When getting started, choosing the perfect cancellation policy can be tricky. Especially since the option you decide on plays a big part on how your Airbnb Hosting experience plays out.
Lucky for you, there are a few possibilities you can explore and consider depending on your lifestyle and approach to Hosting — whether you want to stand out by offering flexibility or what you need is more notice in order to organise your schedule. 🙃
Also, as you learn with the Community and gain more experience as a Host, you might change your mind about which one works best for you, and that’s ok! Keep in mind that you’re free to opt for a different type of policy along the way.
With that in mind, I’d love to know: which cancellation policy have you chosen and why?
@Liv I think full payout for any cancellation 30 days from check in would be sensible. Having looked at the Strict policy again it is dreadful with full refund 14 days out. I can't find the new Firm cancellation policy in the help section.
I think I am after super strict 30 but this isn't available to us.
@Liv Strict is the right for me. I take my small business regarding STR accommodation very seriously. If one wants to book my listings they must be determined to do it. The guests also have to know that, if they cancel there will be consequences. I do not want to have to afford all the losses that comes from the cancellation. I am just a property owner that offer short term accommodation. I am not an insurance company to cover guests problems.
It is like hotel booking, some special offers has no excuse to cancel. If they want to book with the option to cancel the guest has to pay more.
It is like air companies as well. Very expensive ticket has the option to change dates and whatsoever. Normal or economic tickets does not allow to cancell or change dates without paying fees.
I chose flexible cancellation and I'd say choose most flexible cancellation policy you can. Like you even said you can always change it! In my experience no one has cancelled last minute. Remember people want to travel especially right now with the pandemic ending so cancelling isn't something most will do. With that said my flexible cancellation policy, early check in, and late check out have really made me stand out and every guest I've had so far but one wanted to extend their trip and come back. As for the one who didn't he still extend said he would come back.
It's great to hear the flexible cancellation policy has been good to you 😊
You mentioned you feel it has helped your listing to stand out, was that the original reason why you chose that policy?
Well I started a few months back when the pandemic was at it's worst. I figured I would cut people some slack and help anyway I can. The main reason I do anything on Airbnb from my cancellation policy, pricing, and amenities is because I had to stay in an Airbnb for a month while waiting on my house to be built and these are the things I wanted in the place I was staying.
I am new to Airbnb as well. I started a couple months ago when I bought my first home. While waiting on it to be built, I stayed in an Airbnb for a little over a month. The reason I chose flexible cancellation is because with the pandemic and life in general unforseen things happen and I figured I'd cut the peope the same slack I'd hope to get when staying in Airbnb. I figured I could always change it later and in fact something's I have had to tighten up on like charging extra for couples. I find it's more cleaning with two staying! But the flexibile cancellation hasn't given me any issues. Most people like to travel so I figure cancelling isn't something that would happen very often.
I have chosen Firm, because it's difficult to get replacement bookings for last minute cancellations unless it's during a special event such as Carnival, international cricket, big concert/festival, or the year-end holiday period. It is also consistent with what other platforms offer.
I am thinking about changing to Firm non-refundable. I wish Airbnb provided the ability to set some dates to non-refundable only. Which is an available feature on both Booking and Expedia, and I set all of the aforementioned special events as non-refundable.
@Liv I’ve always been flexible. As a frequent traveler for both business and pleasure I would never book anywhere where I could potentially have a penalty if an unexpected change occurred. I look at it as the cost of doing business. It’s never been an issue with my Airbnb. What is an issue is that requests that don’t meet my instant book criteria block my calendar. They make a request then disappear. I ask question after question with no response and I miss potential bookings because of it. Requests should not be able to block your calendar when you have instant book turned on. If they don’t meet the booking criteria the calendar should not be blocked .