Refunds for Florida guests refused by AirBnB because hurricanes "forseeable" (also maybe Texas)

The article says guests must rely on hosts to give them a (partial) refund. Even so the guests lose fees paid to AirBnB under the current policy. Texas may be under the same exception:

Charming how Airbnb’s messaging is to harrass hosts for a refund. (When they know damn well that hosts who are inclined to refund would offer to do so unbidden)

When their messaging should be, “According to our EC policy, hurricanes in hurricane-prone areas are foreseeable possibilities, and not covered. Therefore guests are subject to the terms of the cancellation policy they booked under. Airbnb offers travel insurance that guests should consider purchasing when booking to cover themselves for travel disruptions not covered by the EC policy.”

Why do they encourage guests to request refunds from hosts for things Airbnb itself doesn’t deem worthy of a refund? (Not just regarding this hurricane, but in general)


This has already been discussed on this forum. @SleepingCoyote

As already mentioned if there is a government lockdown of the area the guest will be refunded under Airbnb’s EC policy.

A fine example of a journalist inventing a story.

It would be funny if it wasn’t for the fact that there are some people who believe it. For example, ‘following a similar policy as other short-term rental businesses like Vrbo and Expedia’.

Of course, but that’s not mentioned until the end of paragraph three.


If you’re not interested just scroll on by.

As someone who survived Superstorm Sandy, who had neighbors who almost drowned in their houses, I can tell you that the “government lockdown” referred to–I assume they mean the National Guard prohibited exit or entrance–covered only the worst part of the cat area as it’s called. Cat is short for Catastrophe.

Outside the cat area were houses that were habitable, at least once the power was turned back on, but highly unpleasant to be in for a variety of reasons. Things like major trees, I mean 3-4 stories high, knocked over across the path to the house. The local Trader Joe’s filled with 4 feet of water, and almost all stores and restaurants closed because the workers lived in the cat area and couldn’t get to work. But these houses were never under “government lockdown” or Guard blockade the way our property was. If you had gasoline you could drive right up to them and go in.

And @jaquo , That journalist did not invent anything based on my research and personal experience.

This part is news to me. I just learned that if a natural disaster is “forseeable” in your location, the ABB extenuating circumstances cancellation policy does not apply. At least officially.

That is a loophole big enough for a tornado to roll through.

I happen to own property in an area that is vulnerable to natural disasters so I am interested in this topic. Again, if you’re not interested, people, don’t waste your time here.

Since AirBnB will not refund, of course guests are going to turn to hosts asking for refunds.

For those of you who don’t stay at AirBnB when you travel, you should know that guests can pay for the whole thing months in advance if they want. Or guests can leave a partial or a couple partial payments.

Now, if payout goes to the host the day after check in as is common, and a storm hits in areas such as listed below by AirBnB, and the guest wants out and wants a refund, then the host is apparently on the hook. Not AirBnB.

This is in contrast to a chain hotel. I would expect a hotel would refund me 100%. With ABB Under the best case scenario the guest loses AirBnB’s fee, which is not tiny, and the host loses their AirBnB fee as well.

This is good to know for me as a traveler. AirBnB properties are often tempting for so many reasons. But I should book hotels only in the months and regions that are not listed below by ABB if I want to protect my payment in the case of a natural disaster.

From the AirBnB website today:

Natural disasters. Natural disasters, acts of God, large-scale outages of essential utilities, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and other severe and abnormal weather events. This does not include weather or natural conditions that are common enough to be foreseeable in that location—for example, hurricanes occurring during hurricane season in Florida.

Weather events, natural conditions, and diseases that are excluded from our Extenuating Circumstances Policy

Our Extenuating Circumstances Policy allows for guests and hosts to cancel only where the circumstances were not foreseeable at the time the reservation was made. Foreseeable circumstances that are not covered include the weather events, natural conditions and diseases described in this article, as well as any transportation disruptions that result from them. This article is intended to illustrate the most common excluded weather events, natural conditions and diseases rather than to provide an exhaustive list.

We encourage guests to research their destination before booking, carefully review the host’s cancellation policy, and consider buying travel insurance to protect against unexpected travel disruptions.

Tropical storms, cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons

Tropical cyclones are storms that typically form over bodies of water in the tropics and impact many coastal regions around the world. Depending on their location and strength, these storms are also known as hurricanes, typhoons, tropical storms, tropical depressions, and cyclones. Below are examples of the regions most frequently impacted and their storm seasons.

Region Season
Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea
Examples: Belize, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, The Bahamas, the United States (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas), U.S. Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands. June through November
North Atlantic Ocean
Examples: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, and Virginia. June through November
Eastern Pacific Ocean
Examples: Mexico, Guatemala, and Hawaii. May through November
Western Pacific Ocean
Examples: Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, and Vietnam. May through September
Indian Ocean
Examples: coastal regions in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. May through June, and October through November
South Pacific Ocean
Examples: Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Vanuatu and Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia). November through April
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Exactly. AirBnB should remind guests about travel insurance.

As far as hosts giving refunds-----One thing this forum has taught me is that hosts vary considerably in how generous and understanding they are toward guests. Some hosts will hardly give an inch.
Some hosts would encourage guests leave for an area not impacted by the natural disaster.

Your host is everything with AirBnB.

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This policy has been in effect for a long time. Things like the EC policy should not be “news” to hosts- it is our responsibility to inform ourselves of Airbnb policies.

This does not require having travelled as an Airbnb guest to know. I would venture a guess that almost all hosts are aware of this. All it takes is hosts informing themselves of Airbnb policies, those which affect hosts as well as guests, because hosts are impacted by guest policies. I have never travelled as a guest, and I have always been fully aware of the fact that guests book often months (or even a year) in advance, and that guests pay in full, or in some cases half-up-front, at the time of booking.

All that said, I wouldn’t consider what just happened in Florida as a “foreseeable event”, simply because it is an area prone to hurricanes. When a natural disaster is of proportions never experienced in hundreds of years, or ever in recorded history, I would consider that an extenuating circumstance.

And it is quite true what you say about areas that are locked down or deemed by the govt. to be an official disaster area. There are many areas in proximity, but outside that area which are impossible to get to, and one would be foolishly risking their safety to attempt to get there, or there could be damages or power outages which make fulfilling a booking impossible.
However, it is also supposedly possible for hosts whose properties become uninhabitable or impossible to reach for one reason or another, outside their control, to cancel bookings without penalty.

But if guests plan to travel to a hurricane-prone area in hurricane season, or a tornado-prone area in tornado season, they should purchase travel insurance, not expect the host or Airbnb to refund them. I believe that is Airbnb’s thinking on this subject, and I don’t really disagree with that.

As the policy reads, which you yourself quoted here, guests are now encouraged to take out travel insurance- it isn’t either Airbnb’s nor host’s responsibility if they choose to ignore that. Guests bear some responsibility for prudently covering themselves for their travels, just as they need to get the required visas, or vaccinations, in order to travel to some countries, or on a more trivial note, pack appropriately for what will be needed for the climate or culture they are travelling to.

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I am so thankful that I came very close to reserving a month in Fort Myers late in the winter, but held off due to a cost concerns. I can’t imagine having reserved a destroyed property and then having to harass the owner for a refund. Many of those people could not afford flood insurance.


I think a lot of folks would agree with you, but ABB does not.

And @Christine_Shirtcliff as my mother would have said, you must live right, my dear.

TikTok reported that Disney World hotels forced their guests to leave early to make room for line repair workers and search teams. Guests complained they had no where to go.

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