Disney, which has been at the center of a controversy over its decision to keep guests out of certain countries following the travel ban and its subsequent cancellation, is now getting a lot of flak for its policy.
In a report out this week, the company revealed that nearly 1,500 people had booked travel reservations with Disney and Disney Vacation Club hotels in the United States for the first time in 2017, but they were not allowed to stay at those hotels.
Disney said that because of the policy, the hotels that booked these reservations had to refund the booking and “may also incur additional costs for cancellation of reservations.”
The company also revealed that the same policy was applied to reservations made at other Disney properties in the US, including its parks, restaurants, resorts, and cruise lines.
In addition, the hotel chain said it had not received any reports of guests canceling travel plans.
While the issue has raised some eyebrows, it appears that the policy was in place since at least the beginning of the year.
The first official announcement of this policy came on May 20, with a tweet from President Donald Trump.
“In addition to the cancellation of all Disney World reservations, Disney has taken immediate action to cancel all Disney Vacations and Disney World Resort hotels and any associated stays in these resorts,” the tweet read.
“I have instructed the Department of Justice to conduct a thorough investigation of these policies.
Any hotel/condominium/park stays that were booked in 2017 and were cancelled or postponed during the travel pause will be refunded to customers.”
Trump has previously claimed that Disney had canceled hundreds of thousands of hotel reservations and that it had forced guests to book rooms with other people.
In a series of tweets last week, he claimed that he had personally called the hotel chains to complain about the policy.
“After making many complaints to the hotels and the hotel companies, it became apparent that many hotels and resorts were booking reservations at the same time and that they were cancelling or canceling reservations at alarming rates,” the president wrote.
“I was personally contacted by many hotel chains and hotels.
I was told that many were canceling and rebooking reservations at outrageous rates.
I have directed the Department to conduct an investigation.”
At least one of the affected companies, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, confirmed that the company had canceled the hotel reservations.
In an email to The Huffington Post, a spokesperson for Starwood said that the decision to stop booking Disney vacation rooms was “temporary,” and that the resort will refund reservations for customers that booked in January and February.
Starwood declined to elaborate on what was behind the cancellation, saying that “it is a matter of policy.”
The spokesperson also noted that the hotel has already refunded more than 300,000 reservations made before the travel suspension.
While Trump’s tweets have sparked some criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, the policy has also drawn praise from some critics.
One of the most vocal critics, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said in a statement on Thursday that the travel policy is “the right thing to do for our country and our economy.”
Schumer said the policy will help the American economy and keep Americans safe.
“By allowing millions of American families to continue enjoying the American Dream and our jobs, we are making sure we do not put American workers at a disadvantage, and keeping our jobs and economy strong for American families,” Schumer said.
The policy comes as other major corporations have stepped up to the plate to help people who are stranded on their travels in the wake of the travel bans.
Google, which also announced on Monday that it would provide free tickets for those who want to stay in hotels, has also offered free tickets to anyone with a reservation at its locations in Washington, DC, New York, and San Francisco.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai also said on Monday at the company’s annual shareholders meeting that the search giant will be offering free shuttle buses for anyone who needs a ride from its Seattle headquarters to their hotel.