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Guest wants to cancel trip because their chosen mode of transport was not availabe due to Covid19 - do you offer a full refund?

Our country recently went into a short lockdown because a couple of cases of community transmssion were detected in one region. That region went into a full lockdown while outside the region (where my apartment) went into a partial. One of the conditions of the partial was having to wear masks on public transport.

My guests had planned to take a scenic train to my apartment but their train was cancelled. I can only speculate that this is because the train operator thought it might be hard to enforce mask wearing on a long 6 hour trip and also manage social distancing.

The guests could have driven or flown (but then would have missed out on the scenic rail trip) but asked for a full refund. Normaly rules would have caused them to incur a 50% penalty and I don’t think EC really doesn’t apply. I felt 50% would be harsh and offered 100% credit but they wanted 100% refund. In the end, in the interests of maintaining good customer relationships I gave the full refund but now people in my social circles are saying that was too generous - I should have only given a credit. Not sure what comeback there would have been if I had only offered a credit but I would be interesetd in other host’s views.

In such situations, it’s probably a good idea to ask yourself what you’d want if you were in the guests’ shoes?

And it depends on how long you’ve got to fill the slot. If they cancelled a week or more before the trip, I’d refund. If they cancelled the day before check in, I wouldn’t.


This is a tough one. One one hand we aren’t travel insurance. On the other hand I don’t think you can get travel insurance that covers covid. But given the risks it’s lucky that anyone plans any travel at this time. I’d probably stick to whatever my cancellation policy was and let Airbnb sort it out.

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It was two days before and that was when the Government announcement took into effect. There no earlier warning I am sure AirBnB would have enforced 50% but they do provide some latitude. Also I should have mentioned that my country (NZ) has no travel restrictions at this time so people are normally free to travel anywhere they want. This is an sudden and unexpected situation arising from routine testing at our isolation facilities and then somebody who was cleared then becoming sick a few days after and having mixed with the community. The worse that happened is I lost some revenue that I could not replace and incur the wrath of my family for being too nice :frowning:

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In which case I would have given a certain amount of refund but certainly not 100%.

Sometimes you can get replacement guests the same day but these ones who cancelled were cutting it fine - as I’m sure they know.

I would let Airbnb handle it. If they allow a full refund, then so be it.

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I agree with @Brian_R170 , It is NEVER OUR JOB TO OFFER REFUNDS. That’s part of what you pay a percentage to AirBnb for – to collect and disburse monies. Your only communincation to a guest in a case like this should be “Gee, I’m sorry to hear that, you’ll have to take it up with AirBnb. Here’s their number:”

What would you do if they missed their flight? Their car broke down? Etc.
You were able to receive the guest and give them what they paid for, any other part of their travel is not your problem.

No Refund.

Next time they cancel because they predict fog and rain and the view from the train will be bad, will you cancel?

That’s what you pay them for.

Interestingly, it’d have been a test of the new EC rules as this scenario would not have been eligible and Airbnb should have simply reiterated the cancellation policy in place.


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