Unnecessary Cyclone Warning

We are hosts in Cairns in northern Australia. There is currently a tropical low which may develop into a cyclone which may pose a threat to the Fijian Islands which are over 2,000 miles from us, about the same distance as Seattle to Acapulco.

We have received a message from AirBnB that we can cancel existing reservations because of the cyclone. I presume that our guests have also received something from AirBnB about this.

Our own media in Australia love cyclones because severe weather events sell news and and anything within a thousand miles of us is broadcast as a threat to us and causes unnecessary cancellations.

These days it’s easy to get instant and real time info on weather systems as we know. Here is this one http://www.met.gov.fj/aifs_prods/65661.html - over 2,000 miles away and heading away from us.

We can understand why the media does this because they make more money but why would our marketing partners choose to make life more difficult for all of us and threaten revenue?

This is the same as hosts in LA being offered special cancellation services for Hurricane Katrina.

The thing is, other than venting here on this wonderful forum there doesn’t seem to be a way to reach the decision makers in AirBnB who can fix this policy failure for both them and us.

This is part of the mail we received. It went on to list all of the guests whom we have booked for this month.

True – there’s no way to fix the policy fail. I live in a Hurricane zone myself, here in Florida. Whenever something is headed our way, and it looks like the “stuff might really hit the air movement device” I will message any guests who may be in The Window.

If I were you, I would message any guests coming in the next 10-20 days, and explain the situation as you’ve done here. Just write it once and send it to each guest.

Here in the States, I ONLY trust the forecasts from the National Hurricane Center which is run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. ALL ‘talking head’ weathercasters are out to boost their ratings and use sexy women and Chicken Little paranoia to sell things – "The sky is falling! There’s a storm a thousand miles away and we’re ALL GONNA DIE!!!

I know the NHC covers Northern Pacific storms, but I’m betting there’s an OZ or Kiwi scientific forecasting service that covers Down Under…

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Yes we have a good one and so does Fiji and so does NZ and so does Hawaii.

There is no excuse for AirBnB not developing sound policy for something as important as this for all of us.

But that is good advice KenH and we will contact the guests identified by AirBnB.