You asked: How can Airbnb help protect me from guest cancellations?
Guest cancellations can be frustrating. But life happens, and sometimes guests have unavoidable reasons for needing to change their travel plans. As a host, this often means that you end up missing out on expected earnings.
Many of you have asked for Airbnb to help protect you from these unexpected cancellations. We listened, and now have a solution.
New non-refundable cancellation option
Based on feedback from hosts like you, we launched a pilot program featuring a new Non-refundable cancellation policy as an optional add-on alongside the Flexible or Moderate cancellation policies. During the pilot, more than half of eligible guests chose to book non-refundable trips, so we’re introducing it to all hosts this month.
With this new non-refundable option, you can offer guests a 10% discount, but you keep your payout no matter when they cancel. By offering this discount, you may see more bookings from guests who are confident in their travel plans.
Here’s a breakdown of the benefits:
Try it out today
Update your cancellation policy, and remember that the non-refundable option is only available for Flexible and Moderate policies. If you have a Strict policy, this new feature offers a great reason to re-evaluate your existing cancellation policy.
We’re excited to offer you this new feature to manage your listing and better match you with the right guests for your space. Feel free to leave us your feedback in the comments below. Happy hosting!
I am a host in MA ...and the state has mandated no short term rentals of less than 30 days. I had to cancel a two-week reservation in May and now my calendar has that two-week period blocked off on my calendar in May. How do I get rid of that blocked off space so I can make my unit available for a 30-day rental??
Janet Harley in North Lake Tahoe, CA -
I am definitely out of my league with all you incredible hosts and your comments, however, I was so happy to see them all I decided to add my own. I spent a ton of time trying to figure out the payout due to airbnb combining payouts with returning money to guests.
I finally got it down, but this person cancelled the 2nd of 2 nights and has given the bosses a run for MY money. I can only say she was upset my cabin was in the woods and not on a paved walkway with flat access. I live on the mountainside. My small cabin is on 3 levels. I'm in the woods of North Lake Tahoe. The only thing here not in the woods is the lake itself. I tried to explain to bnb the couple left early the next morning and called mid to late afternoon about not staying the second night. I explained I couldn't force them to stay and wished them luck finding something more appropriate for their requirements and age. I explained if they had told me before they left in the early morning I could have re-listed the room and probably gotten another renter. As it was, their belongings were here all day until late afternoon and now . . . the bnb is refunding money for the second night - or a partial refund. Not sure how much, but I don't remember doing anything wrong except LIVING IN THE WOODS!
I'm not sure I'm even in the right place probably boring you all with this, but it just doesn't seem fair and I can't fight it. The only thing I did wrong was to buy a cabin in the woods. Who makes the decisions whether to return money or not to return money? Not at all fair to us!
I don't know where else to write anything and you all gave me courage to get on my horse and let the wind blow. If sure feels good to be able to air it all out, so thanks for that. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I'm not sure about the @ sign or even how to use it and that goes for the "level" you all have. I signed on January 2019, so I'm not in your realm of knowledge, but I learned a lot reading what you wrote and I thank you for that. My email - a guess a bit archaic - is firstname.lastname@example.org I hope that gets you to me, if that's what you want. I'd love some advice. I've been complaining since COVID started affecting the bnb. The wait time on the phones; finally getting no one who has answers; being referred to the "help community" which wasn't at all helpful; and, in general, not the bnb I knew before March, 2020.
Thanks for listening - if you are - and thanks for the written words you've posted. What an eye opener!
@Janet500 First of all, you shouldn't include your email address in your post- that's a security risk for you. People can answer you here in the thread, or in the private message function here.
I know it isn't fair, but guests are always refunded unstayed nights if they cancel, unless it's a long-term booking. Yes, it's absurd that people don't pay attention to what they are booking and could book a cabin on a mountain and then expect it to be just as easy to access as an apartment on a city street. People can be bizarre and many just refuse to take responsibility for their own inattention and baseless assumptions.
This is where communication with guests when they first book or request to book is so important, especially if we have listings which may be a bit unique. I'd suggest in the future that you ensure, through messaging with the guests, that they have thoroughly read all the listing info and are cognizant of what they are booking. This is the time to make sure they have entered the correct number of guests, have read and agree to the house rules, etc.
To tag another poster- hit the @sign, then a box will come up with names of other posters in the thread. Click on the one you want and their "tag" will appear in the box you are writing in. Only five names ever appear in that first tagging box, so if the poster you are looking to respond to isn't there, just start slowly typing their name and number after the @ you've entered and their name will come up. Then click on it.
The "levels" here are just a social media thing that correspond to how active you are posting here on the forum and how many thumbs up your posts get. It has nothing to do with anything else, like hosting experience or expertise, or whether someone has Superhost status or not.
And don't belittle yourself- I wouldn't have known 90% of what I now know about Airbnb if I only relied on my own hosting experience in my one home-share listing. Most of what I've learned comes from reading posts from other hosts here and benefiting from the experiences of all.
So asking for advice and having empathetic ears to vent to (no, we aren't bored by your experience) are what makes this forum so valuable.
Let me know when you fix your reservation/customer service issues. Our guest booked and received a weekly discount and then in the middle of the reservation, while they were in house, they caled and cancelled their stay. The customer service agent did not tell them they needed to leave immediately so they ended up staying for a free night. Also, the reservation/customer service egent didnt quote them the right cancellation policy. They let them go and refunded their money so wasnt until I complained that they paid us however, they didn't pay us for the one night penalty fee that comes with a flexible cancellation policy. We have documentation from the guest that they stayed an extra night so we should have been paid for that night and an extra night. Also, the guest stayed less than the 7 days so they should have been charged the full rack rate instead of the discounted rate. This means that I can book a home on the ocean for a month, get a discount based on the month rate but only stay for three days and get my money back and pay for it at a steeply and deeply discounted price. How is this fair?
For attention of @Catherine-Powell
I had guests booked for half term week in Wales UK. Their cancellation was available and open to just before their booking, but, as you know the Government announced a lockdown from 6pm 23rd Oct. The Welsh Govt website posted about this before it was announced on Monday, and the guests then cancelled on the Fridy 16th. I emailed to say sorry that they had cancelled and they explained they had seen the Welsh govt site and cancelled. This means I have lost my income for the week. Please advise if the covid cancellation policy is in force and how may I claim please. I closed the week off after they cancelled. You can see my email records to prove this.
I hope you read this as I find Airbnb extremely difficult to communicate with effectively as usually redirected to community instead of being able to speak to someone directly.!
@Julia1259 Somehow I doubt Ms Powell will respond. To my knowledge there is no covid cancellation compensation in place unless the guest booked before March 14th. Even then it only pays 25% of what you would have got per your cancellation policy so probably nothing!
Thank you.. you are right..there is no provision. Have to suck it up and get on with life. Thank you for taking the time to respond.