Reservation Policies

Read carefully below for cancellation penalty deadlines, hotel payment policies, reservation agreements, and waitlist information.


Reservation Policies

Hotel Requests, Reservation Changes, & Cancellations

 

Who Can Book?

SXSW Housing & Travel is a department of SXSW that handles all hotel accommodations for confirmed SXSW attendees including conference registrants, exhibitors, SXSW official showcasing artists and filmmakers.

Registrants include Speakers, Filmmakers, Press, Sales/Trade Clients, Sponsors, Media Partners, and other official participants.

How to Change or Cancel Reservations & Waitlist Requests

Changes and cancellations must be made through SXSW Housing & Travel (not the hotel). This can be done in one of 3 ways

  1. To change or cancel use the ‘Request for Change’ link in your reservation confirmation email.
  2. Choose your reservation from the drop-down (only your reservation should be listed).
  3. Make the changes you need to the reservation or choose ‘Cancel.’
  4. Choose ‘submit’ at the bottom of the page.

Questions? Check out our FAQs.

*Please review all change requests carefully before submitting. Canceled nights will likely not be reinstated.

Cancelation Penalties, Hotel Tax, & Rates

 

Hotel Cancellation Penalties

We know plans change, so SXSW Housing & Travel has negotiated flexible cancelation policies with our hotels. You’ll find that hotels often require a full pre-payment for rooms booked outside of SXSW.

All hotels charge penalties to SXSW attendees booked through SXSW Housing & Travel for no-shows and cancelations within 7 to 30 days prior to your scheduled arrival date.

Each hotel’s cancelation penalty period is located on our Availability Page and at the ‘reservation agreement’ section of your reservation confirmation.

Most penalties are equivalent to a 1 or 2 nights stay and are outlined in the reservation agreement section of your reservation confirmation email.

Early Departure

Some hotels charge a penalty for checking-out before your scheduled departure date after check-in. Avoid penalties by changing your checkout date 24 hours before checking into your hotel. If your hotel requires a 3-night minimum stay, you will be responsible for all 3 nights. The early check-out fee will apply after you’ve completed 3 nights of your stay.

28 Day Early Cancellation Penalty

There is never a fee to book with SXSW Housing & Travel and there are no penalties to cancel until 28 days prior to your arrival.

SXSW Housing & Travel charges a $50 processing penalty to the credit card on file for each reservation that is canceled or reduced in length of stay within 28 days of scheduled check-in. This is in addition to cancellation penalties charged by the hotel.

Rates & Tax

SXSW conference rates are only available to confirmed SXSW attendees who book through SXSW Housing & Travel. Room rates are USD per night and may increase based on additional guests in the room. Rates do not include occupancy tax (currently 15%) or personal incidental charges.

Some hotels also add a “State Cost – Recovery Fee” of less than 1% to the total bill. This is an optional fee that some businesses in Texas can charge to offset their franchise taxes but this is not a local tax.

The Texas Comptroller’s office has more information if you are curious about this charge on your bill.

Payment & Deposits

 

Credit Card Guarantee

A valid credit card is required to secure and book your reservation but is not charged at the time of booking. Most hotels also charge an advance deposit to the credit card on file when they receive SXSW Housing & Travel reservations in the month leading up to SXSW. Other hotels check the credit card’s creditworthiness and hold it as a guarantee of payment.

If you’d like to update the credit card number on file you must provide the new card information to SXSW no later than Friday, February 15. After February 15, we cannot guarantee that the deposit will be charged to the updated card.

If a card is no longer valid and the hotel is unable to charge your deposit, they may cancel your reservation.

Payment

Guests are required to present a physical credit card at check-in for payment of room, tax and incidental charges. If you will be traveling without the credit card to be charged or the credit card is not in your own name, you must supply a credit card pre-authorization form directly with the hotel before arrival. If you must pre-pay for your hotel room, contact housing@sxsw.com for more information.

Credit Card Pre-Authorization

It is your responsibility to know your method of payment upon check-in. When you arrive at your hotel, you must provide them with a valid credit card to pay for the reservation and any incidentals charged to the room.

If you don’t intend to travel with the credit card you plan to use to pay for the reservation, you must submit a credit card authorization form to the hotel before you arrive to charge your reservation, tax, or incidentals to a card that isn’t in your name (e.g. a company card that does not belong to the employee).

