Our guest was supposed to stay for 3 weeks and booked the accommodation 2 months prior to his arrival. However, 2 weeks before he was scheduled to arrive, he cancelled because his VISA got rejected. Our cancellation policy automatically refunded 50% of the total cost. We're fine with that. However, we're trying to figure out what the most fair and professional thing is to do. We think this may fall under an "extenuating circumstance"; however, we don't think he should have been booked before he knew whether he had a VISA and he also took up our calendar days for almost 2 months before telling us. Should we refund the remaining money or is it fair to say no? He hasn't asked for anything back but just wanted opinions.
This situation does not fall under Extenuating Circumstances. Only changes to passport or visa requirements that are outwith the traveller's control are covered. It's not your responsibility that the guest failed to ensure he had an approved visa application before booking.
He's had 3 weeks on your calendar blocked for 2 months,, and left you with only two weeks to try and re-fill those dates. If you wish, you could always offer to refund the renaining balance IF you manage to secure an alternative booking for the dates in question. As it stands now though, you're under no obligation whatsoever to refund any more than the 50% that the guest has already received.
@Krissie2 he had all the time in the world to apply for visa. He also could have booked a place with a flexible cancellation policy. You do not need do anything. Do not communicate the extenuating cancellation as an option to him. If he decides to do anything more- he will do it through airbnb. Your only concern right now is to fill those dates. In general, when your guests cancel, it is not your job to see if they are owed more money. They should figure it out on their own. They were old enough to book, they are old enough to read your cancellation policy and know what they are getting into and then old enough to cancel and go after anything that is owed to them if it is. It is very kind of you to worry but you should not.
I wasn’t going to give him an answer to an unasked question. I wanted to have an answer prepared if this happens again. But thank you.
Do nothing. Postpone until everything clears.
You don't know what Airbnb will do. You don't know how "real" the money you have received is. You don't know if he will try to reverse the CC charges..
Direct his questions to Airbnb. Guest's actual payment is their concern.
IF he acts in good faith and IF you can rebook, you may offer to pass the difference onto the guest.
But only in the future, after you get paid.
I agree with Paul...
Direct him back to AirBnb or You can offer to refund him any rebooked days, only if he is nice. If he is demanding or angry I would direct him back to AirBnb.
Just for interest, attached below, is the guidance given for visa applicants ( in this case from EU to Russia)
I'd think this is fairly typical advice and fair warning to visa applicants.
VFS recommends that you do not purchase tickets or make bookings which cannot be cancelled without cost prior to the issuance of a visa, except where it is a specific requirement stated as part of the visa application.