Less demand when stricter cancellation policy?

Hello everyone, I’m new to the site. I’m thinking about going from a moderate to strict cancelation policy. Has anyone experienced fewer booking as a result?

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I don’t think they allowstrick anymore. Those who had it are grandfathered.

Hi @Cmoore

I am not sure @Martha is correct. You can have Strict.

I have strict but I don’t know whether it has affected my bookings as I have always had it.

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Always had it and fully booked for the next 4 months


Yes I can make the change it strict, and yes I’m booked until mid sept. I wanted to make the change to strict but was worried it would seriously hurt the bookings.


Yeah, they still allow it. At least here in L.A. they do. And, to your question, I have tried both and have never noticed difference in booking rates. The top factors potential guests seem to weigh when selecting a host are a) price, b) quality based on reviews, c) price, and d) price. I’ve never seen any indication that anyone weighs cancellation policy as a major factor.


I think it depends a little on the local area.
I’ve noticed that in my area, there are many listings without a strict cancellation policy like I have.
But I recently noticed an increased number of ABB rentals in my rural tourist area, and my bookings plummeted last Fall.

It may affect your placement in search - Airbnb definitely consider cancellation policy as
a factor in placement, though of course only their tech people know the details. Take a look at your local listings, and see what kind of cancellation policies they have. Personally, if you are new to the site, I’d stick with moderate and consider changing it later. If you do it after a while you’ll have a better sense of whether it is affecting your bookings. Moderate and strict are the only choice, anyway. IMO flexible is ridiculous, though I’ve seen people use it and do well.

Another thing to consider is that Airbnb reserves and exercises the right (though we don’t have the statistics) to override host cancellation policies if they feel like it. It’s reported that this is not a common feature of booking sites. So it’s questionable how much meaning the cancellation policy has in this case…

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Hi @Cmoore, I think it highly depends on your location and price. If your listing is in a high demand area, stricter policy wouldn’t affect much, guests would have to book your place because not many choices for them. Also if your price is very nice, many would still book (think about airline non refundable tickets, they are cheaper than refundable tickets so many people buy them despite non refundable).

On the other hand, if your listing is in a medium demand area, and your price is fair but not too low, you many want to keep moderate policy (also check what other hosts in your area do). Most guests wouldn’t cancel. I have a moderate policy and only one cancelled in my half year hosting experience and that was a special case because I later realised the guest’s booking wasn’t genuine in the first place.

I’ve run with both strict and moderate cancellation policies. You definitely get more cancellations if you’re running a more flexible policy; I decided that I didn’t need to be that flexible and went back to strict after about 5 months on moderate.


I’ve done the same but even gone to flexible during the off season. It’s never had an effect on bookings.

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I have had strict for my entire time on Air, 3+ years, I will NEVER change it to anything else. I am booked consistently.

I started off flexible to get bookings and have only ever had 1 cancellation – due to tremendous snowstorm that prevented guest from traveling, along with lovely apologetic note from them. I had planned to change to strict once “established,” but now see no need due to lack of cancellations.

Thank you for all the feedback, i agree flexible is absurd unless you are renting a spare room.

I only looked into it because someone just tried to modify (then possibly cancel) a 20 day reservation hat starts Tuesday. That’s a huge chunk of income I could lose if they were smart enough to cancel 24 hrs ago.

Looks like you dodged a bullet! Hope the guests turn out to be lovely.

My experience is guests don’t pay much attention to cancellation policies. I’ve used all three and ultimately settled on moderate, because it’s what I have found to be the most reasonable for both parties. Only a handful of times when cancellations occurred they seemed genuinely surprised about what they had agreed to when they booked.

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