This is my first post with this community, and I am a very new host! I have had my first last minute cancellation, and I was hoping I could receive some advise on how to handle the refund in this situation. My cancellation policy is moderate, and these guests cancelled tonight at 10pm, and their check in is tomorrow afternoon. Their reason for cancellation is the expected snow in our area on Thursday and Friday. There is supposed to be snow but it looks like only a few inches.
Air bnb obviously sent me the customary email stating I would receive the payment for the booking minus the cleaning fee, and that give full refund button option is at the bottom. My guess is that the guests who cancelled will ask for a full refund, although they haven’t yet. I definitely will not be able to re-book the room tomorrow night.
I was hoping to learn how more experienced hosts handle these situations when they come up.
Thank you in advance!
@Jamie720 If your communication with the guests has made you feel like you'd like to host them in the future, you could offer them a discount for a later date when snow does not occur in your region.
If they want to discuss refunds, you can advise them to submit their cancelation receipt to their travel insurance. There's no reason here for an exception to your polixy; the fact that it's snowing in January is by no stretch of the imagination an Extenuating Circumstance.
@Andrew0 Thanks for taking the time to respond! The discount is a great idea as a gesture of goodwill.
That is a good point that snow in Wisconsin is pretty much the norm.
Thanks for your advice I appreciate it!
You have a moderate cancellation policy which means travellers are fully repaid if the cancel 5 days before arrival.
If they cancel less than 5 days before arrival, they are repaid of 50% and you receive 50%.
It takes 5 minutes to check the meteo on internet 7 - 14 days in advance.
They could come and do other things like relax and discover the area.
They have better things to do. It is their choice.
Do as you like but they don't have the right to be fully repaid.
If you repay every time there is no sun , no snow, it rains, it's too cold, too hot blablabla, choose the flexible cancellation policy.
@Nathalie-Et-Gilles0 I think you're definitely right about that! I switched to the moderate cancellation policy for a reason, so I definitely should stick to it when the cancellation is last minute for this type of reason. As you said, the couple inches of snow has been predicted for this weekend for a week now, so an earlier notice would have been possible.
I appreciate you taking the time to respond, it has been really helpful!
@Nathalie-Et-Gilles0 "It takes 5 minutes to check the meteo on internet 7 - 14 days in advance." Wouldnt help at all in the UK or other places around the world, the Met office here could only give a best guess that way off in advance, then be wildly out.
@Jamie720 The guest may not ask for refund at all, but the reason given for cancellation is not a valid extenuating circumstance. The guest is being held to the terms of the cancellation policy they agreed to at booking. You don’t owe them any refund, so you can just ignore the subliminal suggestion from Airbnb.
Given the late cancellation notice and the reason, I would be disinclined to encourage the guests to return by offering them a credit or discount for a future stay. What if it’s too hot next stay, or there’s more snow or rain in the forecast?
Personally, I would not refund. Since the cancelation was the night before check-in the guest cannot review you.
If the guest asks for a refund:
"I would be happy to refund you if I am able to rebook the dates. At this time, the cancelation policy that you agreed to when booking has been applied."
Some guests are responsible adults who accept a contract when making decisions about whether or not to cancel. Let's hope that is your guest 🙂
@Jamie720 It's rather pointless to have a cancellation policy if you are going to refund guests when they cancel for any reason.
Most guests who cancel will think they should be refunded in full. Don't go there- just let guests know, politely but unapologetically that they are subject to your cancellation policy that they agreed to when they booked if they try to guilt you into a refund.
And as Colleen said, saying you'll be willing to refund if you manage to rebook the dates makes you sound fair and gets the point across that just leaving you with no income, after they have blocked up your calendar, isn't okay.
@Sarah977 Thanks for taking the time to respond!
You're definitely right, the cancellation policy is there for a reason!
As a newbie I want to get other hosts' input before I make these decisions, so I can avoid some common mistakes before I make them.
This has been very helpful, and as a person who gets guilted into things easily it was a nice boost of confidence about my decision not to refund.
You are appreciated!