In light of the Government's announcement this evening, how is everyone planning to communicate with their upcoming guests?
I would prefer, where possible and reasonable, to defer my guests travel to a later date, post lockdown. I have drafted the following as a first communication to encourage this, rather than rush to cancellation.
Following tonight's Government announcement regarding a further nationwide lockdown, effective as from Thursday 5 November, understandably you are now no longer able to travel to The Cottage as planned.
If you would like to defer your stay until a later, more convenient date, please let me know and I will happy to amend your reservation.
As a small business, we appreciate your support during these difficult times and we look forward to welcoming you in the near future!
Would you agree or do you have any better suggestion(s)?
Sounds good to me Sarah, I have added that bookings made after the March date are no longer covered for refunds by Airbnb’s extenuating circumstance. ( I added a suggestion to purchase travel insurance on my page). I would also prefer a change of date and especially as I have seen a lady has been fined for cancelling over 3 times!!!
I’m left wondering how I cancel all the bookings I have for November (must be in excess of 20 bookings) without penalty. I still can’t understand why AirBnB don’t make this easy for hosts when things are changing as quickly as they are during these Covid times.
Am I honestly supposed to individually contact all of my guests booked during that period to tell them that it’s their own fault, they will have to cancel the reservation themselves so I don’t get a penalty and they will lose their service fee?
If AirBnB are going to make an exception as they did last time, surely someone at AirBnB is awake and able to react to this almost immediately and put out a statement, it’s not like it wasn’t predictable. I have had a few guests contacting me already and I’m simply unable to tell them anything other than I can’t legally host them.
@Matthew771 these will fall under extenuating circumstances, I suggest you contact Airbnb directly and ask them to cancel based the information above- this should be penalty free. However, you are at liberty to also communicate with your guests and postpone their stay as mentioned previously. Good luck
Yeah, it’s fine if it’s one or two bookings, but I have to contact them for each and every booking, as I said I must have in excess of 20. The few times I’ve had to be in touch with them it’s taken days for a response! Last time (in the middle of the last lockdown) I was asked to prove that the UK was in lockdown to cancel a booking penalty free and had to send a link to the UK government website!!! That was weeks into the existing lockdown, a total joke.
I don't think these cancellations will fall under extenuating circumstances @Yadira22 @Matthew771 because if the booking was made after 14 March "Covid19 and it's consequences are no longer unforseen or unexpected." - So says the Extenuating Circumstances policy: https://airbnb.co.uk/help/article/2701/extenuating-circumstances-policy-and-the-coronavirus-covid19
Yes exactly Helen. Surely there has to be some exception for hosts if we are not legally allowed to host though?!!
As I said, it’s not like it couldn’t be predicted and expected, so surely it’s possible for someone at AirBnB to quickly flick a switch to easily allow exceptional cancellations in certain areas where legal restrictions mean we can’t host.
I would think you can reasonably ask your guests to do the cancelling @Matthew771 ? In terms of work, 20 messages is nothing compared to making 20 beds & cleaning your places x20! You could even save a generic message then fire off to all Nov bookings?!
Your normal cancellation policy will apply.
Re Airbnb policy, they operate in 191 countries, it's not surprising they can't keep up with the minutiae of changing Covid policy in all.....
I’d much rather change 20 beds that don’t argue back than deal with 20 upset and emotional customers!! 🙂
I don’t know about you, but I very often find that guests don’t even read the messages you send them. In any case, I’ve done that and I’ll wait to see what happens!
Give me a break... 6000+ employees (ok, maybe a few less now) and they don’t have the resources to keep track of what’s going on with the most significant thing affecting their business right now?! I’m just one person and I’ve managed to keep track of what’s going on in several European countries that I often visit to understand what I can and can’t do!!
Until Airbnb's position is made clear, despite the Government's stance, I am trying to keep my business and encouraging guests to reschedule their stay by using the above communication. So far, one has done so but the rest are, understandably, requesting to cancel.
@Matthew771Look up under Help and how to do an alteration, that way you can amend the booking and still have the same Guests who you have communicated with come to stay in future.
We all know how much people need a break from all these endless Lockdowns.
Hope that helps
Thinking of you all across the miles wherever you are in the world in these crazy & frightul times
Make sure you also write to your MP's and tell them how you feel about these lockdowns and impacts on your health & well being as the whole being & Society are supposed to be included in decision making as it impacts on the everyone's right to Public Health across the board, not just Coronavirus.
@Matthew771 if the guests cannot travel for whatever reason, it is really up to them to cancel.
I have been booking airbnb-stays lately and in the booking process there is a warning about cancellations, Covid19 and the fact that bookings after mid March do not fall under the extenuating circumstances clause. Guests are also urged to take out travel insurance and go book listings with flexible cancellation policy. It is even possible to filter for listings with flexible cancellation policies. My bookings have taken place in September/October, I am not sure when these features were implemented though.
I even had to cancel one booking due to change of plans and before I could go through with the cancellation, there was a clear prompt to reschedule rather than cancel. I would have rescheduled, but my new dates were unavailable.
Yes, the warnings are visible to the guests but unfortunately, in many instances, Airbnb is choosing to ignore that fact when the guests come to cancel.
I had a guest book with me in early September, for a late November booking. He specifically asked me about my cancellation policy and I told him myself, on the message thread, that I've been hammered with cancellations this year and absolutely couldn't afford to take any more, so in the event of cancellation, I would have to stick to my strict cancellation policy. I also advised him that nobody could foresee how things were going to be in November and that it would probably be best for him to book a place with a flexible cancellation policy. He still went ahead and booked with me anyway.
Predictably, he ended up cancelling. Came back to me with the "Oh I know we discussed this, but we just thought we'd see if you'd change your mind" line. I said, "Sorry, no". Back and forth for a week.
In the end, call from Airbnb. One of the group suddenly has COVID. I asked the support agent to check the conversation with guest on my message thread, and the many ways he'd already tried to wrangle his full refund. Also asked her how Airbnb knew that the 'medical documentation' that guest had (allegedly) submitted even related to any member of the group, as I didn't have their names and I was sure, therefore, that Airbnb didn't either.
I was told that Airbnb would never question a guest's truthfulness and was treated to a lecture on how I should be more considerate of guests' needs, 'in the spirit of the Airbnb community' Guest - of course - got full refund. I got nothing. Case closed.
What I sent the point of setting your own cancellation policy then if they are going to over ride it? I was told it was up to me what I did when I asked about a guest wanting to cancel as they ‘thought Wales May go into a circuit break before it was announced. It’s not helpful when you get bookings from people whos address is England either when every different area can be in a different tier. 🤷🏼♀️