As far as I understand, bookings accepted after March 14 cannot be cancelled free of charge and penalty (losing superhost status) even if guests cannot come due to COVID-19-related causes such as travel restrictions (cf.https://www.airbnb.co.uk/help/article/2701/extenuating-circumstances-policy-and-the-coronavirus-covi..., section Reservations made after 14 March 2020).
I'm in Mexico, there is no way of telling what the next 12 to 18 months will bring. If I understand airbnb’s policy correctly, that means that either I block my calendar indefinitely (to unblock it when COVID-19 is definitely a thing of the past, some two to five years from now if we're lucky), or I run the risk of losing not only money (paying fees) but also my status. And what that means it that either I shut down my business or I leave airbnb. Or, other option, refuse to cancel even if guests cannot come, force them to cancel, and be a really bad host that way.
I can’t believe that THAT is really what airbnb wants, and it doesn’t even seem to make sense short-term economically. Sharing the risk by sharing cancellation fees—ok, maybe. But making us lose superhost status because the government declared shut down? Really?
Maybe I don’t understand it correctly, I can’t tell because apparently now the help team is that understaffed that they don’t reply to such questions anymore.
How do you read this, and what do you think?
@Nikolai31 Well, as far as Superhost status is concerned, they waived the requirements for the April assessment, and will also waive them for July. I agree that they need to take a hard look at this for the future, because many of us will lose that status if they don't eliminate the number of stays and cancellation criteria. And it certainly isn't right for hosts who have earned that status to lose it through no fault of their own, just because a pandemic made hosting not possible.
That said, Superhost is pretty much a behavior modification tool that Airbnb dangles to keep hosts hopping around toeing the line for fear of losing it. From posts I've read by hosts who had it and lost it, they've said it didn't make any difference to their bookings. But I know some guests say they do look to book with Superhosts if possible, simply because experienced guests know that we lose that status if we cancel reservations.
When it comes to whether to just block your calendar or not, or let guests book and then perhaps have them cancel and receive either a full refund or a partial (and them being mad about that), I guess we all just have to do what we think is best for us now. I definitely wouldn't use Instant Book, i think it's important t be ble to dialogue with guests before they book during this time. Personally, I don't have the ption of using another platform, because I home-share, and I don't foresee wanting any guests sharing my kitchen until the virus threat is past, which, as you say, could be a long time coming.
You know, when I first started living here, many years ago, I knew almost everyone in Sayulita, but it's grown so much, and there are so many more people here, now. I don't think I've ever met you, but who knows? I do know the guy in your co-host photo, though mostly just to say hi to.
PM me here if you want to talk more. I'm curious as to where your place is. As a upholsterer, I've done work for a lot of homes here, but I'm not familiar with yours.
@Nikolai31 You sound very conscientious, good of you, but perhaps you doing yourself no favors by over thinking the present situation. The Covid-19 virus will pass whether we worry to death about it or not, because of the nature of the 'beast'. It is a very stubborn mutation but it is not a virus coming from outer space via some lost alien or a Martian bird that happened to crashed into Earth and some person in Asia decided to eat him because he looked appetizing; but from within Earth's natural world, that means it could be figured out and ultimately at least somewhat 'kept at bay', like every other virus.
The last thing I would worry about at the present time is the Superhost status, since you can't loose it if you do not cancel reservations and if a guest can't come, they can always move their reservation forward or cancel, in either case you are not being a 'bad' host. Heck, today an August guest wanted to cancel because he suspects traveling then may still prove too tricky, no problem - he cancelled and he got 50% refund, I kept 50% but he can apply 'my' 50% I got against a future reservation. Everyone was happy, but *I* did not cancel.
If you want to host then do so, if you want to do so only when you feel totally comfortable that is cool also; but you can't have it both ways, you can't reserve your SH status while you keep your hosting in a state of limbo because you are not sure how you will feel at the time of a future reservation.
I had guest cancellations and many covid cancellations. Only one emergency building repair cancel was done by me. They took my superhost status because of customer cancellations. I will direct business to other websites if they do not make changes to their cancellation policies regards to superhosts
I had quite a few guest cancellations as well, which so far didn’t affect my status. At least listing on a second platform seems a good idea, in order to take away the quasi-monopoly airbnb now has, allowing for such nonsense policy, unresponsive support etc. Where do you think you’ll go?
I myself have a few corporate properties here. Our quarantine has been extending every 2 weeks and the building where my apartments are have been closed since the whole thing started, with no idea if we could host. Airbnb has cancelled 2 reservations automatically and I have been fully charged with said reservations negatively. So, I have not been able to host because of Corona and now I am due with an amount of money as well. This policies are getting out of hand and no one to complain about it.
After some conversing with airbnb support, they replied:
“If you happen to accept a future dated reservation, and there are government restrictions prevent the Host/ Guest from completing check in; You can contact us for assistance with canceling the reservation. You can also advise the guest that you can not host their stay, and request they cancel from their end and those two methods will avoid the host cancellation penalties.“
I inquired if they agree to me publishing this, so I think this should stand and we all can act and appeal according to this rule.
@Nikolai31 Well, it's not a rule- it's just what some support person told you. They say all sorts of things that don't end up playing out the way they said. Pointing out that you were told something different doesn't usually get you anywhere- they'll just say that the rep who told you that was wrong.
If a host can't honor a reservation, it's up to the host to cancel (and if you can provide proof that you aren't allowed to host that would hopefully make it a EC, so you wouldn't receive any penalties). Asking the guest to cancel isn't how it's supposed to work and it would upset a lot of guests. Airbnb would keep their service fees.