As the global pandemic continues to evolve, public health is one of our top priorities. We are continuing to monitor COVID-19 developments, local government guidance, and making changes as we learn more.
We know many of you have questions about our Extenuating Circumstances policy as it relates to documentation standards, travel credits, and policy changes as countries shift into recovery mode.
We want to share more information with you on this.
Documentation Standards & Travel Credit
To cancel under the Extenuating Circumstances Policy for COVID-19 related reasons, guests are required to attest to the facts of and/or provide documentation of their extenuating circumstances. With widespread travel restrictions prohibiting travel, many guests have been eligible to cancel under the Policy, and we have seen many guests elect to receive travel credit rather than pursuing a cash refund.
Most guests who cancel under the Policy for COVID-19 related reasons are cancelling for one of the following reasons:
Offering travel credit to guests who can’t travel now encourages them to book with an Airbnb host in the future.
Given the unpredictability of COVID-19, hosts will likely continue to see cancellations from guests who cannot travel because of COVID-19. We heard some of you are concerned with guests taking advantage of this policy by cancelling and rebooking for the same dates with another listing and lower price. We are continuing to monitor the course of the pandemic, the Policy, and guest cancellation options to ensure refunds issued to guests are merited under the Policy.
We plan to update this page with current information about the Extenuating Circumstances policy, so you can bookmark it to stay informed. As decisions are made, we’ll continue to keep you updated.
Not a class or group action, but you can look up '10000hosts dot com' - 'ten thousand hosts dot com' for assistance in using the Airbnb Arbitration service to claim your losses in connection to Covid-19 extenuating circumstances.
yes. you can contact me .. enrico. i can bring you up to speed.
*surname removed for privacy reasons - you can use the DM function here on the CC to communicate between users*
To say I am unhappy with Airbnb is an understatement!
Their policy and management of the extenuating circumstances policy seems wholly unfair on the host (partner, well that parts a joke!).
I have 6 individual properties in Altea, Spain they are all listed with Airbnb, as with all hosts, at the start of the pandemic my phone pinged constantly with cancellations, all were refunded under the extenuating circumstances policy. I had no problem with this we were in a severe lockdown and no one could travel, airports were closed and we were not allowed outside the house.
However I had two long stay bookings starting in mid July to mid August (30 days each), the guest were sisters and staying in neighbouring properties. I reached out to them on a number of occasions to check they were still coming, as I was unaware of the Covid situation in Kazakhstan, their home county, but I was informed that they still planned to come. I told them to check the Airbnb policy on long term cancellation as I didn't want any last minute cancellations and needed time to refill the dates if they were not coming.
Surprise, surprise they cancelled yesterday with only 2 weeks to the start of the month long bookings and even worse Airbnb gave them both full refunds without even contacting or discussing it with me. The quoted "extenuating circumstances" but this isn't clear, if the borders are open at the start of the booking, why can't they travel and fulfil their obligations?
If they choose not to come, then they should claim on their travel insurance (which is one of my booking rules) or work with me to find a solution (reschedule, part payment etc)
Unfortunately I wasn't given this opportunity! Airbnb say there is no compensation and they cancelled within their policy, but won't state what the policy is or what the guest said/produced to get a full refund.
My questions are....
Why are they issuing refunds before the end of the booking? If borders are open the Guests have an obligation to either cancel, reschedule or make the booking at their expense. If at the end of the booking they couldn't travel due to lockdown restrictions or sickness then with documentary evidence they should be due a refund. Any payments to hosts on these bookings should be delayed until the end of the booking.
Why are guests not encouraged to claim on their travel insurance? That's what it's there for! Although insurance companies would not be so quick to issue a full refund.
What are the extenuating circumstances and what do guests have to do to get a refund? the only reasons I can think are sickness due to Covid or lockdown/borders closed. Cancelled flights, no visa, no pet sitters, car needing new brakes, lost my job.these are not reasons to cancel, I'm not offering a holiday package, just accommodation with agreed booking terms. Which are now being trampled over by Airbnb!
Why do they keep extending the deadline for extenuating circumstances, they can't have a one size fits all policy, it has to be assessed on the status of travel in each country, if borders are open and guests can travel, then why are they entitled to a full refund?
Airbnb just keep saying they are shorted staff and have had to lay off 700 staff, I'm not surprised by their bad mangagent and would be surprised if this doesn't wipe them out completely.
I'd love to hear your comments...
I wish I could come stay at your property!
I believe you are right. I chose to NOT accept a booking from someone who would have been traveling from another country when their first question was when they could cancel.
