Treated unfairly by AirBNB blanket EC policy for Covid19

Background. My apartment is located in NZ. The country has been declared Covid19 free with no travel or any other restrictions in place. In fact the Govt is encouraging more local tourist travel because of the border being closed. Since the country went out of lockdown I have had one AirBnB guest stay and 3 BDC stays.

I have a guest who booked before 14 March 2020 and now wants to cancel their reservation for 16 July with a full refund. They appear to want to invoke the EC policy. Normally they would forfeit 50% of the cost. They haven’t cancelled yet.

Reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences made on or before 14 March 2020, with a check-in date between 14 March 2020 and 15 August 2020, are covered by the policy and may be cancelled before check-in. Guests who cancel will have cancellation and refund options, and hosts can cancel without charge or impact to their Superhost status. Airbnb will either refund, or issue travel credit that includes all service fees for covered cancellations. In order to cancel under the policy, you will be required to attest to the facts of and/or provide supporting documentation for your extenuating circumstance.

The guest fulfills most of these but not the last. There is no supporting documentation for EC since the country is not in lockdown but apparently they can just self attest to the situation and get a full refund and I as a host will be screwed. I not only lose the full amount but have lost the opportunity to have booked the apartment for next week during the school vacation when travel is really busy but most travellers would have booked their places already. He could have cancelled under EC a month ago and I might have had a chance to rebook.

I realise that NZ is lucky in being Covid19 free and it’s hard to write a general policy to cover all countries but I think it would have been better to leave out the self attest evidence and require guests cancelling under EC to provide some documenation as to their inability to travel because of Covid19 - either Govt warnings or retrictions. Once again AirBnB is favouring the guests over the hosts.

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I love NZ, but I would not get on a plane to get there.

It is what it is.


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And you would not be able to either. The guest who wants to cancel is traveling internally

NZ is not Covid free @lchiu7

i would tell the guest to cancel so it wouldn’t impact me and id refund them their money. You wouldn’t want to travel internationally right now either. I gave my guests from NZ their money back even though they didn’t fall into the extenuating circumstances due to their cancellation dates.

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I guess I should have been clearer in my original statement. The guests are traveling internally about 400 miles. The New Zealand border is closed so there are no inbound tourists at all. And I should not have said the country is covid19 free but there is no evidence of community transmission. So the country has no internal restrictions on travel or any other activities involving groups of people.

Erm, it sounds as if you are dealing with what hosts all over the world have been dealing with for the last four or five months. So what are you saying: that the guest is not entitled to a refund? Even if that were the case, are you really going to argue your case during a pandemic?

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I guess my comment was, given there is no Community Transmssion in NZ, all cases are known and isolated in hospitals or supervised facilities, and the Govt is actively encouraging people to travel and see the country since all overseas tourists are blocked, it’s hard to rationalise providing a full refund for somebody who is personally anxious about travelling. And what is more annoying is,t hey could have requested the cancellation a month or more ago when the situation was not as “safe” as it is now and I would have a chance to rebook the apartment for the school vacation. I really can’t do that now since the vacation period is already in its first week.

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Sad to say, but Airbnb will give you zero support on this. They don’t care. Full stop.

I’ve been given the runaround for months on several cancellations that were supposed to be eligible for a support payment, but Airbnb weaseled out of them. Different reps have made up so many different (wrong) excuses for not paying, then they close the case and you can’t talk to them further. It’s so discouraging.

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I would just move on @cooperjto .

I think it’s fairly clear if you read their SH refund policy that these bookings weren’t eligible. I am sorry if their customer services initially told you they were.

I am just focussing on how I market my listing going forward, rather than focussing on something outside of my control.

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If I had a different kind of listing I’d be looking to book as much as possible off the Airbnb platform, especially in the US. We have no control over it, the rolling hodgepodge of policies make it impossible for anything to be planned and Airbnb has been crystal clear for years that they will side with the guests on this. Time to move on, indeed.


I’m mostly sad and angry that Brian Chesky (and Airbnb marketing in general) are out there saying how kind and supportive Airbnb is, but the reality is that they’re just another unscrupulous company when it comes down to it. A heartless corporation that won’t hesitate to screw people over when it suits them. I expected better from Airbnb, maybe that makes me a fool.

For example, I had a few bookings where my guest contacted me about cancelling and didn’t know how to do it, so I cancelled on my end thinking that Airbnb would recognize that these should be eligible for support payments. Nope, it’s classified as “host initiated cancellation” and even after review the claims were denied.

Or the one where my guest cancelled because her flight was cancelled due to COVID, and the support payment was declined because they claimed it the reason for canceling the trip was “flight cancellation”. They managed to give the guest was still given a full refund since they cancelled under EC, yet somehow my payment is denied. It’s disgusting.

I’ll be moving over to VRBO/HomeAway.

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Oh, that’s driveable. That changes things. Sounds like it’s not a matter of safety in that case… You could probably fight for the cancellation fee, but it would probably be met with anger.

A lot of people here are traveling to areas they can drive. It’s been very busy the past few weeks. I am not sure local travel as safe here but everyone’s doing it. Many hosts have adopted flexible policies too I see.

I hear you loud and clear. A guest is taking advantage of Air’s Covid cancellation policy. Instead of Air taking a fair and reasonable approach they leave you twisting in the wind. They have been like that for a very long time where hosts are concerned. All they seem to care about is pleasing guests so that they won’t get turned off and revert to hotels. Hosts don’t have that option.

Interesting? I also have a cancellation from May that should definitely qualify for the 25% support payment, but it hasn’t come. I’ve filled comments with customer service, but no response. I tried calling, but the wait was 1 1/2 hours!
I’m going to continue to hound them, because they made the offer for the 25% support,and they need to live up to it.

Isn’t that funding bucket empty?

That would explain why they issued a blanket refusal for all of the outstanding cancellations that should have qualified.

Ichiu, I am with you. I have a guest who, back in January, booked a four night stay in July. The reservation is for ten days from now. Suddenly, she is concerned about a virus she must have just heard about. Why not cancel six weeks ago, and given me a chance to re-book the place? I have a large house, so it is only booked by large families and generally they plan way in advance. She could have had the decency to give me the opportunity to have it available for re-booking. This policy is not right, at all.

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All’s well that ends well. Airbnb wouldn’t allow the guests to cancel with the full refund so my normal cancellation policies apply.