Last January, Marriott International and Hilton began requiring cancellation the day before arrival, rather than 6 p.m. the day of arrival. Guests forfeit the amount of the first night stay if they miss the deadline. “Hotel reservations have long been way too flexible,” Christopher K. Anderson, a faculty member at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, wrote in an email. They have been slow to become more restrictive because of competition, he added. Still, with the increasing presence of online travel agents like Expedia and Priceline, and the prevalence of day-of-stay deals delivered to mobile devices, hotel cancellations are becoming more common. “The traveler wants to be flexible, and needs to be flexible,” said Sam Shank, chief executive of Hotel Tonight, a mobile booking app started in 2011 that offers last-minute hotel deals. In 2014, it began allowing users to book a room seven days before check-in. Guests can book a stay of up to five nights. Mr. Shank said his plans change frequently, and the hassle of traveling and calling before the cutoff time for a cancellation is just one more task to remember. In mid-November, Hilton embarked on a pilot program that imposes a $50 cancellation penalty anytime after a reservation is booked. The test is scheduled to run 60 days in 24 Hilton-managed hotels. Hilton Honors loyalty members are exempt. Get the full story at The New York Times