I live in an Arizona town where the main highway has been closed due to a huge fire. My town is not in danger and the fire is Gradually being contained But the main highway is closed. I have had To fully refund 2 reservations —VRBO not Airbnb— which were made well before the fire. I have also notified the guests that are upcoming the first 2 weeks in July of the road closure and the fire.As of now I do not know when the road will reopen. There is another route into town which Could add an hour or more to the travel time.The 2 cancelled guests did not want to take the alternate route. My Dilemma was whether or not to shut my listing or just put a notification on my listing. After some thought, I added notification of the closed main route the alternate route and asked that they check for road closures prior to booking if they do not want to go the alternate route. Is there any problem with this approach.? Any thoughts on anything else I could or should do? I have checked other listings in town and no one is even mentioning the fire or road closures, but their listings are open.
I think it’s important to communicate such things to guests. A friend of mine who hosts had the city digging up the street for several blocks that runs past her house to put in new water and sewer lines, and new sidewalks. It took months and she never knew from one day to the next whether she’d be able to get in her driveway that day, or have to park a block away. She contacted all her booked guests to let them know and give them the opportunity to cancel with full refund, but almost all said they were fine with it and thanked her for letting them know.
So yes, I would put it in your listing near the top, as an “temporary road closure” with a bit of explanation.
So if someone books for next weekend— which is now wide open because of 1 of those cancellations—and I have disclosed this road closure and fire in my listing and the main road does not open by next weekend, the guest can not then cancel and say they decided not to take the long way around after all? Maybe I am overthinking it. I am also considering dropping my price for next weekend to entice someone to come or offerring them an early check in. First a historic pandemic, now a fire. Sheez…
I had guests cancel during fires, nobody wants to be in the mountains and smell smoke, even if its coming from 50 miles away.
Yeah one of my two cancellations mentioned that her son had asthma. There were some days that were smokey and hazy but not in last 2 days. The cancellations fell under both natural disaster and road closures so I had no trouble refunding those reservations.
I would also confirm in your first message with them that they have read the info and know they will have travel delays. When it comes to something that could potentially ruin someone’s vacation, it’s best to assume they didn’t read it and make sure they know.
For me, this happens any time I have a group large enough that someone is going to have to use an air mattress. It says in the listing to take notice of the bed situation for larger groups and says “we will confirm that you read this in the initial booking message.”
It’s resulted in 2 immediate, penalty-free cancellations over 18 months. I would rather that than disgruntled guests and a bad review. In each case, I cheerfully invited them to book again in the future when they have a smaller group. No hard feelings.