Last Updated: Jan, 2021
The policy update outlined below is now in effect.
You can find out how cancellations will work under our updated extenuating circumstances policy, effective for reservations starting on or after January 20, 2021, here.
Catherine Powell is back with a new Host Update, sharing how Airbnb is working to make our extenuating circumstances policy more transparent and fair for hosts. The changes—effective for reservations of stays and Airbnb Experiences with a check-in or start date on or after January 20, 2021*—will give hosts discretion over whether to refund guests who can’t travel due to unexpected personal circumstances. The policy will continue to cover natural disasters and similar large-scale events.
Get all the details about the upcoming changes to our policy here in this Help Center article. Please let us know what you’d like covered in future Host Updates with Catherine. As always, thank you for sharing the topics that matter to you.
*This policy doesn’t apply to Luxe reservations, which are subject to a separate Luxe guest refund policy.
@Mike-And-Jane0 I researched this before posting. While that may be the case in the UK, there are strict limitations on postponing jury duty in the US, and a holiday isn't one of them. For federal jury duty they can keep juniors overnight. I have been on jury duty before, and in the US you don't know if you will be selected or not and just have to show up that morning and go trough the process. What I read its possible they keep federal jurors over night for days or weeks. So one would have to plan for this which I'm doing now. Hence why I commented here to gather more information. After posting I did realize other countries or states would have different procedures. Its best not make assumptions and instead do some research. I also realize why Airbnb would avoid cancelations for jury duty, even if they won't admit why. My guess is that they would expect host to make other arrangements, but like I said, my city also requires that host sleep at the same residence as guest. You are right about letting you out for an hour lunch break, though, so thank you for that much info.
@John5097 I have a friend here in Mexico who maintains a resident address in Colorado, and despite the pandemic (there were no actual govt. restrictions on travel at the time) and the fact that she is at high risk, being a cancer survivor, wasn't able to get out of flying back to Colorado for jury duty. So yes, not everywhere are the rules the same.
@Sarah977 yeah I was just googling this topic after I received the jury notification. Didn't mean to be so snarky with my last comment, but it seems more reasonable to allow host to cancel a reservation a full month in advance for a reservation if they have jury duty. Most host would try and find a way to not cancel but for federal jury duty and if your city requires host to be at listing the guest might be better off making other arrangements that far in advance, if host can't be two places at once. I offer the most flexible cancelation policy as well, and Airbnb canceled all of non flexible reservations back in March. The reason I'm posting this is to be helpful, as I'm a superhost who is booked all the time, but also think Airbnb shouldn't create too stressful and rigid of an environment for superhost. I, like others, are worried Airbnb policy might lead to conflicts and problems, which it does, in many other circumstances, that put host at disadvantage. I'm pretty good at avoideding problems but have resolved that if it just gets too stressful and problematic I'll move onto some other option.
Thank you for your comments here. I just wanted to follow up on this Host Update from September, 2020. As we have now passed January 20th, 2021 the updates to Airbnb's Extenuating Circumstances policy are now in effect. You can read more about the changes in this Resource Center article.
Feel free to continue the conversation, if you have any other thoughts you would like to share.
Thank you once again.
Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.
Two days before check-in, a guest wanted to cancel his booking because of the increased COVID cases in California but we explained to him that he is not entitled to any refund since we have a strict cancellation policy. The guest then considered to just push through with the trip. A few hours later, the guest called airbnb again to cancel. Airbnb explained to the guest that his reason is not an extenuating circumstance under the updated ECP, but reached out to us for a possibility of a mutual cancellation. We offered to refund the guest half, just so he won’t be pressured to push through with his stay just because he won’t get any of the payment. After an hour or so, to our surprise, airbnb sent us another message (through a different support person) saying the guest called again and now claims that one of the guests has been exposed to COVID which they will consider as an extenuating circumstance. Airbnb cancelled the reservation and gave a full refund. All this happened a day before check-in (check-in instructions were even already sent to the guest!) I tried talking to airbnb to make sense of what happened but to no avail. So much for the updated ECP lol
@Katrina248 I am truly sorry. So unfair. Anyone can claim exposure with no proof and there is nothing we can do about it, but in cases where guests change their stories Airbnb should dispute the claim. I don’t think customer service people have been trained to do this, they just go by the letter.