Last minute cancelllations amid Covid-19

For US hosts - we had a group cancel yesterday for today’s arrival because none of them want to get on a plane - and another group for next weekend because the concert they were coming for cancelled until September.
Both are asking me if we will and if Airbnb will refund?
We set up our cx policy as moderate but would certainly refund amid their travel concerns but what do I tell them about Airbnb? I read that they are only giving refunds to severely affected areas - but people are being advised not to travel if they don’t have to so is Airbnb loosening their policy yet or expanding the areas for refunds?
I tried contacting them yesterday but was on hold for more than a hour before I had to disconnect the call.

It is up to you. Airbnb is not giving out free money. If there is a refund the money you were paid goes back to the guest.

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We have multiple threads running on this topic already. You might read through them and see if you get the information you need.

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I have always upheld my strict cancellation policy, until now. I have refunded the only cancellation due to CV19 cancelling an event and will consider refunds going forward on a case by case basis. It pisses me off to read that Air is not refunding their fees, yet asking (for now) us to refund. I expect it will be out of our hands soon enough and Air will just refund without asking.

All that being said I am sticking with my strict policy for now.

RR

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It helps if you actually read the Airbnb policy now, relative to Covid-19. Don’t just “read about it” in some third party blurb. There are specific circumstances under which Air is refunding, theoretically without issue. BUT you or the guest has to have specific hard information – official cancellations of this and that; official notices of blah, blah, blah. I read the policy the other day when I got the message from Air, but haven’t had to apply it yet, so the details have not sunk in…

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I had to apply it this week. Young Army man coming to FL with GF from Poland to meet the family. She can’t get on a flight/lockdown in Poland and now he’s only maybe coming to visit the family. He put all that in his message to me asking for a full refund.

I told him to contact AirBnB to cancel due to EC and see what they said. Air still wanted to give me my strict 50% payout. He asked for the money back and I spent almost an hour on hold before getting through to AirBnB CS and I told them to give him his money back and refund his fees.

And they did. I think if hosts and guests push Air CS personnel (nicely because the CS yesterday sounded exhausted), they’ll do the right thing.

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I had a cancel due to virus concerns. I’m Flexible cancellation policy, so no problem there for the guest, who inquired about Airbnb fees. I did not try to intercede with Airbnb but gave her their policy link and suggested she could try contacting them directly. I offered a 10% discount on rebooking in the less-crazy future. I think that’s fair; I see some of you kind folks are really going to bat for your guests but I’ve decided not to spend buckets of time on the phone myself. To each their own!

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I think that was only an option when the wait on the phone wasn’t hours. I’ll give everyone a refund but they will have to get their money from Airbnb themselves.

I don’t think you have to call and wait an hour on hold- just message the guest saying you are fine with them getting a full refund. Airbnb can see that and will proceed accordingly.

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Actually, Air CS is so overwhelmed, they are only looking at the messages AFTER you call in. They don’t have the time to check them when it’s done automatically.

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Thanks I did read them but none applied to what I specifically was asking. I see now though that they changed their policy and giving refunds - I’ve pretty much had most of March cancel now.

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Ugh! Thanks for the info! I see they updated their policy and are automatically refunding the people cancelling.

Thanks - looks like they are just automatically refunding now - changed policy today I’m guessing. I never got the email that other host wrote about Re Airbnb refunds during this time

Okay. Well we don’t want to shut anyone off from getting answers but having 10 posts a day on the same topic can be confusing.

Althought they just officially changed the policy I’ve told people all week that this exactly what was going to happen to they could start getting ready.

Best wishes to you as we ride this out.

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What I meant was leave the ball in the guest’s court. Let them wait on hold for an hour and let them ask Airbnb to look at the host’s message saying they are amenable to a full refund.