Updates about how our Extenuating Circumstances Policy applies during the pandemic

Administrator
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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:

  1. Government-mandated restrictions like border closures, quarantines and shelter-in-place orders
  2. Medical instructions not to travel
  3. Transportation disruptions, cancellations and closures
  4. Medical professionals required to work in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak
  5. Traveler is sick with COVID-19

 

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. 

69 Replies

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
Scotland, United Kingdom
Level 8

Wonderful! I had a cancellation last week for guests due to arrive on 31st July. They told me their reason for cancelling was that distilleries are currently closed. They were allowed a full refund under Covid EC. When I queried the validity of the EC with Airbnb I was given a mini-lecture on being unsympathetic to guests' concerns.

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
Kendal, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Fiona256 

“Attested” Covid cancellations are just a cash grab based on convenience. Providing a vehicle for them to happen is just fraudulent. And the way AirBnb encourage “Attested” Covid-19 cancellations through their refund portal is just immoral. 

 

Do keep any messages to support any arbitration claim you might make.

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
Sonoma, CA
Level 2

I feel your pain.  I'm in California's Wine Country, and last year during fire season, we got prepared for our power company to occasionally turn off power to large parts of the county by installing an expensive generator so that our property would never be without power.  THOUSANDS of dollars in investment.  And Airbnb let guests check out early with a full refund because there were area wineries without power.  Now we have to be responsible for all the businesses in our area, too?!  When is Airbnb going to realize they'd have nothing to sell without us?  And why is it, when there are plenty of insurance companies that will cover a guest's travel, that when a guest chooses to assume the risk of not purchasing travel insurance, we are always the default "insurer?"  This is extremely unfair.  I wish more owners would bring this up.  

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Airbnb A bit naughty that the level of proof required is different depending on wether Airbnb retain the cash or not. I guess we will have to wait and see if any arbitration goes against Airbnb but I suspect that this sort of behaviour will not go down well with the arbitrators or courts if hosts pursue that route.

Also where is the policy for hosts who have to cancel if it is illegal for them to host (as it now will be in Leicester beyond July 4th)

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

Level 10

@Mike-And-Jane0 @Airbnb  And not  just hosts in Leicester not being able to accept Guests from elsewhere, but Hosts elsewhere whose Leicester Guests won't be able to stay with them!

 

With no disrespect meant to any of my fellow Hosts nor any of our Guests, but that nearly everyone is so eager to jump back on the bandwagon, seems to me to not only be premature, but that there are so many aspects to both reopening as well as  questions re "What if" situations, such as have now raised their heads.

 

With the world realising that SARS-COV-2 is NOT going away anytime soon, and with Airbnb being a world player, one would have thought that from the top down, realising that situations such as that for Leicester, are going to flare up from time to time, so therefore there should already have been a policy in place, not wait for a problem to occur and then try to work out what to do!

 

Unfortunately it would appear that the words "ostrich", "head" and "ground" are as true today as they were on 23March2020, when Airbnb were only prepared to reimburse Guests who were due to book in before 11April (appeared that Airbnb believed the virus would have been and gone by then!)

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
Fredericksburg, VA
Level 10

Because they, no doubt, believed the Orange Idiot with the IQ of a potato who said the virus would be gone, *poof* by April rather than the infectious disease experts who actually do have IQs in the triple digits. And who said it wasn't going anywhere anytime soon unless you shut the country down.

 

 

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
Philadelphia, PA
Level 2

can you SHUT UP ABOUT POLITICS THIS IS NOT THE SPACE FOR THAT SERIOUSLY.

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
Berkeley, CA
Level 10

Don't get caught talking smack & slandering a perfectly respectable veg. 

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
Drymen, United Kingdom
Level 2

@Airbnb I feel the Covid policy is grossly unfair on hosts. I took the decision to put family first and cancelled bookings till end June. Airbnb now charging me for this because I cancelled before they said it was ok to do so. I was prevented by the Scottish Government guidelines from accepting guests and they're charging me! I think once this season is over, I'll be finished with Airbnb. 

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

@Airbnb so, a guest can get an extenuating circumstances cancellation on the honor system, if Airbnb gets to keep the cash. Great idea for Airbnb; the guest extends their interest-free loan to you indefinitely, and many will never collect. And the host is out of pocket, again. Well-- yet another reason to prefer Vrbo and booking directly.

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
Kendal, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Lisa723 

I think that just about sums it up!

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
York, United Kingdom
Level 2

Agreed I am fuming, 

 

 AIRBNB are over-riding my strict cancellation policy and refunding guests deposits just because they choose not to travel over a month away still!!. 

 

No evidence available (I know this as both guests tried to claim from travel insurance first and couldn't because not legitimate reason not to travel. 

 

Flights are going and travel restrictions lifted.  The deposit is something you accept you might lose if you choose not to travel yet Airbnb are refunding them at our expense!! to keep their own reputation.  I have a large mortgage to pay and may lose this house!!  VRBO / Home away ,much better 

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
Louisville, KY
Level 9

Victoria1236, you are missing the most important part.  Airbnb sends you, the host, a message stating the guest received a "full refund".  But, what they are giving the guest is  only a "credit" that can be used in the future.  Or, if never used, Airbnb keeps every cent.  You get nada.  The guest only gets an actual refund if they provide documentation that meets the Extenuating Circumstance policy.  

In short, Airbnb is outright stealing millions of dollars in host cancellation fees.

"

Re: Recovery updates to our COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy

in
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 5

My guest cancelled today for an August booking after discussion with an AirBnB rep - attested he was unable to travel although there are no current restrictions and travel is available by coach, train or air within the UK without problems.  None of these applied anyway as the guest was travelling by private car and had booked my parking space!  Nevertheless the rep awarded him a Full Cash Refund with no documentation required.

I am buzzing.  This guest told me back in April that he would likely be cancelling.

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