Reading many of the posts on this hosting board almost all correspondents are critical of the way Airbnb have handled this current pandemic situation.
What disturbs me is, some are trying to whip up hysteria by creating scenarios of their own which is not helping.
One host here @Sheila22 has claimed she as a guest has double dipped on her travel insurance and also got a refund from Airbnb and then goes on to talk about price slashing, guests cancelling and rebooking at cheaper rates and even looting!! She then backtracks and says she is a host and just trying to put different ideas in the mix!
Sheila, I appreciate that you are simply trying to play the part of 'Devils Advocate' with your comments, but this is seriously not the time to be doing it!
The hosting community are going through hell at the moment......as it stands this will cost me $20,000 this year if there is no short term remedy to the current pandemic. And all 3+ million of us hosts are going through the same thing.
I am also concerned that this pandemic could spell the end of Airbnb! To suddenly lose $94m in invest-able funds is not something a service company with few tangible assets can handle. Airbnb depend on cashflow and, that cashflow has stopped. The company may quite possibly not recover from this.
We are a community of hosts who collectively have a mass of experience and ideas to draw on. This is the time to be constructive and support each other and think of alternate ideas that may help us get our hosting wagons back on the tracks again once the worlds medical brains get on top of this.
Please folks, can we be creative, not destructive!
I agreed to something with you?
It is obvious what I am doing here. I've made it pretty clear. Since you say I have "an agenda" then you also know why I'm here.
Hey guys......Question...I happened to look at my calendar for April, which at one time looked Great, every weekend and 1 weekday, all booked several weeks ago. I looked at it the other day and there were 2 bookings, and since then one other has cancelled. Just wondering if they don't notify us if the cancellation happens an amount of days before the arrival date, just thought WTHell when I seen them all missing.
It is sort of like a airbnb driven purge of hosts. Just like the economy is resetting, so is airbnb. Hosts will leave during this purge. Supply has decreased and will remain suppressed until both the virus goes away and when the economy turns around. In the end, the hosts who survived this time will make it out better as there will be less hosts to compete with. After all of this, who will ever glorify hosting again? At least not for a while.
This could all be a good thing for some hosts who live to see the other side. A lot of us were complaining how there is so much competition these days which was causing less and less bookings year after year. The stocks were also overvalued. Maybe this is a reset some of us need.
I thought I had a creative moment this afternoon, turns out it was a long winded solution causing more problems than it solved.
I've been most moved by many new Hosts posting on this forum and have followed them and helped in the conversations over on the 'Airbnb Hosts United' group on FB. When some Hosts who rely on their income from Airbnb to pay their mortgage, feed the kids and pay the bills and then the income just stops, dead, with no other income - you can surely not want to help.
One case in particular, a host had a whole month of bookings obliterated due to the EC policy - and then, a guest who cancelled prior to the EC policy active dates was refunded too! Thats like being given a paycheck then having it taken away.
So how do you help? The Airbnb community is massive, you could set up a Host relief fund... Guests who cancel could voluntarily donate a % of refund to the relief fund to then help the Hosts most in need. But, how is that collected and distributed? What are the requirements to provide aid to Hosts? Who manages the fund? It would be a massive and complicated undertaking just to get cash to Hosts. Too big to handle, too complicated to administer and too slow to be effective, it needs to be small.
It comes down to this; Don't give a 100% refund to guests. The Extenuating Circumstances policy does NOT specify that a 100% refund will be made. A tiered refund could be provided, a block refund could be provided, but those Hosts relying on Airbnb income NEED something. For Hosts who don't really NEED that something, they could have an option to donate all or a portion of their share to more needy Hosts. The pot then gets shared equally amongst the other Hosts. Almost like a dividend payment.
66% refund to guests would do it I reckon. I think 50% might be too much. To start, thats simple ! Some Hosts might elect to only receive 10- 20% leaving a greater amount for more needy Hosts. More needy Hosts will survive by getting near 50% and we will prove actually to be a real community.
Ian, I so like and respect what you have to say, and it's people like you that we need at this time.....people who are prepared to float commonsense, constructive ideas.
Look, I would be the first one prepared to put $100 or so into a compensation fund but, once again that bull in the China shop (Airbnb) would deem such efforts as working outside the platform if they didn't control it! And if they did control it they would want a slice of it!
It's probably too late now because bookings have dried up and the rout of guest penalty free cancellations is almost complete but, your idea has merit and it might be worth putting to the company that all future reservation cancellations would result in a 5% withholding which would be separately audited, transparent and distributed for unusual hardship situations.
I think that's a great idea and I would be in that Ian.....with certain limitations.
@Robin4 Many corporations are doing pro active things, like Netflix just created a $100M fund to help people in their industry, sports owners and players are working to pay employees. NOTHING is stopping airbnb from creating something similar to help help their hosts. I don't know how far $100M would go, but it would go a lot further than zero.
@Ian-And-Anne-Marie0 After today's email from ABB, I'd say someone was listening to what you had to say. I'm not on FB, but it's a Great idea you've laid out right here. Hope the powers that be have figured out how to make it as easy as possible to get the $$$ to the hosts who really need it the most.
Message to Airbnb management: I expect, demand and plan on the basis that Airbnb will honor the current Covid-19 policy !!! :
«The host’s cancellation policy will apply as usual to reservations made after March 14, 2020, and to reservations made on or before March 14, 2020 with check-in dates after April 14, 2020.»