How to Submit Your Credit Card Authorization Form

You will submit your credit card directly to the hotel in late February or early March after you you’ve received your confirmation number in a final email confirmation from the hotel. The hotel must have assigned your confirmation number in order to be able to process your credit card authorization.

SXSW Housing & Travel will collect pre-authorization forms from most of our hotels and they will be made available here to download and fill out no later than Friday, February 15. You will follow the instructions and contact information provided on the form or online link to submit your form to the hotel directly.

Pre-Payment

Credit card pre-authorization is the best method to pay for your stay without a physical credit card. If you need to pay for your room & tax in advance. Please note that the hotel will still require a card to guarantee incidentals at check-in.

If pre-payment of your hotel reservation is necessary, please contact housing@sxsw.com for further instruction.

Deposits

Most hotels charge a deposit to the card on file when they receive the SXSW reservations from us in late February or early March. This information is outlined in the ‘reservation agreement’ section of your reservation confirmation email.

If you’d like to update the credit card number on file you must provide the new card information to SXSW no later than Friday, February 15. After February 15, we cannot guarantee that the deposit will be charged to the updated card. If a card is no longer valid and the hotel is unable to charge your deposit, they may cancel your reservation.

You can update your credit card via the link to make changes in your reservation confirmation, your SXSW Social Account, or the same Shopping Cart used to purchase your registration.

Hotel Waitlists

 

Who Can Join the Waitlist

SXSW Registrants and confirmed official attendees may get on the waitlist for their entire stay to add nights to an existing reservation if they can’t find the availability for the nights they need.

Waitlist Tips & Facts

  • Attendees are not able to both book a confirmed reservation and get on the waitlist for the same dates of stay.
  • The waitlist has limited availability based on the number of attendees we have been able to accommodate in the past.
  • Getting on our waitlist doesn’t guarantee a room, but we do have a high success rate of accommodating SXSW attendees from our waitlist.
  • SXSW Housing & Travel will work with you until your check-in date to help you find accommodations, even if it’s not your first choice. We won’t leave you homeless!
  • We see the most movement in our waitlist between mid January and late February.
  • If you’re flexible with your hotel needs or need something very specific (i.e. room type, location, price range), add that to the special request field once you’ve confirmed your hotel and room type. It will help us look for only what you need and also let us know if it’s ok to look for options outside your request.

We have a high success rate for our waitlist but we don’t see much movement in it until the month leading up to SXSW. So if you’re uncomfortable waiting until the last minute to secure your accommodations for SXSW, we recommend you book an option from one of our available properties.

Contact housing@sxsw.com for questions about location, amenities, or for suggestions on what to book and our housing team of local Austin travel professionals can help guide you to the best available property and potential transportation options to fit your needs.

Waitlist to Extend Your Stay

If you’re flexible with your dates when booking, try a few sets of dates to see different availability. You can get on the waitlist to extend your stay if you’re able to book most of the nights you need.

To waitlist to extend:
1. Book the nights that are available from your SXSW Shopping Cart or SXsocial
2. Note your desired check-in and/or out date(s) in the “special request field” when finalizing your reservation (step 4).
3. Our Housing & Travel team will then add you to the waitlist for the nights you need, or reach out with any questions or to communicate further about your options.

If you’ve already booked a reservation and dates you’d like to add nights that are no longer available email housing@sxsw.com to waitlist for or add the dates you need.

Waitlist Fulfillment

SXSW Housing & Travel will work until your check-in date to accommodate your waitlist request. Most requests are fulfilled in the month leading up to SXSW as attendees face their cancelation deadlines. If you need to secure a reservation before February, the waitlist may not be the best option for you.

We strive to accommodate all waitlist requests until their arrival date. Should a room become available for you, SXSW Housing immediately books your reservation and sends you a confirmation email.

Be sure to check that you’ve received your waitlist confirmation email and add housing@sxsw.com to your contact list to be sure you receive your reservation confirmation if we accommodate your waitlist request.

Waitlist Fees & Penalties

If your waitlist request is accommodated within the hotel’s cancellation period (usually 7-30 days) you may be responsible for any hotel cancellation fees. It is very important to cancel your waitlist request if you no longer need it.

Check the reservation policy section of your waitlist request confirmation for your hotel’s cancelation policy.

How to Cancel Your Waitlist Request

There is never a fee to cancel your waitlist request. To cancel, use the “Request for Change” link located at the bottom of your waitlist confirmation email to make changes, or from your SXSW Shopping Cart or linked SXsocial.

More Information

Housing & Travel FAQs

For more information check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

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