I have a cabin located up a hill on a gravel road that is hard to get up in the winter, I put AWD is recommended in winter and I also send a message when booking is confirmed, it is also again reiterated in the check in email 2 days prior to check in date. This specific guest I also sent a separate message stating we were calling for snow and the driveway was going to be a challenge and wanted them to be prepared…Well they brought a Chevy Malibu and of course can’t get up. Luckily they are local and when I spoke with them this morning they stated they were going to try and get chains for the tires so they could get to the cabin. …I am just thinking ahead here to the inevitable “we can’t get there, we want our money back!” They have not requested it back yet, but I want to be prepared on how I should handle the situation…what do you think the best course of action should be?
What cancelation policy do you use?
I use the Firm policy
Since this started I have been using that (with the non-refundable option as well) because it is the most flexible one that does not allow for guests to get a refund once they are either checked in or day if check-in where they are able to leave a review.
I’d be happy to do moderate as far as giving full refund up to 5 days before but but under no circumstances want guests to be entitled to any refund once they have actually affected me by either checking in or being able to leave a review.
The new & improved Airbnb Extenuating Circumstances policy specifically excludes refunding for reasonably anticipated weather conditions. Snow for you applies.
Let your cancellation policy rule. If you feel generous offer a future stay discount. Or refund it is up to you.
I would trust the experienced hosts on policy issues.
When I have booked rural places in the past, they sometimes have a very clear “we do not recommend attempting this road without AWD,” and I honestly wouldn’t have blamed them if they added “and, because we are unlikely to be able to rebook, cannot honor cancellations because of the road.”
If you’re local, I wonder whether you can do as some of our past hosts in less-developed places have done and tell your guests with non-AWD cars that a shuttle service is available if they want to pre-book and park at X spot that is accessible to their cars. You could always add a nominal fee – we had a host who handled things that way in rural Ireland and were totally happy about it (mostly because we didn’t even bother with a car – just took a bus to the designated pick-up spot and rode with him to his guest house).