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.
Update: Help Center article link updated 09/24/2020.
I would add this caveat - that if the host is able to rebook the cancellation that the original guest gets a refund. If not all dates are rebooked, then a partial refund. But the host should not be asked to just accept the loss @Catherine-Powell. Thank you.
You're right regarding travel insurance Emilia. My biggest gripe by far is having to play insurer for my guests' ill-fortune. If they choose to ignore a travel insurance option then the onus is on them. Clean and simple. That would be a huge relief.
Thank you so much for the update and for the video sharing these changes. It's really lovely to see Airbnb leadership on video. As a super host for 3 listings (all in my home), I really enjoy hosting and don't have many cancellations - although did have this year due to the pandemic The platform is wonderful for hosts and for travelers; I love it and am honored to participate as a Superhost!
Thank you so much for writing such a thoughtful message @Christine442 and for being a Superhost! I'm sorry to hear you had cancellations this year as a result of the pandemic. We have a lot of great work to do in the chapter ahead and I hope you will keep the feedback and ideas coming. Best, Catherine
Im afraid this is not the case. I just had a booking cancelled 3 days before the arrival date. My cancellation policy has been completely ignored. Once again, the host is punished.
The information contained on their site is completely misleading. According to my case manager " the host and guest can cancel their reservation without any penalties under the extenuating circumstances. However, this is the text listed on their site,
Below is copied text from AIRBNB site.
Updated 15 September 2020.
Reservations made after 14 March 2020
Reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences made after 14 March 2020 will not be covered under our extenuating circumstances policy, except where the guest or host is currently sick with COVID-19. COVID-19-related circumstances not covered include: transport disruptions and cancellations; travel advisories and restrictions; health advisories and quarantines; changes to applicable law; and other government mandates such as evacuation orders, border closures, prohibitions on short-term rentals, and lockdown requirements. The host’s cancellation policy will apply as usual.
The “not covered” list is completely unfair to guests! I’m a host, and I’m saying this. I’m in the USA, and I just allowed a couple from Canada who come out every year for three months in the winter to cancel because the husband have a has a health issue preventing him from flying and the border is closed preventing them from driving. But still we were not able to do an automated cancellation, many phone calls messages and a lot of stress was involved in getting the booking properly canceled with no fees for them and no consequences for me. It was crazy.
My case manager stated that the client had provided documentation that qualifies them for a full refund. I have not been given a copy of this. My point is that host cancellation policies no longer apply. It is down to the desecration of a case manager to decide if a refund is to be applied.
@Cathy820 So your guest's reason for canceling fell within the extenuating circumstances policy, in which you are right - your cancelation policy is overridden. We can only hope that once this policy is eliminated (on January 20th,) then guests will no longer be able to claim EC and you will be in complete control of your cancellation policy.
@Huma0 I was under the impression that we don't know that. "According to my case manager " the host and guest can cancel their reservation without any penalties under the extenuating circumstances."
This guest could have broken their leg or caught a cold. EC would cover that with proper documentation.