Cancellation Policies - HELP!

Hello everyone!

I am Eddie, a university student at Hotelschool The Hague and I have a question on a project I am working on… I really hope you will be able to help me!

My topic is simply about “Policies for Vacation Rentals”. All companies like, AirBnB and Homeaway have some pre-determined policies that the guests can choose from. I have made my own research on them but what I lack is feedback from actual users of these platforms. So, I would be grateful if you can help me with the following questions.

  • Which platform is offering you a policy that covers your needs? Why is that one better than others?
  • What changes would you like to see in the cancellation policies that will make a hosts life easier?
  • Any further comments are welcomed!

I really would like to thank in advance for all the help!

Survey approved by mod.

Thank you so much for the approval!

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ABB and Booking fees are similar.

I have heard that hotels pay a flat fee. But I still can’t get my head around how it works.
I have noticed on few occasions the bookings price is the same as the hotel’s direct website.
So it seems there is some type of agreement, however I’m not sure how it is beneficial to the hotel?

Hi Eddie, good luck with your project!

I am on AirBnB for most of my booking (85%), Stayz (an Australian outfit 10%) and others like Bookings.

I am on IB (instant Book) for Air and it works for me. I’ve never had bad guests. On Air I have a moderate policy for cancellations though change that around peak Summer to strict as I can’t afford to lose a 5 day booking at premium prices with only a week to replace it. I tried Bookings and got 2 booking really quickly and both were cancelled before the “no refund” period so I’ve changed it to strict. Stayz guests are more likely to ask if they can cancel and get a full refund. I tell them that is okay if I get a replacement booking and deduct the difference in the price plus $50 fee.

Bookings allows a user determined “grace period” of say 24 hours after the booking has been made.

In my experience if users ask questions that can be solved by reading the listing they don’t book. I guess they are asking a few different people. I got sick of replying to queries that they can answer themselves.

I recently declined a booking enquiry (not an actual booking) on Air because of the following red flags:

  1. she asked questions that the listing provides the answer to,
  2. she comes from a country I am more likely to get less than 5 star reviews from,
  3. Her photo was her wedding photo in her white wedding dress.

If you want to DM me please do. I used to work for a management consultancy, Bain, and we would have to ring people up to fill out surveys. I hope that’s not you!

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I believe with HomeAway you have the option to charge an admin fee which I think is a great idea.
Sometimes as a Host you want to give a refund but want some compensation for the time you spent working on the booking and cancellation process, even if it is just $10. I think most businesses would keep a nominal amount like that to go towards admin costs.
If the amount you can charge can be flexible, even better, as guests who take up more of your time could be charged double.

Hi there!

Thank you so much for your reply to my topic… you’re already incredibly helpful to me!

I have couple more questions and I would be very happy if you could answer them if you can:

Is there any changes you would like to see in the cancellation policies of Airbnb/ etc? From a host perspective, what would really help you?
Do you think the platforms are guiding the sporadic hosts enough on which cancellation policy they should use? Airbnb does that a little and I haven’t seen any guidance on Bookingcom.
Is the Long Term Booking protection by Airbnb really relevant for the hosts? (www.airbnb. com/home/cancellation_policies#long-term). Both Homeaway and Bookingcom does not have this option right now.
Again… thank you so much for your help!!!


I have friends who own a Hotel and use Booking and I know their walk up rate is less that their Booking rate, as it should be.

I do not take too much notice of ABB cancellation policies, far too easy for a Guest to avoid any penalties.

The system blocked you automatically. Hope you can post now!

I list on booking and have been offered to be part of their genius program. This means their members get a 10% discaount, booking gets 15% and credit card payment a further 3.9%. Have I taken them up on their kind offer? NOPE! 28.9 % off the top and I don’t see them dropping their cut. Their are only 18 properties in my area … so I think the guest will still find me…

10% discount? Essentially 5% instead of 15% off nightly rate? Doesn’t sound like it though…

I rang the help desk to check the break down - I had understood correctly.

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