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Update to Strict Cancellation Policy


Just got an E-Mail from Airbnb:

we’ve decided to update our Strict cancellation policy to include this 48-hour grace period in order to help boost bookings. This means that guests will receive a full refund if they cancel within 48 hours of booking, as long as their check-in date is at least 14 days away.

Strangely enough …it is titled “Airbnb Update to Super Strict cancellations”


Can you post details. Mine said the 48 cancellation free policy was optional.


Text of complete E-Mail…from Nora Caroll


I wanted to reach out to let you know about an update we’re making to our Strict cancellation policy. Over the past few months we’ve been testing an update to this policy that allows guests to cancel penalty-free within 48 hours of booking. The results have been overwhelmingly positive for both hosts and guests with minimal cancellations and an increase in bookings overall.

Because of this, we’ve decided to update our Strict cancellation policy to include this 48-hour grace period in order to help boost bookings. This means that guests will receive a full refund if they cancel within 48 hours of booking, as long as their check-in date is at least 14 days away. After this 48-hour window, the regular cancellation policy applies. This updates Strict cancellation policy will come into effect in early April. You’ll receive more detailed info on this update prior.

We feel confident that you’ll receive more bookings at low risk of cancellations. We’ll continue to experiment and monitor performance of this change and assess impact.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Looking forward to this update helping you get more bookings on Airbnb!


Will check if it shows that in any of my listings yet …but from this it sounds: optional goes mandatory

Not a problem for me, as I like the feature and have it in most of my listings.


This can be a HUGE security issue. Do people get access to the address and check in instructions immediately upon booking? Then allowing them to cancel within 48 hours and ransack your apartment with their new knowledge? Hopefully the check in info and address is withheld until after the 48 hour grace period, but they don’t mention it!


Excellent question, I would hope not. Did anyone in the US get this email? I didn’t receive it.


This is one of the reasons I do not have any check in instructions stored with AirBNB. Since I greet each guest when they arrive, I don’t give them the door key code until they have actually arrived on site. When I have rented apartments, pre-AirBNB, the hosts withheld all instructions to access the apartment until about 24 hours before we arrived.

As an aside, I highly recommend changing any codes for each and every guest.


I don’t even want people knowing my listing address unless I can be 100% sure that they intend to stay with me. That’s why I selected strict cancellation in the first place.


This states the free 48 hour cancellation period cannot be within 14 days of the stay. It is my understanding that Airbnb does not provide check-in instructions until three days before the stay.

For example, I have a stay in Boston in two months, but cannot yet see the check-in instructions.

ETA—I do have the address, however.


This isn’t a security issue, because they don’t receive check in details until a few days before and 48 hour cancellations are only available to those booking two weeks or more in advance.

If they don’t have a confirmed booking, they won’t get your check in instructions.


I made another post because I called Airbnb and they confirmed that these changes go into effect for ALL HOSTS April 5th. I thought that was a unique enough topic (confirmation vs one unconfirmed email not received by all hosts) to require its own thread, but apparently not, so that thread was closed. So here we go again.

For safety reasons, I’m really concerned about this policy. Apparently all hosts (maybe just all in the US, where I am) have been emailed about this, but I didn’t see the email. Another host posted about this so I decided to call Airbnb and ask. Here’s what they said.

Now, if a guest books more than 14 days in advance, they get 48 hours to cancel, even with a strict booking policy.

I told them that was a huge security issue for me. I host out of my home and live in a large city with normal levels of large city crimes: robberies, break-ins, etc, so security is a big issue for me. Now, with this policy, I have not only provided people with detailed photos of my home, but I can also give them my address without ANY guarantee that they intend to stay, since they can cancel within 48 hours. This is completely unacceptable to me.

Some other hosts may not care about this. Yes, anyone can break in at any time. But Airbnb is the perfect way to case a property before committing a crime. And Airbnb is easy to game. It’s easy to fake your identity and set up new accounts after getting kicked off, if you really want to. I’ve had guests who were clearly psychologically disturbed and potentially dangerous, even though I thoroughly vet everyone I host. So we need MORE ways to protect ourselves, not fewer.

The true strict cancellation policy also incentivizes guests to thoroughly read and understand the listing description and house rules prior to booking, since they can’t cancel. Now this incentive is gone. It’s hard enough to ensure that guests do their due diligence prior to booking, and now it’s even harder.

The Airbnb rep told me she could change my address to a more vague one. I had her change all my listings to the street name, but not the street address. I am also working to update all my automated messages to avoid sending guests my address until they are truly a confirmed booking and the strict cancellation policy is in effect.

Maybe if I didn’t live in my listing this wouldn’t be such a big deal. But to me, this is a HUGE misstep by Airbnb.
If some hosts want to provide their address even with flexible cancellations and unconfirmed bookings, go for it. But this is absolutely not something I feel comfortable with, and it should be optional for hosts.


I imagine they did this to keep up with what TA did since they all copy each other.

I have had lots of TA bookings but no cancellations during the 48 hour cooling off period. But Air is a different animal.

I have not received this email yet but we know from experience that they roll out emails gradually across their user base.

If it takes effect I will remove all check in instructions and driving instructions from my online section and only send instructions via PDF after the confirmation period is up.

Damn them anyway. Every day they do something that makes me hate them more and more.

Pretty soon all cancellation policies will be gone since they just whittled strict down to basically nothing. Free cancellation even if you are already checked in! You watch!

They are not a company that really supports hosts as everything they do supports guests. Don’t you love their BS press release too? Oh this will be a win win for everyone.


Are you in the US?



Who? this software just doesn’t do a good job of tagging replies to posts. Maybe consider a quote from the post that you are responding to? Extra effort, but might “work” better for continuity.


Me? I’m in Hawaii. Or did you mean the OP? Better to reference the person you are replying to.


I meant @AlexSJ since he’s the one who got the notification.


Not sure who you’re talking to, but I am in the US. :slight_smile:


Yes! It’s so conflicting! Clearly we get value from working with them or we wouldn’t be here, but if they keep pushing it, there might be more cons than pros of going with them very soon.

I like your PDF idea.


I am in Costa Rica, but my account originated in the US …
Also have a couple of accounts for the other listings I manage …none of them received this e-mail.

I was the impression that Nora Carroll manages Central America region …at least she was the one that send out updates about Experiences getting rolled out in CR.



Oh wow. Two weeks to get a new booking. How lucky for us. Another squeeze for hosts. They are not getting my info until that 48 hours passes.

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