Last updated: March 13th, 2020
As more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak becomes available, Airbnb continues to prioritize the safety and well-being of our community of hosts, guests and employees around the world.
As this situation evolves, we strongly urge you to review your local government’s travel guidance and health advisories and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your guests when hosting or traveling.
Following governmental and health authorities guidance and recommendations, Airbnb is offering impacted hosts and guests with eligible reservations the option to cancel their reservations without charges through our extenuating circumstances policy. We’ll continue to evaluate and update this policy in line with official guidance.
Airbnb understands that you may have concerns, and we’d like to encourage impacted hosts and guests to reach out to our customer support team (https://www.airbnb.com/help/home) with questions or to get help with canceling reservations.
More details about our extenuating circumstances policy can be found here.
Read the FAQs here: Answers to your hosting questions about coronavirus
The premise that guests should get the refund because they never actually stayed at the listing, so thereby did not use or "consume" the service, is based on a complete misunderstanding of what the consumable is. The consumable, from a market standpoint, is not the stay, it is the occupation of the host's calendar. The space on the calendar, for a particular point in time that cannot be renewed or reused, is what is being offered. For the host it is an income opportunity that cannot be replaced. Wether or not a guest actually stays there has little to do with the main cost for the host; the costs, which are usually fixed, like mortgage or rent, as well as the projected income that the host depends on, is not conserved by the guest not staying there. Hosts have built livelihoods around the trust that the cancellation policy, that they supposedly could choose, would mitigate the many other risks they already take on by opening their assets to total strangers. Unilaterally stripping this away from hosts without consent undermines the core value proposition of listing on Airbnb.
So true. Also from a customer service perspect of view, this kind of policies will give the illusion to the guests that they can get fully refunded with "some" reason easily by shouting/crying out. I had a guest making a 4-day later reservation for her son moving out of dorm due to the pandemic and she was trying to cancel it last minute telling me that due to the virus her son could not stay and asked me to fully refund her. I told her it was not covered by the updated EC so she willl get 50% back according to my moderate cancellation policy plus the cleaning fee. She appeared very angry, saying that she deserves full refund and I generously told her that's not the case. She finally gave up after many back and forth words but I'm worried this represents the typical mindset guests are having these days, that they can very likely ignore the cancellation policy we set up in the reservation by shouting/crying out.
I clean my own listings. I am a senior and therefore at risk for Covid-19. I want to cancel ALL my listings. I would like to offer 50% refund so guests and I would be impacted but not have it be a horrendous loss for myself. It will be a tremendous loss as it is. @Airbnb
I am amazed you still have guests and all have not cancelled. For most of us the bookings and earnings vanished in a poof. Wear a proper mask, gloves, and change your clothes when you leave. Ask guests to strip their own beds. Maybe air out the place for a day before you start cleaning. Just my opinion, not a medical authority 🙂
@Maria481 As a non-medical authority, I don't think you should be advising hosts who are trying to keep themselves and others safe and don't wish to host until this pandemic is under control, to simply open the windows for a day and clean with a mask and gloves.
You do you and let others make their own decisions.
Just a suggestion, as most hosts are suggesting a 50/50 split, it can be done in a little better manner by making the non-refunded 50% a voucher for future bookings with the same host. If Airbnb manages it right it might not necessarily be restrained to the same host. By doing this the guests will not lose anything given they travel again in the future, and the hosts will not suffer from a huge hit from sudden revenue loss. The logic is that for most guests this money is not what they immediately need because it's some money they have paid long time ago so it's not absolutely necessary to refund them immediately. They can be ultimately refunded or used as voucher. However at least some hosts are in immediate need of the money to pay their mortgage, utilities and maintenance of the property they are listing. The current 100% refund policy will probably not benefit guests too much, but it will hit some hosts deadly. We are a whole community so please help each other rather than keep demanding from one party.
@Airbnb I have guests requesting cancellations and refunds for Covid 19 as UK government requires all hotels, guest houses, and b&bs to be closed from 3/24. I see no reason why I should be penalised, or Airbnb should get fees, for these cancellations outside the 3/14 to 4/14 date range that you set. Can you please, please, please start communicating with hosts to tell us what is going on, and when you plan to implement your flexible reservation and cancellations capabilities? ........
