Automatic cancellation for Covid positive test - no proof necessary

Today we had a three day booking canceled by Airbnb on the day they were scheduled to arrive, because the guest called them and said a member of her party of 10 tested positive for Covid. In the past, a guest had to provide proof but apparently, those days are over. They said they no longer require proof because it’s a privacy breach. We never received any notification about this by email or phone call so it was the first we had heard of it. Have any of you heard about this new feature?

Well what you are due depends on your Cancellation Policy. What are you using? You are certainly due something.

Call Air and fight it ASAP. Post DAILY on Air’s Twitter and Facebook pages. They must abide by this - but that may or may not make you whole!

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We have a very strict cancellation policy. They told me this is a new rule that they are not allowed to force people to show test results. I have spent hours calling and writing them today are am exhausted by it. I’m not on Twitter but can try Facebook. Now anyone can claim that someone in their party has a positive test and the booking will automatically be canceled. Unreal!!

Did you ask if you would still get any kind of payout?

They said that they understand how disappointing it must be but they must protect their guests and they are very sorry but cannot compensate us. I just joined Twitter to post a complaint and also did so on two Facebook pages I found.

The host is not entitled to anything, regardless of their cancellation policy if one of the guests on the booking has Covid. That has been in the EC policy since it was last updated.

The only difference here is that Airbnb is saying they are no longer asking for proof, which is outrageous. That means any guest can now cancel at any time under any cancellation policy, simply by saying they have Covid.

However, unless they have removed the wording from the EC policy that stated that proof was required, this could have just been one Airbnb rep’s clueless blithering, which happens all the time.

@Nearthesea Make them show you the supposed new policy that says no proof of Covid is required for a full refund cancellation.

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I called at least four different customer service representatives and they all had the same answer that the policy had changed and I opened a case. After they canceled the reservation today and I was outraged I called again and was promised that my case manager would call me but of course they never did. I did ask them where that new information is and they said it’s just a new policy and they couldn’t show it to me. I told them that once word gets out it’s gonna be all over Reddit and other different forums that people are going to find out how easy it is to cancel by claiming somebody in your party has COVID-19 and not having to show any type of proof. I did just get a response from Airbnb on Facebook just now saying they’re going to look into it. I will fight the good fight.


That’s incorrect @Jefferson

As you know their EC policy trumps any cancellation policy you have .

You are looking at the wrong information

@Nearthesea guests who can demonstrate one of their party has Covid can cancel penalty free. As can a host if they can prove they have Covid .

It’s appalling of course that you didn’t get notified.

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It doesn’t matter what some bonehead undertrained Call Center agent has to say on the phone. Air has a long-standing WRITTEN and PUBLISHED Policy. They MUST abide by it . That is YOUR MONEY. Don’t let them off the hook and POST DAILY on social media - there are people that monitor that stuff and it often helps to get things escalated and resolved faster:
THIS is listed as the “official article” by Airbnb.

And here is more:


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I am looking at Air’s published policy. Would you please share an official Air link or article that supports your assertion?

You already posted it. You even underlined it. The article says the EC policy regarding Covid cancellations does not apply “except where the guest or host is currently sick with Covid19”.

I don’t know how much clearer that can be.


The issue here is that the OP has been told by 4 Airbnb reps that they are no longer requiring proof. So anyone can claim they have Covid, without producing any documentation, and cancel for a full refund, if this is true. Which means that all cancellation policies are now pointless.


Yeah cause undertrained Air reps in a call center Never get it wrong?! LOL! Read again … “the host cancellation policy will apply as usual”.
And … Not Eligible if ANY of the following are true … Booked after March 14, 2020. They even go so far to remind guests to review the host’s cancellation policy, etc.

I did just get a response from Airbnb on Facebook just now saying they’re going to look into it. I will fight the good fight.

Post on Twitter. That really gets them to move.

I am not sure why you need me to post the policy for you when it is clearly stated on the section you have already posted above but here you go… It is not ‘my assertion’ it is Airbnb’s clearly stated policy…

Reservations made after 14 March 2020

Reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences made after 14 March 2020 will not be covered under our extenuating circumstances policy,

except where the guest or host is currently sick with COVID-19

COVID-19-related circumstances not covered include: transport disruptions and cancellations; travel advisories and restrictions; health advisories and quarantines; changes to applicable law;
and other government mandates such as evacuation orders, border closures, prohibitions on short-term rentals, and lockdown requirements. The host’s cancellation policy will apply as usual.


One out of 10 is supposed to be positive for Covid, yet the other 9 can’t continue with the reservation.
Letting you know the day of is wrong, wrong, wrong.


Yes, it’s wrong. However, Airbnb, like all companies, have to appear to be attentive when Covid is mentioned by a guest.

As it was a three day stay, I’d question whether it is worth all the hours spent calling and social media contact (and posting here). I’d concentrate on getting someone in for the remaining two days and if that’s not possible use the time to deep, deep, DEEP clean the rental and see to any maintenance that might be necessary. See it as an opportunity to fine tune the house and grounds.

Then the rental will be in tip top condition for the incoming guests. :slight_smile:


Not sure If this helps but when I was trying to find out if I could request only vaccinated guests they told me it was a HIPPA violation to ask. I explained that it wasn’t and to show me how it would apply. They then said that it was against their discrimination policy and again I asked them to show me how it applied. Eventually they agreed that I could allow only vaccinated guests. I feel like each customer service rep makes up there rules as they go along.


I of course would love to fill the vacancy but it’s a large house that generally rents for reunions and family gatherings. Rarely do we get last minute bookings. At all of your urging, last night I posted on Twitter and Facebook and will continue to until I get some sort of resolution. Thanks for all of your input.


Maybe it’s that the CS reps are following some general guidance to first try to maneuver the host into accommodating the guest.

Similar to my health insurance company when it initially denies a claim, or asks for more information. They’re hoping I just go away.

If Airbnb can ask for proof of death for bereavement refund (at their discretion), why can’t they ask for proof of Covid infection?