Many of us are feeling the burden of Airbnbs extenuating circumstances policy and at this time, there is not much more any of us can add to the conversation. So let's use this community to help us come together and share ideas. Let's keep the anger and disdain on the other conversation feeds, please.
I am starting to receive requests for full refunds for stays outside of the COVID window, and I am wrestling with how to handle these requests. I want to give everything back to everyone knowing that we can help lessen the spread but that is not possible. I have mortgages and bills to pay as well.
I would love to hear what others have been doing/saying to help maintain their business, help stop the spread AND be empathetic to the guest's situation.
Here are my thoughts and I would love to hear your constructive feedback:
1. Ask the guest if they purchased travel insurance;
2. Ask them to review my calendar and find dates further in the future they would like to change to (I worry they will realize if they move dates far enough, that they can cancel with a much lower penalty);
3. Maybe offer a 50/50 refund if they don't want to find other dates?
My understanding is that the airlines are NOT giving full refunds, but allowing guests to change their dates at no cost. I feel that as the travel industry, we should all be following a similar process for consistency.
In reality, the Airlines and AIRBNB are the ones that will receive a bailout NOT us, so I feel like this would be a fair option to us little guys.
Lets please keep this constructive and helpful so we can get through this.
Thank you all!
I'm looking for some advice.
I have a two week reservation on our Florida Villa (made before the 15th March) for the 18th June.
The guests have told me their airline has closed down and they can't make the trip. However they've asked me to cancel it for them since they know I can do this penalty free up until the 15th May.
I use a strict cancellation policy. If I don't cancel, I'm sure they will, but only get 50% of their money back...and I'll receive a much needed 50%
I cancelled my trip two weeks ago for the 29th of May and requested a voucher for the remaining balance, however I have not received anything yet, any ideas?
Thanks from Gareth **
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I understand the host feeling but isnt the government helping on the financial end. I just fustrated because I was in charge of our family reunion this year buy was cancelled due to COVID19. Thank God VA Park and recreation was kind enought and gave me a full refund. But it seems I am the only one that is taking the biggest loss. Thier host were kind enought to refund them, but Im not that lucky, I know the reunion wasnt happing until July but people lost jobs, people are scared so the only thing we could do is cancel and i refund my family thier money but know I'm left out lossing almost $400.00.this whole things sucks. I will never take this risk again. Hotesl or stay with family for now on
I think I'm done with Airbnb I cant take any changes of losing my hard earned money when the situation is truly out of my controll. I have someone dare to me fighting for his life with the COVID19 my son just signed the Hospice papers. I am not will to travel and get sick.
I am "guest" stuck" in this AIr BN Covid 19 cancellation policy and frankly it sucks for us too.
I understand your income is being hit too.
But so is ours. Why SHOULD we be slugged with NO REFUND because we can't travel due to circumstances beyond our control too?
I am in a back and forth game of email tennis with the host I booked with back in February before travel bans were announced.
I made a reservation in Bali back in February before the international travel ban and before COVID 19 became a "big" thing. I emailed the host in March when travel was banned to ask where I stood and was told they were only dealing with bookings up to May. I emailed again on April 30th and was told still not looking at July bookings but I could amend it if I wanted to.
I emailed again this week to ask for a refund as no one knows when international travel can resume that
I can't really rebook it and I'd prefer to cancel it. I was advised sure I can cancel it but I cannot have a refund of ANY of the money I have paid or I can still amend the booking but only have until May 23rd to do so.
Either way I LOSE and they WIN. Current COVID 19 policy only covers bookings made before March 13th with check in date before June 30th. AIR BNB need to review and amend that policy since it is very clear that international travel will NOT be getting back to normal this year.
I thought this thread was about sharing ideas of how to get through this with our reputations in tact. How to support our guests and ourselves for when travel opens again. Has that discussion moved to another thread?
@Brenda-and-Gary0 Well, the nature of public forums is that threads tend to wander and sometimes end up being the exact opposite of what they started out to be. Remember that game "gossip", or sometimes it was called "telephone"? Used to be played at kid's birthday parties. One person whispers something into the next person's ear, they whisper it to the next, and so on. At the end of the line the last person says out loud what was whispered to them and it usually bears little or no resemblance to what the first person whispered.
I don't usually mind wandering threads, because interesting things can come out of them as they move sideways. But I know it can be frustrating when someone starts a topic and others jump on and turn it into their agenda. I guess in 11 pages of posts on a topic, it's inevitable that it doesn't stay on point.
Perhaps you should start a new topic post with your ideas?
I have been a loyal Airbnb Customer for 5 years with a perfect record of praise from all my hosts.
