events between September 2020 and September 2021. More than half — 60 million — canceled, according to Merchant Refund Policies, a PYMNTS and Fortis collaboration based on a survey of 2,133 consumers in the U.S.
Of consumers who canceled their reservations, 49%, or 30 million people, got their money back from their credit card issuer via a chargeback. Another 34%, or 20 million consumers, got refunds from the provider of the hospitality service — typically a hotel, an attraction such as an amusement park or a venue hosting a concert or sporting event. Interestingly, 12% of consumers who cancelled their bookings, or 7 million people, never requested refunds. The remaining 5%, or 3 million people, did not get repaid.
Whether they sought a chargeback or a merchant refund, most consumers had to wait either a week or less or a couple of weeks for their refunds.
Hotels were especially quick to respond. For consumers who sought merchant refunds from hotels, 55% received them in a week or less and another 30% received the refunds in a couple of weeks.
For those who sought merchant refunds from attractions, 42% received them in a week or less and another 36% received them in a couple of weeks. Similarly, for the consumers who sought merchant refunds from events, 40% received them in a week or less and 32% received them in a couple of weeks.
For consumers who sought chargebacks from their credit card issuers, the repayment duration was a week or less for 44% of those who canceled hotel bookings, 51% of those who didn’t go to attractions and 41% of those who didn’t attend events.