London, United Kingdom Community Manager
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.
Thanks Mark - really appreciate the advice...but how does one call Airbnb...???? Do you know a number to reach them? Many thanks in advance, Jane
@Catherine-Powell Hi, i have a guest who has booked in a child and we do not allow children due to a dangerous very deep pond that a 5 year old could drown in. It states quite clearly on my Airbnb page that we do not accept children but she has booked anyway and confirmed she has a 5 year old child. I do not want to cancel and risk my superhost status but she is refusing to cancel during half term week and reducing my options to get another booking. Grateful for any advice on how to handle this. Best regards, Jane
@Jane3745 Call Airbnb and tell them this. Tell them the pond is a safety and insurance issue and you cannot host a 5 year old child, as per your listing rules. Explain the guest refuses to cancel even after being told the property is listed as unsuitable for young children and that it is a significant safety hazard, then ask for a penalty free cancellation. Good luck.
As a Host if I have to cancel future reservations due to a report by a guest to Airbnb of bedbugs, then what? Am I penalized for canceling those?
I had 4 upcoming bookings and then we experienced the major flood in Pitt Town where i have my AIRBNB cottage. I had a family approach me who had lost their home and contents in the flood. They asked if they could stay at our place. I was definitely not saying no but it was sad that I had to cancel the next 4 bookings. My future guests were so understanding and they changed their plans for this but it was disappointing that I will still be charged a $50 cancellation fee from Airbnb for each booking.
@Mustang50 the phone numbers (hopefully one near you) can be found in a contact Airbnb post at the top of the help section of this community centre. If you didn't cancel your stay however I don't think you will have any success.
Dear Cathy, I booked a real-estate in February 2020 for a vication during august of that year. Due to Covid, me and the family were not able to travel. How can i refund the 1941$ i paid to the land lord? she asked me to contact Airbnb. Please advice
@ Catherine, I had to cancel a guest reservation because the last day was unavailable. I wrote to the guest and explained 6 of the 7 days were available and I never heard back. This was 3 months ahead of the reservation. Since they did not respond, I finally cancelled the reservation and then airbnb blocked all 6 days that could have been rented. I thought that was Totally unnecessary of airbnb. I would like to know why that policy isn't changed. I am a Super Host by your standards and didn't warrant that penalty!!
@Jennifer2868 First of all, no one will know you are addressing them unless you use the tagging feature. Secondly, she rarely responds to any posts here. Thirdly, there isn't any such thing as "the integrity team/hosting side".
Is there maybe something other hosts here could advise you on?
Here is my circumstance I'm in due to having a seizure on the way to my stay in Arkansas & all I've gone through trying to get a refund because I was in the hospital & am still on at home IV through a picc line but my hosts refuses to refund me after telling me this morning he would fully refund me if I called Airbnb support, which I did, and they sent a message that the host is unwilling to refund me anything after just saying he would. I feel like I've been robbed. Please somebody help me figure out how to take him to small claims court to get a refund I fully deserve. Here is my story:
I live in lower Alabama & had a trip planned to Conway Arkansas for my granddaughter's graduation. I booked five days with Old Town Lodge in Conway. I talked back & forth with them. We were set to arrive in Conway on May 20th and leave on May 25th. We had planned to stop half way in Tupelo so we could rest since we're 73. Well at 2:30 a.m on the 20th when we were due to arrive I had a bad seizure which comes with no warning. It ends up causing me to aspirate food into my lungs causing pneumonia & pleurisy. I go through a lot during the seizure & then pass out for a day, sometimes two. These seizures are caused from damage, I had blood clots, from covid which I had in March 2020. My lungs are very scared from it. My husband called the hosts explaining what was going on & telling them he had to turn around and head back home to see my doctor who knows & understands what is happening & how sick I get. I was totally out the whole trip home & that night. I ended up in the hospital two days getting an IV of strong antibiotics. Then he had a picc line inserted into my upper arm so I could get 14 days of antibiotics straight into the vein. I assumed we could get a refund because of the policy Airbnb has about unforseen extenuating circumstances beyond your control. I certainly qualify. I'm getting little help from Airbnb at all, they offered a $200 coupon for my next stay. Not good enough. I might never book through Airbnb again after this. Well I posted a terrible review on Zach's page explaining what he's done to me & then this morning he sends me an apology of sorts telling me he would give me a full refund & I needed to call Airbnb & tell them to contact him so I did call Airbnb & held for almost 30 minutes before getting a person, told them my story, sent them a copy of the message Zach sent me & now I get a message saying the host refuses to refund me anything out of the $677 I paid him. So can I bring a suit against him & Airbnb through small claims court & if I can, how do I get started on filing it since he is in Arkansas & I'm in Alabama. It's the principle of the thing that gets me. I was robbed basically out of $677 & have no recourse as far as I know. If anybody can help me email me to firstname.lastname@example.org. & tell me how to move forward
@Carol6290 While I'm sorry you had such a terrible medical event, no, you were not robbed. Guests are held to the cancellation policy in place for the listing.
You wrote: "I assumed we could get a refund because of the policy Airbnb has about unforseen extenuating circumstances beyond your control."
You should never assume anything. You have to actually read the policy. This is what the EC policy says:
What is not covered
Everything else. This Policy only allows for cancellations for the Events described above. Everything else is excluded. Examples of situations that this Policy does not allow cancellations for include: unexpected disease, illness, or injury;"
So as you can see, it specifically says that unexpected illness is NOT covered.
As you were already well aware that you have a pre-exusting medical condition, you should have purchased travel insurance, which would have covered you for this.
Airbnb hosts are not your travel insurers, who should lose out on their business income for whatever reason a guest feels they deserve a full refund. And I can assure that all guests think whatever reason they had to cancel, be it a major medical issue or that their friend can't make the trip with them, deserves a refund.
If I indicate in my review that I would not host a guest a second time I would like for that guest to be denied access to booking my property. It is difficult to recall all guests and taking a second booking is obviously not preferable nor should be allowed.