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New Cancellation Policy

On my calendar today, I see this offer:

AirBnB says:
New cancellation policy designed for hosts like you
Based on your feedback, we’d like to add a new cancellation policy that protects your income like Strict but gives guests more confidence to book. Help us test it.

Anyone know the details? I am leery to click through in case they just add it without the option not to accept it.

If you go to:

Listings >>> Booking Settings >>> Policies

Under Cancellation Policies you have the option to set up a non refundable policy which will run in parallel with what you have just now.

According to Airbnb, changes (from 7th January) to the EC policy will make it far more difficult for folks to cancel on a whim, therefore by offering a slightly cheaper non refundable rate, typically 10% discount, you may attract more guests.

BDC have had this option for a long time, and it does work. The difference is that with BDC it is a rigid policy; you cancel, you lose your money. I’m not sure, even with the changes, that I trust Airbnb to implement a genuine non refundable policy.



I’m curious about it too! I got the same pop-up in my calendar yesterday. I went to click on it and it took me nowhere. It didn’t surprise me that the Air site probably glitched…and then I simply forgot about it.

I think I’ll wait until Air implements this policy on a full scale. Not sure I want to be a guinea pig. But if anyone does move forward with it I’d love to hear how it goes! Strict cancellation has worked great for us this year overall.

What John describes seems like the same as the Non-refundable policy that was available for hosts with Flexible policy over a year ago. The host could choose to make it available, and the guest could choose which one he/she wanted. If the guest chose Non-refundable, then they got a 10% discount but there no refunds were given.

Not to mention things like:

The guest wanting to cancel and not being able to, so they show up and call Airbnb an hour later claiming the listing was filthy or had pests because they know Airbnb will then give them a full refund.

The guest asks the host for a refund, and when declined, the guest waits until a few hours before check-in to cancel, then writes a scathing review for spite, because they know Airbnb’s system allows it.

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Ok, if this is their “new and improved” version of the non-refundable, forget that; I have seen many posts on Facebook VR forums, about guests choosing non-refundable and then whining for a refund, and wouldn’t extenuating circumstances still apply?

Thank you John F

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I don’t trust Airbnb’s non-refundable option at all. I’ve read far too many posts where guests were able to convince Airbnb that they had some extenuating circumstance and Airbnb just refunded them all their money. As long as Airbnb has the last word in refunding guests, I don’t see it as any advantage to hosts.


There are BIG changes to Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy. I wish we know how well Airbnb will enforce it, though.

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Pre-IPO Air Policy: “Try to side with guests as often as possible, regardless of Cancellation Policies / Violations of House Rules …,”.

Post-IPO Air Policy: “Side with Guests every time. Most Hosts won’t fight it, so it’s better for our shareholders and keeping Guests happy”.

Oh things are going to change, sure, but not in our favor. Catherine Powell is useless (shocking - sarcasm). Air can write whatever they want as “updated policies” - the reality is their agents will almost always do nothing or take the Guests’s side.

No faith that anything will get better with their so-called updated policies. Especially not post-IPO.

It does actually appear that this is slightly different to the previous (or existing) non ref policy.

From what I can glean from a post on the CC, it only becomes non ref thirty days from check in. Possibly an amalgam of the current strict and super strict? Without knowing more, about the hosts original policy and the details of the trial policy, it’s difficult to say.

Those invited to the trial will have their page views split between the new policy and their existing one, which does suggest that the outcome will be monitored.

Is she?

Why don’t you expand on that, and let the rest of us know how you arrived at that conclusion.


I have opted for the new policy on my account. Here is what it is:

Modified Strict
Full refund for cancellations up to 30 days before check-in. If booked fewer than 30 days before check-in, full refund for cancellations made within 48 hours of booking. No refund after that.

We’re testing this policy—it’ll only be shown to 50% of your guests. The other 50% will be shown your current Strict cancellation policy.

Looks like there is a second BETA as well.

Modified Strict or Non-refundable
In addition to the modified Strict policy, offer a non-refundable option—guests pay 10% less, but you keep your payout no matter when they cancel. Learn more


Try out a new cancellation policy
Based on feedback from hosts, we’d like to add a new cancellation policy that protects your income like Strict but gives guests more confidence to book.
Here’s how it works:
Guests can cancel for a full refund until 30 days before check-in
After that you get paid 100% for all nights
If guests book between 30 and 14 days before check-in, they have 48 hours after booking to cancel for a full refund
We’ll test the new policy against your current Strict policy—the results and your feedback will help shape the final version. Here are the details:
Once you opt in, the new policy will be shown to only half of your guests
The other half will be shown your current Strict cancellation policy
You’ll be shown which reservations belong to each group
You can opt out of the test at any time by selecting another policy
Thanks for helping us build the future of Airbnb.

And the EC policies still over ride this, so in my view it is another SFA policy…just puffery to make hosts think they have some control.


Are US bookings subject to EC rules?

I haven’t seen this on my listing. checked booking settings and it’s not showing up. Maybe it’s not for properties in Mexico?

This one of those Airbnb things that is basically a trial run, and they don’t roll those out everywhere. Also when they offer a new feature, it doesn’t roll out in all locations at the same time.

When Airbnb started hiding guest photos until after a booking was confirmed, I could still see photos for a week or more after hosts in other locations were reporting that they couldn’t.

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Airbnb is piloting nonrefundable discount option for strict in on my listing, which seems weird when applied to strict.
Also, I’d turned off instant book as I am gingerly re-opening. So I had an inquiry for March. Then, mysteriously, instant book is back on and I have a reservation in April.
I second the frequent good advice here to check your listings for “surprise” adjustments.


I was looking at my listing today and there were weeks open that I didn’t intend to be. I’m trying to wait until I can be vaccinated and maybe longer and lucky for me no one booked for weeks ahead that I’m not ready for.

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