Confused about CoVID Cancellation Policy

I have been contacted by several guests who told me that they needed to cancel their reservations for reasons related to CoVID 19.Their reservations were made before March 14th and are for future dates May, June and Sept. So after receiving the message from AirBNB about allowing guests to cancel before May 1st without a penalty I told guests who wanted to cancel in these circumstances that they could have a full refund even though I have a strict cancellation policy. Now I have received a call from Airbnb support asking me to confirm the cancellations - even though I already pressed the Cancel reservation and reviewed verified these requests and I airbnb is asking me for payouts for these reservations even though I have not received any money from them. I’m confused about the policy. I thought I was following AIRBN’s guidance. Any ideas?

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Wow! That’s really sneaky in the current climate and I don’t think this has anything to do with COVID-19. Airbnb has a “tricky” policy where if a host authorizes a refund for a guest cancellation, Airbnb will take the refund money from the host’s current payouts and then give the host the the guest’s payment when the original payout is due (24 hours after the guest’s scheduled check-in). Why? Because they’ve got the guest’s money tied up in short-term investments. They’ve been doing this for at least a couple years that I’ve heard, but continuing the practice when cancellation rates are high and hosts don’t have any current payouts is just slimy.

This really comes back to letting Airbnb handle all cancellations. If Airbnb wants to play that game, then make them work with the guest and verify extenuating circumstances, etc.

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I received emails from Airbnb asking me to contact guests and to cancel their reservations. I was afraid somehow it would come back and bite me. So I ignored Airbnb’s request. I figured it’s up to the guest to cancel and they can get a refund from Airbnb. I was afraid that if I cancelled, somehow I would be penalized by Airbnb. I’m glad I followed muy gut feeling.


I don’t think any money moves, but you do have to send the guest a refund as it is outside what they normally would receive.

Yeah, there are lots of reports of this both on the internet and also from hosts I know locally. One friend of mine cancelled reservations as was encouraged and now has a -$7240 balance in her upcoming transactions. One of the reservations is in November! So any other reservations she gets won’t really get paid out to her until that balance is paid off. She has 4 kids and is super frustrated with it.

I am not going to cancel anyone. They will need to cancel themselves. Also, because I got unemployment, I don’t want to cancel as it may be construed as “turning down work”.

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@Ritz3 - same here! And then they deny the 25% payment, saying the reservation was cancelled by the host. I hate having to tell the guest to contact ABB but that is what I have been doing too. Otherwise, I guarantee ABB will circumvent the 25% payment (bc I am currently fighting with them for trying just that on a reservation that I have proof that I did not cancel). So frustrating to be stuck in between this game of their own making, when all I’d like to do is help my guests.


I think (but not 100 percent sure) that any cancellations booked before 3/15 through 5/31 is covered under the EC and if they cancel and you have strict cancellation, you will get 25 percent of the 50 percent (provided the guest has paid in full). I don’t think Airbnb has extended it EC beyond 5/31. I too ignored the “opportunity” to cancel future guest with no penalty.

Now if I get a guest asking to cancel who booked before 3/15, I tell them to wait but make sure its before the 14 days start of their reservation to see if the EC was extended and therefore they can put in for the COVID EC. If not, I tell them, to cancel and they will get back 50 percent and cleaning fee. (I’m not refunding any more money at this point unless Airbnb extends the EC and I’m being forced. I’ll at least get the 25 percent since I’m strict cancellation

(I know some people think that’s harsh but I feel that my cancellation policy was clear when they booked and I run a business and I have to pay my mortgage.)

If a guest booked 3/15 and beyond and then cancelled, then unless Airbnb changes it policy again, we would get our cancellation rate (depending on when they cancelled).

That is the way it reads but not what they are doing across the board. I have two that fall under these circumstances and they are telling me they are not included. Up the chain of command (aka social media) I will go.

Also worth noting: It took calling them to get reviewed for the 25%. I know this might not be the situation for all of us, but ABB is nothing if not hit or miss in their treatment. I had to call to get anything moving. Not resolved, just moving.

You might be correct. I have received everything I expected (but when I called customer service I provide a spread sheet with the calculations and reservation numbers.) About a week late I got the email and then a few days later it was in my account.

Perhaps I should do the same for superhost fund?

You need to wait until “invited”. So far the only host on this forum to be contacted is @Xena, which given the number of hosts, is surprising. Or maybe not…


Oh, I know I need to wait to be invited but since the sweaty wheel got the 25 percent, maybe it will work with the fund? I’ve been a super host for 4 years. I would think that I would get an invite soon?

Who knows. We’re slightly behind you in timescales, but to be honest I’m not holding my breath on this one.


@Lynick4442: I did the same. They initially denied the 25% for reservations that I knew were eligible. I created a spreadsheet with the name, reservation number, date they booked, date they canceled, and the amount that I expected to receive. This morning I woke up to an email that my pay out for the 25% has been scheduled.