Reservation Policies

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

Reservation Policies

Hotel Requests, Reservation Changes, & Cancellations


Who Can Book?

Confirmed SXSW conference registrants, exhibitors, SXSW official showcasing artists and filmmakers. Registrants include Speakers, Filmmakers, Press, Sales/Trade Clients, Sponsors, Media Partners, and other official conference 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. The ‘Request for Change’ link in your reservation confirmation email
  2. Your SXSW Social account
  3. The shopping cart you used to register

Questions? Check out our FAQs.

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

Penalties, Hotel Tax, & Rates


Cancellation Penalties

All hotels charge penalties for no-shows and cancelations within 7 to 30 days prior to your scheduled arrival date. The cancelation penalty period is dependent on the specific hotel you reserved. Most penalties are equivalent to a 1 or 2 nights stay and are outlined under the reservation agreement section of your reservation confirmation email.

Early Departure

Some hotels charge a penalty for checking out before your scheduled departure date. Avoid penalties by changing your checkout date prior to checking in with the hotel. If your hotel requires a 3-night minimum stay, you will be unable to reduce your stay under 3 nights. These penalties are also outlined under the reservation agreement section of your reservation confirmation email.

28 Day Early Cancellation Penalty

There is never a fee to book with SXSW Housing & Travel. We know plans change so 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 make a reservation but is not charged at the time of booking. It is simply used to secure your reservation. Most hotels charge an advance deposit to the credit card when they receive our reservations in late February/Early March. Other hotels check the credit card’s creditworthiness and hold it as a guarantee of payment.

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


Guests are required to present a 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 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).

We send SXSW hotel reservations to our hotels in late February. They process them into their system, charge the deposit to the card on file, and email a new confirmation that includes your confirmation number. When you receive the confirmation number(s), you are able to submit the credit card authorization form to the hotel.

SXSW Housing & Travel has collected the pre-authorization forms from most of our hotels. SXSW Housing & Travel collects the pre-authorization forms from most of our hotels. Click “SXSW Hotel Pre-Authorization Forms” below to download the credit card pre-authorization form for your hotel.

SXSW Hotel Pre-Authorization Forms


While credit card pre-authorization is the recommended method, you may also elect to pay 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 for further instruction.


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 under the reservation agreement section of your reservation confirmation email.

If you’d like to change the card number on file you must provide that number to SXSW no later than Feb 15. After the deadline, we cannot guarantee that the new credit card information will be updated by the hotel before the deposit is charged.

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 Wait Lists


Who Can Join the Waitlist

If you are unable to find the hotel or room type you’re looking for, if you do not have an existing reservation through SXSW Housing, you can get on the waitlist. Waitlist requests rely entirely on cancellations and do not guarantee a reservation.

Helpful Tip: If you’re flexible with your dates when booking, try a few sets of dates to see different availability. You can always get on the waitlist to extend your stay if you’re able to book most of the nights you need. Just note in the special request field (step 4 of the booking process) your desired dates of stay and that you’d like to be added to the wait list to extend. When processing the reservation, our Housing & Travel team will add you to the waitlist, or communicate with you further about your options.

Waitlist Fulfillment

Most requests are not fulfilled until mid-to-late February or even early March because attendees tend to cancel unneeded nights or entire reservations just ahead of their cancellation deadlines. If you need to secure a reservation before February, the wait list may not be the best option for you.

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

Fees & Penalties

If SXSW Housing accommodates your wait list request within 28 days of arrival, you have 24 hours to cancel the reservation without incurring our $50 cancellation penalty.

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.


To cancel your waitlist request, use the “Request for Change” link located at the bottom of your wait list confirmation to make changes, or from your SXSW Shopping Cart or SXsocial .

More Information

Housing & Travel FAQs

For more information check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Read FAQs

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