Hi, have a guest who wishes to cancel her reservation she made in January for September. She is pregnant and due to give birth later this year. We are in South Africa and currently in lockdown, and the expected peak for rate of infections is July/August - and we have no idea if the country will still be in lockdown then. Guest has paid airbnb in full for reservation and when she tried to cancel, because our policy is strict, she realised she would not receive all her money back. Is there anyway I could help this guest? Your advise is appreciated. Thanks in advance
There’s a very worrying thread about the fact that anybody who booked before March 14th for ANY date in the future can get a full refund instantly if they choose the voucher option. You can find it here:
From previous experience I know that to override our policies guests just need to make their case with Customers Services preferably on the phone and there’s every chance they’ll get their wish (provided they hadn’t cancelled another booking within a year), specially if they can prove the host is in agreement which will be easy to do if the conversation about it has been conducted via the messaging system in the platform. At least this is what used to happen before the current addition to the Extenuating Circumstances policy due to Covid-19. What I would never do is initiate the cancellation as a host even if it looks like no penalties will apply; if a glitch occurs at any step it will be very difficult if not impossible to reverse a decision against you.
Hi @Cheryl203 , Very kind of you! Yes you can help her if you choose. You can refund her up to 100% of what you would have earned before, during or after her stay is scheduled from your details tab in the booking, she should still cancel first so that your calendar gets freed up and you can be sure your not being scammed. Do not cancel her yourself or you will get a negative check in your stats. She will still be stuck with paying the service charges to Airbnb but thats not anything you can do anything about. Good luck and stay well, JR
Yes it is @Helen350 , it will extenuate about the next 20 or 30 years as far as responsibility! Also, interesting she is saying it was unexpected as one of the two reasons why she has to cancel ! OOpso.... Just sayin.... Surprise!!!!! Losing money on part or all of this booking will be the cheapest thing associated with having a baby she will experience! Stay well, JR
I would doubt that a pregnancy can be an Extenuating circumstance... An external influence preventing the ability to travel is a little far fetched when it’s entirely fine for a woman to still travel and work at those dates. It doesn’t rank alongside a death or a death in the family.
If the ability to travel is prevented by government at the time of due check-in then a refund could be issued based on that, but not a pregnancy, and not one only at seven months at the most.
@Cheryl203 You will need to wait until after check-in before you receive any payout with which to disburse to your guest, so I would wait until closer to the check-in date before making a final decision.
It’s your choice to override your own cancellation policy if you do so wish, AirBnb will still take their service fees, and they certainly won’t be paying you any of those.
First time I’ve considered this... After offering her the opportunity to reschedule her dates, failing that you might offer a time limited refund voucher to your guest. If she enquires with you and wants to book again before the end of December 2021, you will send her a 50% off special offer up to the value of your losses.
You may also offer to only refund your cancellation fees if you manage to rebook her cancelled dates. Why your guest should expect you to lose out is a rather selfish attitude IMO.
Hi everyone, thanks so much for your input, it is valued. In these uncertain times, it is difficult for both host and guests. I have spoken to the guest, who has decided not to cancel but to rather change her reservation for a 2021 date - a win-win scenario for both guest and host.
who has decided not to cancel but to rather change her reservation for a 2021 date - a win-win scenario
That worked out OK. You didn't lose out there which could have been very easily the case. And you now have the option to offer those rescheduled dates as available. If, like many other cases the guest could have just taken the easy option of a 100% refund cancellation, you would have been left in the lurch.
Will you be maintaining your strict cancellation policy going forward?
@Ian-And-Anne-Marie0 I would say that being pregnant when there is a pandemic situation is indeed a perfectly legitimate reason for cancelling with full refund. Not like a death in the family? Well, it would be better to take precautions so that there wasn't a death from a known threat than to engage in risky behavior that could put the life of either/or both the mother or baby in danger.
I would accept that the combination of being pregnant and there being a pandemic would not be a desirable situation, but, at this moment in time when nobody can categorically state that restrictions would be in place at check-in, then Covid-19 cannot be assumed to be an issue for that time.
I would expect that you ladies would be a bit more risk averse to a pregnant woman and Covid-19 virus combinations than I would because we're genetically different, but ultimately, all we're doing here is applying the extenuating circumstances policy which no other platform imposes and that in itself is just wrong. The guest is entirely within their rights to cancel, if the opinion of the risk is too high - just cancel accepting the cancellation terms, but to hold the Host responsible for circumstances outside of their control. The Guests pregnancy would not be a responsibility that the host should need to bear regarding a cancellation. Without EC in play.
So the guest became pregnant after booking. Congratulations, and we all hope it goes well. Who knows the situation around the pregnancy? Planned, unplanned, trying for a long time? Whatever the situation, I don't think the host should be responsible for a full refund in (just) that situation. So it does depend entirely whether restrictions are in place at the time of check-in. This would be a Covid-19 cancellation and I wouldn't regard the combination of circumstances any greater than just a Covid-19 situation.
So here's what happened here at weekend... We visited a local wild swimming location two miles away from the nearest road, 15 miles away from the nearest town, social distancing restrictions are in place, limiting a family unit mixing with one more guest. At this location there were groups of 20. Those people took responsibility for their actions in being there out of choice, evaluated the risk and did what they felt fit. Those same people are the type of people who rent our Airbnb. To say that those people if staying with us would be entitled to a default extenuating circumstance cancellation penalising me, is just an insult. It would be an imposition on any host, and thats what has happened with the EC policy. There's a total removal of responsibility, and its being positively and wrongly encouraged. Quoting it as an acceptable reason for a refund in any circumstance is just an alien concept in my opinion.
I'm with @Ian-And-Anne-Marie0 that pregnancy is not a reason for EC. If at the expected date of travel there are restrictions in place due to covid-19 that make it impossible to travel (regardless of whether one is pregnant or not) then it would fall under the covid-19 EC and the guest would be eligible for a refund or voucher.
Covid-19 EC should apply to people equally regardless of age, individual health, occupation etc. Being a doctor, a nurse, fire fighter, young, old, being pregnant, being prone to respiratory failure, having allergies, , heart disease, diabetes..... are IMO not reasons to deserve a full refund under an extenuating circumstance under any situation.