I feel FREE by not worrying about this. It's a sad thing but I think it's important to thoroughly interview travelers before accepting, estes dias. 😞
Same thing is happening to me. The guests first contacted me asking to cancel as they don't fancy it. I said they didn't have to pay balance but deposit is refundable. I gave them info to take to travel insurance. Travel insurance wont pay out as suprise suprise there's not a legitimate reason they cant travel.
Yet Airbnb to keep their brand refund them at our expense and we have no control as they hold the funds even though it contravenes the cancellation policy.
4 groups have done this now.
At least VRBO / Home away are supporting their hosts. Airbnb obviously think we are easy come easy go and they are too big for us not to use them
Are you sure your guests got " full refunds"? In at least 3 cases in the last two months, Airbnb sent me a cancellation notice stating my cancelled guests recieved a "full refund", but the guests actually only got "travel credits". The cancelled guests actually forwarded me the notices they received. Airbnb is lying to hosts to retain cancellation fees for their own use.
@Airbnb "We are continuing to monitor the course of the pandemic, the Policy, and guest cancellation options to ensure refunds issued to guests are merited under the Policy."
No you aren't. That's a blatant lie. There are multiple posts here from hosts on a daily basis who are having guests cancel and get full refunds for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with COVID or any other legitimate EC. You just bend over backwards to appease guests while continuing to abuse hosts.
And the "attested" cancellations, based solely on the guest's statement is really nasty. Now not only can guests lie in their reviews ("It's a reflection of the guest's experience"- isn't that the standard response from CS?) they are now encouraged to lie about their reason for cancelling.
If a guest can't come up with any documentation for a COVID cancellation, then it isn't really a COVID cancellation now, is it?
If any of those are actually true, a guest should easily be able to come up with documentation for it.
The "attested" cancellation are simply a money-withholding technique to beef up Airbnb's coffers while shafting the hosts.
Shame on you. Taking advantage of a pandemic to pad your bank account.
yup add me to the list... just had $500 taken, also I had one guest not pay for a stay and airbnb told me the last night they did not collect the payment (their only job is to collect the payment) $197, another guest same thing happened $100. And finally I actually had airbnb cancel a reservation that happens months ago and fully refunded the guest who actually stayed in my listing $100. Keep your records I sense airbnb will be in court hosts.
Where is Airbnb's extenuating circumstances policy update that was due out today, July 1, 2020?
We are Americans living in San Diego. In January, we booked a trip to UK/France from July 26 through Sep 19. Our flight to London has been cancelled twice now and we've rebooked twice. It currently stands at Aug 19, but given the 14-day mandatory quarantine in UK and the ban on Americans for the rest of the EU, and that it appears the US will not getting any control over this virus in the forseeable future, we do not expect we'll be getting into France anytime soon. And the 14-day UK quarantine makes traveling there unsupportable.
So I am trying to cancel our apartment booking in France (Aug 6-Sep10) so as to 1) get a full refund per the current extenuating circumstances policy and 2) free up our host's calendar as soon as possible, but right now am only seeing a refund option of $100.04 on our $1356 reservation, based on the host's original cancellation policy, which she has since changed to a more lenient policy, although that has not changed the policy for OUR booking. The host is understandably reluctant to cancel so as not to incur a revocation of her Super Host status. When I try to go through the cancellation process and look for the option to request a full refund from the host, I cannot find it anywhere.
Can anybody provide detailed steps on how I can request full refund from the host? I am worried that if I complete the cancellation process and accept Airbnb's $100.04 refund then I will be SOL getting the rest of it back.
UPDATE: Our flight to London has just been cancelled yet AGAIN. [sigh.]
I shut my AirBNB down during the peak of COVID. I won't be reopening until mid July at the earliest.
But I've been reading many of the discussion boards to keep up, and it is very clear that AirBNB needs to address the 48 hour penalty-free loophole that guests are exploiting when their booking falls outside of the COVID window.
If a guest booked in May and wants to cancel in July, they will try to claim COVID. When the host directs them to their moderate or strict cancellation policy that they should have read BEFORE they booked, the guest whines. Then they say, "Can we change our dates?" A host that isn't in the know will allow this change, which for some reason RE-OPENS the 48 hour penalty-free cancellation window. And hours later, the guest cancels and screws the host.
@Airbnb , you REALLY need to close this loophole. The 48 hour penalty-free cancellation should ONLY apply to the initial reservation. It should not apply to any subsequent changes made by the guest.
I wonder how many guests are being advised to do this by CS Agents as a way to an easy cancellation?
This instills distrust in any guest requesting a date change without any valid reason.