I booked a trip to Europe long before the Covid19 Pandemic was declared by WHO.
Australians generally book European trips a long time in advance. Our trips to Europe are expensive and we generally travel for weeks and months. A weekend away in Salzburg makes no economic sense.
The host of my July 18 accommodation insists on charging a 50% cancellation fee even though I have explained to her since March 2020 that The Australian government has banned all overseas leisure travel and Qantas has cancelled all flights overseas indefinitely.
Her behavior is unethical and unscrupulous. I have not used her apartment. I cannot use her apartment. I am not allowed to leave Australia. I am not even allowed to travel to most other states within my own country.
The dishonest host will not be incurring any expense because of me. She however will be stealing $1,300 from me by taking my money for a service I will not and cannot use.
Airbnb should take the special circumstances of Australian travelers into consideration and formulate a special Covid19 extenuating circumstances policy for Australians who through no fault of their own cannot leave the country and keep their Airbnb bookings as originally intended. Airbnb owes this to its loyal and highly rated customers.
I would be most interested to receive your feedback.
@Naomi308 I'm not sure if you are aware that this is just a discussion forum for hosts and guests, not Airbnb itself.
The way for a guest to cancel a reservation under what they feel is an extenuating circumstance is to contact Airbnb, find out if it qualifies as an EC and what documentation is required, not to contact the host asking for a refund or for them to waive their cancellation policy. Are you aware that hosts don't get paid for reservations until 24 hours after a guest checks in? So when you ask a host for a refund in advance of your stay, you are asking them to refund money they haven't received. Airbnb holds the money.
Back when you wanted to cancel, in March, the COVID EC policy was only in effect until the middle of April, but it has been being extended, and will probably be extended to cover your dates. But if you have already cancelled, then unfortunately you are out of luck.
I'm sorry your host refused to refund anything, but hosts have no obligation to waive the cancellation policy you agreed to when you booked. Some hosts felt it was the right thing to do to refund for COVID, some felt they needed to stick to their policy, some offered to rebook the stay for the future, some offer to refund the guest if they are able to rebook the cancelled dates.
Have you even talked to Airbnb about this? If you cannot travel out of Australia and can provide Airbnb with that documentation, they may issue you a full refund.
Yes, I am aware this is a discussion forum for Airbnb hosts and guests.
i am an Airbnb guest so surely I qualify for participation in this discussion forum. Why would you suggest I am not eligible to participate in this discussion forum?
My comments referred to the lack of support received from Airbnb in my particular case and also in the case of all Australians who have been banned by government order from overseas travel. Back in March 2020, the Australian government closed our borders to International travel. No one comes in - no one goes out. (Unless you are a returning Australian in which case you spend 2 weeks in a quarantine facility on arrival).
i did contact Airbnb to request a full refund cancellation.
Airbnb contacted my host and told her she was under no obligation to amend her cancellation policy. She sent me a copy of their correspondence so I know exactly what was written to her. She decided not to agree to a full refund. She is holding out for some free money.
So, since I made my booking 5 months ago, Airbnb has been holding $2,500 of my money, and by not helping me to arrange a full refund, stands eventually to keep service fees. This will happen at the point where I actually cancel the booking. I have not cancelled yet - hoping that the EC policy is updated to include my dates.
i have a genuine extenuating circumstance.
Both Airbnb and the host have colluded to steal my funds. I have a genuine extenuating circumstance. Both Airbnb and the host will not acknowledge this.
How unethical of Airbnb and the host!
@Naomi308 Oh, I'm sorry-you misunderstood me. I wasn't suggesting you shouldn't post here-of course it's a forum for hosts and guests- it's just that the way your post was written, it seemed like maybe you thought you were writing to Airbnb CS- posters do that here all the time- give all the information about a booking, even including names, reservation numbers, etc, thinking they are speaking to customer service.
I totally agree that your circumstances warrant a refund, so just wait until the policy is hopefully extended and then cancel. I happen to be one of the hosts who thinks that the pandemic is a legitimate reason to refund a guest, no matter what my personal financial circumstances. The one reservation I still had on the books, back in March, for an April 5th check-in, I messaged and told her I thought it best for both of us for her to cancel and she got a full refund. However, there seem to be a lot of hosts who feel it's reasonable to keep half the money. Sorry you encountered one of them.
One thing to be aware of, though, is that way that Airbnb has been handling these cancellations is terrible for hosts. When they keep extending the dates, telling guests to wait until it gets extended, this means the host's calendars are blocked with a reservation the guest has of intention of keeping. So the host is prevented from rebooking those dates to someone who could book it until it will probably be too late to get another booking. This is one reason hosts are upset and disinclined to refund.