@Robin4 It is great to get a different perspective on the issue. After days of back to back cancellation, I made the conscious decision to not let it get to me. I was one of the “new hosts to this forum” (also wasn’t aware we needed to be seasoned hosts to comment on this forum, as another host pointed out)who came to this platform for comfort and was extremely mad at airbnb(still am) but I’m just mentally tired at this point and cannot waste mental energy being mad at a company that doesn’t care if I exist. That being said, what is actually irritating to me is how Airbnb’s actions have allowed guests to manipulate the system after cancellation. I’ve had a few guests cancel at Airbnb’s recommendation, wait for me to get desperate to the point that they know I will have to slash my prices and then rebook at a much lower price. It is going unchecked and I feel taken advantage of. What’s worse is I even have some who have the nerve to ask me if I’m willing to reduce it further. It’s insulting. If you push a guest to cancel and they do, then they should not be able to rebook until this mess is cleared up. IMO
Hey, I understand your frustration and I love your attitude that you will not waste your energy getting mad with the company....it won't achieve anything and I am glad you see that.
Airbnb came to a fork in the road here with this pandemic refund issue. They could have been adult about it and put in place strategic options that would involve both host and guest the way hotels, airlines, tourist operators, VRBO, Homeaway/Stayz, Booking.com, Expedia have done and kept the cashflow going around. Instead of that they have shot themselves in the foot, cut off their cashflow and are now screaming they need government assistance!
Reyume, I never wanted to admit to myself that Airbnb could operate in such a reckless and irresponsible way but.....that's in the past, they have.
What is going to happen now, the hosts amongst us who are professional and successful....those hosts who have been the backbone of Airbnb's success, will desert this platform for more responsible investment opportunities.
I really hate to see that happening because, although I, like you, are a relative newcomer, I have loved my dealings with Airbnb, they have provided me with 400 + hostings and it hurts me terribly to envision a future that does not have Airbnb in it! But I have to be a realist. Airbnb have never had to fight for business, since their inception in 2007 it has been a one way street all the way up and up. They have become complacent and have got away with telling the rest of the world what they should and shouldn't accept........That has now ended. Through a lack of responsible leadership and decision making, they may get some guests in the future, but the quantity and quality of their available listings will plummet and guests will search elsewhere for something better. Airbnb are going to become.....'bottom feeders'. Your comment about them allowing guests to cancel and rebook at a lower tariff proves that they are already in the bottom feeder, dog eat dog, category.
We can't just sit around and hope that it will all be like a bad dream and tomorrow morning it will be business as usual.....it won't!
So forget about hoping this company will give you what you are owed...the very least being loyalty, we can't ever hope for that again. Now we as a community need to learn from this and put in strategies to make sure we don't get 'lead up the garden path' like this again.
All the best Reyume.
I would like to add my voice to what I can only assume are thousands of other hosts who Airbnb have completely screwed with their policy of 100% cancellation refunds. Guests have travel insurance that they can claim on. WE HAVE NOTHING. We have our mortgages to pay our childcare fees to, food to buy etc etc etc, but Airbnb have effectively cancelled our business and our livelihoods. They say they made the decision to stop guests from being tempted to travel but that is just rubbish because people are not allowed to travel in any case!! Stupid messages from 'founders' telling us that they are with us just adds insult to injury in my opinion – it’s OK for the founders with millions of dollars in your bank accounts but they have neglected the core of your business - us - the hosts. I can only hope that many of us vote with our feet when this fiasco is finally over and go elsewhere abandoning Airbnb as they have done us.
Well put, being Airbnb is overwhelmed with this. How can host help them? This would help where Airbnb leaders can work on resolving issues and ideas to help us all. Host are having it extremely difficult. I do worry about Airbnb recovering from this as well as us host. We need a balance. Ideas?
Thank you for starting this thread @Robin4. Here’s an idea to start with AirBnB posting this on their site:
Due to the incredible toll C19 is taking on our community, we hope you understand that many hosts and guests are also experiencing difficulties. As we all look forward to better days ahead, we hope our community engages with compassion and understanding.
Hosts with a strict cancellation policies will be asked to honor the 50% refund which AirBNB will process (including refunding all fees) on your behalf. Community members are also free to work out additional arrangements which might include discounts for upcoming stays or a free night.
Guests may also opt-in to allow hosts to keep 100% of their booking to help, in particularly economically hard hit communities such as NY, WA, CA and Italy.
We are all stronger when we all share the burden of difficult times equally. Thank you for your understanding.
Michael, thanks for that. It is probably too late now, but that would have been a great suggestion for Airbnb to adopt two months ago when it was clear there was a major virus incident in the making.
It could have worked......people around the world are very generous....we Australians discovered that just recently. The rest of the world donated in excess of $1 Billion to help the bushfire victims in this country. People do help in a time of need.
It was unfortunate that the executive arm of Airbnb felt that damage minimisation rather than generousity and conciliation was the path that they should follow. They did owe a certain dept to the community that got them where they were.....but they didn't see it that way, and will now suffer the consequences of that decision.
You are 100% right Michael, we are stronger when we band together and share the burden, hopefully some good will come out of this and that we, the community, can be the result of it!