Bookings are dropping like flies

Well I never expected a robust winter here in the Boston Area but I had enough bookings to cover my costs but now they are all starting to cancel. Looks like I’l have an empty Airbnb for January and February.

Is everyone starting to see cancellations due to Omicron?

1 Like

Booked through Dec. 31, but have closed for January to see how things roll out in my area. My winter bookings tend to be last minute anyhow so cancelations wouldn’t be a big factor. Big drop here is not from cancelations but from lack of international visitors.

1 Like

Things are strange but I’m fully booked. In my situation I had two direct bookers cancel due to health issues not related to covid. I also had a couple of Christmas dog boarding bookings cancel. So I opened my Airbnb calendar for the last two weeks of Dec and got bookings. But 3 of those canceled. So that was 5 cancels in a one week period. I got a request for a 3 night booking with the father in law and pup staying here while the booker went to Juarez MX over Christmas. I refused it based on being 3rd party but the real reason is I didn’t want someone sitting in my Airbnb 24/7 over the holiday. I’d rather do daily changeovers.

So I changed my cancel policy to moderate instead of flexible. Hopefully I get more serious reservations and I can always refund if I get rebooked, but at my discretion. I also changed to only 5 days out being open so that everyone falls within the moderate policy and changed to one day bookings. Ding, ding, ding, booked up all 5 days, plus the New Year’s day booking I got while I was available that far out. I’ll open each day and the end of the 5 days and see what happens.

I know you have a different kind of listing than I do but if there’s any way to do one nighters, if you are close enough to the throughfares, you might get a little money.

1 Like

I don’t know if it’s Omicron, but I’ve seen a rise in cancellations. I have a moderate policy, so people are booking, then cancelling and I’m usually covering those dates. I’m closed through the rest of the year and January only has 1 night booked. One weekend in February and one in March. That’s it.

Interesting. I was thinking of moving to a flexible policy, but I’d rather stay where I am.

It’s been a weird 2 years…

2 Likes

I used to do 1night bookings and loved it. I was close to the airport and highways but I’m just not comfortable with cleaning the suite on the first day due to covid. Just thought of something, I could open it one night but add a rule to block the day before and after a booking. Might give that a try.

2 Likes

Our slow season is typically Nov through mid Mar, with a couple of bookings here and there. I’’ve only had 2 reservations since the end of Oct, and our calendar is wide open now. It’s got to be Omicron. :frowning:

3 Likes

Probably wise—the past two summers I’ve had more guests cancel for a variety of reasons but almost immediately rebooked.

From comparing rental experiences with my neighbors/hosts, we’ve all had more cancellations than ever.

One host shut hers down completely for the next 3 months. It was rented but the guest cancelled. So instead of dealing with the booking, cancellation, booking roller coaster, she will use her condo for family & renovation.

1 Like

On Dec 1, we had four or five bookings, 3 of which cancelled, but now only one in mid Jan. My schedule was partially blocked but not completely blocked, which it now is, due to replacing sink and faucet. I am using the time for working on fab new amenity and other stuff like visiting my family in Jan. But it is the 1st time we ever have had only one booking.

1 Like

Flexible has worked great for me. And dealing with people who want refunds is work. Even if it’s to tell them “no,” or “only if I rebook,” is work. But after book, cancel then another book, cancel, 3 times in a week I decided I need to try something different. It’s probably temporary. I thought making the cancel policy stricter would hurt bookings but it didn’t this week. Too much demand, too little supply.

Can’t hurt if you are getting nothing. And with all the delayed flights and whatnot you could get some people who are stranded at the airport. If there’s not a lot of supply, bump the price up a little or put a cleaning fee to make one nighters more expensive, allow one night bookings and yes, put the one day buffer in. Or maybe allow some early check ins if you have a storm or major delays in your airport so people can arrive in the morning.

3 Likes

Interesting what everyone’s doing. I dropped one nighters because I’ve got a 48 hour buffer; it didn’t seem cost effective.

This is my slow season but I’m doing OK with my new clientele – folks looking for a home base from which to visit family and friends. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Maybe the flip side of omicron being so transmissible may be an equally steep drop in cases, see South Africa trend.

1 Like

I’m willing to do back to back this week because it’s so warm here. I let the room air out awhile, then go in and clean while still airing and then the room warms up again quickly after I close it back up. We’ll see as each day goes by.

If I had a larger place to clean I probably couldn’t do it.

2 Likes

I’ve done that and it’s wonderful. No rush to get the room turned over in 4 hours, able to air it out and not be in rushed host mode.

1 Like

Glamping Hub is instituting a new policy: If booked guest then request a date change, then cancels, the original or earlier date is where the cancellation policy sticks. I hope Air implements this too! :rofl:

3 Likes

Didn’t Boston just announce that they would start requiring proof of vaccine to enter places? That may impact your bookings.

1 Like

Boston? Tons of places require proof of vax to enter public spaces.

Pretty hilarious watching a clip of a bunch of anti-vaxer Trumpers having a public meltdown because they weren’t allowed to enter the restaurant at Trump Tower in NYC.

1 Like

The only reason I was willing to go NYC in early Nov was the vax requirement indoors. Vax requirements lose some people and gain others but overall it’s the best for safety. If you let covid run wild, it will definitely be bad for business.

2 Likes

Tons? If only.

It was only a few days ago that Boston made a rule requiring proof of vax in public spaces. I believe it was the same day that Chicago did the same. In my New England state there is still no requirement for proof of vaccination. I was in New York, just outside the City, in Long Island in November and there was no proof of vaccination required anywhere and I don’t know if masks were required because I wear one anyway but about 50% of the people I saw were not wearing masks and I didn’t see any signs regarding them.

20 of the 50 US states have even banned proof of vaccination requirements.

I hand’t heart that and I live a few miles north of Boston. Since I require fully vaxxed guests I welcome that. I do know our Governor is not (at this time) have a mask mandate but strongly suggests.

The week, I had my daughter and daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, BFF’s son who contracted covid in the hospital. She said even the Doc in TN weren’t always masking. That’s a lot. more infection in 1 week than in 1 years of people I know. And these folks are all vaxxed and masked.

Oh and still no new bookings. I have one more left for February. I closed my dates after March and did as suggested and added one days stayed with before and after dates blocked.

It was a couple of days before Christmas that Boston made the proof of vax mandate, but I think it doesn’t go into effect until Jan 15 or something dumb like that. Anyway my nearby city has never had a proof of vax mandate so it’s definitely better than nothing.

I wasn’t just referring to the US. There are hosts here from all over.
You have to show vax proof to enter pretty much anywhere in Canada now, except for grocery stores. You can’t fly or take a train domestically without being vaxed.
South Korea is another where you have to show vax proof. I haven’t researched all the areas where it’s required, suffice it to say the US is behind the 8 ball on this, as so many Americans confuse their freedumbs with public health measures.