Don't Refund Guests Without Reading This!
Here at Sharing Detroit we are keenly aware of how the Corona virus is affecting reservations for our community and members. For those of you that have tried to call Airbnb, most likely you were put on hold, hung up on, or just gave up contacting them. We just spoke with Airbnb and will be putting up a video ASAP about what they were able to tell us.
Until then, below are FAQs from Airbnb’s support page about their cancellation and refund policies during this time.
Updated March 10, 2020
We know there’s a lot of uncertainty around the coronavirus (COVID-19) and whether or not it will impact you and your hosting business. To help support our global community, we’re tracking your questions and answering some of them here. We’ll keep updating this page as the situation evolves and as more answers become available.
What is the extenuating circumstances policy?
Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy gives guests and hosts the option to cancel without charges if they’re impacted by things like serious injury or illness, natural disasters, travel restrictions, and other unforeseen events. We’re continuing to extend coverage of this policy to eligible homes reservations or Airbnb Experience bookings that are affected by the coronavirus—like bookings in severely impacted regions or where a host or guest has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Which regions are currently included under our extenuating circumstances policy?
So far, we’ve extended coverage of our extenuating circumstances policy to mainland China, South Korea, and Italy. We’re actively monitoring this situation to expand coverage as necessary. The policy applies, during specific time frames, to eligible accommodation reservations and Airbnb Experiences if:
- The listing or experience is in a severely impacted area (as we have defined)
- The guest is traveling directly from a severely impacted area
As the situation evolves, we’ll continue to update coverage of our extenuating circumstances policy (including eligible dates and locations), so please bookmark this Help Center article to stay informed.
Neither my guest nor I are in an impacted area. My guest is unable to make the trip due to the coronavirus. Can I cancel?
You may still be covered by our extenuating circumstances policy if:
- You or your guest is diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19
- You or your guest is unable to complete their trip due to travel restrictions from local authorities
- You or your guest is required to perform medical or diseases control duties in connection with the coronavirus
- The guest’s flight or ground transportation has been canceled by the airline or ground transportation provider due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus
We’ll continue to update coverage (including eligible dates and locations) as the situation evolves, so please bookmark this Help Center article.
A guest from an impacted area just canceled on me. What happens now?
We know cancellations can be upsetting, even when they happen for an understandable reason. Keep in mind that guests who cancel their reservation under our extenuating circumstances policy have been impacted themselves and by canceling are helping to protect the well-being of our entire community. If your guests cancel their reservation through this policy, we’ll notify you and automatically unblock the dates on your calendar so that you can host other guests, and we won’t collect any fees for the canceled reservation.
A guest is coming from an impacted area. What should I do?
If you’re concerned about hosting a guest who’s traveling from a severely impacted area and you’ve confirmed that the reservation meets the requirements above, you can cancel the reservation through the platform. You’ll then be notified that your reservation qualifies for a cancellation without charge, and your guest will get a full refund. It’s a good idea to message your guest as early as possible explaining the need to cancel.
Please be mindful that we have a nondiscrimination policy. Cancellations related to disruptions caused by the coronavirus need to observe our internal policies along with official guidelines and recommendations around eligible situations and locations.
Is there anything I can do to minimize the impact on my hosting business?
Millions of people on Airbnb are continuing to travel but understandably, some travelers are uncertain about whether they should book a trip right now. To fit their needs, we’re working to highlight listings with flexible cancellation policies. We’ve also put together some tips to help you minimize the impact of COVID-19 on your hosting business, and we’ll keep working on ways to support you during this difficult time.
How will Airbnb support hosts who offer more flexible stays?
We’re developing a suite of tools and programs to help both hosts and guests navigate uncertainty and support more flexible travel plans.
- We’ll start by making it easier for guests to find listings with flexible cancellation policies.
- We’re also rolling out a tool that will make it easy for hosts to refund guests who need to cancel because of COVID-19.
We’ll share more details as we introduce these enhanced tools and programs to our community in the coming weeks. Learn more
Is Airbnb collecting fees on canceled reservations?
When reservations are canceled under the extenuating circumstances policy, guests are refunded the cost of the booking. And we won’t be imposing any cancellation fees on hosts who have to cancel eligible reservations.
Will you block my calendar if I cancel an eligible reservation?
No. You can accept new reservations during the dates, even if you’re the one who canceled the booking.
Will I lose my status as a Superhost if I cancel an eligible reservation?
No. Cancellations under the extenuating circumstances policy will have no impact on the 1% cancellation rate needed to maintain your Superhost status.
Will any other penalties apply for hosts who cancel eligible reservations?
No. None of the standard cancellation penalties will apply for hosts who have to cancel under the extenuating circumstances policy.
How can I help prevent the spread of illnesses like the coronavirus?
Cleaning frequently touched surfaces (e.g. light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) and regular hand washing can go a long way toward keeping you and your guests safe, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read our article with more cleaning tips and hygiene recommendations from the CDC.
Events are getting canceled. Will these reservations be covered by Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy?
We know that many of our travelers book places to stay on Airbnb for events like Coachella, SXSW, Mobile World Congress, and others. If an event has been canceled and it’s not in an area covered by our extenuating circumstances policy, we’re encouraging guests to check the cancellation policy on their reservation.
We’ll be rolling out a tool so hosts can refund reservations like these that aren’t covered under our extenuating circumstances policy.
I host an Airbnb Luxe or Luxury Retreats property. Does the extenuating circumstances policy apply to me?
No. Our extenuating circumstances policy doesn’t apply to Airbnb Luxe or Luxury Retreats reservations, which are subject to a separate Luxe guest refund policy.
We know how disruptive something like the coronavirus can be to your business, and we’re here to help. Thanks for working together with us to protect the safety and well-being of our community.
Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.
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