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...
@Alison97 I fear you will find the answer here
I have previously pointed out to @Airbnb that the drip feeding of giving guests the ability to cancel causes massive issues with guests waiting until its too late for hosts to re-sell the dates before they cancel. Sadly no one is listening.