New Search Filter Added: Cancellation Policy

At least on my computer I can see they have added a new serach filter for the cancellation policies.
This have an only one interpretation: Airbnb wants to encourage us to have Flexible Cancellation policy. Of course no one will click the Strict Cancellation policy checkbox except we think people is dumb. From how the company is moving I wouldn´t be surprise if their next step is having “Flexible” checked by default. They have gone from being a guest-friendly company to a host-unfriendly company.

I wasn’t aware of this but I wouldn’t let yourself be pressured into changing if you want strict as I do. I plan my own trips well in advance & have no problems with strict cancellation policies as a traveller, if I have a genuine emergency I’ll be covered in travel insurance, anyone that travels without it is a dill. I have a strict cancellation policy as a host, it’s never been and issue & im 90% booked for the next 6 months. I even have a booking for Jan 2017. I don’t want travelers canceling at the last minute & being so flippant as this indicates to me they might be a pain & disorganized. If my strict cancellation puts them off its probably a good thing & someone more responsible will hopefully book.

On the last couple months what I’m seeing is that Airbnb is trying to push hosts to drop their price with their price suggestions, accept everyone with their many attemps to given more an more advantages to the ones tha have IB, and now they are pushing us to adopt a Flexible Cancellation.with this new filters. I now also that some cities or new hosts (guess England) can only chose between “Flexible” or “Moderate” but “Strict” is no longer available for them.

It seems that in the near future I should accept everyone, charge a few dimes for my place, and let him cancel whenever he wants that I will send him my money back. Yes, of course, this my get angry many many hosts.

1 Like

I have this funny feeling they are tinkering with things. I complained about the 94% Recommend this Place, and suddenly it has disappeared from view. CSR also told me it was for “my eyes only” and that the reviews are out of order, she claimed they are posted in the order received. We know that is not true!

At least it is a FILTER option though, the key word being OPTIONAL!? What if it were suddenly not optional?

I wish they would not mess with things that are not broken!

It is definitely not for your eyes only. I’m seeing the % Recommended on other listings in the area.

As far as the cancellation policy, Moderate seems to be the minimum around here.

Who would waste their time with a flexible posting?

All the platforms are becoming each other! Is it a limited talent pool or something? Wimdu used to be so good and now it’s crap. It went to crap for me when I started to see how to “improve my ratings”. You know how Wimdu suggested that I could improve? By:
a) dropping my price
b) changing from a strict to a flexible cancellation
c) changing my minimum stay to 1 night

That was almost two years ago. I scoffed at all of this, and didn’t take any of their suggestions. I went from having 50% of my business on Wimdu to 10%.

So fast forward and now Airbnb has “pricing tips”, is potentially introducing a filter for cancellation policies and the biggest of all telling us that kids under 3 are free (and not even counted as guests!!!)

I don’t get it. Is Airbnb going public or being groomed for purchase by Priceline?

Wimdu has always given me these same so-called suggestions. I can’t see Air stooping this low, but really anything is possible. Look how the chiefs over at Homeaway and VRBO are taking that sinking ship down.

1 Like

OMG!!! Is this just on IB? Or are all hosts being forced to accept babies and toddlers?? My place is not a fit for guests with babies and toddlers! I expressly state this in my listing. Am I understanding that they are basically changing the platform to allow babies 0-3 to be free regardless of host preferences?

WHAT?! If they don’t count as guests they could stock the place with them, as the limits on number would go out the window.

1 Like

Yes… It’s true. As long as you have family friendly under amenities checked off. I don’t so guests won’t see this filter apparently.

Yes - it started with a post or update on Facebook. I had to join Facebook after years of avoiding it to add to the comments. THe best part? It’s babies AND pets. So someone can show up with four toddlers and a cat, and there’s nothing you can do.

The problem is that even if you uncheck Family Friendly (as I have) - you might get a family that IB’s and they choose first a Family Friendly place, go through the process, but drop out of the process at some stage, maybe after correspondence with the host. THen they go select another place and don’t even notice it’s not FF, and now don’t include the kids, because they’ve just seen and had it suggested to them that toddlers are not included. So they show up on your door and you then turn them away. Are you going to have any recourse with Airbnb? Because is the rule “kids under 3 free” ONLY if you’ve selected FF or is it just a general rule now?

It’s all very unclear and doesn’t appear to have rolled out everywhere, and I can’t believe that it hasn’t made a bigger impact in the host community. It’s a nightmare.

Well, give it some time. Most people won’t notice or care until a busload of people show up on a booking for 2 and unapproved dog tears a house apart. Most people are very much reactive, but not apt to reading to prevent future issues.

In this case, it will be important to have a good list of house rules. For example, if you don’t allow pets, make sure that’s in the rules. If necessary list a prohibitive fee that will be charged for unapproved pets.

The same will go for people. Disclose a hard limit on all people (kids are people, right?).

They still have to agree to the house rules even for instant book.

You are totally right Felixcat, thanks for the reply.

One thing that is still a bit grey is that it appears that Airbnb is indicating that 0-3 are NOT guests, so therefore not subject to your own listings max guest count. That’s the big problem.

But like you said, it’s early days and maybe by the time they are ready to roll out this ill-conceived initiative it will be so blasted by hosts that they’ll drop it.

It seems like they are using the playbook of VRBO and HA now. It’s all about making sure the guest gets all the advantages, such as IB, flexible cancellation and free babies. If you don’t comply you will be punished wi lower search results.

Free babies are all well and good UNLESS your homeowners association ban children because the place is on the water and has dangerous balconies or whatever. Our insurance policy doesn’t allow kids under 16 on the premises. Couldn’t Air take that into account?

I have no objection to kids staying here but it’s just not possible legally. Surely Air would take that into account? (Ha!)

Just don’t check the Family Friendly checkbox under amenities. That solves the problem. And in your listing make sure you state children under 16 not allowed.

Maybe they should add a toddler-friendly option.

On second thought, that concept makes me think of the GFHs from Orlando. They tripped a breaker with their extra cooking appliances they brought in. (Cue picture of omelette maker, tea kettle, portable griddle, etc. sitting directly on carpet.) When I went to reset it for them, there was a diaper-clad one year old sitting on the nice, new carpet on my stairs holding an iPad, obviously ignored by the parents, and having diarrhea spill over the brim of the diaper and onto the carpet.

This happened to be a HA booking with unlisted kids and their CS folks claimed to be powerless to remove them.

im confused. do i need to change my settings to not say family friendly or guests can book and have their babies and toddlers here for free? if so please let me know as ill do it now

This is big enough of a change, if true, that it needs to be addressed to all hosts from the mothership.

It isn’t something that should just be slipped in with hosts unaware.