Changing cancellation policy and changing bookings

Hello everyone, what a time we live in…

I have a question that I can’t find the answer to: we have cancelled all our guests but one. The booking is for July and both us and the guest want to cancel. But it was made under Strict rules (we only take two guests a month, three day minimum, so don’t want cancellations if we can help it). We have now changed our cancellation level to Moderate. We already have two “chargeable” cancellations, so would like to avoid another, if possible.

The guests are absolutely lovely repeat guests and we want them to get their money back. We had a booking this past month for ourselves and when I changed it to October I noticed that the cancellation window had moved with the new dates.

My question: if we put our cancellation level to the most flexible and have our guests change their dates, is the booking re-done at that level so they can cancel without penalty?

I don’t want to try it if I’m not sure it won’t work!

Thank you for your help,


Hi @artfulbadger]

The condition a guest booked under is the one that they and the host are held to, so changing your cancellation policy won’t have any impact.

Why not suggest your guest follows the guidance under Airbnb’s EC policy for the virus (Airbnb Help Centre)

For guests

If your reservation isn’t eligible under our extenuating circumstances policy, you can check your reservation to find out if it has flexible cancellation options. If it does, you can use the standard change or cancel options available.

Requesting a cancellation from your host

If your reservation was booked before 10 March 2020, with a check-in date before 1 June 2020, or booked between 10 March and 1 June 2020, you may be able to request a cancellation directly from your host and get a full refund.

You’ll need to log in to your account on a web browser (not using the Airbnb app) to do this. A banner on the Change or cancel page will provide info on how to request a refund from your host.

  1. Go to Trips and find the trip you want to cancel
  2. Click or tap Show trip details
  3. From the overview, click or tap Show details
  4. Click or tap Change or cancel
  5. Under Cancel reservation , click or tap Next
  6. Select the COVID-19 (coronavirus) reason why you’re cancelling
  7. Click or tap Ask for a full refund

The host will be given up to 48 hours to respond, or 24 hours if the reservation begins within a week. If they agree to the cancellation, we’ll send the refund to your original payment method, including the service fee amount. Find out more about how refunds work.

If the host doesn’t agree, you can still cancel and your refund will be determined by the host’s standard cancellation policy.

Other options

If your reservation doesn’t qualify for either the extenuating circumstances policy or your host doesn’t agree to cancel, you can always message your host to find out if they’re willing to give you a larger refund through the Resolution Centre.

Thanks, Helsi, but not my situation, doesn’t help. The stay was booked before the 10th of March, but is for mid July and was booked at Strict cancellation level. I want to know if I drop my cancellation level to Flexible now and have the guest request a change to their dates, is the new date booking at the same cancellation level as the original, or at the current flexible one at the time of the change.


As I mentioned in my earlier post to you @artfulbadger

And I am struggling to see why the guest wouldn’t be able to follow the advice I kindly found for you and posted when it is for exactly the circumstances you advised your guest was in before 10 March.

It’s really quite simply they send you a refund request following the steps I outlined (from Airbnb Help) and you approve it. Done :slight_smile:

I had a reservation cancel for May and was given the chance to refund in full, which I did. Have the guest cancel then you will be prompted to refund.


@Helsi doesn’t work. They booked before 10th March, but with a check date after 1st June.

@artfulbadger why don’t you just get the guests to contact Airbnb directly and ask for a cancellation under EC and CV19. From what many other hosts had said, when vigorously lambasting Airbnb, they are being extremely flexible towards guests. It’s worth a try.

Alternatively, if they are repeat guests, and it’s not a lot of money, you could always tell them they a credit to either the value of financially, or in nights.

Last resort, just cancel it and take the hit.


1 Like

Thanks, John,

I’ll consider this a bit more and make what seems like the most sensible decision!

What if @artfulbadger just changed their check-in date to something before April 14? (if she is in the US).

April 14 is the date current in the US. What you posted @Helsi is different than what I see but I’m assuming it’s because you’re in the UK.

Alternately, I concur with @RiverRock that after they cancel, you’ may be given a chance to award a full refund.

Incidently, just for info, I had someone cancel for a May 20 check-in last night. It was totally expected and he is a repeat guest. He contacted me for advice on cancelling. He was easily due a full refund because of my moderate policy only but I was concerned about him getting his service fees back. I gave him the option of waiting to see when they extend the April 14 date but he chose to go ahead and cancel last night. He messaged me later and told me they automatically gave him a credit for his service fees.

You should be able to contact Airbnb and have them do a mutual cancellation (i.e. both guest and host want to cancel) which should result in a full refund with no penalties for host or guests.

1 Like