Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 2
844 Views

Hi all,

 

I am quite new to hosting, and would welcome some advice. I have had a guest cancel, initially stating 2 of their party had flu, and now stating it is Covid.

 

The timeline is this:

Evening of 14th October - guest books for 2 nights on 22nd October

Morning of 17th October - guest contacts me to state 2 of her party have flu, and they will have to cancel. My cancellation policy is strict, and as it is within 7 days of the stay, there is no refund.

2 hours later, guest contacts me to state it is actually Covid and requests a refund. They attach a screenshot stating that a named person has a positive Covid test, which was taken on 14th October (i.e. before the booking was made). I do not know if the person named on the screenshot is actually one of the party.

 

My concerns are:

I was initially told 2 guests had flu - 2 hours later this has changed to Covid.

I don't know if the screenshot actually relates to someone in the party.

I think the story has changed to try to avail of the extenuating circumstances policy.

This person booked to stay in my home, knowing that one of their party had undertaken a Covid test.

It is peak season for school holidays, and I am unlikely to get a further booking at this late stage.

 

What would you do? Thanks.

 

Tags (3)
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Phil3258 The covid EC policy doesn’t apply here, unless the booking guest  is ill with Covid. I would simply direct the guest to review the policy, and stand my ground. They will likely go around you and complain to CS, who will no doubt grant a full refund anyway, as all the guest has to do is ‘attest’ to the fact they have Covid. 

 


https://www.airbnb.ca/help/article/2701/extenuating-circumstances-policy-and-the-coronavirus-covid19

View solution in original post

14 Replies

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Phil3258 The covid EC policy doesn’t apply here, unless the booking guest  is ill with Covid. I would simply direct the guest to review the policy, and stand my ground. They will likely go around you and complain to CS, who will no doubt grant a full refund anyway, as all the guest has to do is ‘attest’ to the fact they have Covid. 

 


https://www.airbnb.ca/help/article/2701/extenuating-circumstances-policy-and-the-coronavirus-covid19

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thanks @Colleen253 ,

 

I have gone back to the guest to ask for more information - i.e. when the PCR test was booked, when the test results were received, and a screenshot showing that the person with the positive Covid test is named as a guest on the AirBnB booking.

 

I didn't realise that it is only the booking guest that the extenuating circumstances policy applies to. Do you happen to know that if AirBNB deem that the extenuating circumstances policy applies, does the refund come from me, or is it a fund that I think I read about?

 

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Phil3258  There is no fund. When a guest is refunded, the host receives no payout.

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Zürich, Switzerland
Level 2

Actually Airbnb makes up rules as they go along and always favor Guests and not hosts. 

my guest who booked canceled  less than 24 h before arriving ( during high season of Christmas and New Year .) I just got an automatic notification from Airbnb . 

The booking guest was not sick, but the party they had invited ( guest lived close by us and wanted our flat for additional guests over the holidays) Airbnb gave full refund to guest. Despite me arguing that in fact the contract is between guest and host . 

Shameful of  Airbnb  to have zero protection for hosts. 

I am very reluctant to keep hosting on this platform due to this. also i feel guests are using the COVID card to get out of even strict cancellations last minute. 

 

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Santa Monica, CA
Level 8

@Phil3258 Sorry this happened to you - Airbnb will almost certainly refund them if they can show a positive Covid test.  This just happened to me.  I had a guest cancel a 10-day reservation 3 days before arrival by showing a positive Covid test to Airbnb, even though I have a strict cancellation policy.  I felt for the guest and offered to try to rebook the dates and give the guest a refund for any dates that were booked by others, but the guest just went around me and got a full refund from Airbnb.  So now I am out thousands of $$ through no fault of my own.  I wasn't aware that positive Covid tests still qualified for a full refund, but they do.  It makes me want to try to get more bookings through other sites that give the owner full control over refunds.

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 2

That really sucks for you @Deirdre12.

 

As an update, we got a bit more clarity on the circumstances. The person in the party had indeed taken a PCR test prior to booking, and then waited 3 days before letting us know the positive result, which I wasn't impressed with.

 

I offered a 50% refund, with the undertaking that if I got another booking for those dates that I would refund the remainder. They were happy with this, and fortunately we have got another booking - so it has all worked out.

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Santa Monica, CA
Level 8

@Phil3258  Thanks for the update.  I am so glad it worked out well! Sounds like you navigated it like a seasoned host. 

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
New York, United States
Level 3

Hi, weighing in here from NYC. I was just asked (within seven days) to 100% refund a guest who cancelled due to Covid. He doesn't have Covid, he just doesn't want to come because NYC is blowing up right now with Omicron. Here is what I replied:

I am sorry but our cancellation policy is as follows: 

Strict
Full refund for cancellations made within 48 hours of booking, if the check-in date is at least 14 days away. 50% refund for cancellations made at least 7 days before check-in. No refunds for cancellations made within 7 days of check-in.
 
It is incumbent on our guests that they read this, especially during these Covid times. That week has been held for you since October and unavailable to anyone else. It isn’t fair to me or other guests to have a policy in place and then not respect it. That said, if someone books the week, I can refund you 100% but that is unlikely at this point. I am sorry you’ve opted not to come, but these factors were known at the time of booking. Stay well

This just makes me nuts! We hosts are doing this for income, it's not charity. There is no real reason he can't come except fear, and that is different for everyone. He was coming to attend a conference and said conference is still on. He could have canceled earlier when Omicron was known and rising, and received 50%. He could have bought insurance. He also could have booked a hotel. I really think travelers have to take more responsibility here.
 
And so does AirBnB. They can at least set up an auto-responder with each host's cancellation policy instead of telling guests that refunds are at the host's discretion, setting up expectations, making us the bad guy, and removing themselves from the whole ugly mess.

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Madison, WI
Level 3

Do you know when this policy began? I just heard about it from a guest who stated it upon booking, as though they're going to use it to cancel the booking and disregard the strict cancellation policy.

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Nancy146  The policy has been in place for almost 2 years.

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Grand Rapids, MI
Level 1

Air B and B has given full refunds on same day cancellations due to Covid. I have a firm cancellation policy. I wasn’t able to rebook. Out of thousands. When I contacted CS I received copy statements. They never addressed my ask. If hotels won’t refund should air B and B? I’m thinking of using a different platform to rent my house. Thoughts? 

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Málaga, Spain
Level 1

It's so unfair, air bnb seems to forget that we also are their clients and that without the hosts and their work there would be no guests!!! and no business for them!!

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

in
Grindelwald, Australia
Level 1

Superhost with 10 years accomodation experience and 10 properties.

Hosts are not being supported, we are expected to accept free cancelation with a couple of days of arrival. Yes in most cases without any chance of filling that booking as it is last minute.

Then when you have inhouse guests who must isolate and cannot leave, you are harrassed and intimated by incoming guests who do not want to accept a change in property or charged a cancellation fee.

So Hosts we have "done the right thing, given and given, now make choices for your own benefit or frankly you will not be a host for financial or personal well being into the future.

Support... what is that, difficult guests are placated and even given refunds they do not deserve.

Re: Booking cancellation - now stating Covid

Online Community Manager in
Galashiels, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Hi @Helen234 @Phil3258 @Ingrid701 @Asa1 and all,

 

Hope you're well!

We've announced some changes to the Covid Extenuating Circumstances policy recently, so I wanted to make sure you were aware.

Here's a link: 

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Airbnb-Updates/Update-to-our-approach-for-guests-sick-with-COVID...

 

Hope this helps!

Jenny


Can’t find what you’re searching for?
Click start a conversation to ask the Airbnb Community! 

Join the conversation