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
I'm still not entirely sure why guests don't have travel insurance in place and why they think it reasonable that a host and Airbnb should suffer all of the losses resulting from cancellation. It is no more the hosts fault/failing that this virus exists than it is the guests fault, however it does seem to be irresponsible on the part of the guest to elect not to cover their trip with insurance and then expect Airbnb and the host to take the hit.
Surely there must be a cut off time that the guest can cancel on the day of arrival to then claim extenuating circumstances in the current Coronavirus chaos?
I got a cancellation yesterday evening around 9pm (about the time - the guest had written to say he was arriving). He wrote in his initial message he was coming to London to attend an event and that he would be at Heathrow at 7.10 pm and would arrive at ours about 9pm. His cancellation came through at 8.45 pm - I had turned down an offer to go to a work re-union so I could wait in for the guest. His cancellation message said "due to the current coronavirus situation in Italy I have decided to cancel my trip (to avoid quarantine or similar nuisances) I have submitted an extenuating circumstances claim to air bnb" .
This was almost 2 hours after his plane was due to land, never mind take off from original departure destination? So he knew hours beforehand, but he gets a full refund, and I get zero even though I have a strict cancellation policy.
I am livid, I missed a ten year work re-union to sit in and wait for this totally inconsiderate guest. So I decided to do some research, turns out his social media accounts have him living in Leeds currently and Manchester in past. He was born on an Italian Island miles away from the affected area but all social media accounts states he lives in UK now. He may have been intending to fly out to Italy afterwards but there was no mention of that in our correspondence. So I suspect he got an offer to stay with a friend whilst he went to the event and decided to use the current crisis as an excuse.
Anyway customer services tell me there is no time limit for guest to cancel and they can cancel whenever they want...... yes I KNOW that but surely there should be some onus on the guests to cancel as soon as they know they are NOT going to make it, if they intend to claim extenuating circumstances.
Sorry RANT Over....... this so annoys me as over the weekend I toyed with cancelling a guest as she was coming from near Veneto (one of the regions affected)...she was just over the border in Trieste but pretty close. Anyway my 84 year old mother had booked a train ticket to come and stay with me in my house to celebrate her 84th birthday over the weekend. We let out two private rooms in our house. The guest was so excited about coming to visit her son, I couldn't let her down. I didn't want to put my mother at risk, as she has had pneumonia two years ago and has a weakness in her lungs, so I booked a ticket and went to mums for a night and left hubby to check in the guest. I am not seeing my mother again for a number of weeks so there would be no risk of passing on anything.
I have Italians scheduled to arrive on Thursday - I think am going to send them a message checking that their flights are on schedule.
I have had other cancellations this month for extenuating circumstances, from chinese guests. There must be a better way to deal with all these cancellations..... what are the other platforms doing i.e. booking, VRBO etc. doing? Why aren't guests given travel credit - or the option to stay/rebook at a later date.
Phew feel better for getting that off my chest.
Oh dear, personally I would have asked someone else to meet the guest if I had to offer an in person check in @Lyn-and-Gavin0
I thought guests couldn't cancel after your check in time though. Work speaking to another rep.
I tried Helen but I couldn't get anyone to cover it. I got re-union invite after he had booked so I tried a few mates and even neighbours but they had plans. It was an early evening drinks thing 5-9 type of thing.....so couldn't even drown my sorrows later!
I specifically went back and asked the customer service rep and she said guests they can cancel anytime. I know he will get his money back - I think there's so many cancelling on extenuating circumstances they are not checking for proof etc and it's pretty obvious he was pulling a fast one.
I think onus should be on airbnb to at least let the host know they have received proof of circumstances......i.e. medical certificate, death certificate, proof of cancellation of flights or Government advise on travel restriction at the very time that they cancelled etc.
That's not true about cancellations. Where are you getting that from. Dependant on your policy Airbnb will honour that. If your guest cancelled so late you will be paid dependant on your policy. If that's not the case it is new to me and you need to provide evidence this happened.
If you have stricy policy you will be paid half. If you wernt you need to take this up with Airbnb.
Thanks for response, I did check Bluedoodle, Airbnb have advise me if its extenuating circumstances - guest gets a full refund. Hosts get ZERO. Guests have 14 days to lodge a claim. and I doubt circumstances/proof of EC are checked by airbnb as there seems to be so many extenuating cancellations - this is my third in a few weeks and I had ZERO from the others too.
The others were from China, and genuine but this one's riled me.
I feel with you. The uncertainty is the worst. We do host full time and it is pretty much our livelihood. I have no idea how we are going to go through the summer high season in Budapest and when we will know that a guest intends to cancel. We already have weeklong bookings for July and August and my nightmare scenario is that a few days before the date a guest tells us that he/she is not comfortable to come here due to the coronavirus or her flight got canceled.
A guest from South Korea just made a reservation four hours ago and two hours later send another message asking me to cancel her reservation because her flight get cancelled. I replied her sending the information I found on extenuating circumstances and ask her to do the cancellation as far it would cost me if I do it. I wonder if there is something else I can do.
Hi, I planned a trip to Iceland for the spring. However, the coronavirus seems to be spreading more every day and I canceled just to take extra precautions. As I didn’t want to expose myself to the virus when traveling abroad. I contacted both Airbnb and my host and I was refused a refund due to the cancellation policy. I canceled because this was an extenuating circumstance and I would like to be re-considered so that I may receive my full refund.
@Airbnb Hi, will the dates in the policy, specifically regarding South Korea, be updated soon? 9th of March is just a few days away and the situation is not exactly looking better now than two weeks ago.
For South Korea bookings, kindly update the check in date of 9th March to cover end of March. It makes no sense that you set a brief time window and then extend it as time progress. Covid19 has no cure as of now.
Kindly also conduct an internal review against the case manager (not naming him here since I have even the bare minimum of decency, unlike him) who handled my case with zero compassion and understanding of your policy. Just read my chat records with Airbnb to find out.
Thanks for your message here, I'm sorry to hear your recent experience with your cancellation.
The team are busy working on updating the policy to reflect the frequently changing situation around the world. Once it updated, we will let you know here in the CC, but do keep an eye out on the Help Center articles we have shared in the original post here for the latest news on Airbnb policies.
Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.