We know it has been a challenging time for hosts in our community, and we understand that the coming days may be filled with more questions and even more uncertainty.
Today, Airbnb founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nate Blecharczyk renewed their commitment to supporting hosts during this difficult time and to keeping everyone in our community safe. In case you missed their message to hosts, we wanted to share their thoughts here:
With the current global crisis, we know that many of you are experiencing a significant loss of bookings and a large number of cancellations. The last few days have been incredibly challenging and confusing for everyone. It's our goal to be as transparent and proactive as possible.
First and foremost, we are going to get through this crisis as partners—our success is dependent on the success of you, our hosts. We are working day and night on a plan of action that will help you get through this extremely difficult time. We will share this with you as soon as possible in the coming weeks.
Second, with the World Health Organization declaring a pandemic, we made the difficult decision on Saturday to put in place a global policy allowing all guests to cancel eligible reservations for a full refund—including all Airbnb fees. We know this decision has caused incredible hardship for many of you. Many hosts were already accepting cancellations outside of established policies. You have asked us why we did this when some other companies in our space have not. We want to make sure you understand our thinking.
This pandemic is leading cities and nations to undergo extreme measures. In this crisis, our first priority is the health of the public and our communities. We did not want guests making the decision to put themselves in unsafe situations and creating a public health hazard because of a commitment to their bookings. We believe this is the responsible thing to do given the guidance of governments and health experts.
While it’s clear to all of us that the coronavirus has deeply impacted our community, we know that this moment will pass and travel will be back. As people are starting to use Airbnb for long-term bookings and stays close by, it’s clear that we need to be a part of helping all of us get through this as quickly as possible. The desire to connect is in all of us, and we will be together again, but for now our priority is to do our part to keep everyone safe.
We are partners, and we will get through this together.
Brian, Joe, and Nate
Baloney. This last sentence is false: "Many hosts were already accepting cancellations outside of established policies. You have asked us why we did this when some other companies in our space have not. " Airbnb is actually behind the curve, vs. say, HameAway/VRBO, not ahead of it. And there has not been anything guidance sent out to all hosts - at least, I have not received anything other than an email "from the founders" on Friday. I'd say you're failing miserably.
This is Going to hurt alot of us financially..President Trump just stated he is going to help the hospitality industry with incentive will that cover us?? Also If Indeed Guest Need to Cancel I rather Cancel and be Safe then Sorry ...We need to come togther in this time of this epidemic and let this episode become history so we can all continue with our lives.
Brian, Joe, Nate...
"We did not want Airbnb guests making the decision to put themselves in unsafe situations and creating a public health hazard because of a commitment to their bookings"
Well it's a worldwide pandemic, so if that's how you really feel, surely you'd have cancelled every booking, in every affected market, with immediate effect?
Speaking of which.. why is Airbnb emailing guests who have bookings in regions, even where there have been no reported cases of coronavirus, with stark warnings of "incidents" affecting the area, and offering the guests full refunds to cancel?
Why also is Airbnb actively blocking bookings of entire homes in many cities, whilst simultaneously urging the guests to book an Airbnb-affiliated hotel instead? Surely you're creating much more of a public health hazard by shoehorning lots of unrelated strangers into "boutique" hotels, than would be created if each person/couple/group were accommodated in a stand-alone, self-contained unit?
And you must have forgotten to include the paragraph about the "bold ideas to support our hosts" that you promised us three days ago? Perhaps you're still "working on them", but you could at least have given us a little teaser or two on what exciting initiatives you have in the pipeline to help us out, after you so generously gifted our guests with 100% refunds and left tens (or hundreds) of thousands of your host "partners" with zero income for the foreseeable future.
"We are partners, and we will get through this together"
Hmmm. Well, that's a tad confusing, because your T&Cs explicity state..
"...your relationship with Airbnb is limited to being an independent, third-party contractor and not an employee, agent, joint venturer or a partner of Airbnb for any reason, and you act exclusively on your own behalf and for your own benefit"
So let's get this straight then.. we're your partners when it suits you to use, abuse and rob us blind - but not your pertners when it comes to our rights and autonomy? That's not very community-minded now, is it?
"The desire to connect is in all of us, and we will be together again"
Lol! You guys...!! Are you high? Or just plain deluded? Look around you - everyone's searching for a way to escape your corporation's oppressive, exploitative clutches. Big hosts, small hosts, co-hosts, mega-hosts - all planning to bail. And make no mistake - they'll be out the door just as soon as a better, fairer, more ethical offer comes along. And good luck with trying to replace us - despite the super-generous referral fees you're currently offering to reel in fresh blood - new hosts aren't going to touch your outfit with a bargepole, after your little 100% refund stunt.
And finally...Brian.. if you do ever get to read this yourself (and I really hope you do).. remember our long late-night chat, after the launch party in the Watermarque Building, when I mentioned I'd read that your buddy and mentor Jeff Bezos had told you that your company was going to be massively successful, as long as you didn't f**k it up? And I said to you that if you didn't take care of your hosts, that you'd f**k it up? Well... you f**ked it up. Royally. And you f**ked your loyal, hard-working, committed hosts over along with it.
Our turn now, Bri. What goes around, comes around.
This is amazing. Well said!!! Also, let’s not forget that when local city councils were trying to massively restrict if not prohibit home sharing in key markets (like San Diego), Airbnb was all about calling on hosts to lobby local governments to accommodate homesharing. They were all about the community when they needed us. Where are they now?
And they’re trying to guilt the hosts into giving refunds that we can’t afford to give now that they forced us all to take huge losses. Maybe if they would have had a better approach from the start, we wouldn’t all be bent over a barrel in a position where we couldn’t help if we wanted to.
Thank you for stating what we all feel.
Had been working with Airbnb for past 9 years....
Made them thousands of dollars...
Now, nowhere to get help from them and all cancellations had been 100% refunded...
This! yes! I am on lock down in my state and they STILL will not give me a full refund! I will go to all lengths to make sure others don't get screwed over by this company. So much for rescheduling my family vacation, they took half of my money because they still apparently think I need to visit another state just a few days after their full refund cutoff.
Totally agree @Susan17
I had a cancellation text from one guest citing an 'incident' in my area...I asked what she meant and she said it wasn't her words but an automated message from Airbnb... She knew of no such incident and agreed it was very strange wording. She cancelled just before the lockdown but as a responsible citizen following guidance 😞
Perfect. The only thing missing is for all of us to initiate a class action suit.
While Airbnb earned interest on the millions of dollars in deposits they received, they kept that interest and refunds were handed to guests while hosts were given zero, zip, zilch.
I won't forget this and will work to advertise and support my own 4 rentals in the future.
Indeed, however, Airbnb management have already made their move to mitigate lawsuits by now initiating 25% refunds. The minute individuals accept that refund any lawsuit will be void. No way was this step taken out of the goodness of their hearts and by “all the staff, (including the top dogs) dipping into their own pockets”
I've been trying and trying to find out if, as Airbnb assured us would be possible, anyone has been successful applying for Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (in the U.S.) . This program explicitly states that "gig" workers are eligible for the benefit.
Any comments, experiences, advice, is greatly appreciated!