The Airbnb team heard feedback from you and the host community about the upcoming change to our Strict cancellation policy. In order to address your concerns, we’re delaying the change until May 1, 2018.
Before the change goes into effect, we’ll share more about what we’re doing to address your concerns, particularly around protecting your listing details from being shared with guests who cancel. But for now, we’d like to clear up some confusion and help you better understand the new policy and how it will benefit the whole community:
Here’s how the new grace period policy will work—and some of the protections we have in place for hosts:
Limited-time refund within 48 hours after booking when the check-in date is at least 14 days away
Guests must cancel within 48 hours after booking and can only cancel if their check-in date is 14+ days away. This means that no matter how far out your guests book, they only have 48 hours from the time they book to cancel for free. We want to make sure that if guests change their mind, you have enough time to get another booking.
Three refunds per year per guest
To prevent abuse, guests are limited to three fully refunded cancellations a year.
No full refunds for overlapping bookings
To make sure guests are not making multiple bookings and then cancelling, any booking made by a guest when they already have an active booking for those dates will not be covered under our grace period policy.
Your hosting success is top of mind for us, and tests of this policy—including among hosts with strict cancellation policies in place—strongly suggest the change will result in increased bookings and successful stays. With this grace period, not only do guests book with more confidence, but they also have the ability to resolve booking mistakes without requiring your valuable time and intervention.
We value your feedback, and will follow up shortly with more insight into how your ideas are shaping this policy.
----------Update April 24th, 2018----------
Just to let you know there is now an update regarding protecting your listing details, as mentioned above.
Here is the link to take a look: An update on the Strict Cancellation Policy
Wishing you all a very happy New Year! Here's to a great 2019.
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Thanks it's good to hear that Airbnb are reviewing this.
When I trialled using it, I had three cancellations in three weeks (before that I had three cancellations in two and a half years).
Based on my figures from last year, I haven't seen an increase in bookings.
I do hope they reconsider for hosts with a strict cancellation policy. I wouldn't have chosen this if I wanted guests to be able to cancel their bookings without penalty.
I could perhaps see the value of say a 12 hour window but 48 hours is far too long.
And as I have mentioned before I am very concerned about Airbnb disclosing my full details before the guest has a confirmed booking. They should only have this once the cancellation free period has passed.
Makes no sense at all from Airbnb, Sometimes during busy periods strict policies need to be used. 14 days in nowhere near enough time to be looking for new guests. During busy periods hosts rely on being fully booked in advance and have the calendar all planned, especially for hosts with more than 1 room / accommodation. Regarding the disclosure of full details... this is perfect for the hosts but makes no sense for Airbnb. A guest can easily get the details, cancel the reservation then contact the host directly and cut out all the added costs for both parties. A much, much shorter window without disclosing any details makes more sense. If Airbnb go ahead with these new policies that means we will not be able to offer our rooms during our peak season or busy times of the year when Airbnb could actually be making the most money from hosts. If other hosts also close out the rooms during their busy / important times of year when they can not afford to be getting bookings then cancellations Airbnb will in turn be down financially as hosts will use other platforms with better, safer polices to sell their rooms during impiortant times of the year.
Please reconsider what you are doing Airbnb.
Different policies at different times of year is all for a very good reason.
@Lizzie I still don't understand why the freebie cancellation is not less than 24 hours – 12hours, 6hours even 2 hours would be fairer. And why not have 'Strict' and 'Strict with grace period" then we can decide what suits us. Hosts only get 24 hours to do anything before they are penalized. Guests who cancel on me have cancelled within a few hours because I have alerted them to the description, which they had not read, I refund. With '48hour freebie' guests can still hold a host's calendar hostage, and potentially lose bookings, it also encourages irresponsible guests and takes away a host's cntrol over their property. btw: Airbnb still need to address not sending out hosts information before the guests freebie cancellation has run out. Please see Hosts Voice.
Extend 14 days to at least 30. 14 days puts you at a higher risk of having a place unbooked. Lose the 48 hour grace and make it 24. Again 48 hours makes it to high risk especially when just outside 14 days. 24 hours is more than reasonable. 48 hours locks up your listing for too long.
Limiting guests to three free cancellations per year is too high. Limit it to one cancellation per year. As hosts we only get three cancellations before being downgraded, penalized, yet I do about 40 bookings per year. So I have to think long and hard before I cancel a booking. A guest who most likely books Airbnb maybe 2 to 5 times a year and gets up to 3 cancellation free cards per year, doesn't have nearly as much at stake for cancelling and would be much more likely to cancel.
I get your point about only giving us 24 hours but them 48...doesnt make sense but honestly it has not been an issue for me. Two weeks out is OK but I am in a very high volume area.
What is a bigger issue is giving them 24 hours for "payment pending" and 72 hours for Group Payment on Last Minute bookings. I'm stuck wondering if I should kayak out to my boat and set it up or if they are going to flake. This should not be allowed on same day and last minute bookings. Huge headache. There is a button to "decline reservation" after I get the payment pending message but it does absolutely.nothing. I press it and still have my listing held hostage.
It is very good to experience that our comments are being taken serious by Airbnb. And they actually do resort in some effect to the policies of Airbnb!
As that’s what this community is supposed to be all about: Reflection (amongst others).
Also I do think that a 48 hour grace period is still too long. So, when there has to be a grace period, then 24 hours should suffice as well.
Most hosts are triggered anyway (in an attempt to keep their response time low), to react within the first hour of either a reservation or even an inquiry. So when mistakes by the guests or mismatches are revealed. These will easily become evident in the first 24 hours anyway.
So there should always be sufficient time, to cancel the reservation. Although I must admit, when there is a big time difference between the guest and the host during the booking phase of a reservation. The communication can take a considerable amount of time (I.e. at max 12 hour time difference). It happened to me already quite often, that either a request or an inquiry came in, during our nighttime.
And I agree with @Helen, @Jeremy, @Ange that the private details of the host should not be shared with the guest until the grace period is over. Maybe Airbnb should generate an automated message, informing the guest that these details will be shared with them – as soon as the booking gets a confirmed status.
@Lizzie- Thank you so much! I think the main issue is not having a choice or control over our listings. We would like to be able to decide if a grace period is right for us, and if so how long. In addition, we don't want personal and sensitive information leaked to people who might be flaky or even criminal. I have come across several criminal guests on Airbnb. They know how to make Airbnb work for them and unfortuately Airbnb lets it happen over and over again in my experience. Even the staff doesn't follow Airbnb policy in my cases.
@ZappaDon't get me started on group pay! Guest gets 72 hours to round up the team. Then another 24 hours if one of them doesn't pay. For 4 whole days, your calendar is blocked to other guests and even though 97% pay up, ABB say, it is stressful knowing what the outcome will be.
The guest can also send you a message when they book, but because they haven't paid in full, the message sits in your inbox and you're not sent a notification. They may have a question which needs to be answered, but you wouldn't know unless you log into your dashboard every day!
But, not to hijack this thread, giving guests any personal details without a confirmed booking is a retrograde step. Blocking a calendar for 2 days before the guest can cancel penalty-free is not good.
Put these together and it's hard not to feel under attack and powerless!