More Flexible Reservations
Today, we are announcing “More Flexible Reservations”, a suite of tools and programs we are developing to help hosts and guests navigate uncertainty and meet their needs to cancel or postpone their hosting and travel plans. Today, Airbnb hosts already offer flexible and moderate cancellation policies on over 60 percent of active listings. And we know millions of travelers are still booking business trips, getaways and other places to stay.
These enhancements aim at promoting a fair balance and additional transparency for our unique two-sided community, formed by hosts (home-owners and hospitality entrepreneurs) and guests (travelers who seek unique accommodations and local experiences). When a crisis like Coronavirus hits, we know both hosts and guests are affected. Hosts lose earnings that they rely on to make ends meet. Guests are losing hard earned vacation savings. We strive to support both sides and are taking a series of actions.
As travel restrictions and other impacts have become more widespread, we’re introducing “More Flexible Reservations” to give travelers more peace of mind when booking and help hosts secure more reservations in the long run:
Please note that most of our existing reservations are still eligible for a penalty-free cancellation. For severe and unforeseen conditions, the remainder may be eligible for an “extenuating circumstances” cancellation, which provides guests a 100 percent refund. Early in the outbreak, we expanded eligibility to cover certain conditions and locations that have been severely impacted, using criteria established by governments and health authorities. Please read about eligibility in this
Just need some assistance in regards to a trip I booked where I am unable to get to as a result of travel bans and corona pendemic . I’ve applied for a cancellation and my host has denied my refund . As this is a circumstance completely out of my control I feel I’m entitled to a full refund . Please advise how I’m able to take this further
Does AirBnB plan to update it's Extenuating Circumstances policy? The policy states full refunds will be given for reservations with Check-in dates before April 14, 2020. Will AirBnB be extending that date for check-ins after April 14th?
I've seen a number of hosts talk about their inability to pay mortgages because of this, many of whom do not appear to be businesses. Do their mortgage providers know this? As the owner of a buy to let flat, I'm aware that unforeseen circumstances can severely impact my revenue, and this is factored into affordability models. For example, if the mortgage amount is £1000 a month, the lender needs to be confident that you can pay £1000 a month based on your income.
I live in Vermont where our Governor ordered for all Airbnb businesses to shut down and to remove our listing until the fall. If we did not do this we would be fined. My point to all this is that I needed to cancel my future reservations. Reservations that were made in 2019 for July and August of this year. These dates do not fall under the check in dates beginning 3/4 - 5/31. I have still lost my income regardless of that time frame due to the virus. 50/50 would be most helpful for the income I lost and to the guest. The virus put both the host and guest into a situation that is our of our control.
Unfortunately, as hosts, we have been left in a very frustrating situation by Airbnb. The cancellation policy is understandable, however the way this has been applied means that Airbnb has overwritten original invoices with nil invoices and with no way of proving the original prices for those trips now cancelled. We are, by pure luck, able to claim for a portion of our losses by separate insurance policy. However, this is reduced to nil as Airbnb has now removed the evidence we need to supply to the insurance company. Not a happy Superhost. Airbnb - sort this out.
I had a reservation for april 17th and cancelled on March18 when COVID broke out. Airbnb refusing to process a refund even though it falls in their POLICY!!!
Feel like I am being robbed in the middle of a crisi . HELP!!!! @Airbnb
Shocking to have Airbnb claim “we are in this together” and allow guests to cancel en made not pay hosts anything at all. They could face refunded guests and still paid hosts... So many of us rely on Airbnb income to help pay rent and bills. Now i see Airbnb deleted all my inbox messages and all evidence of my income loss. I can’t even account for it. They deleted inbox messages all the way back to april 2019! Has anyone else had this happen?
@Sarah1844 No, my Inbox message streams with both previous guests, and guests who cancelled, are all still there. However, the one Covid cancellation does read 0 and there is no record of the original payment, except in my email.