Coronavirus event cancellation policies?

Hi colleagues,
We have an AirBnb property located close to the grounds of a series of very large music festivals over 3 weekends. We make about half our income for the year during these weekends, and we have a strict cancellation policy. A guest just booked our house and then asked what our cancellation policy is in the event the festival is cancelled.

I haven’t responded to the guest yet. If the event were canceled, we would lose a LOT of income and would almost certainly have a major loss for this year. We have an expensive insurance policy that covers loss of use in the event of a casualty such as a plumbing leak, but I don’t think we would be covered for something like this.

Has anyone else who books seasonally and in response to an event controlled by someone else in particular received any questions like this? How did you respond? Ideas or suggestions?

Just say you are sorry to hear they might have to cancel. Inform them their cancellation would be processed under the cancellation policy they booked under @NandDproperty

Suggest if they need to cancel they should look at their travel insurance to see if this is a reason their policy would cover.


I don’t think he is planning on canceling, he was just wondering if he would have any recourse in the event the festival were canceled. Our house is very expensive for those 4 days per year.

No he wouldn’t. Have a look at Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy to see what is covered (see Airbnb Help)

I would refer the guest to Airbnb’s cancellation policy and recommend to the guest that they check with their own travel insurance.


I went here:

And I see this at the top:

Coronavirus outbreak

The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. Impacted hosts and guests can find info on our Extenuating circumstances policy for coronavirus page.

Which links me to here:

Yes, I also saw that. I didn’t see anything regarding a canceled event unless the area is directly impacted. A precautionary event cancellation doesn’t appear to be an extenuating circumstance. Regardless, all the policy seems to do is allow for a cancellation without a penalty imposed by airbnb, in which case I would be left with a vacancy for my most lucrative week of the year.

As I said in my earlier post @NandDproperty cancellation of third party events aren’t covered under their EC policy.

So just refer the guest back to the cancellation policy he booked under and say that is how Airbnb would treat his booking in the event he decided to cancel @NandDproperty.

I am rather confused by your comment

You said you have a strict cancellation policy - how is that a cancellation without a penalty. The guest will lose at least 50%.

As you don’t seem confident of the position after reading advice here and Airbnb’s information on strict cancellations and their EC policy. Why not give them a call.

Chicago just canceled the “Houseware Show” a 4 day event at McCormick Place because of the virus. AirBnB is refunding in full from what I’ve heard.

interesting. Did the guest have to demonstrate they are booked at the event @LiveOakVineyard?

Certainly third party events aren’t normally covered in their EC policy so if they are now covering just for guests who have event cancellations due to the Corona virus this is a new thing.

And it doesn’t mention third party events as a valid reason for cancellation here.

Other global scenarios that require documentation

Regardless of reservation date, the extenuating circumstances policy applies to reservations of all global hosts or guests who must change or cancel travel:

  • In order to comply with disease control restrictions implemented by relevant governmental or health authorities;
  • In order to perform medical or disease control duties in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak;
  • As a result of flight or ground transportation cancellations initiated by an airline or ground transportation provider due to the COVID-19 outbreak;
  • In the event that they are diagnosed or suspected of being infected with COVID-19 by a medical or health authority.

Have disease control restrictions been announced in Chicago. That would be the only reason I could see a guest could cancel because of an event cancellation.

My understanding was it was the largest event to be held soon and the City of Chicago shut it down due to sheer volume of people that would attend. Also a large amount of the vendors are foreigners. I’m actually surprised they did this based on the $'s the city will now lose, unless all the vendors were cancelling.

Last summer I had guests who were staying at my place to attend a big music festival. The festival was canceled after the first of 3 days due to weather. The guests left and asked for a refund. I refused to refund, Air refunded due to special circumstances.

Did you get paid @space4u?

I don’t know how to work this board but I wanted to say that I am in the same boat.

I had a cancellation and Airbnb asked me if I would refund the guest in full. I didn’t know what to say. Why would I do that when the policy is clear? I told them to expand the extenuating circumstances policy to cover event cancellations if they want me to give full refunds. My people don’t want a reduced price, they simply do not want to come, and they do not want to pay anything to cancel. I don’t think it’s extenuating personally. Perhaps if they wait and travel is impossible, but at the moment, they could come, they are choosing not to. I feel bad that I want to stick to the policy, but I had those dates locked to accommodate those people. If they hadn’t booked I might have other guests who wouldn’t be cancelling.

I am not quite clear on what you are asking @hostess1

If the cancellation isn’t covered by EC then you just tell Airbnb to process any cancellation in line with your cancellation policy.

Don’t feel bad, that is what travel insurance is for.

Thanks, that’s what I did. I was surprised they requested that I cancel and give a full refund. I am sure she was aware of the strict policy when she booked…