Airbnb Extends Free Cancellations to 5/31
Airbnb announced two weeks ago changes to it Extenuating Circumstances policy to allow refunds for bookings. This came after many customers reported being charged for canceled stays. The Extenuating Circumstances policy allows guests to cancel eligible reservations without charge. This means that hosts and guests impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will be able to cancel their homes reservation or Airbnb Experience without getting charged anything. Initially this was in effect through the end of April but has now been extended.
On Monday the company announced it will allow guests to receive full refunds for any trips starting on or before May 31st. Reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences made on or before March 14, 2020, with a check-in date between March 14, 2020 and May 31, 2020, may be canceled before check-in. This means that guests who cancel will receive, at their option, travel credit or a full cash refund, hosts can cancel without charge or impact to their Superhost status, and Airbnb will either refund, or issue travel credit in an amount that includes, all service fees. You can read more details here. You can read a full list of hotel waivers here.
$250M for Hosts
Airbnb has also set aside a sum of $250 million to pay hosts for the missed bookings. This came after the free cancellation policy that was instituted for customers, which was a policy that overrode many hosts’ existing cancellation policies that ensured they still received partial payments for bookings. Hosts started complaining that the new policy was affecting them financially and considering moving their properties to Airbnb competitors.
CNBC reports that Airbnb will now pay hosts 25% of what they would normally receive through their cancellation policies. Payments will begin to be issued in April.